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Basic Economy Fare as of 2017 (and on AY, BA, IB) (Master thread)

Basic Economy Fare as of 2017 (and on AY, BA, IB) (Master thread)

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Old May 24, 20, 2:31 pm   -   Wikipost
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What is Basic Economy?
Basic Economy is (generally) the lowest, "no-frills" Main Cabin (Economy) fare on American Airlines and their Atlantic Joint Business partners (British Airways, Iberia, and Finnair). Basic Economy fares on American Airlines book into the As the lowest fare, it has some special restrictions that other Main Cabin fares do not.

What are the Restrictions?
You can read American Airlines' web page summarizing Basic Economy for the exact details, but there are a few points that likely matter most to FlyerTalkers:
  1. Your first checked bag will cost money on a Basic Economy fare*.
  2. Your seat will be automatically assigned when you check in and unchangeable, unless you pay to change your seat. You may pay to reserve a seat any time after booking.
  3. No elite upgrades to first class, or complimentary access to preferred seats (green on the seat map) or Main Cabin Extra (orange on the seat map).
  4. You will board last, in Group 9 for domestic flights or Group 8 for international flights*. On a full flight, this likely means you will have to gate check your carry-on bag (which is free).
  5. You will earn 50% EQMs per mile flown and 0.5 EQS per segment. You will earn full RDMs (based on fare flown) and EQDs.
  6. Domestic basic economy fares are non-refundable and non-changeable; if your plans change you will need to buy a whole new ticket. International basic economy fares can be changed for a fee. Basic Economy fares are ineligible for same-day standby or same-day confirmed flight changes.
  7. In IRROPS, Basic Economy customers will not be re-accommodated on other airlines, and will have to wait for the next American Airlines flight (or BA/IB/AY for INTL).
Despite these restrictions, Basic Economy can be a good value in certain circumstances.

Are the seats or service any different?
Once you are on the airplane, the experience (seats / drinks / snacks) will be identical to regular Main Cabin.

How can I tell if I have a Basic Economy fare?
Your reservation on aa.com may say it. Basic Economy fares on American Airlines flights book into the B booking class, though Basic Economy fares on BA/IB/AY and their AA* codeshares can book into almost any revenue booking class.

I have an AA credit card, what does that get me?
Yes, if you have an American Airlines credit card that comes with preferred boarding or a free checked bag on domestic itineraries, you will receive those benefits. Additionally, if you have a Citi Executive card, you may use the Admirals Club as normal.

I have AA elite status, what does that get me?
You WILL get the following elite benefits when you buy a Basic Economy fare (note this is not an exhaustive list, basically everything not expressly forbidden is allowed):
  1. 1/2/3 checked bag fees waives, depending on status.
  2. Priority check-in / security / boarding.
  3. Lounge access, if applicable.
You WILL NOT receive the following elite benefits on a Basic Economy fare:
  1. Seat selection. You will have to pay to choose any seat, or to move to a different seat once your seat is assigned at check-in.
  2. No upgrades, MCE, or preferred seats.
  3. No same-day standby or same-day confirmed flight changes, paid or otherwise.
Will I be seated with my child?
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.
Families with children over 13 will have to pay for seat assignments to be seated with their children.

I am flying on a British Airways, Iberia, or Finnair airplane, is anything different?
If you do not have AA or oneworld elite status, the restrictions are quite similar and you should expect to pay for everything: paid checked bags, paid seat selection, and no changes / cancellations. Depending on available fare classes, you may have an opportunity to earn additional redeemable miles or elite qualifying dollars by booking a BA / IB / AY flight number instead of an AA flight number; check your options and the partner earning charts on AA for each respective airline (British Airways, Iberia, Finnair).

If you have status, buckle up, because it gets technical, though there are some opportunities to cherry pick benefits and save money. This has been already summarized in the counterpart to this thread on the British Airways forum.​​, so we will not reproduce it here. Note the following correspondences between status levels:
  • AA Gold - BA Bronze - oneworld Ruby
  • AA Platinum or Platinum Pro - BA Silver - oneworld Sapphire
  • AA Executive Platinum or Concierge Key - BA Gold - oneworld Emerald
Generally, there seem to be the following opportunities for arbitrage:
  • If you are a Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Executive Platinum elite, you can generally book Iberia or Finnair-operated Basic Economy flights and not notice any baggage or seating restrictions, as long as they were not marketed by BA.
  • If you do not care about your seat assignment, you can book AA-operated flights with an IB or AY flight number and still receive a checked bag if you are Platinum or higher. You may earn more or fewer RDMs, EQMs, and EQDs.
  • If you do not need to check a bag, you can book BA-operated flights with any flight number, and can choose your seat (7 days in advance for Gold, at booking for Platinum and higher, Exit Rows for EXP).
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Old Jan 17, 17, 8:22 pm
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Basic Economy Fare as of 2017 (and on AY, BA, IB) (Master thread)

Breaking tons and tons of info on this subject-- and others-- on my Twitter tonight.

I'll self-report this post to mods here so that they can determine which details I should add to this post-- so much new info out tonight!
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Old Jan 17, 17, 9:02 pm
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Breaking tons and tons of info on this subject-- and others-- on my Twitter tonight.

I'll self-report this post to mods here so that they can determine which details I should add to this post-- so much new info out tonight!
Thanks for the tweets! very interesting- esp. the SWU news ^
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Old Jan 17, 17, 9:07 pm
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Breaking tons and tons of info on this subject-- and others-- on my Twitter tonight.

I'll self-report this post to mods here so that they can determine which details I should add to this post-- so much new info out tonight!
Thanks Jon! We alays appreciate your updates. Glad to see some positive news (at least for CK and EXP).
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Old Jan 17, 17, 9:15 pm
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Interesting stuff. Thanks Jon.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 8:19 am
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American Airlines' Basic Economy Fare Feb 2017 (Master thd)

Basic Economy fares will go on sale in February in 10 select markets, with the first flights occurring shortly thereafter and expansion to additional markets expected later this year. Not every American Airlines flight will offer Basic Economy fares.


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.

Upgrades – Not permitted, regardless of elite status level.

Bags – One personal carry-on item that fits under the seat (such as a purse or small backpack) is allowed. No overhead bin luggage may be brought on board. Larger carry-ons such as a rollerboard bag must be checked at the ticket counter for the applicable checked-baggage charge. Basic Economy customers who bring more than an under-seat personal item to the gate will incur regular checked baggage charges plus a $25 gate service charge per bag.

Elite customers and eligible AAdvantage® credit cardmembers will be allowed to bring one personal item, one rollerboard, 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.



Full Press Release: http://news.aa.com/press-releases/pr...e/default.aspx

Last edited by CO777; Jan 18, 17 at 8:26 am
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Old Jan 18, 17, 8:22 am
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it begins...


Why not charge Basic Economy customers to bring a large carry-on instead of requiring them to check it?
We hope that limiting carry-ons to a personal item will result in fewer bags in overhead bins. For Basic Economy customers, planning ahead to check a bag at the ticket counter or kiosk ensures a smoother travel experience without worrying about bin space.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 8:26 am
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Notable, and I think different from what UA and DL have announced:

Is this a new fare discount?
In general these fares will be lower than regular Main Cabin fares in the same way that Main Cabin fares are lower than Business Class. The idea is to give customers a choice in the kind of ticket they want to purchase. It’s not a new discount, but a new set of attributes for our lowest fares.
Emphasis mine. In other words, prices will be the same, but you'll get less for them.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 8:33 am
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Will elites be able to select seats when using this fare, or are they stuck with that mandatory seat assignment (aka middle seat, row 32)?
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Old Jan 18, 17, 8:34 am
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Previous discussion:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...aster-thd.html
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Old Jan 18, 17, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by phil_flyer View Post
Will elites be able to select seats when using this fare, or are they stuck with that mandatory seat assignment (aka middle seat, row 32)?
Assignment only possible 48 hours before-- everyone pays, no discount or comp for elites.

Also there will now be 9 boarding groups, B.Economy will board in group 9.

The personal item they reference will be 18 x 14 x 8 in and there will be new sizers for same.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
n other words, prices will be the same, but you'll get less for them.
In practice, this is what DL and UA did anyway. AA is just being more honest.

Having said that, AA's implementation of the "last boarding group" and "only an under-seat carry-on" seems to rely on GAs policing the boarding process much more stringently than I've ever seen. It's hard for me to imagine anything other than the bits that can be enforced by computer (e.g., no upgrades) working in practice.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 8:40 am
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It will be interesting to see how this works out, since it doesn't appear to be lower fares. I recently flew Delta, for the first time ever, on one of their basic fares. I was worried a bit, but don't get worked up easily, so thought I would give it a whirl. It saved me over 100 from AA's prices, only 30 over Delta's 'regular' economy, but thought why not see what it is all about.
It was wonderful. Everything about it. Once I had to check my carry on, no worries, and the way back there was plenty of room. No extra charge for that. Too bad AA is charging extra. Not thinking it will be great every time, but great first experience.
I have some AA flights coming up as AA was the same or less than Delta, so no, I don't hate AA. I'm just one of those that decided to choose what works best for schedule and price now. Maybe these will be okay on AA also. Nice that you can still board with your status/card and have the same baggage allowance. That's nice for those of us that have that.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 8:48 am
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YOu've got to wonder how people at American wake up and look in the mirror and believe themselves. "Customers have been asking for this". "this allows us to compete". What customer has said, "hey I want less for what I pay today?"

This is complete garbage and I can't wait to watch all of this backfire in a few years.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 8:51 am
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So, it looks like if you have status or a card, the only differences are seat assignments and EQM/EQSs, right? And refunds, I guess.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by OTD View Post
So, it looks like if you have status or a card, the only differences are seat assignments and EQM/EQSs, right? And refunds, I guess.
Well there's at least one thing of some consequence that's not in the press release that might effect one's choice-- waiting for authority to disclose it.
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