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AA Basic Economy Fare as of 2017 (and on AY, BA, IB) (Master thread)

AA Basic Economy Fare as of 2017 (and on AY, BA, IB) (Master thread)

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Old Oct 10, 19, 3:19 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
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Basic Economy Fare Introduced Feb 2017

Transatlantic Basic Economy Across JBV (AA, AY, BA, IB) Began April 2018
(see below)


Link to aa.com page


Link to AA press release

Link to Gary Leff's blog article

Originally Posted by NYC Flyer View Post
Basic Economy always books into B, but it is what's referred to as a dual booking class fare. The fare is determined by availability of B class (which is generally, but not always unlimited if the route offers Basic Economy), as well as another booking class (N,Q,V, etc.). A fare basis of Q3UZNB3 represents a Basic Economy "branded" fare that requires both Q and B classes to be available for sale at the time the reservation is made. This is not dissimilar to an instant upgrade fare. Purchasing a ticket with a fare basis of KVEUPNIF allows the passenger to be booked in I class (first class on domestic flights), provided both K and I classes are available at the time the reservation is made...
NOTE: During OSO / IROPS, some were being inadvertently rebooked from Main Cabin / Economy into Basic Economy (losing better seating, upgrade options, etc.) See AA Errors Reticketing into Basic Economy Fare

Special notice
Customers flying Basic Economy are now allowed 1 free carry-on (in addition to a personal item) to all destinations.
As of July 2019, Basic Economy passengers can purchase seats up to seven days before flying. Link to JonNYC Tweet.
Link to archived FT speculation thread

AA offers Basic Economy fares in across its domestic network and on transatlantic routes.

The boarding pass displays a large, scarlet B on it.

"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." - AA

Restrictions

A ticket gets you a seat in Main Cabin, with restrictions:
  • 1 item that fits under the seat in front of you and one regular overhead bin carryon as of 5 Sep 2018 and onward.) (Practically, Boarding in the last group offers a high chance rollaboard will be gate-checked.)

  • Seats assigned at check-in

  • Fees to choose a specific seat

  • Not eligible for upgrades

  • No flight changes or refunds

  • Board in last group* (Group 9)

  • Earn 0.5 EQM, 0.5 EQS per mile / segment flown


Inflight experience - Snacks and inflight entertainment included.

Earn AAdvantage miles (but see below - 0.5 EQM, 0.5 EQS)

OSO / IROPS - Will be reaccommodated on AA, not other airlines

[QUOTE]Routes

Some Basic Economy fares became available for purchase on select routes for travel starting March 1 2017, some international and transatlantic flights.

"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 7 days before the flight.

Elite member access to Main Cabin Extra - Basic Economy fare tickets aren't eligible for complimentary/discounted access to Main Cabin Extra seats. (Link)

UpgradesNot permitted, regardless of elite status level.

Bags – One personal carry-on item that fits under the seat (such as a purse or small backpack) and one overhead bin bag may be brought on board effective 5 Sep 2018.

N.B. Elite customers and eligible AAdvantage® credit cardmembers will be allowed to bring one personal item, one rollaboard, 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.

Multiple disclosures spell out the attributes of a Basic Economy ticket at the time of purchase on aa.com, and when utilizing the airline’s reservations phone centers or when booking through a travel agent or online travel site. In addition to clear disclosures at the time of purchase, Basic Economy customers will also receive reminders as their travel day gets closer, including at check-in kiosks at the airport.

“Our goal is to make sure that all customers have the opportunity to purchase a ticket on American that works for their specific needs,” said Robert Isom. “We will work hard to ensure transparency, provide clear explanations of these fares, and we look forward to continuing to offer a wide variety of services to our customers.'"

Also note that Gary Leff confirmed

Update: American has now confirmed to me that basic economy customers will not be re-accommodated on other airlines, and will be at the bottom of the list for automatic re-accommodation (on AA) as well. However basic economy “B” inventory will not need to be available in order to be moved onto another flight.


Q&A

Is this a new fare discount?

No; it is a new lowest fare. These fares will be lower than regular Main Cabin fares in the same way that discounted Main Cabin fares are lower than fully flexible Y fares.


How many Basic Economy seats will be available on each flight?

The number will vary depending on the same factors that affect pricing generally. Revenue management, as usual.


How many markets will have Basic Economy fares available?

AA introduced Basic Economy in ten markets and expanded in to many domestic, international (including transatlantic) Flights.


Is the on-board experience in Basic Economy different?

“Once on the plane, Basic Economy customers have the same in-flight experience as anyone else in Main Cabin, including complimentary soft drinks and a snack. They sit in regular Main Cabin seats. American has no plans to alter its seats or the interior of its aircraft for Basic Economy.”


Will families that include young children be seated together?

“As it does today, American’s reservations system will check for families
traveling with children 13 and under a few days before the flight, and
attempt to seat each child with an adult. This is the same process we
follow for Main Cabin customers.”


TRANSATLANTIC JBV BASIC ECONOMY APPLICATION (April 2018)

Now: Basic Economy on select flights to Europe
AA News, Thursday, March 01, 2018, 8:30 AM <link>

“Starting in April (2018), American will introduce Basic Economy on some trans-Atlantic flights, giving customers a new option for our lowest fares.

We're making this addition together with our Atlantic Joint Business partners British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.

We're following the same playbook in this latest expansion as we did for the initial rollout of Basic Economy. That includes training that began this week for Airports and Reservations team members and making it available in a limited number of markets first to make sure we get it right.

In general, most options and restrictions for trans-Atlantic Basic Economy are similar to those for domestic Basic Economy or for short-haul international Basic Economy such as flights to Canada, although there are a few differences.

A closer look at domestic and trans-Atlantic Basic Economy

Link to download pdf

Boarding: Trans-Atlantic Basic Economy customers, including those originating with a domestic leg, will board in Group 8. Elite customers and eligible AAdvantage® credit card members will continue to receive Priority or preferred boarding even when purchasing this fare. (British Airways and American only, on American this will mean Group 8, and this doesn’t apply to Finnair or Iberia.)

Carry-on Bags: The carry-on bag allowance for all international Main Cabin fares, including trans-Atlantic Basic Economy, is one personal item and one larger carry-on. This is unchanged from international Main Cabin fares today.

Checked Bags: Regular Main Cabin fares will continue to include one checked bag for free. A new fee will apply for the first checked bag on trans-Atlantic Basic Economy. (But AA Elites retain their respective free checked baggage allowances.)

Connections: Customers flying on a domestic Basic Economy leg connecting to a trans-Atlantic Basic Economy ticket will travel under the rules of the international ticket, including the carry-on bag allowance.

Inflight experience: Regardless of whether they are traveling on a Basic Economy fare or a regular Main Cabin fare, all Main Cabin customers will have the same experience, including the same free entertainment, soft drinks, snacks and meals offered today.

Seat assignments: Free seat assignments are made automatically when customers check in. Customers flying trans-Atlantic Basic Economy can purchase a seat assignment at any time.

Tickets: Non-refundable. No same-day flight change or same-day standby. However, the tickets are changeable (for a fee), which is different from domestic Basic Economy where changes are not allowed at all.

Upgrades: Not permitted, regardless of elite status level.”
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Old Oct 16, 18, 8:05 am
  #901  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: DCA/IAD
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Its odd. I was looking to book a trip for work to TPA the other night. BE fare was $197 r/t and the regular fare was $277. Since this was client development and I'm on a solid platform at my status level, I opted to put the BE fare on hold for 24 hours (which apparently you can do - something I was unaware of).

Went to book it yesterday, and just for kicks, re-ran the the routing just to see if the fare had gone down at all. Same fare popped up - just not BE now. Cancelled the hold and rebooked at regular EQMs and bennies.

Strange.
IADCAflyer is offline  
Old Oct 16, 18, 9:48 am
  #902  
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
Yes, when you check in the seat is automatically assigned. In my experience with a handful of BE fares, it's usually one of the rear most seats available on the seat map. You can then change seats for a fee, including MCE.

And up until last week, I've been able to get a move up to MCE at the gate for no extra charge. Today, the agent told me the system now tries to collect $$. She showed me as she tried to move me from 14C to 8D a big notice on her screen requesting $$$. In my case, a 1000 mile mid-con trip was $43 additional for an MCE seat on an E175.

Question for Plats on BE fares - have you been able to choose an MCE seat for no charge after checking in at T-24? Or does the BE restriction apply to all elite levels, regardless if it's 1 minute to flight or 24+ hours? I'm 3 segments from earning Plat and would find this of a little bit value when I travel next year on BE fare. I'm still seeing huge differences in BE fares to Main Cabin fares on some trips of $200+. It's usually where there are competing flights from Frontier, etc. on the same date/time frame. When there's no competition, the BE fare is usually only $50-$100 difference from a Main Cabin fare.
Can you simply check in without a seat assignment and let an agent do it at the airport? Understanding if that flight is oversold you may be the one bumped (which might be something you want anyway). Based upon my experience some of the last paxs boarding the plane ended up in a middle MCE. I would assume some are BE for which there are no other seats available.
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Old Oct 16, 18, 12:08 pm
  #903  
 
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Originally Posted by Biggie Fries View Post
Came to the site for the same reason -- doing an E145 (maybe closer to 80 minutes) where one seat tends to be like another, and we (traveling with spouse) just carry on one bag apiece. Sounds like the only downsides will be losing 500 EQMs (RT) and not getting the exit row seats. But annoying to have to pay another $100 (RT, 2 persons) for that.
So everything went fine, and I felt that I really did save $100:
  1. I could not get help with better seats as a result of being a Platinum Pro. I was abroad the day before the Basic Economy flight, and got the nice folks in the club to try, at T-30h, but the system wouldn't allow them to override. When I got to the US, at T-22h, I checked in and got auto-assigned perfectly good seats toward the front of the plane. (Perfectly good for an E145.) Plane was full, so couldn't get moved to, say, exit row, which does have more legroom.
  2. Because of status, boarded plane first, got carryons stowed away in limited available overhead space.
  3. On return, got auto-assigned at check-in to two seats together, again toward the front.
All of which is to say, in the special case of an E145, Basic Economy as an elite gives you more or less (mostly less) what you would get anyhow paying the extra bucks for pre-assigned seating.
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Old Oct 16, 18, 12:28 pm
  #904  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
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Yah, I see no downside to an E145 or really any aircraft that does not have a center seat - setting aside the fact that you could be in the back of the plane.
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Old Oct 16, 18, 2:43 pm
  #905  
PHL
 
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
Can you simply check in without a seat assignment and let an agent do it at the airport? Understanding if that flight is oversold you may be the one bumped (which might be something you want anyway). Based upon my experience some of the last paxs boarding the plane ended up in a middle MCE. I would assume some are BE for which there are no other seats available.
Yes, if you check in and there are only MCE seats left you will get one on a BE fare. In my case today, there were a good handful of standard coach seats available when I checked in a little over an hour til flight time so I figured the load was a little light.
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Old Oct 16, 18, 9:58 pm
  #906  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: SAN
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
Can you simply check in without a seat assignment and let an agent do it at the airport?
It will automatically assign a seat (if available) when you check in. You are best off waiting as long as possible.

This worked out great for me a few weeks ago. Ended up getting a 738 exit row seat (was a middle, but luckily the window ended up being empty).

The caveat being, like you said, if the flight is looking oversold. Then, a last check-in BE fare is probably first to go, at least without status. I believe elites are above non-elites though, regardless of fare.
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Old Oct 16, 18, 10:18 pm
  #907  
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I don't know if any of you noticed but for some of the markets where the BE to Main Cabin fares are linear (i.e. not simply matching an ULCC fare) AA has been increasing the delta..

Earlier this year it was typically $20 more each way (mainly to variety of markets from PIT), then in the past few months it went up to $25 each way... This week I noticed they increased it to $30 each way.

In the case of this week, BE fare did not change but main cabin is $10 more expensive r/t.

Wondering if anyone else noticed this?
golfingboy is offline  
Old Oct 16, 18, 10:50 pm
  #908  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: SAN
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
I don't know if any of you noticed but for some of the markets where the BE to Main Cabin fares are linear (i.e. not simply matching an ULCC fare) AA has been increasing the delta..

Earlier this year it was typically $20 more each way (mainly to variety of markets from PIT), then in the past few months it went up to $25 each way... This week I noticed they increased it to $30 each way.

In the case of this week, BE fare did not change but main cabin is $10 more expensive r/t.

Wondering if anyone else noticed this?
I noticed TATL fares have changed too. Seems like it was always a $90 upcharge. Now, looking at summer next year, I saw $135 and $180 upcharges.
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Old Oct 17, 18, 1:25 pm
  #909  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
I don't know if any of you noticed but for some of the markets where the BE to Main Cabin fares are linear (i.e. not simply matching an ULCC fare) AA has been increasing the delta..

Earlier this year it was typically $20 more each way (mainly to variety of markets from PIT), then in the past few months it went up to $25 each way... This week I noticed they increased it to $30 each way.

In the case of this week, BE fare did not change but main cabin is $10 more expensive r/t.

Wondering if anyone else noticed this?
Noticed as well.

At least I could use that extra EQD to requal for Gold lol.
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Old Oct 17, 18, 5:08 pm
  #910  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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[In reply to earlier post re IB ticket allowing seat selection on AA flights]

Same thing on BA. I booked a BCN-USA round trip in mid September with all 4 segments on AA metal. The BA site didn't use the term Basic Economy but warned it didn't include checked bags and charged roughly the same price as AA Basic Economy. It said nothing about seat selection.

When I went on to the manage booking page, it allowed me to select MCE and exit row seats for all segments. I don't whether this is a glitch, or because I have OneWorld status. But it made the fare totally worth the $100 savings.

Last edited by bobovespa; Oct 17, 18 at 5:10 pm Reason: Add original post for context
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Old Oct 25, 18, 3:25 pm
  #911  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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I have a BA ticket (125), and the routing is DFW-BOS (AA); BOS-LHR-ZRH (BA). Basic Economy. I'm able to add my FF for AA on AA's site, and BA on BA's site. So my questions are:

1. Will I still get preferred boarding? On AA and BA, just AA or neither?
2. Where will I earn the miles? AA or BA? I can't imagine it's going to be split?
3. I'd prefer to earn BA miles (ticket was super cheap), and retain AA benefits (credit card holder). Is there a way to do that?

It still seems like there are inconsistencies or glitches around this. Thanks!
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Old Oct 30, 18, 10:27 am
  #912  
PHL
 
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
And up until last week, I've been able to get a move up to MCE at the gate for no extra charge. Today, the agent told me the system now tries to collect $$. She showed me as she tried to move me from 14C to 8D a big notice on her screen requesting $$$. In my case, a 1000 mile mid-con trip was $43 additional for an MCE seat on an E175.
I've found after a few weeks that this is inconsistent. Asking to move up to even an exact same kind of coach seat, but just a little closer to the front, will still yield a charge by the gate agent in PHL. I've asked a few times and they all immediately, without even looking at my boarding pass, say there will be a charge. Then they look at the computer and quote the exact price.

At a non-hub AA station, the gate agents seem to do it in a matter of seconds without the system forcing them to do an add/collect. I suspect this practice will be come universal at some point.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 12:02 pm
  #913  
PHL
 
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Originally Posted by bmchris View Post
I have a BA ticket (125), and the routing is DFW-BOS (AA); BOS-LHR-ZRH (BA). Basic Economy. I'm able to add my FF for AA on AA's site, and BA on BA's site. So my questions are:

1. Will I still get preferred boarding? On AA and BA, just AA or neither?
2. Where will I earn the miles? AA or BA? I can't imagine it's going to be split?
3. I'd prefer to earn BA miles (ticket was super cheap), and retain AA benefits (credit card holder). Is there a way to do that?

It still seems like there are inconsistencies or glitches around this. Thanks!
You don't mention what status you have, but if you have One World Ruby or higher in the program that is on your PNR that you check in with, you would still get preferred boarding.

As to putting one FF number in the BA record and a different on in the AA record, that does seem like a glitch. Ultimately, you'll only get benefits and credit for one. I suspect if you check in on the BA site, you will get your BA benefits on AA. And vice versa.
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Old Nov 15, 18, 9:47 pm
  #914  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Trying to check in at T24 tonight, online check in kicked it out said had to do it at the airport. Trying to get any seats assigned while seats are open so I tweeted asking why I couldn't online check in and was told seats are assigned at the airport not at online check in for basic fares, I would have to pay for a seat up until airport arrival even if there were available seats. Is this correct? Anyone else run into this?
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Old Nov 15, 18, 10:45 pm
  #915  
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Originally Posted by mills1090 View Post
... Anyone else run into this?
Not me ... HUaCA ...
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