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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
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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 Mar 31, 19, 10:37 pm
  #1021  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Programs: SPG, AA, United
Posts: 242
Usually the rule of thumb is the ticketing carrier's rules apply even with codeshares. So your aa free checked bag status would cover the whole ticket, even in be.
SamirD is offline  
Old Apr 1, 19, 6:32 am
  #1022  
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It's been reported that some GA have tried to change BE seats but have been prompted to ask for payment. A little OT but I wonder if AA would consider taking the last few rows, configuring with a seat pitch of 28-29 inches and dedicate that solely to BE fares (a separate class).
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Old Apr 1, 19, 7:36 am
  #1023  
 
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
It's been reported that some GA have tried to change BE seats but have been prompted to ask for payment. A little OT but I wonder if AA would consider taking the last few rows, configuring with a seat pitch of 28-29 inches and dedicate that solely to BE fares (a separate class).
Based on my own observations, the last few rows end up being the de facto BE section currently.

Sunday was the first time I've flown BE AND boarded with Group 9 (the last two times, I was flying with my wife and our infant and they let us preboard) and they were really aggressive about forcing Group 9 to check small rollaboards. I had my backpack and my wife's CPAP and was worried there wouldn't be room in an overhead for the machine, but there were several half-empty overhead bins. I suspect they were being so aggressive so they didn't have to gate check any bags that were already in the overhead bin to make room for bags that couldn't be gate checked.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 8:24 pm
  #1024  
 
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A problem is that AA doesn't enforce MCE seating. A month ago I was on a transcon flight on a 738. No EXP upgrades (of course) and I was seating in an exit row with an empty middle seat.

But right after doors closed - a guy moved up from the back and took the middle seat. I noticed his boarding pass and it said BASIC ECONOMY and his was in the last row of seats.

Now the FA's came around and looked at the seat maps during food/beverage service. EXPs get offered a free food item and free drink, although MCE get free drinks now. This FA could have questioned the person in the middle seat but they did not.

On UA, the FA's check at the beginning of the flight and even throughout. So if someone move to a MCE (E+) seat FA would ask to see their boarding pass and then ask for payment. If no payment they must move back.

If AA is not going to enforce MCE - they why offer it as an elite upgrade or for purchase.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 8:31 pm
  #1025  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
A problem is that AA doesn't enforce MCE seating. A month ago I was on a transcon flight on a 738. No EXP upgrades (of course) and I was seating in an exit row with an empty middle seat.

But right after doors closed - a guy moved up from the back and took the middle seat. I noticed his boarding pass and it said BASIC ECONOMY and his was in the last row of seats.

Now the FA's came around and looked at the seat maps during food/beverage service. EXPs get offered a free food item and free drink, although MCE get free drinks now. This FA could have questioned the person in the middle seat but they did not.

On UA, the FA's check at the beginning of the flight and even throughout. So if someone move to a MCE (E+) seat FA would ask to see their boarding pass and then ask for payment. If no payment they must move back.

If AA is not going to enforce MCE - they why offer it as an elite upgrade or for purchase.
that’s exactly what makes AA more customer friendly compared to UA. MCE is not a separate class of service. No reason to deny seat MCE seat to someone after door is closed. Maybe that person will purchase it next time. Maybe not. But it’s not like they let anyone to sit in FC for free.
I really have no problem if someone moves next to me, even tho I’d rather have middle seat open.
I had a choice long time ago to either fly aa or ua. And this is one of the things that made me
loyal.
gateH15 is online now  
Old Apr 1, 19, 9:51 pm
  #1026  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Programs: SPG, AA, United
Posts: 242
Originally Posted by cova View Post
A problem is that AA doesn't enforce MCE seating. A month ago I was on a transcon flight on a 738. No EXP upgrades (of course) and I was seating in an exit row with an empty middle seat.

But right after doors closed - a guy moved up from the back and took the middle seat. I noticed his boarding pass and it said BASIC ECONOMY and his was in the last row of seats.

Now the FA's came around and looked at the seat maps during food/beverage service. EXPs get offered a free food item and free drink, although MCE get free drinks now. This FA could have questioned the person in the middle seat but they did not.

On UA, the FA's check at the beginning of the flight and even throughout. So if someone move to a MCE (E+) seat FA would ask to see their boarding pass and then ask for payment. If no payment they must move back.

If AA is not going to enforce MCE - they why offer it as an elite upgrade or for purchase.
This is a good point as it's actually going to be a problem if people know they can get a free drink by moving to MCE--especially the alcoholics out there.

In this respect I have seen that United is much more on point. The stick to their rules and make sure they're applied more equally. I like both airlines and see why each have their segment of the market.
Originally Posted by gateH15 View Post

that’s exactly what makes AA more customer friendly compared to UA. MCE is not a separate class of service. No reason to deny seat MCE seat to someone after door is closed. Maybe that person will purchase it next time. Maybe not. But it’s not like they let anyone to sit in FC for free.
I really have no problem if someone moves next to me, even tho I’d rather have middle seat open.
I had a choice long time ago to either fly aa or ua. And this is one of the things that made me
loyal.
I don't think that not enforcing rules is being 'more customer friendly'. That leads to favortism and eventually corruption as people get ahead at the expense of others. If there's going to be free drinks in MCE, they need to show their boarding pass for it. Otherwise, they can move to the seat and sit, but no free drinky.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 5:45 am
  #1027  
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Originally Posted by SamirD View Post
This is a good point as it's actually going to be a problem if people know they can get a free drink by moving to MCE--especially the alcoholics out there.

In this respect I have seen that United is much more on point. The stick to their rules and make sure they're applied more equally. I like both airlines and see why each have their segment of the market.
I don't think that not enforcing rules is being 'more customer friendly'. That leads to favortism and eventually corruption as people get ahead at the expense of others. If there's going to be free drinks in MCE, they need to show their boarding pass for it. Otherwise, they can move to the seat and sit, but no free drinky.
It's the proverbial you get what you pay for. Those in MCE seats either have paid for them or earned them through status. Those in BE have made a decision to forgo certain amenities in exchange for a lower fare. IMHO AA should take the last few rows, reduce the pitch and call it a separate class-BE. As it is on full flights BE often end up in MCE albeit a middle seat.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 9:53 am
  #1028  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
It's the proverbial you get what you pay for. Those in MCE seats either have paid for them or earned them through status. Those in BE have made a decision to forgo certain amenities in exchange for a lower fare. IMHO AA should take the last few rows, reduce the pitch and call it a separate class-BE. As it is on full flights BE often end up in MCE albeit a middle seat.
Ending up in MCE because the seat was assigned that way is a luck of the draw essentially. But getting the free drink that's part of MCE that others paid for is the problem.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 2:25 pm
  #1029  
 
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Hi guys, I know this subject has been posted somewhere, but I need an answer ASAP, I tried to google it but cant find an answer. I am an AA exec platinum, I know if i purchaes aa basic, I wont get any of the perks as AA exec.. But if I purchased an Iberia/ BA plane ticket basic ticket from LHR to BCN . It says on there that you wont be able to check in a luggage, unable to choose seat but if I am an emerald, will I be able to check in luggage fr free, choose a seat in advance even my ticket is basic? I dunno the rules of Iberia/BA.. thanks much
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Old Apr 2, 19, 2:37 pm
  #1030  
 
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
IMHO AA should take the last few rows, reduce the pitch and call it a separate class-BE. As it is on full flights BE often end up in MCE albeit a middle seat.
Why? Just to punish people who buy BE? You are not going to move enough seats to be able to fit another row. I highly doubt AA would reconfigure the whole plane to give each economy seat another 1/2" of legroom. I guess they could make an additional row toward the back MCE without re configuring the whole plane, but I am not sure it would be very popular.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 2:45 pm
  #1031  
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Originally Posted by JNLentertainment View Post
Hi guys, I know this subject has been posted somewhere, but I need an answer ASAP, I tried to google it but cant find an answer. I am an AA exec platinum, I know if i purchaes aa basic, I wont get any of the perks as AA exec.. But if I purchased an Iberia/ BA plane ticket basic ticket from LHR to BCN . It says on there that you wont be able to check in a luggage, unable to choose seat but if I am an emerald, will I be able to check in luggage fr free, choose a seat in advance even my ticket is basic? I dunno the rules of Iberia/BA.. thanks much
An AA EXP who purchases a Basic Economy fare on AA still gets free checked bags, priority boarding, and use of the priority check-in lines. What you don't get to do is select a seat.

As to what, if any, benefits a oneworld Emerald gets on a BA or IB Basic Economy fare, I'm afraid that you're asking in the wrong place. Regulars on the BA and IB forums should be able to tell you what, if anything, a OWE gets on those fares.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 2:51 pm
  #1032  
 
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BA are the only OW carrier to nerf elite baggage benefits on a Basic Economy fare. They do however allow you to choose a seat in advance on a Basic Economy fare so long as you're OWS/OWE. AA you get all your respective OW elite perks save for seat selection.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 3:18 pm
  #1033  
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
Why? Just to punish people who buy BE? You are not going to move enough seats to be able to fit another row. I highly doubt AA would reconfigure the whole plane to give each economy seat another 1/2" of legroom. I guess they could make an additional row toward the back MCE without re configuring the whole plane, but I am not sure it would be very popular.
AA might see it as a way to encourage more people to buy MC when they see the seat pitch. It would also means customers get what they pay for. Why should the person that ended up in MCE on a BE fare get the same benefits as the pax that shelled out extra $$ for BE?
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Old Apr 2, 19, 3:21 pm
  #1034  
 
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Originally Posted by gateH15 View Post

that’s exactly what makes AA more customer friendly compared to UA. MCE is not a separate class of service. No reason to deny seat MCE seat to someone after door is closed. Maybe that person will purchase it next time. Maybe not. But it’s not like they let anyone to sit in FC for free.
I really have no problem if someone moves next to me, even tho I’d rather have middle seat open.
I had a choice long time ago to either fly aa or ua. And this is one of the things that made me
loyal.
To some extent AA has made it a separate class. The overhead bins are now marked as MCE bins and indicated for MCE only. Hence, while you can stow you carry on anywhere in economy overheads you are not supposed to store it in the MCE bins. Again I don't see AA enforcing overhead bins - be it First or MCE - but they should or why bother to mark it as such.

MCE - is Elite or Upcharge, reserved overhead bin space, free drink, etc. To some extent this is a different class of service - not Premium Economy, but enough that they separate out the seats.

AA should enforce it just like UA - or just forget it and make it a free for all.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 3:57 pm
  #1035  
 
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Another DP, I was able to move to MCE by kindly asking the gate agent for a seat change a couple minutes before boarding.
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