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American will favor passengers without roller bags

FORT WORTH — Traveling light? American Airlines will let your board earlier.

People carrying just a personal item that fits under the seat — no rolling suitcases — will be allowed to board before most others. American said that will speed up the process and allow flights to take off sooner.

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Airlines have been seeing longer boarding times since they began charging for checked bags, along with more people fighting for limited space in overhead bins.

Passengers carrying things like a backpack or computer bag that will fit under the seat will board right after Group 1 premium passengers.

The airline will let passengers check carry-on bags at the gate at no charge. That means savvy travelers will be able to move up in the boarding order and avoid checked-bag fees — $25 for the first bag, $35 for a second on flights within the United States — though they’ll have to retrieve the bag at baggage claim after they land.

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