American Airlines announced in late 2012 that it will be offering economy class passengers the option to pay $68-$88 extra per round trip for checked baggage. By paying this fee travelers will be allowed future changes to their reservations without any further additional fees.
As checked luggage costs about $50 for the first bag, this option will in effect give passengers a buffer – for an extra $18-$38 – against additional fees should they change their flight schedule. At present, the airline charges an additional fee of about $150 if the passenger makes changes to a flight after it is booked.
The new fare offer has been termed Choice Essential ($68 extra) and Choice Plus ($88 extra). Choice Plus offers standby privileges and perks such as an additional free drink.