American Airlines is making Basic Economy fares a little less basic but still keeping most of the rules that make this the most bare-bones of the major carrier fare offerings.
Carry-Ons Rules For Basic Economy Fliers:
- Beginning Sept. 5, the carrier will allow passengers buying its “basic economy” tickets to bring a free carry-on bag and not just a personal item.
- The world’s largest airline will allow fliers who book basic economy seats to bring aboard one personal item and one carry-on bag without charge.
- American Airlines executives said that they are removing the limit on carry-on bags other than a personal item.
- The airline will start a new carry on policy.
- Fliers booked on the flights starting Sept. 5 can bring on a carry-on free of charge.
- It had to be small enough to fit under the seat.
Fliers that pay the Basic Economy fare with American Airlines are currently required to paycheck any bags, beyond one personal item, such as a purse or a backpack that can be squeezed under the seat in front of them.
The CEO of American Airlines Doug Parker said that this was not a sudden change of heart – it is effectively matching Delta Air Lines, which gives Basic Economy passengers access to the overhead bins, thus making its fare option more attractive to consumers.
American’s new carry-on bag policy has confused and angered many passengers, because they are often caught unaware at the gate when American agents require those with a standard carry-on bag to pay a fee to check it. Customers flying on America’s basic economy fares shouldn’t necessarily expect to make it onboard with a bag that must be stowed in an overhead bin. Basic economy customers are the last group to board, meaning there’s a good chance that most of the overhead bin space will already be full.
For last few years, Delta, United, and American have all introduced a Basic Economy class of tickets that promises cheaper airfare for fewer perks. Basic Economy customers typically receive fewer frequent flier miles for their trip and cannot select their own seat assignment. But Delta has allowed bringing free carry-on roller bags those who pay the bare-bones ticket price. And Southwest permits to check two bags free of charge for its customers.
American said it’s looking to become more competitive with those offerings. It comes as major airlines have seen their profits squeezed by climbing oil prices.