American, United Start Basic Economy Fares In Quick Race To The Bottom
If you listen to the airlines, travelers just got very lucky today! Why? Because both United Airlines and American Airlines started selling their basic economy fares. We wrote last month about American’s announcement about the widely anticipated fares. We wrote at length about our opinion back in January, but suffice it to say, I think it’s likely we’ll see today’s regular fares start to become basic economy fares, all without passengers being able to readily tell which is which.
View From The Wing wrote a great post on how to look out for basic economy fares in your booking.
Starting March 1, American will offer the basic economy fares on the following routes:
- New Orleans (MSY) – Philadelphia (PHL)
- Orlando (MCO) – Charlotte (CLT)
- Charlotte (CLT) – Philadelphia (PHL)
- Miami (MIA) – Philadelphia (PHL)
- Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Philadelphia (PHL)
- Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Tampa (TPA)
- Baltimore-Washington (BWI) – Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
- Miami (MIA) – Tampa (TPA)
- Fort Lauderdale (FLL) – Phildelphia (PHL)
- Miami (MIA) – New Orleans (MSY)
And just as a reminder, here are the restrictions on basic economy:
- 1 item that fits under the seat in front of you (no access to overhead bins)*
- Seats assigned at check-in
- Fees to choose a specific seat
- Not eligible for upgrades
- No flight changes or refunds
- Board in last group*
Make sure to visit American Airlines’ website for additional details about the fare.
United basic economy fares will only begin at Minneapolis to other destinations, but will expand to other U.S./Caribbean destinations in the future.
Here are the restrictions for United’s basic economy fares:
- Seat selection and upgrades are not available
- Group and family seating is not available
- Full-size carry on bags are not permitted
- One personal item is allowed
- Flight changes and refunds are not allowed
- Certain MileagePlus Premier benefits are not available
You should visit the United Airlines website if you want additional details on the basic economy fares.
Bottom line is book smart and make sure to be aware of what you are booking!