Earlier today, American Airlines Issues a Press release about their upcoming basic economy fares. These fares are meant to compete with airlines such as Spirit and Frontier, offering an almost no-frills product. The product had been announced a couple of months back, and now they are here.
Per American Airlines, the fares will go on sale on February 10th. They will be applied to select routes at first, with a plan to roll them out throughout the system afterwards. The purpose of their basic economy fares, according to Doug Parker, is to offer customers exactly what they want. Parker, American’s CEO, has praised hotels in product differentiation. With this, passengers can now choose between First Class all the way down to Basic Economy.
What this Means:
The fare will come with major restrictions. Among those are:
- In-flight: Same inflight experience, with free entertainment and beverage service, as well as the same seats.
- Seat Assignment: No advance seat assignment. You may be able to purchase seats 48 hours from departure. If not, you will be assigned the last seats at the gate or check-in.
- Upgrades: No upgrades, regardless of Elite Status.
- Baggage: One personal item, must fit underneath the seat in front of you. Elite status members will still be allowed to carry a rollaboard carryon. Those that do bring a larger carryon, will be subject to a $25 fee, plus a service fee. People with a branded Credit card will still be allowed to bring free baggage, as well as normal carryon luggage.
- Boarding: Basic Economy passengers will be the last to board. Elite customers and card holders will be able to board with priority groups.
- Tickets: Non-refundable, non-changeable. They are basically use it or lose it. No same day stand-by or change for elite members.
- AAdvantage: They will earn full EQDs and miles per status, but half the EQMs and Segments.
So, there you have it. Now we have basic economy fares on all the major carriers in the US. Keep in mind, these fares are meant for people to pay more, and not reduce the price of tickets. Airlines have already been competing pretty well with Ultra Low Cost Carriers, so this is just a ploy for people to up-pay.
What do You think? Would you buy American Basic Economy Fares?