Skift Take

Basic economy fares are on hold with American and United while the carriers take time to integrate them into complex booking systems. In the meantime, all economy passengers can thankfully continue to be treated equally.

What to Know Now

The road to implementing Basic Economy fares in the United States got a little bit longer this week with news that American and United are behind on their scheduled rollout. Originally, the airlines planned to have basic economy fares — which strip away passenger perks to better compete with low cost carriers — integrated by the end of this year. Both, however, have now pushed those plans back to 2017.

According to Skift’s Brian Sumers, much of the delay centers around the logistical and programmatic challenges with integrating complicated fare structures, but it’s also possible that the carriers are taking a bit of extra time to scrutinize the way they do business. Just last week, the White House released guidelines for how it expects airlines to sell tickets, and the fallout from that campaign may dramatically change how carriers market their fares.

Regardless of the delay, passengers will now be able to enjoy a few more months of basic-economy-free travel where all passengers in economy are treated (mostly) equal.


.@AmericanAir is “on track” to launch its basic economy fare, plans to do so in January to avoid holiday peak, says pres Isom

Edward Russell, Airline and finance editor @ Flightglobal



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Your Turn

Friend-of-Skift Anna Brones spoke at [The] Shakespeare and Company this past weekend on Paris and Coffee. Take a quick look at the event and her book here.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin

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Photo credit: Economy class seating is shown on a new United Airlines Boeing 787-9 undergoing final configuration. The airline, along with American Air, has delayed the rollout of its cheaper economy seats. Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

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