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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 31, 18, 12:51 pm
  #946  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 339
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).
For us the cheapest B flights were the 5:15 am ORD-DFW and the 9 pm DFW-ORD - and neither jibe with NK's schedule.
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Old Dec 31, 18, 3:20 pm
  #947  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Reno, NV
Programs: AAdvantage
Posts: 44
I need to fly someone for a legitimate business purpose. Can we still earn BusinessExtra points for Basic Economy at the usual rate?
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Old Jan 1, 19, 9:25 am
  #948  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MUC
Programs: UA *S
Posts: 89
Anyone have an idea on how baggage fees for transatlantic flights work in BE? My guess is that it's the fees based on check-in carrier, not most significant carrier, correct? I have a MIA-JFK-LHR-MUC fight, with a AA as the first segment, and BA as the subsequent segments.

AA's website says the baggage fee is $60 for flights to Europe, however when I pull up my PNR on BA, it offers an upsell $55 bag fee for JFK-LHR-MUC. I have the AA credit card, but don't realistically expect to get a free bag from MIA-JFK, since I'm only there for a couple hours.

Should I expect to pay $60 to AA as first carrier or $55 to BA under most significant carrier rules?

Last edited by radioactive; Jan 1, 19 at 9:39 am
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Old Jan 2, 19, 2:15 pm
  #949  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: RIC
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, SPG Gold
Posts: 196
I have a TATL BE fare booked through American Airlines. The HEL-JFK leg is on Finnair (AY). I've not been successful in identifying what that means for me (I am AA plat/OW sapphire). The fare class shows as O. Will I be able to select a seat?
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Old Jan 2, 19, 3:26 pm
  #950  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by radioactive View Post
Anyone have an idea on how baggage fees for transatlantic flights work in BE? My guess is that it's the fees based on check-in carrier, not most significant carrier, correct? I have a MIA-JFK-LHR-MUC fight, with a AA as the first segment, and BA as the subsequent segments.

AA's website says the baggage fee is $60 for flights to Europe, however when I pull up my PNR on BA, it offers an upsell $55 bag fee for JFK-LHR-MUC. I have the AA credit card, but don't realistically expect to get a free bag from MIA-JFK, since I'm only there for a couple hours.

Should I expect to pay $60 to AA as first carrier or $55 to BA under most significant carrier rules?
The $55 offer from BA is the standard offer if you're on a BE ticket and pay the fee before checking in; afterwards, it's $60.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 3:44 pm
  #951  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: RIC
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, SPG Gold
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Originally Posted by iherebyresign View Post
I have a TATL BE fare booked through American Airlines. The HEL-JFK leg is on Finnair (AY). I've not been successful in identifying what that means for me (I am AA plat/OW sapphire). The fare class shows as O. Will I be able to select a seat?
Answering my own question - once I found my FinnAir booking reference, I was able to select a seat on their site.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 10:39 pm
  #952  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MUC
Programs: UA *S
Posts: 89
Originally Posted by TribalistMeathead View Post
The $55 offer from BA is the standard offer if you're on a BE ticket and pay the fee before checking in; afterwards, it's $60.

seems reasonable. I had a look at the BA reference guy use, which was quite helpful, for mixed-metal flights, the bags must be resolved at the airport, so I guess I’m paying $60

Can an someone link this in the wiki?

https://www.britishairways.com/asset...e-guide_en.pdf

rhere is slightly less useful AA version of the document here:

https://saleslink.aa.com/en-US/docum...conomy_FAQ.pdf
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Old Jan 3, 19, 8:37 am
  #953  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ORD
Programs: UA, AA
Posts: 24
Basic Economy - changing seat?

I have a question about Basic Economy seating. I understand that seats are not assigned until check-in. But when I check in, will I be able to change my seat assignment at the kiosk?

Related question:as an AA Gold I have access to MCE seats at no charge 24 hours before departure. Will I be able to switch to an MCE seat with a Basic Economy ticket?
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Old Jan 3, 19, 9:31 am
  #954  
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Originally Posted by johnslater View Post
I have a question about Basic Economy seating. I understand that seats are not assigned until check-in. But when I check in, will I be able to change my seat assignment at the kiosk?

Related question:as an AA Gold I have access to MCE seats at no charge 24 hours before departure. Will I be able to switch to an MCE seat with a Basic Economy ticket?
My understanding is that when you check in the system will assign you a seat, which cannot be changed. I would assume that when you check in if only MCE or Preferred seats were left you'd end up with that but likely a middle seat. You could ask the gate agent to change your seat but others have reported GAs not being able to change to a MCE seat without charging. However, I would assume the GA could give you a better seat if available but then again the GA might tell you to go pound sand (in GA speak of course.) I let others opine in.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 9:46 am
  #955  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Washington DC Metro Area
Programs: AA PRO / LT GLD, UA SLV, MR/Bonvoy LT Ti, IHG GLD, Hertz 5 Star, Enterprise EC Exec Elite
Posts: 887
Originally Posted by johnslater View Post
I have a question about Basic Economy seating. I understand that seats are not assigned until check-in. But when I check in, will I be able to change my seat assignment at the kiosk?

Related question:as an AA Gold I have access to MCE seats at no charge 24 hours before departure. Will I be able to switch to an MCE seat with a Basic Economy ticket?
NO on both counts. See AA Basic Economy Travel Experience and AA Elite Status Benefits (read carefully...there are footnotes).
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Last edited by AAir_head; Jan 3, 19 at 10:40 am Reason: clarification
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Old Jan 3, 19, 1:01 pm
  #956  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Washington DC, DCA
Programs: AAdvantage, DL Skymiles, United MP
Posts: 3,929
On AA BE, if I'm disabled, would I be able to call and pre-assign seats? I was able to do that on DL and get a seat pre-assigned to me, even though I was on BE. When I'm on a normal fare, sometimes I call in and get Special Services to assign me seats, so would the process be different for BE fares?
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Old Jan 12, 19, 5:27 pm
  #957  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Santa Monica, CA
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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.
Just adding another data point for families. Purchased a basic economy fare LAX-ATL for June. There was nearly a $100 price difference per person to the main cabin prices and other airlines' current fares. I fly this route a lot, and there may be fares slightly lower ($10-15) than the BE fare as the date gets closer, but it is pretty close to the lowest I typically see and the flight timing is perfect (the lowest fares typically require early/late flights - this is mid afternoon). I also have a voucher expiring just after this planned trip, so decided to give the basic economy fare a try since I have gold status and credit card.

We are 2 adults and 2 kids - ages 9 and 2. 3 days after purchase we have been assigned 29 B, C, D, and E. Ideally we would have A-D or C-F, but at least this guarantees we are together. I did call AA Gold desk to see if they could move one of the seats -- not sure either of the folks who get A or F will be happy next to my kids! But the agent was unable to change a seat at this time (and also called her support). She said check back at 48 hours.

Overall glad I went ahead with it and will see how it works out - if we can improve seating - at check-in.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 10:02 am
  #958  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by dbuckho View Post
Just adding another data point for families. Purchased a basic economy fare LAX-ATL for June. There was nearly a $100 price difference per person to the main cabin prices and other airlines' current fares. I fly this route a lot, and there may be fares slightly lower ($10-15) than the BE fare as the date gets closer, but it is pretty close to the lowest I typically see and the flight timing is perfect (the lowest fares typically require early/late flights - this is mid afternoon). I also have a voucher expiring just after this planned trip, so decided to give the basic economy fare a try since I have gold status and credit card.

We are 2 adults and 2 kids - ages 9 and 2. 3 days after purchase we have been assigned 29 B, C, D, and E. Ideally we would have A-D or C-F, but at least this guarantees we are together. I did call AA Gold desk to see if they could move one of the seats -- not sure either of the folks who get A or F will be happy next to my kids! But the agent was unable to change a seat at this time (and also called her support). She said check back at 48 hours.

Overall glad I went ahead with it and will see how it works out - if we can improve seating - at check-in.
On my last BE fare, I called, tried Airport Check in and the only person who was successful to change my seat was gate agent. She even stated, I will try if system lets me. (I was fortunate to get MCE Exit Window Seat at no fee).

My advice is either pay up at 48 hours or go to gate early.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 1:45 pm
  #959  
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When I book personal travel I am now seeing differences between Main Cabin and BE of $200 or more. Not like six months ago when it was around $50. I won't in anyway book BE because of limited earning and not wanting to get stuck sitting in 31B. I believe AA will lock down the program not allowing seat changes. Some will get lucky with only MCE seats available albeit it will probably be a middle seat, which I guess is better than 31B on a Max.

By the way I work in process workflow and the new thing is to segregate certain authorizations and abilities by "security groups." It's becoming very easy to limit what a GA or check in agent can do for a pax.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 10:53 pm
  #960  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: DFW
Programs: AA PLT
Posts: 153
Data point on changing seats as a PLT (and a good one):

Flying on AA797 (PHX-DFW).. Was assigned 33B on an A321 (a really, really horrible seat)...

Asked at the check-in desk if they could move my seat to anything that wasn’t a middle seat. They said no, but we can move you to an exit row for $40 (Not worth it to me for a short flight)... Demoralized, i trudged to the gate.

I ask the gate agent and she changed me to the unlimited leg room seat in row 10... Maybe she went out of policy but works for me!
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