Discount US airlines like Spirit have forced the major carriers to offer cheaper flight options. These"unbundled" options are less expensive than the standard fare, but they're also even more bare bones. American is the latest airline to offer a cheaper, unbundled fare.
With unbundled flights, you pay a cheaper base price for your ticket, then choose what kind of add-ons you want, depending on whether you need to check a bag, pick a seat, and so on. American announced that it will start selling "Basic Economy" next month. It will launch with 10 markets then expand throughout the year. American Airlines hasn't disclosed which markets it will initially launched in but we're hoping one of them will be Australia.
They don't say how much cheaper the tickets will be, but they will be less than standard Main Cabin prices. You'll still get free snacks and drinks, but you'll pay $US25 ($33) per checked bag, you'll be in the last boarding group, and you can only bring one personal item (no carry-ons). In a press release, American said:
American Airlines now has something to offer every customer, from those who want simple, low-price travel to those who want an ultra-premium experience via First Class," said American Airlines President Robert Isom. "Importantly, this new fare product also gives American the ability to compete more effectively with the growing number of ultra low-cost carriers.
In the infographic above, you can see exactly how these new fares will differ from the standard Main Cabin fares. For more detail, head to the press release at the link below.
American Airlines Introduces New Basic Economy Fare [American Airlines via Consumerist]