Skift Take

Now that all the legacy carriers have their Spirit Air-like fares, the big question is what comes next for passenger experience?

What to Know Now

American Airlines finally launched its basic economy fares and the carnage is not as bad as many were expecting. The announcement came last week along with news about cleaner upgrade processes on American’s premium economy-equipped flights.

Like United, American doesn’t plan to include overhead bin space with its basic economy fares. The good news, however, is that elite members are exempt from the rule.

Perhaps the best news, however, is that passengers will still earn elite miles and status (unlike on United), which means that even if the boss forces you to fly on the cheapest fare, you can still reap some of the rewards.

It’s still not clear which routes will start offering the new fare structures, but American plans to start selling them in February. Make sure you don’t accidentally book the wrong fare classes.


So now #AmericanAirlines AND #United have something called “basic economy” fares. I thought economy became basic 17 years ago. #travel

@JimByersTravel | Jim Byers, travel writer based in Toronto


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Your Turn

There’s a flood of travel people coming to New York City this weekend for the New York Times Travel Show. And while the show is exactly the same dull thing they’ve been trotting out year after year (seriously, it’s like a Groundhog Day of dated booths and recycled speeches over there), it’s always a great week to connect with people who are forced to come because everyone else is forced to come.

Tips and Comments

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

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Photo credit: An overhead bin on American Airlines. Now all three legacy carriers in the U.S. have bargain fares with severe limits for passengers. American Airlines

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