Why Is American Airlines So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

After long hard months at work, a nice vacation with the family is exactly what you need. A flight with American Airlines can do a number on your wallet, but there are a few things you can control.

Want to learn why American Airlines is so expensive? Keep reading! I’ll teach you how to get the most bang for your buck when flying with American Airlines!

Why Is American Airlines So Expensive In 2024?

American Airlines has a dynamic price range that is dependent on many factors, including things inside the customer’s control, such as flying out of season and packing light as of 2024. Fixed costs that customers cannot control are also part of the equation, such as fuel prices and red zones.

There are many reasons why American Airlines is a costly air carrier (but it can be cheaper!). Keep reading to learn how you can score a great deal!

1. Demand Vs. Supply

If there are a lot of customers wanting to fly — American Airlines will notice a spike in demand for its services and increase prices accordingly.

Also, American Airlines offers inflight services such as Wi-Fi, other entertainment, snacks, and beverages at increased rates.

2. Jet Fuel Prices

High gas prices are a drag that won’t change anytime soon.

That said, rising fuel prices are another factor that hikes up ticket prices on American Airlines.

Further, this is one thing that goes beyond a weekly fill-up at the pump — gas prices inevitably come back to haunt the customer when it’s time to fly.

Moreover, American Airlines uses a hedging method that allows the air carrier to get a discount on oil. However, it’s not a solution that immunizes the company from fluctuating gas prices.

3. Business Travellers

American Airlines loves business travelers because money usually isn’t an object for these customers, so American Airlines has the luxury of charging these customers more.

Additionally, these customers book more expensive seats that line the pockets of American Airlines.

However, this affects regular customers because the amount of business travelers on a flight impacts how much the airline can charge everyone else.

4. Early Check-Ins

4. Early Check-Ins American

Passengers have the option of requesting an early check-in. But, American Airlines will charge an extra fee for this, making the flight more expensive.

5. Health & Safety

American Airlines is dedicated to passenger safety. Therefore, staff members go through a detailed safety process that ensures the customer’s safety is the top priority.

Unfortunately, this expense comes out of the customer’s pocket.

6. Security

American Airlines also takes security into high regard. With that, the airline will take extra security measures that coincide with the increased ticket price.

Also, security is one of the leading reasons for a higher ticket price on an American Airlines flight. Unfortunately, it is one of the things the customer cannot control.

7. Seasonality

Demand for a particular flight will increase or decrease based on many factors, including the season.

For example, traveling around Christmas time will cost the customer a pretty penny, ranging anywhere from triple (or even more) the cost of a regular flight.

8. Non-Stop Vs. One Stop

Customers can take advantage of connecting flights when it comes to saving money with American Airlines.

That said, a direct flight will be much more expensive because business professionals are more concerned with convenience and arriving at their location efficiently.

So, if customers are not bothered by stopping in a second or even third city, their ticket price will be reduced dramatically.

Moreover, this is one of the more impactful areas that customers can control when reducing ticket prices.

9. Extra Bags

The number of bags a customer checks into a flight with on American Airlines has a significant impact on the price of their travel.

For example, one bag will net a customer $30 in charges, whereas a third or fourth bag will run anywhere between $150 to $200.

10. Premium & First-Class Cabins

Flying business-class will definitely put a dent in customers’ pockets, as American Airlines will maximize the business-class offerings to make more profit.

Further, the more money a plane makes in the front-end, the less the company can charge to the passengers in economy class.

Therefore, customers can use this knowledge to save money on their next flight.

11. Restricted Airspace

The dynamics behind the airspace play a role in the cost of the flight.

For example, if there is only one airline offering a specific route, that air carrier has the freedom to charge more.

Also, a more relevant example is a conflict between countries. What was once a simple route may need to detour to avoid the airspace between countries.

As you can imagine, this causes an increase in the time and fuel needed to reach a certain destination.

Use Rewards!

American Airlines hosts a rewards program called AAdvantage Miles.

That said, customers can use the miles (and their American Airlines credit card) to redeem many free perks such as free bags, seats, or even upgraded cabins.

Further, these cards can save a customer a lot of money indirectly.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on how to use American Airlines credit, is American Airlines safe, and is American Airlines Oneworld.


There are many reasons why American Airlines can be an expensive option. However, customers can control certain factors to purchase an inexpensive ticket.

For example, some of these factors include traveling in the off-season, limiting luggage, and using AAdvantage rewards.

Still, there are fixed costs that fall outside the customer’s control as well, including fuel prices, supply and demand, and security.

For most customers, a basic economy fare is usually the way to go when flying with American Airlines, and customers will find this to be a highly practical solution for an inexpensive flight.

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Mackenzie Jerks

Mackenzie is a freelance writer and editor, published author, and music enthusiast who holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. When she’s not writing, Mackenzie is either wrapped up in a book, discovering new music, or introducing herself to a new fitness regimen.

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