"Premium Economy" vs. Checked Bag Fees

Old Dec 25, 18, 2:35 pm
  #1  
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"Premium Economy" vs. Checked Bag Fees

Hi all,

I've been out of touch with reality for the last little while and hadn't noticed that for two bags, I was looking at $70 or $140 round trip extra. I normally never check bags but I needed to check not one but two because of the need to declare one piece of luggage and then check the other because it was my beach bag. I really, really, really hated paying all that extra money out, out of nowhere, so I've honestly started to entertain the idea of flying Southworst. Now, before I go off the deep end by doing that after flying basically Only American since 2002 by choice, I decided to read around.

It looks like, apart from having Elite Status (which, now that mileage accrued is based on dollars spent rather than miles flown, is no longer possible for me), or a specific kind of credit card 9which is also not an option for me) is to think about Premium Economy.

Here's where the math hurts. Because, I have no idea how much more than basic economy premium economy usually is. ON my most recent journey, my itinerary was LAX-LAS-MIA+MIA-LAX. My budget for that was like $300-400. Unfortunately just One Way was going to be over $300. I ended up having to burn AAdvantage miles on the return trip in order to be able to book it. But suppose I got the deal I was looking for, and was able to pay less than $400 for the LAX-MIA R/T for basic economy. Would Premium Economy have come out to just $140 or potentially much more than that? I ask because as much as I'd rather step on a thumbtack than ever pay these F'ing fees ever again, it doesn't make any sense to pay $1,000 for coach (for example) just to avoid a $70 fee one way.

Make no mistake; most of the time, I never even check a bag. So thankfully, this isn't usually an issue, but I plan to come out to MIA/FLL regularly (at least annually) and would like to know if I just have to Always know that if I think I'm paying $400, that I'm Really paying like $600.
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Old Dec 25, 18, 2:58 pm
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Presuming that PE is even available on the routes you usually fly, it is unlikely that you will save enough to pay for bags.

As you don't have any status on AA, I would suggest pricing out each trip on multiple carriers and making your decision on whatever carrier presents the best value for the specific trip.
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Old Dec 25, 18, 2:59 pm
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PE is not offered on any domestic routes except Alaska.
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Old Dec 25, 18, 3:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
As you don't have any status on AA, I would suggest pricing out each trip on multiple carriers and making your decision on whatever carrier presents the best value for the specific trip.
Agreed. Southwest might be the best carrier for your once-a-year trip where you have to check bags. Otherwise, as noted, conservatively price in an extra $150-200 to any of the fares offered by AA and other majors.
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Old Dec 25, 18, 3:12 pm
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I think the OP is confusing terms.

Basic Economy is a specific, nonchangeable, nonrefundable Fare That doesn’t allow you to select seats, etc.

Premium Economy is not economy / Main Cabin or Main Cabin Extra. Premium Economy is another class of service available on most AA widebody aircraft (not 767, 787-8 for now, nor A330-300) that is between Economy and Business.

For flying Economy, Southwest offers two free checked bags to 23 kg / 50 lbs. (and if in one Of the newer or refurbished 737s with the Rockwell Collins Meridian seats, Southwest offers more seat pitch / leg room than AA).
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Old Dec 27, 18, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
I think the OP is confusing terms.

Basic Economy is a specific, nonchangeable, nonrefundable Fare That doesn’t allow you to select seats, etc.

Premium Economy is not economy / Main Cabin or Main Cabin Extra. Premium Economy is another class of service available on most AA widebody aircraft (not 767, 787-8 for now, nor A330-300) that is between Economy and Business.

For flying Economy, Southwest offers two free checked bags to 23 kg / 50 lbs. (and if in one Of the newer or refurbished 737s with the Rockwell Collins Meridian seats, Southwest offers more seat pitch / leg room than AA).
Agreed. The opposite of "Basic Economy" is not "Premium Economy" but rather "Regular Economy"
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Old Dec 28, 18, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
I think the OP is confusing terms.

Basic Economy is a specific, nonchangeable, nonrefundable Fare That doesn’t allow you to select seats, etc.

Premium Economy is not economy / Main Cabin or Main Cabin Extra. Premium Economy is another class of service available on most AA widebody aircraft (not 767, 787-8 for now, nor A330-300) that is between Economy and Business.

For flying Economy, Southwest offers two free checked bags to 23 kg / 50 lbs. (and if in one Of the newer or refurbished 737s with the Rockwell Collins Meridian seats, Southwest offers more seat pitch / leg room than AA).
Yep!

Just priced out some examples and, for sure, they're gonna be the better deal for my trips where I have to check more than 1 bag.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 10:00 pm
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Another consideration, you said EQDs are the main reason you can’t attain elite status. Have you considered joining another One World program and crediting your flights to that? You could get free checked bags if you were oneworld Ruby, Sapphire or emerald.
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