No-frills fares opening in 10 markets, offering no amenities with the lowest available price.
American Airlines will soon begin offering flyers the opportunity to travel on the cheap, in exchange for the luxuries flyers are accustomed to flying with. In a press release, the airline announced the details of their Basic Economy fares, which will launch in 10 marketplaces this year.
The fares represent the absolute lowest prices for flights available on the legacy carrier, but are stripped of many amenities. For instance, those flying on a Basic Economy fare will not be allowed to select their seat during the booking process, meaning they could be seated away from other members of their party. Those who need to select their seats can pay for seat assignments starting 48 hours before their flight.
Carry-on luggage is limited to one personal item that will fit under the seat, with exceptions for some American AAdvantage elites and those who hold certain AAdvantage credit cards. In addition, flyers who know they will be checking bags must purchase their checked luggage ahead of time, or face an additional $25 fee for checking luggage at the gate.
Those who choose the Basic Economy fare will also lose their opportunity to upgrade or change flights as well. Elite AAdvantage flyers on a basic economy fare will not be eligible to upgrade and cannot make same-day standby changes. Furthermore, while AAdvantage flyers will earn award miles while flying, they will only earn 50 percent credit towards elite qualifying miles and elite qualifying dollars.
While the airline will launch the fares in 10 select cities to start, the airline is expected to expand the fares to additional cities throughout the year. The move comes two years after Delta Air Lines introduced a “basic economy” class to their flights and two months after United Airlines announced they would also introduce a “bare-bones” fare.
[Photo: American Airlines]