American Airlines has unveiled a new “Basic Economy” fare which will be offered for tickets booked starting in late February. United Airlines also recently announced a Basic Economy product in late 2016.
AAdvantage members received the following announcement via email today:
From Flagship® First to our new, lowest fare – Basic Economy – we’re providing you with a new option to select a travel experience that best fits your needs.
With Basic Economy, get our lowest Main Cabin fare with the same great onboard experience including free snacks, soft drinks and entertainment. Plus, you’ll still earn American Airlines AAdvantage® award miles, and elite qualifying credits (EQMs/EQSs) at a reduced rate.
- Some restrictions will apply:
- Seats assigned at check-in
- Fees to choose a specific seat
- Not eligible for upgrades
- No flight changes or refunds
Basic Economy goes on sale in late February on select routes.
Additionally, Basic Economy customers are not permitted to use overhead bins onboard aircraft and are restricted to one piece of carry-on luggage which must fit under the seat.
So how do crews deal with the boarding of Basic Economy passengers?
What we’ve learned is that once all groups of passengers have boarded, the agent will then let flight attendants know that they are about to board Basic Economy. Flight attendants will then ensure that all overhead bins are closed. Passengers tickets for Basic Economy will then board and take their seats; only stowing carry-on bags under the seat in front of them.