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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 Jan 29, 19, 4:34 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.
 
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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

NOTE: During OSO / IROPS, some are being inadvertently rebooked from Main Cabin / Economy into Basic Economy (losing better seating, upgrade options, etc.) See AA Errors Reticketing into Basic Economy Fare

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.[/B]) (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 48 hours 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.”[/CODE]


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 Jan 21, 19, 8:21 pm
  #976  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: ORD
Programs: AA, Hilton
Posts: 95
Family trip on basic economy

Jumped on a fantastic BE deal lately, I have learnt so much from this thread and I would like to share my experience for the folks who think about buying these fares for family trip.This trip has 4 segments, 2 domestic and 2 transatlantic. When I purchased the tickets, my biggest concern was somehow we would separate with my 2 kids (both under 12) or got terrible seats when checked in. So the question was whether I should purchase seats in advance which would cost ~$200 in total for all segments. It turned out just a day after my purchase, AA auto assigned seats for us. Three segments are not ideal but acceptable, only one is terrible (right next to the bathroom). Most important of all, we will sit on the same rows. So I simply went to aa.com and changed one segment which cost me only $45. The other disadvantages of BE fares are largely mitigated by my AA status. So the remaining downsides are 1) 50% of EQM (I care very little), 2) no chance to get MCE (unlikely to get 4 from my flights anyway) and 3) no change or cancel and low on re-accomodation.

Overall, I saved ~$500 compared to buying MC fare. That's 2 nights hotel for a rather expensive European city. I know folks here generally don't like BE. I have never purchased BE fare before and tried to avoid BE if possible. But this time it provided us great value that I can't resit. I will report back if the actual flying experience is any different.
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Old Jan 22, 19, 5:41 am
  #977  
uxb
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I can't seem to find the answer to this anywhere. Does B affect MM earnings?
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Old Jan 22, 19, 9:42 am
  #978  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 335
We (me, Mrs. Meathead, and Little Meathead) completed our first BE round-trip yesterday. On the outbound, paid $22 to pre-book two seats on the outbound, plus $30 to check one bag, and we were allowed to preboard by the GA (Little Meathead is 6 months old), so it would appear that the GAs have some discretion on that (when I called reservations a few months ago to ask, they said we wouldn't be able to preboard). On the inbound, we paid $49 total to book the A and C seats towards the back of the 788 that don't have a middle seat, plus $30 to check one bag. We more or less boarded at final boarding, so I couldn't say if we would have been able to preboard or not.

The BE round-trip was about $100 cheaper than the next highest restricted fare, and we have no status that would have allowed us to check a bag for free or pre-reserve the seats we got on the return for free, so we still came out ahead.. The travel experience was largely the same as traveling on a restricted ticket: Still got PreCheck, same inflight service, etc., etc. None of the nickel-and-diming you see on ULCCs.
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Old Jan 22, 19, 9:47 am
  #979  
uxb
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Posts: 4,663
I had to book my sister and niece for a flight between TPA and MIA. Despite the fact that we are travelling on separate itineraries, she’ll get a lot because of her 9-mth old. Free check on stroller and car seat and a diaper bag in addition to her 1+1 allowance. She’ll also have pre-board. Not bad considering the buy-up to the next fare bucket was almost $200 for a flight that shouldn’t cost more than $50 on a good day.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:51 am
  #980  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 20
Basic Economy Question

Quick question with BE. I know you can pay to pick a seat 48 hrs before a flight with BE, can I get seats assigned and then change if I want? Or once a seat is assigned I am stuck there? Its about a $200 difference right now for a flight from DCA to TLH for a wedding for me and my wife. Its a regional jet so its 2-2 config and want to sit together. Any ideas or suggestions?
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:56 am
  #981  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: DCA/IAD
Programs: AA/US - PlatinumPro; 1W Sapphire; HHonors - Silver; UA dirt
Posts: 5,206
Originally Posted by Epinz300 View Post
Quick question with BE. I know you can pay to pick a seat 48 hrs before a flight with BE, can I get seats assigned and then change if I want? Or once a seat is assigned I am stuck there? Its about a $200 difference right now for a flight from DCA to TLH for a wedding for me and my wife. Its a regional jet so its 2-2 config and want to sit together. Any ideas or suggestions?
Its 2x2. How far from now is your flight?
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:58 am
  #982  
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Originally Posted by Epinz300 View Post
Quick question with BE. I know you can pay to pick a seat 48 hrs before a flight with BE, can I get seats assigned and then change if I want? Or once a seat is assigned I am stuck there? Its about a $200 difference right now for a flight from DCA to TLH for a wedding for me and my wife. Its a regional jet so its 2-2 config and want to sit together. Any ideas or suggestions?
You can only select seats for a fee, otherwise, when you check in you and your wife will be auto signed seats. I'm not sure if you pay for seats at T-48 whether you could change them again. Of course at T-48 you still might not be able to get seats together even if you pay for them. If you want to guarantee 2 seats together than you should pay the difference for "Main Cabin" otherwise you risk not getting seats together. Some have reported that GAs have tried to change seats for BE flyers but have been prompted to collect a payment for doing so.

At worst you could also ask onboard if someone would switch seats so that you both could sit together.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 6:11 am
  #983  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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The flight is not until mid march. Been putting the flight on hold the last few days to see what price does. I have it held for $270 roundtrip per person. This morning is showed as $313 BE/$373 MC per person roundtrip. Just wasn't sure if after we get assigned seats as BE fares if we can then pay to try and sit together. Or if on a 2-2 config they would put us together in the back or something
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Old Jan 29, 19, 7:02 am
  #984  
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Originally Posted by Epinz300 View Post
The flight is not until mid march. Been putting the flight on hold the last few days to see what price does. I have it held for $270 roundtrip per person. This morning is showed as $313 BE/$373 MC per person roundtrip. Just wasn't sure if after we get assigned seats as BE fares if we can then pay to try and sit together. Or if on a 2-2 config they would put us together in the back or something
If there are 2 seats together than yes you could sit pay to sit together but again there's no guarantee if you wait until T-48 that 2 seats together will be available. It's a crap shoot as to whether you're be seated together through auto assign. The only sure way is to buy MC and choose 2 seats together. Or again at worst you could try to switch seats once onboard.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 8:47 am
  #985  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
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For 2x2 seating you might as well try to switch with someone when you're on board, since there's no middle (undesirable) seat. Even getting two aisle seats in the same row is almost the same as a window/aisle.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 10:28 am
  #986  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
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Other than being in the back, back, back of a plane, I would be hesitant to ever pay for a seat on a BE fare on any 1x2 or 2x2 configuration aircraft.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 11:15 am
  #987  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
If there are 2 seats together than yes you could sit pay to sit together but again there's no guarantee if you wait until T-48 that 2 seats together will be available. It's a crap shoot as to whether you're be seated together through auto assign. The only sure way is to buy MC and choose 2 seats together. Or again at worst you could try to switch seats once onboard.
Originally Posted by ebuck View Post
For 2x2 seating you might as well try to switch with someone when you're on board, since there's no middle (undesirable) seat. Even getting two aisle seats in the same row is almost the same as a window/aisle.
Please do not encourage seat swapping. It was controversial and an "iffy" activity two years ago, but now that AA has four types of economy seat fees (1. BE pre-select; 2. Main cabin tickets; 3. Preferred main cabin seats; 4. MCE) it's safer to assume that anyone in a seat paid for that seat. BE is an awful product that shouldn't exist, but since it does, we should not be giving bad advice for trying to get seats together - that's what OP's $200 Main Cabin premium is for.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 11:51 am
  #988  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 3
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?
Have you got any information on free bags for your booking?
I assume it's an AA booking operated by Finnair?

As OW sapphire, will or have you received 2 checked bags accoring to AA or just one bag according to AY policy?
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Old Jan 30, 19, 2:01 pm
  #989  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
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Originally Posted by Epinz300 View Post
Quick question with BE. I know you can pay to pick a seat 48 hrs before a flight with BE, can I get seats assigned and then change if I want? Or once a seat is assigned I am stuck there?
I would like to know the same. Can you change for free after checkin and before arrival at the airport?
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Old Jan 30, 19, 2:10 pm
  #990  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Programs: AA PLAT; UA SILVER; MARRIOTT TITANIUM; HH DIAMOND; IHG PLAT; RADISSON PLAT; HYATT GLOBAL
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Just flew with SO & 2 kids a BE itinerary with 4 legs total. At 24 hour check in, called and was seated all together in main cabin (3-1, then 2-2) on both ways.

So flying with minors is definitely a way to be placed all together. I tried to get MCE as a PLT, but system did not let agent book MCE seats.

As I am budget conscious leisure flyer that has to pay for 4 tickets, I will gladly buy BE as PLT with my kids.
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