The Fort Worth, Texas, airline said Wednesday it's now charging between $19 and $39 for "Express Seats" - those spots in the first few rows of coach that include bulkhead seats.
The carrier, which is operated by parent AMR Corp., is following in the footsteps of several other airlines who already charge for special seats.
UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, Continental Airlines, US Airways, JetBlue, Frontier, Spirit and AirTran all have some seats that cost extra.
American said the price of the seats includes getting on the plane in the first "general boarding" group of passengers.
The seats that will cost extra are in the first two or three rows of the coach cabin, depending on the size of the plane.
The seats can only be bought at airport kiosks between 24 hours to 50 minutes before the flight for travel within the U.S.
American, the country's second-largest airline behind Delta Air Lines, still provides its elite frequent fliers those seats for no extra charge.
American also charges fees for checked bags, priority boarding, booking on the phone or in person, "sleep sets," unaccompanied minors and pets.