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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
Wiki Link
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 Nov 15, 18, 11:32 pm
  #916  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New York City
Programs: American Airlines Executive Platinum, Marriott Rewards Platinum Premier Elite
Posts: 1,189
Originally Posted by mills1090 View Post
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?
If the only seats left are exit row seats, those can't be assigned automatically and would need to be manually assigned at the airport or possibly by someone in reservations. Apparently, they wouldn't be able to do this in advanced if you're already checked in in the qik interface, they would need Sabre.
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Old Nov 16, 18, 7:38 am
  #917  
rqd
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: TPA
Posts: 131
Timing check in to get preferred seat

Watching the seat map from T24 and it appears that AA is assigning the cheapest seats as people check in. Obvious, but I hadn't realized it until now.

It's a bit of roulette, but if you're hoping for a better seat, keep an eye on the seats from T24-T23 when people are getting their check-in reminders and pounce when it gets to your preferred selection.
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Old Nov 23, 18, 8:56 am
  #918  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Belfast
Posts: 398
Baggage confusion

Can someone help with a query I have? I'm looking at flights DUB-PHL-MCO. I can purchase on the AA website but the TATL legs are coded AY. They would be basic economy but question is can I get away without paying for the 1st checked bag? It would appear I can from looking at the Finnair website where the main leg is coded to them. Anyone know in practice?
https://media.finnair.com/jba/aa/en_GB/#id1
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Old Nov 26, 18, 11:42 am
  #919  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by SamirD View Post
BE can make a lot of sense when you have status as the fares are usually the same as the other discount carriers like Spirit and Frontier, but because of status (and because the planes themselves don't cut corners like no trays, cushion on the seat, or recline), the value can actually be more.
It also makes sense when you don't have status, since you still get a free non-alcoholic beverage, you still have access to IFE, you get a free personal item AND carry-on bag, the charge to check a bag on AA is lower, and, most importantly, on a route such as ORD-DFW, there are multiple flights a day rather than one, so you're less screwed in the case of irrops.

Speaking of ORD-DFW:

(1) Does anyone know the current going rate for seat assignments on ORD-DFW?
(2) Has anyone had any luck pre-boarding with a lap child while traveling on a BE ticket? I called last night and they said "no," but I'm wondering if I'd have better luck if I asked at the gate.

Thanks!
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Old Nov 26, 18, 11:55 am
  #920  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 339
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?
When I was booking yesterday, the delta was between $132 and $32 round trip, depending on the exact flights you chose.
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Old Dec 1, 18, 10:10 am
  #921  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Plat, JetBlue Mosaic, Hertz whatever they call it
Posts: 708
do the lifetime miles accrue at full mileage or half mileage for basic economy?
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Old Dec 1, 18, 7:28 pm
  #922  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: DCA
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver, Hyatt Diamond, M/SPG Plat Prem, National Exec Elite, mlife platinum
Posts: 3,783
Originally Posted by ethang801 View Post
do the lifetime miles accrue at full mileage or half mileage for basic economy?
Should be full. "Flight distance on American marketed flights..." https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-p...er-program.jsp
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Old Dec 2, 18, 11:40 am
  #923  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 8

Children (2 years or older)

Children 2 or older are required to have their own seat; a ticketed adult fare. Children under 5 can’t travel alone under any circumstances.If you don't choose seats in Main Cabin or Basic Economy within 48 hours of buying tickets, we will attempt to assign children under 15 with at least one adult they're traveling with.
I am looking to book basic economy for my family, which includes a 3 year old. So the above means they will actually assign our seats right after booking, and not 48 hours before the flight as stated in the wiki on this page, right? I don't mind sitting away from my wife as long as one of us is next to our kid.

It's hard to imagine the AA lawyers (and marketing team) allowing a toddler to sit away from his family regardless of what is agreed to upon ticket purchase.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 12:31 pm
  #924  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: PHL
Programs: AA ExP, Marriott Amb, National EAEE, Hilton Diamond, SPG Plat, US CP (RIP)
Posts: 1,816
Originally Posted by sirky View Post
I am looking to book basic economy for my family, which includes a 3 year old. So the above means they will actually assign our seats right after booking, and not 48 hours before the flight as stated in the wiki on this page, right? I don't mind sitting away from my wife as long as one of us is next to our kid.

It's hard to imagine the AA lawyers (and marketing team) allowing a toddler to sit away from his family regardless of what is agreed to upon ticket purchase.
Re-read the passage you quoted. After 48 hours if you have not slelected seats, the airline will ATTEMPT to seat you together.

It’s hard to imagine a parent would purchase tickets without assuring a toddler is seated with his family.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 2:32 pm
  #925  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Segments View Post


Re-read the passage you quoted. After 48 hours if you have not slelected seats, the airline will ATTEMPT to seat you together.

It’s hard to imagine a parent would purchase tickets without assuring a toddler is seated with his family.
Thanks for the pleasant welcome! We are not talking about a small amount of money here - the flights I am looking at are quite literally twice as expensive in Main Cabin as Basic Economy - this isn't a question of shelling out $20 more dollars per person. If it was a reasonable price difference I'd do it in a heartbeat so that we could get three seats together guaranteed, but it's well north of $100 a ticket. We wouldn't do this vacation if forced to buy tickets at Main Cabin pricing.

Anyway, my real question was about timing, since like I said the Wiki above mentioned 48 hours before takeoff, but I do believe that they will actually assign seats now 48 hours after purchase (when there should be no chance they are not at least two seats together anywhere). I just want confirmation. Thanks!
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Old Dec 2, 18, 5:36 pm
  #926  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: PHL
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Posts: 1,816
Apologies for my post, didn’t realize you were new to FT as that info isn’t easily visible from my phone. Welcome to FT and we do appreciate you exploring options now versus being surprised at the gate when you realize your toddler is seated alone in a middle seat ten rows away from either parent.

My frustration comes from many parents expecting the airline to care more about their children then they do themselves. Yes, Main Cabin tickets may cost more than Basic Economy... sometimes by a few dollars sometimes significantly more depending on route and date of travel. If seating together is important, and the cost for assigned seats is outside your budget, then perhaps an airline with open seating such as Southwest better suits your needs. If you share your routing and travel dates we might be able to give you more insight.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 5:41 pm
  #927  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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<deleted>
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Old Dec 2, 18, 6:07 pm
  #928  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 8
Thanks! It's actually 4 of us, but one is a lap infant so three seats.

BWI-MIA Mid April for around a week. I am seeing $101 AA BE RT from 4/9-4/17. Dates are a little flexible either way, and 7 days is preferred (but 8 as listed is doable). Main cabin is around $240.

WN is about the same price as AA Main Cabin plus it's to FLL which is slightly less convenient (but doable). I agree their family seating policy would help us.

If they assign our seats two days from now it's hard to imagine this being full at all or any problems. If they assign 48 hours before the flight, who knows.

Clearly, it's better for everyone on the flight if we all sit together, but like I said, the price difference is really significant.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 6:37 pm
  #929  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Posts: 1,816
That’s a tough combination. South Florida during spring break and adjacent to Easter.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 8:01 pm
  #930  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Posts: 3,783
Originally Posted by sirky View Post
Thanks! It's actually 4 of us, but one is a lap infant so three seats.

BWI-MIA Mid April for around a week. I am seeing $101 AA BE RT from 4/9-4/17. Dates are a little flexible either way, and 7 days is preferred (but 8 as listed is doable). Main cabin is around $240.

WN is about the same price as AA Main Cabin plus it's to FLL which is slightly less convenient (but doable). I agree their family seating policy would help us.

If they assign our seats two days from now it's hard to imagine this being full at all or any problems. If they assign 48 hours before the flight, who knows.

Clearly, it's better for everyone on the flight if we all sit together, but like I said, the price difference is really significant.

Your quoted language above "we will attempt..." sounds pretty good to me. You can see the seat maps. If there are non-MCE, non-preferred seats available on your flight, I would probably take the risk myself... book the tickets, see what happens in the next 48 hours, and then call up AA after 48 hours and ask for the seats to be assigned. The "attempt" language doesn't seem like that big a risk -- it's not like attempting a 47-yard field goal -- if seats are available (non-MCE, non-preferred) then it's hard to see how AA would justifiably decide not to give you at least one adult next to the toddler. The language wouldn't mean anything if it didn't mean at least that much. (I am a lawyer but I'm not your lawyer, etc.)
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