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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 Jan 30, 19, 3:36 pm
  #991  
SK
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Syracuse, Boston, Athens
Posts: 964
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30655587-post495.html
Originally Posted by kimy View Post
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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SK is offline  
Old Feb 1, 19, 11:34 am
  #992  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 339
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?
If you pay to have seats assigned in advance, you can change them between the time you purchase and the time the flight goes under airport control and no one can change their seats, yes. You'll also be able to see the seat map before you purchase and can opt not to purchase if there aren't two free seats next to each other. It should be about $11 per person to prebook a non-preferred seat and that seems to be the price systemwide on BE tickets (that's what we paid on ORD-DFW and the price that was offered when I did a dummy BE booking ORD-LHR a few months ago).
TribalistMeathead is offline  
Old Feb 2, 19, 10:03 am
  #993  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 586
I'm a little confused by Basic Economy checked baggage allowance with OneWorld status (e.g. Sapphire, Emerald) specifically on connecting flights with multiple carriers.

Which baggage allowance is most important? The first flight? The longest flight? Some other combination?

I've phoned AA and contacted their Twitter team and I get all sorts of different answers in the following scenario;

I'm planning on travelling DCA-BOS-LHR all in Basic Economy, all on the same ticket
- DCA-BOS operated by AA, marketed by AA
- BOS-LHR operated by BA, marketed by IB
- Ticket stock with Iberia.

AA told me today that as OneWorld Sapphire, I was told that I should expect:
- 0 bags
- 1 bag
- 2 bags

Its alllllll so confusing! Can anybody here clarify which of these is most likely?

Thank you in advance!
Simon Schus is offline  
Old Feb 4, 19, 8:58 am
  #994  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by Simon Schus View Post
I'm a little confused by Basic Economy checked baggage allowance with OneWorld status (e.g. Sapphire, Emerald) specifically on connecting flights with multiple carriers.

Which baggage allowance is most important? The first flight? The longest flight? Some other combination?

I've phoned AA and contacted their Twitter team and I get all sorts of different answers in the following scenario;

I'm planning on travelling DCA-BOS-LHR all in Basic Economy, all on the same ticket
- DCA-BOS operated by AA, marketed by AA
- BOS-LHR operated by BA, marketed by IB
- Ticket stock with Iberia.

AA told me today that as OneWorld Sapphire, I was told that I should expect:
- 0 bags
- 1 bag
- 2 bags

Its alllllll so confusing! Can anybody here clarify which of these is most likely?

Thank you in advance!
The international segment should set the baggage policy for the entire trip - in fact, in 2017, we flew ORD-LGA, took the Queen Mary 2 to England, and flew LHR-ORD. Both flights were ticketed and operated by AA, and we booked through Cunard, and for some reason, we each got one free checked bag on the ORD-LGA flight.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 11:12 am
  #995  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 586
Originally Posted by TribalistMeathead View Post
The international segment should set the baggage policy for the entire trip - in fact, in 2017, we flew ORD-LGA, took the Queen Mary 2 to England, and flew LHR-ORD. Both flights were ticketed and operated by AA, and we booked through Cunard, and for some reason, we each got one free checked bag on the ORD-LGA flight.
Thank you for getting back to me! I think in 2017 the Basic Economy transatlantic fares weren’t available so I’m not sure how much this has changed!

AA Customer Relations told me 2 bags today so I shall print out the email and use that on arrival at the airport!
Simon Schus is offline  
Old Feb 4, 19, 11:36 am
  #996  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: South Florida
Programs: AA EXP, HH Diamond, Marriott Platinium
Posts: 1,242
Originally Posted by Simon Schus View Post
I'm a little confused by Basic Economy checked baggage allowance with OneWorld status (e.g. Sapphire, Emerald) specifically on connecting flights with multiple carriers.

Which baggage allowance is most important? The first flight? The longest flight? Some other combination?

I've phoned AA and contacted their Twitter team and I get all sorts of different answers in the following scenario;

I'm planning on travelling DCA-BOS-LHR all in Basic Economy, all on the same ticket
- DCA-BOS operated by AA, marketed by AA
- BOS-LHR operated by BA, marketed by IB
- Ticket stock with Iberia.

AA told me today that as OneWorld Sapphire, I was told that I should expect:
- 0 bags
- 1 bag
- 2 bags

Its alllllll so confusing! Can anybody here clarify which of these is most likely?

Thank you in advance!
2 bags since you are OW Sapphire, just make sure they have your FF# on your reservation. The only time you will not get the OW benefit is with BA hand bag fares.
fedechat is offline  
Old Feb 7, 19, 2:41 pm
  #997  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 2
AA BE Seat Assignment

Hi travelers,

Here's a question I can't find info on - I'm traveling BE on American soon and was wondering whether it's better to check in as soon as possible or as late as possible to score a better seat. Any thoughts/experience? I guess the real question is whether AA assigns seats at check-in in order of least-to-most preferable available seats, or most-to-least preferable.

Thanks for any insight you have!
Gary
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Old Feb 7, 19, 4:50 pm
  #998  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 12,335
Originally Posted by gfunkp View Post
Hi travelers,

Here's a question I can't find info on - I'm traveling BE on American soon and was wondering whether it's better to check in as soon as possible or as late as possible to score a better seat. Any thoughts/experience? I guess the real question is whether AA assigns seats at check-in in order of least-to-most preferable available seats, or most-to-least preferable.

Thanks for any insight you have!
Gary
I would assume check in later. By then possibly only MCE seats are left albeit probably in the middle. Or just pay the extra if a desirable window or aisle is open.
newyorkgeorge is offline  
Old Feb 8, 19, 7:50 am
  #999  
 
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 gfunkp View Post
Hi travelers,

Here's a question I can't find info on - I'm traveling BE on American soon and was wondering whether it's better to check in as soon as possible or as late as possible to score a better seat. Any thoughts/experience? I guess the real question is whether AA assigns seats at check-in in order of least-to-most preferable available seats, or most-to-least preferable.

Thanks for any insight you have!
Gary
Based on my experience, it does not really matter.
What I do highly recommend is to go to gate ASAP and ask nicely to be put in a better seat (if available).
That has worked for me. Even MCE or exit seats.
Based on my experience, only gate can change, not Admirals, Check in at Airport or any AA phone CS.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 1:01 pm
  #1000  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 339
It's unnecessarily risky for me to wait to check in, since I figure I have an equal chance at a free MCE seat or a middle seat in the back of the plane. I'd rather pay my $11 at T-48 and know I have a halfway-decent seat.
TribalistMeathead is offline  
Old Feb 10, 19, 12:50 pm
  #1001  
uxb
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: JFK, BUR, YVR
Programs: AS (MVP), BA, DL, HH (G), MR (T/LTP), UA (*S), UScAAre (1,55MM), WN
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Originally Posted by TribalistMeathead View Post
It's unnecessarily risky for me to wait to check in, since I figure I have an equal chance at a free MCE seat or a middle seat in the back of the plane. I'd rather pay my $11 at T-48 and know I have a halfway-decent seat.
I disagree. I see value using BE on short hops, and refuse to give AA extra revenue for flights that aren't worth more than $50 (n.b. TPA > MIA).
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Old Feb 16, 19, 7:18 am
  #1002  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Programs: UA, bmi, AA, CO, DL, B6, AMEX, Hertz, Most Hotels
Posts: 2,927
Originally Posted by gfunkp View Post
Hi travelers,

Here's a question I can't find info on - I'm traveling BE on American soon and was wondering whether it's better to check in as soon as possible or as late as possible to score a better seat. Any thoughts/experience? I guess the real question is whether AA assigns seats at check-in in order of least-to-most preferable available seats, or most-to-least preferable.

Thanks for any insight you have!
Gary
Another datapoint...

I'm AA dirt and recently flew MSY-PHL in BE.

I started online check-in a few hours after T-24 and was reviewing the upcharge options on the seatmap when I backed out of the process hoping to consider my options and complete OLCI a bit later. So, much for that idea, 'cause once I left the seat selection page, I was checked in automatically, and given a back middle (23E) on a seemingly empty flight.

About an hour laster, I logged back in to aa.com in hopes of changing or upgrading (for pay) my seat. No luck. No ability to alter the given 23E seat.

However, at the airport, when using the kiosk to print my boarding pass, I was given the option to change my seat for $$$. iirc, most aisles/window were still $11. If I wanted to change to another middle, the upcharge was $10.00. At that point, I decided to stick with my 23E since the rest of my row was still empty. Luckily, those seats remained empty when the door closed.

Next time, if there is a next time, before OLCI, I will definitely review my flight's seat map on aa.com/EF and consider my options.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 9:39 am
  #1003  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Posts: 1,159
Originally Posted by bk3day View Post
About an hour laster, I logged back in to aa.com in hopes of changing or upgrading (for pay) my seat. No luck. No ability to alter the given 23E seat.
Interesting. One advantage of Basic Economy on Delta is that you can change your seat in the app after check in. Initially you'll see only middle seats, but a few hours before the flight aisles or windows appear (free).
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Old Feb 27, 19, 9:26 am
  #1004  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Programs: AA PLT
Posts: 9
When to check in: a datapoint

Just checked my wife and I in for a flight that has about 30 unassigned seats. Numerous pairs of open seats, but all in the "preferred" or MCE part of the plane. I thought the system might automatically put us together in a pair, but instead it put us in comically far apart middle seats toward the back of the plane.

Based on this, I'd say a good BE check-in rule is:

If there are both good and bad seats available, WAIT to check in until the last possible moment. The system automatically gives away the bad seats and single seats first, so unless all of the "good" seats and seats together get snapped up by people paying for an assignment/late-selecting main cabin elites, last minute check ins will probably get a better seat.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 4:03 pm
  #1005  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 2
Thank you for all of your messages! I'm happy to say that waiting until all economy seats were booked worked for me. I used the app to monitor available seats throughout the day and didn't check in until I noticed only MCE seats were available - this was about 2 hours before my flight. I checked in and scored a MCE seat, which came with all the benefits of extra leg room and a free alcoholic drink.

About a half hour later I checked the available seating again and noticed there were 4 regular economy seats open, probably a result of other passengers' upgrades or cancellations. I guess I got lucky and checked-in at the right moment! I hope this helps others flying BE on AA.
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