Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
How to get priority boarding with American Airlines
Settle in your seat sooner with priority boarding.
American Airlines priority privileges expedite your passage through the American Airlines counter, security lanes and your gate. Just follow “Priority” signs throughout the airport. Priority boarding can be particularly useful, getting you on flights before general boarding groups. Normally this benefit costs $9 to $74, but you can get it at no cost through elite status, credit cards and more.
How to get American Airlines priority boarding
You can board your flight early if you:
- Earn AAdvantage elite tier status.
There are four tiers you can earn by flying American Airlines: Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum. Depending on the tier, you can board with Group 2, 3 or 4.
- Earn Oneworld elite tier status.
Frequent flyer members of other airlines from the Oneworld Alliance that have achieved elite status with their airline, automatically achieve Oneworld elite status as well. These are Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, which correspond to Group 2, 3 and 4.
- Purchase higher fare class.
First class board Group 1, followed by Business class, Premium Economy and Main Cabin Extra.
- Get an AAdvantage credit card.
Eligible credit cards offer priority boarding in different boarding groups. Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® cardmembers board with Group 4, CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® and Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® board with Group 5.
- Purchase AA AirPass.
You can purchase an elite tier status membership with AirPass, starting from $10,000 per year. You can board Group 2, Group 3 or Group 4, depending on which tier status you buy.
- Purchase priority boarding.
Priority boarding costs $9 to $74. This puts you in Group 4. In addition, you also get priority at check-in and priority security check when available at certain airports.
- Are active duty US military.
Carry your military ID and you get to board with Group 1.
- Are a corporate traveler.
Eligible corporate travelers can board with Group 5 if their employer has an active American Airlines Corporate Travel Agreement at the time of ticketing and travel. Your tickets must be booked and paid for through an authorized Agency of Record for the company with a CART number. Also, you need a valid AAdvantage number in your reservation at time of check-in.
How to get American Airlines priority boarding
- Compare credit cards that can get you American Airlines priority boarding.
- Apply for an eligible AAdvantage credit card.
- Use your card to purchase your ticket.
- Depending on your card, you will receive either Group 4 or Group 5 boarding on your boarding pass.
Compare credit cards with American Airlines priority boarding
Board your flight early with these American Airlines cobranded credit cards:
Who gets priority boarding?
The highest levels of priority boarding are reserved for the AAdvantage elite tiers, for active duty US military personnel and for the highest fare class.
Next in line are owners of the American Airlines credit cards who haven’t earned elite status, and those who have bought priority privileges.
Flyers who need special assistance and families with children two years old or younger can ask to board early at the gate.
|Group||Boarding pass type|
Active duty U.S. military with military I.D.
(Business on a 2-class international plane)
|Group 2||Executive Platinum|
(Business on a 3-class plane)
|Group 3||Platinum Pro|
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive cardmembers
Travelers who bought Priority boarding
|Group 5 (Preferred boarding)||Main Cabin Extra (excluding Basic Economy)|
Eligible AAdvantage® credit cardmembers*
Eligible corporate travelers**
|Group 6||Group 6|
|Group 7||Group 7|
|Group 8||Group 8|
Basic Economy to / from Europe
|Group 9||Basic Economy within the U.S., Canada, Central America, Mexico & Caribbean|
Getting the top levels of priority boarding is reserved for the most frequent flyers, active military members and higher fare class. You can also board early by being an AAdvantage card member.
However, if you prefer other airlines, look for other travel cards that offer priority boarding and compare your options.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
Delta Medallion status: How does it work and why you should get it
Ascend through its ranks and Delta Medallion Status pays off with additional perks and benefits for SkyMiles members.
Best airline credit cards of 2021
Have your sights set on travel this year? We compared nearly 100 cards to find the best deals and perks.
How would you spend your savings?
In the age of #adulting, Finder asks Americans what their financial priorities are and what they’re most willing to dip into their savings for.
Guide to Chase military credit card benefits
Chase offers a simple, strong military benefit.
Best credit cards for consultants
Travel credit cards can offer top-notch rewards for consultants.
How to hire an employee
9 steps for recruiting, screening and adding a member to your team.
Airline bankruptcies: What could happen to your frequent flyer miles
There are two types of bankruptcies, and your miles will likely be fine unless the airline shuts down completely.
Stimulus check: How much you’ll get and when
7 tips on smart ways you can think about using your stimulus check. Description on our main page that summarizes what the article is about.
How to recover miles and points if you cancel your trip
Need to cancel a rewards trip? Here’s how to retrieve your points
Credit card rewards and perks during coronavirus
It depends on your situation and what type of rewards you have.
Ask an Expert