Bruce Drum (AirlinersGallery.com)6 hours ago
American Airlines (AAL) on January 18, 2017 announced it will begin selling Basic Economy fares in addition to the wide range of Main Cabin fares currently offered. These no-frills tickets provide a simple and affordable way to experience American’s network, and provide customers the option to pay for the services they want.
Basic Economy fares will go on sale in February in 10 select markets, with the first flights occurring shortly thereafter and expansion to additional markets expected later this year. Not every American Airlines flight will offer Basic Economy fares.
Here’s a look at what Basic Economy customers can expect:
In-flight experience – The same in-flight experience that all Main Cabin customers receive today, including free entertainment options, soft drinks, and snacks, and the same seats.
Seat assignments – Made automatically and only when customers check in. Paid seat assignments can be purchased 48 hours before the flight.
Upgrades – Not permitted, regardless of elite status level.
Bags – One personal carry-on item that fits under the seat (such as a purse or small backpack) is allowed. No overhead bin luggage may be brought on board. Larger carry-ons such as a rollerboard bag must be checked at the ticket counter for the applicable checked-baggage charge. Basic Economy customers who bring more than an under-seat personal item to the gate will incur regular checked baggage charges plus a $25 gate service charge per bag.
Elite customers and eligible AAdvantage® credit cardmembers will be allowed to bring one personal item, one rollerboard, and they maintain their current free checked bag allowance.
Boarding – Basic Economy customers will comprise the last boarding group and will be seated in the Main Cabin. Elite customers and eligible AAdvantage® credit cardmembers will continue to receive Priority or preferred boarding even when purchasing this fare.
Tickets – Non-refundable, non-changeable. Use it or lose it. No same-day flight change or same-day standby.
AAdvantage – Full AAdvantage miles and Elite Qualifying Dollars may be earned when purchasing these fares; however, only one-half Elite Qualifying Mile will be earned per mile flown, and one-half Elite Qualifying Segment per segment flown.
1. Is this a new fare discount?
In general these fares will be lower than regular Main Cabin fares in the same way that Main Cabin fares are lower than Business Class. The idea is to give customers a choice in the kind of ticket they want to purchase. It’s not a new discount, but a new set of attributes for our lowest fares.
2. How many Basic Economy seats will be available on each flight?
The number will vary depending on the same factors that affect pricing generally.
3. How many markets will have Basic Economy fares available?
We’ll introduce Basic Economy in ten markets and expand in line with customer interest. Just like with other fare decisions, we’ll always be evaluating the right mix of products to offer our customers and we may change those offerings depending on customer demand.