American Airlines Check-in Policy

American-Airlines-Check-in-Policy

When you check in for a flight, it confirms your intention to fly. Checking in enables you to receive a boarding pass, check in your baggage, and board your flight. 

American Airlines Check-in Methods


How can I check in for my American Airlines flight?

American Airlines allows you to check in for your flight:

  1. Online 
  2. Through the mobile app 
  3. At the airport’s: 
    1. Curbside 
    2. Kiosk 
    3. Counter

By what time must I complete my American Airlines check-in?

The minimum check-in times for American Airlines flights will depend on the airport, but are typically as follows:

  • International. Arrive at the airport minimum 3 hours prior to departure and check in a minimum of 60 minutes prior to your flight’s departure. 
  • Domestic (within the U.S.). Arrive at the airport minimum 2 hours prior to departure and check in at least 45 minutes prior to your flight’s departure. 

American Airlines Check-in Time—Exceptions

  • At least 60 minutes prior to departure San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU).
  • At least 75 minutes prior to departure Paris (CDG), Madrid (MAD), Dublin (DUB), Casablanca (CMN), Buenos Aires (EZE), Barcelona (BCN). 
  • At least 90 minutes prior to departure Caracas (CCS), Georgetown–Guyana (GEO), Maracaibo (MAR), St. Kitts and Nevis (SKB), 

St. Croix and US Virgin Islands (STX, STT).

American Airlines Check-in Time 

  1. Online Check-in Time 
    1. Domestic Flights. From 24 hours to 45 minutes before your flight’s departure. 
    2. International Flights. From 24 hours to 90 minutes before your flight departs. The following airports may have earlier check-in times. 
  1. Mobile App Checkin Time 
    1. Domestic Flights. You can check in with your mobile app from 24 hours to 45 minutes before your flight’s departure. 
    2. International Flights. You can check in with your mobile app from 24 hours to 90 minutes before your flight’s departure. The following airports may have earlier check-in times. 
  1. Curbside Check-in Time—Starting and Closing  
    1. Domestic Flights. You can check in at the airport’s curbside at many U.S. airports from 4 hours to 45 minutes before your flight’s departure. 
    2. International Flights. You can check in at the airport’s curbside at many U.S. airports from 4 hours to 90 minutes before your flight’s departure. The following airports may have earlier check-in times. 

Note

  • Curbside check-in is free
  • You can only use the curbside check-in option:
    • If you have an e-ticket 
    • You will be paying your baggage fee with a credit card 
  • For curbside check-in, you will need: 
    • Your photo ID
    • Any one of the following
      • Your e-ticket number 
      • Your confirmation number
      • Your AAdvantage number 
      • Your destination 
  • If the curbside check-in is closed:
    • Use a self-service machine inside the airport, or 
    • Go to the ticket counter
  1. Airport Kiosk Check-in Time 
    1. Domestic Flights. You will be able to check in at the airport’s self-service kiosk at most U.S. airports from 24 hours (Miami: 5 hours) to 45 minutes before your flight’s departure. 
    2. International Flights. You can check in at the airport’s self-service kiosk at most U.S. airports from 24 hours (Miami: 5 hours) to 90 minutes before your flight’s departure. The following airports may have earlier check-in times. 

Note

Aside from checking in, you will also be able to:

  • Check-in your bags 
  • Pay the bag fees 
  • Obtain a printed boarding pass
  • Select or change your seat 
  1. Airport Ticket Counter Check-in Time 
    1. Domestic Flights. You will be able to check in at the airport’s ticket counter at most U.S. airports from 4 hours to 45 minutes before your flight’s departure. 
    2. International Flights. You can check in from the airport’s ticket counter at most U.S. airports from 4 hours to 90 minutes before your flight’s departure. The following airports may have earlier check-in times. 

Note

You can also:

  • Obtain a printed boarding pass
  • Check-in your baggage
  • Pay your luggage fees 
  • Choose a seat 
  • Change your seat

When to Reach the Airport

To ensure you have enough time to check in (with or without bags) and clear security before your flight’s departure, you should reach the airport:

  • At least 1.5 hours before departure if you’re flying within the United States.
  • At least 3 hours before departure if you’re flying out of the United States.

American Airlines Online Check-in (Web Check-in)


How can I check in for my American Airlines flight online?

Checking in online allows you to bypass the lines at the airport check-in counter. Plus, American Airlines’ web check-in takes less than a minute.

For checking in online from American Airlines’ website:

  1. Go to AA.com
  2. Click on Manage trips/Check-in 
  3. In the dropdown box, enter the passengers:
    1. First name 
    2. Last name 
    3. Confirmation Code/Record Locator
      (a 6-letter code that appears on your boarding pass and confirmation email)
  4. Click on the Find your trip button 
  5. Follow the prompts to: 
    1. Select the flight you want to check in for
    2. Choose your seat (optional)
      Note. If you’ve already selected your seat, you will automatically be checked in for that seat.
    3. Print your boarding pass, receive it by email, or download and save it as a PDF

You can also log in through your AAdvantage # or username.

When checking in online for your flight, you will also be able to: 

  • Select or change your seat
  • Print or download your boarding pass 

Passengers Not Eligible for American Airlines’ Online Check-in

Online check-in may not be possible if:

  • You’re flying on a partner airline.
  • Your booking is not confirmed. 
  • Your airport does not provide this facility.
  • You will be requiring a wheelchair or some other special service. 
  • You’re using the unaccompanied minor service. 
  • Your booking includes a pet.
  • You’re travelling with a weapon or firearm.

American Airlines Mobile Check-in


How can I check in with the American Airlines mobile app?

For checking in with American Airlines’ mobile app:

  • Log in after clicking on the check-in button 
  • Enter the necessary information 
  • Select your flight and check in 

After checking in, you can save your boarding pass on your mobile device.

You can also use the mobile app to: 

  • Check-in and download your mobile boarding pass
  • Book flights 
  • Change or cancel your flight 
  • View the following: 
    • Flight status
    • Boarding position
    • Gate information
  • Make or cancel your car reservation
  • Access your AAdvantage account
  • Access useful airport information

How to Get Your American Airlines Mobile Boarding Pass

  1. Go to AA.com
  2. Check in for your flight as follows:
  1. Click Manage trips/Check-in
  2. In the dropdown box that opens, enter:
    1. Your first and last name 
    2. Your Confirmation Code/Record Locator 
  3. Click on the Find your trip button 
  4. Select your flight and check in using the self-explanatory prompts 
  1. Click on Email with Mobile Option 
  2. Check your email from your mobile device 
  3. Follow the link to get your mobile boarding pass
  4. Save it to your device

You will need to show your mobile boarding pass it at security when you board—just make sure the complete barcode can be seen on your mobile device’s screen. 

Note

Some airports may not accept mobile boarding passes, so do check whether your airport will accept yours (find your airport and look under ‘Airport details’ whether it accepts such boarding passes). 

If your airport doesn’t accept mobile boarding passes:

  • Take a printout of your boarding pass before heading for the airport, or
  • Take a printout from a self-service kiosk at the airport

American Airlines Airport Self-Service Kiosk Check-in


How can I check-in at an American Airlines kiosk?


You can use a self-service hands-free kiosk to check your bags at most U.S. airports. To do this, you must check in online for your trip, select your checked bags, and download (or print) your boarding pass. 

After reaching an airport kiosk, you will need to do scan your paper or electronic boarding pass. You will receive an automatic printout of your bag tag, which you can then attach to your bags before dropping them off at the bag drop.

How to check in from a touchless self-service check-in kiosk 

  1. Scan your boarding pass (paper or mobile)
  2. Enter your 6-character record locator or AAdvantage number 
  3. After your trip appears on the screen:
  1. You can take a printout of your boarding pass
  2. You can add a lap infant (under 2) on a U.S. reservation
  3. You can take a printout of your bag tag(s) and attach to your checked bag(s)
  4. You can change your seat (or buy one)

You can also do the following at an American Airlines’ check-in kiosk:

  • Stand by for a same-day flight (earlier or later)
  • Confirm same-day flight changes
  • Upgrade your seat 
  • Ask for a 500-mile upgrade
  • Buy more AAdvantage miles
  • Ask for a receipt

Passengers Not Eligible for American Airlines’ Kiosk Check-in

The following passengers are not eligible for American Airlines’ kiosk check-in.
They must physically check in at the airport:

  • Passengers travelling as unaccompanied minors
  • Passengers travelling with a pet
  • Passengers travelling on an age-qualifying fare
  • Passengers who require special assistance 
  • Passengers travelling on group reservations 
  • International passengers
  • Passengers not booked in the main cabin

American Airlines Airport Check-in


How can I check in at an American Airlines’ airport counter?

After reaching an American Airlines’ airport check-in desk or counter, you will be asked to show your ticket and valid travel documents. When checking in your luggage, make sure your bags are tagged and labeled, and comply with all the necessary regulations.  

After you show your valid travel documents at the airport counter:

  • You’ll be able to check in your bags 
  • You’ll be assigned a seat 
  • You’ll be given your boarding pass 

After checking in: 

  1. Make sure the details on your boarding pass are correct—such as your name, your flight number, and your destination. 
  2. Make sure your bags are tagged and your receipts are in order. 
  3. Make sure you collect your ticket and travel documents. 
  4. Go through the security checks in time. 

The deadlines for checking in and bag drop vary by airport: 

  • The following airports may have different check-in times. 
  • The following airports will not accept checked bags more than 4 hours before departure:
    • Seattle (SEA)
    • Salt Lake City (SLC)
    • Portland, Oregon (PDX)
    • Orlando (MCO)
    • Las Vegas (LAS)
    • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
    • Denver, Colorado (DEN)

Frequently Asked Questions on American Airlines Check-in

The table below provides a snapshot of American Airlines’ check-in starting and closing times—online via the website, mobile app, airport curbside, airport self-service kiosk, and airport ticket counter.

American Airlines Check-in Time (Starting and Closing)
Check-in Method Check-in Time—Domestic Flights Check-in Time—International Flights 
Online
(www.aa.com) 
From 24 hours to 45 minutes before departure.From 24 hours to 90 minutes before departure, but some airports have earlier check-in times.
Mobile AppFrom 24 hours to 45 minutes before departure.From 24 hours to 90 minutes before departure, but some airports have earlier check-in times.
Airport Curbside From 4 hours to 45 minutes before departure at these U.S. airportsFrom 4 hours to 90 minutes before departure at these U.S. airports. But some airports have earlier check-in times.
Airport Self-Service Kiosk From 24 hours (Miami: 5 hours) to 45 minutes before departure at most U.S. airports. From 24 hours (Miami: 5 hours) to 90 minutes before departure at most U.S. airports. But some airports have earlier check-in times.
Airport Ticket Counter From 4 hours to 45 minutes before departure at most U.S. airports.From 4 hours to 90 minutes before departure at most U.S. airports. But some airports have earlier check-in times.

You must reach the airport early so that you have enough time to check in and go through security checks before the gates close. This means you should aim to reach the airport:

  • At least 1.5 hours before departure—if you’re flying within the United States.
  • At least 3 hours before departure—if you’re flying out of the United States.

You can check in at the airport’s curbside or airport kiosk and collect your boarding pass from there. Alternatively, you can seek assistance from an American Airlines staff member at the airport. 

You’ll be able to use your mobile boarding pass if your airport accepts them, and if you’re travelling on an American Airlines/American Eagle flight.

The domestic check-in time for American Airlines opens the day before, i.e., 24 hours prior to your flight’s departure and closes 45 minutes prior to take-off.

The international check-in time for American Airlines opens and closes 24 hours to 90 minutes prior to departure respectively. However, there are a few exceptions: 

  • At least 60 minutes before departure San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU).
  • At least 75 minutes before departure Paris (CDG), Madrid (MAD), Dublin (DUB), Casablanca (CMN), Buenos Aires (EZE), Barcelona (BCN). 
  • At least 90 minutes before departure Caracas (CCS), Georgetown–Guyana (GEO), Maracaibo (MAR), St. Kitts and Nevis (SKB), 

St. Croix and US Virgin Islands (STX, STT).

Yes, it is. You must check in for your flight before the counters close.

Most passengers are eligible to use an American Airlines check-in kiosk. However, the following passengers must physically check in at the airport:

  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Passengers travelling with pets
  • Passengers travelling on age-qualifying fares 
  • Passengers requiring special assistance 
  • Passengers travelling on group reservations 
  • International passengers
  • Passengers not booked in the main cabin

American Airlines record locator (see below) is a 6-letter code (such as JCQNHD) that you will need to check in online for your flight. The record locator, also known as confirmation code, appears on your boarding pass and confirmation email. 

You should complete your American Airlines airport check-in as follows:

  • For international flights. You must check in a minimum of 60 minutes prior to your flight’s departure. 
  • For domestic flights (within the United States). You must check in at least 45 minutes before your flight’s departure. 

You may not be able to check in online if:

  • Your flight is operated by a codeshare partner.
  • You’re holding an unconfirmed booking.
  • The online check-in facility is not available at the departure airport.
  • You need a special service such as a wheelchair. 
  • You’re travelling as an unaccompanied minor. 
  • You’re travelling with a pet.

If you’re unable to check in online, you will have to check in physically at the airport. 

If you check in for your American Airlines flight but are unable to catch your flight, call Reservations and inform them before departure or you may lose the value of your ticket. However, you may be charged a penalty, depending on your fare type.


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