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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 Dec 2, 18, 8:11 pm
  #931  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post
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.)
Yup, I just booked now. The seat map for both flights are wide open.

I need to call anyway to book the lap infant ticket, so I'll plan on asking about it when I do that on Wednesday or Thursday.

I'll let everyone know if the system just magically seats us together tonight or tomorrow night (which is sort of what I am expecting).
sirky is offline  
Old Dec 3, 18, 8:56 am
  #932  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by sirky View Post
Yup, I just booked now. The seat map for both flights are wide open.

I need to call anyway to book the lap infant ticket, so I'll plan on asking about it when I do that on Wednesday or Thursday.

I'll let everyone know if the system just magically seats us together tonight or tomorrow night (which is sort of what I am expecting).
Try doing a dummy booking to see what your seat selection options are. If the information I got from calling about my situation last month is correct, the 3-year-old WILL be seated next to one parent (not this "we'll try our best" BS on the website), but the lap infant doesn't influence anything, since they're just on one parent's lap.

Unless you're partial to AA for some reason, I second the suggestion to check Southwest. You'd board after the A group and probably get 3 seats next to each other, unless you were having extraordinarily bad luck that day.
TribalistMeathead is offline  
Old Dec 4, 18, 7:54 am
  #933  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: AA PLAT; UA SILVER; MARRIOTT TITANIUM; HH DIAMOND; IHG PLAT; RADISSON PLAT; HYATT GLOBAL
Posts: 1,733
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.
I just flew a round trip itinerary with my wife and 2 kids on BE. Yes, I had to do it since the savings were substantial per person, multiply that by 4, no brainer. I called after booking and I was advised that I would be assigned seats T-24 and to call exactly at T-24 to get accommodations.

So I called exactly at T-24, system had preassigned us seats, the agent was able to put as all together in the back, changed it to 3 and 1, and then on return 2 and 2. There are blocked out rows for this purpose. At the minimum infant/kids can stay with 1 parent and other parent sits apart. If for whatever reason,they can't do it over the phone at T-24, go to airport early to get seat assignments.

Wiki states 48 hours, call 48 hours. If not, 24 hours. Also, consider paying $ for seat assignment.

I think that some parents don't fully understand the rules of BE and don't call at T-24. Plus it is hard to accommodate seats at the gate for a large family, just like a recent situation of a family on Delta, that were separated. I think they were 5 and wanted to sit together and could not be accommodated, once on board had to beg other passengers to move (to the back and middle seats), and had a hard time getting volunteers.
ORD-TGU is offline  
Old Dec 4, 18, 7:27 pm
  #934  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 8
Wiki was wrong and AA Childrens Policy was correct. They assigned us 28D, E, and F BWI-MIA automatically, and 29D, E, and F MIA-BWI automatically. I haven't called or anything yet.

Hopefully a good data point for other travelers thinking about this.
TribalistMeathead likes this.
sirky is offline  
Old Dec 4, 18, 7:57 pm
  #935  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: PHL
Programs: AA ExP, Marriott Amb, National EAEE, Hilton Diamond, SPG Plat, US CP (RIP)
Posts: 1,820
Originally Posted by sirky View Post
Wiki was wrong and AA Childrens Policy was correct. They assigned us 28D, E, and F BWI-MIA automatically, and 29D, E, and F MIA-BWI automatically. I haven't called or anything yet.

Hopefully a good data point for other travelers thinking about this.
Thanks for reporting back!
Segments is online now  
Old Dec 5, 18, 7:34 am
  #936  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by sirky View Post
Wiki was wrong and AA Childrens Policy was correct. They assigned us 28D, E, and F BWI-MIA automatically, and 29D, E, and F MIA-BWI automatically. I haven't called or anything yet.

Hopefully a good data point for other travelers thinking about this.
Thanks, this will be good to know for when our son is too old to be a lap child.
TribalistMeathead is offline  
Old Dec 5, 18, 7:47 am
  #937  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: DCA/IAD
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Posts: 5,456
So what happens on routes like PHL-MCO when you have three families with kids?
IADCAflyer is offline  
Old Dec 5, 18, 12:56 pm
  #938  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Programs: SPG, AA, United
Posts: 242
Originally Posted by sirky View Post
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!
Depending on your gate agent, they may still change your seats so you can sit together even if scattered. On the BE flight I took with my wife, we were able to sit together on one segment but not the other.

But I don't see any gate agent refusing to allow a child to sit with their parent if you ask nicely enough.
SamirD is offline  
Old Dec 15, 18, 1:46 pm
  #939  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 18

Has anyone been seeing prices to Europe lately? Wondering if this is the new norm or price surge. Was looking at JFK-LHR and consistently seeing $421 fares as basic economy. When it prices out to regular economy jumps to $653. Seems like quite the upchage no?

I’m ExPlat and love my benefits but having a really tough time justifying paying $653 to London
TravelNYC is offline  
Old Dec 17, 18, 11:59 am
  #940  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by TravelNYC View Post

Has anyone been seeing prices to Europe lately? Wondering if this is the new norm or price surge. Was looking at JFK-LHR and consistently seeing $421 fares as basic economy. When it prices out to regular economy jumps to $653. Seems like quite the upchage no?

I’m ExPlat and love my benefits but having a really tough time justifying paying $653 to London
It's consistent with what I saw when researching ORD-LHR travel in May on AA. On BA the surcharge was closer to $90 each way.
TribalistMeathead is offline  
Old Dec 24, 18, 12:29 pm
  #941  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 64
Is this new? Basic Economy now earns only 50% miles?

I don't recall when AA first introduced Basic Economy that it earned reduced miles (says "50% miles" on the booking I'm looking at on Orbitz), only that you could not reserve a seat at booking and maybe that a carry-on was not allowed. Even at 100% miles earned, it's still piddly compared to the old system of actually earning a mile for each mile you flew. 50% is really ridiculous. I'll have to check and see if this is also being done by Delta and United, or if it's just American cutting down miles earning with an Basic Economy ticket..
BobOscar is offline  
Old Dec 24, 18, 12:37 pm
  #942  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: PHX, SEA
Programs: DL Silver, Avis President's Club, Hertz President's Circle, Global Entry (Former AA Plt/Gold)
Posts: 3,297
I think you're confusing the two types of miles, Bob. You will still earn 5x (or more if you are elite) AAdvantage miles based on the price of the ticket with a BE fare. The 50% reduction is in Elite Qualifying Miles (which are still based on the miles you actually fly).

Also, I can tell you that Delta still awards 100% MQM on Basic fares. United is interesting. For 2018 you earned 0% PQM, but they are changing to the American approach of 50% PQM starting in 2019. United also does not allow overhead bin space (only personal items).
Gig103 is offline  
Old Dec 30, 18, 8:11 pm
  #943  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: DFW
Programs: AA PLT
Posts: 153
Just booked my first B fare... Really odd one...

AA797 on 1/13 doesn’t depart PHX until 23:00 and arrives DFW at 02:15 on 1/14.

The rest of the flights that day were $240-$300 in B with a $30-50 upcharge into main cabin.

For AA797, I was able to snag a $69 fare, when main cabin was $240. I’ll take the $170 savings (and be very tired at work Monday AM).
BOSishome is offline  
Old Dec 30, 18, 8:17 pm
  #944  
LBJ
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Originally Posted by BOSishome View Post
Just booked my first B fare... Really odd one...

AA797 on 1/13 doesn’t depart PHX until 23:00 and arrives DFW at 02:15 on 1/14.

The rest of the flights that day were $240-$300 in B with a $30-50 upcharge into main cabin.

For AA797, I was able to snag a $69 fare, when main cabin was $240. I’ll take the $170 savings (and be very tired at work Monday AM).
NK fare match. They are also matching with the 9:10 PM departure to DFW.
LBJ is offline  
Old Dec 30, 18, 9:02 pm
  #945  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: FLL/MIA
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott/SPG Gold
Posts: 750
Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
NK fare match. They are also matching with the 9:10 PM departure to DFW.
If that’s the case, if still within 24 hours, maybe OP can cancel and switch to earlier flight.
HofstraJet is offline  

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