Flying with American

Flying with American - at the gate

What you need to know before you go

Safety is our top priority. We're also committed to providing a positive and dependable travel experience for all of our customers. We hope this information will help you prepare for your trip. We understand traveling can be stressful, and we appreciate your patience and courtesy.

This guidance is not intended to replace the Conditions of carriage, which covers all of your rights and responsibilities as a passenger.

Conditions of carriage

Your ticket

We sell 2 types of tickets – refundable and non-refundable:

If you booked at least 2 days before departure, you can get a full refund within 24 hours from the time you bought your ticket, no matter if it's refundable or non-refundable.

  • A refundable ticket allows you to change or cancel your flight without a fee.
  • A non-refundable ticket may cost less, but if you need to make changes you'll be charged a change fee and any difference in fare. If you buy a Basic Economy fare, changes are not allowed.
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Preparing to travel

Being prepared is the best way to ensure smooth travel. Every airport is different, so do a little research if it's your first time flying to or from a city. You'll need a valid photo ID accepted by the TSA (like a driver’s license or other government-issued ID) for domestic travel and a valid passport or visa, and any travel documents required by your international destination.

Acceptable forms of identification Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines.

REAL ID This content can be expanded

Starting May 7, 2025, you’ll need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or other accepted ID, like a valid passport or U.S. military ID, to fly within the U.S. REAL ID-compliant cards generally have a star at the top. If you’re unsure, contact your state driver’s license agency on how to get a REAL ID-compliant card.

TSA won’t allow you to pass through security checkpoints at the airport if your ID doesn’t comply.

Find out if you’re REAL ID ready Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

TSA Secure Flight information This content can be expanded
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At the gate

You must be at the gate and ready to board the plane:

  • 15 minutes before departure on domestic flights
  • 30 minutes before departure for international flights

Be sure to check your boarding pass for boarding times. If you're not at the gate in time, your seat may be given to a standby passenger.

The doors close at least 10 minutes before departure. Once the door is shut, it will not be reopened unless there is health, safety or security issue.

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On the plane

Welcome aboard! Anything you carried on must fit in the overhead bins or under the seat in front of you. If the bins are full or your bag is too big we'll help gate-check it. Musical instruments count as a carry-on and must fit safely in the bin, under the seat or in a closet (unless you paid for an extra seat).

Have a nut allergy? Though we don't serve peanuts, we do serve food that may contain other types of nuts and customers may carry on peanuts. We're unable to make special accommodations or provide nut-free zones on board, so we strongly encourage you to take all necessary medical precautions before flying.

And finally, our crewmembers are here to ensure a safe and pleasant flying experience for you and everyone onboard your flight. Please let them know if you have any questions and be sure to comply with their instructions, which are designed to keep you and everyone on board safe and comfortable.

When you arrive

We hope you enjoyed your flight and look forward to seeing you again.

Need a receipt for an onboard purchase or to request a refund?

Receipts and refunds

If your bag didn't arrive with you or there's damage to something you checked, please stop by the baggage service office when you arrive. American’s Customer Baggage Notification also alerts you shortly after arriving at your final destination if your bags didn’t make the plane or were sent ahead of you. To receive alerts, you can use the American Airlines app, sign up for AAdvantage or provide contact information during booking or check-in. You can also file a report with us.

Delayed or damaged bags

Have a compliment or want to let us know how we can improve? We want to hear from you.

Thank you for choosing American for your travel needs.