I had previously posted my negative experience with checking in a backpack w AA at a cost of $25, only to retrieve the backpack upon landing completely damaged and unusable for a 35 day backpacking trip through Central America. Upon my return home to the States and after altering my trip dramatically, having to limit where I traveled and by incurring additional flight costs, AA denied my claim. Without any prompting, AA denied my claim a 2nd time months later even though I did not request an appeal or for AA to reevaluate my claim and their decision. Just poor management at it's best. Therefore I would highly recommend using any airline other than American Airlines if this is how they treat their customers.