Travelers coming to the U.S. from Europe will be permitted one carry-on bag only, and any other carry-on items must be checked. This means travelers will have to choose between a personal item, like a purse or laptop, and a carry-on suitcase. American will not charge baggage fees for items that normally would be carried on. Passengers flying from the U.S. are not affected. The full guidelines can be found here.
The restrictions will not apply to everyone, though. Frequent flyers, first- and business-class travelers, customers traveling with PriorityAAccess, and AAirPass members are exempt. Which is strange, considering the new restrictions are included under the heading, "New International Security Measures." To paraphrase a co-worker here at SmarterTravel, I guess American assumes would-be attackers don't fly in style.
Snarkiness aside, I would love to know how this pertains to security. My guess is the goal is to minimize screening delays, but the increased use of pat-downs probably causes more traffic jams than examining carry-ons.
Canada has banned all carry-ons (except for small items).
Do you have any ideas for dealing with American's new carry-on restriction? I know if I were flying American from Europe, I would definitely make sure my jacket could fit into whatever bag I brought onboard. Share any tips of your own in the comments below. Thanks!