American's bare-bones basic economy fares are about to start appearing on long-haul routes.
American Airlines announced plans to bring its basic economy product to some transatlantic routes this past week, in lock step with its partners at British Airways and Finnair.
Many paint the new fares bluntly as a revenue grab and the decision seems to be in tune with many of American’s recent changes including removing seatback screens and tightening legroom.
The airline’s new flavor of European basic economy will be slightly different than its American cousin. Like all main cabin customers, passengers in international basic economy will be allowed one free overhead carry-on. Service across both cabins will also be the same.
Core to the basic economy playbook, passengers won’t be allowed to select seats, nor will upgrades work from the fares.
While most in the industry saw this coming (Delta currently has plans while United has so far concentrated on domestic routes), passengers are still disappointed. “Basic Economy fares for Trans-Atlantic flights are a huge devaluation for frequent flyers and will slaughter the customer experience,” tweeted Andy Luten, who travels over 100,000 miles each year on the carrier and has Executive Platinum elite status. “I’m embarrassed to call myself an EXP today.”
Skift had full details on the new service last week.
— Grant Martin
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Tags: american airlines, basic economy, business travel, loyalty
Photo credit: American Airlines is taking its basic economy product to transatlantic flights. In this photo, an American plane is pictured at Los Angeles International Airport. Eric Salard / Flickr