American Airlines said Wednesday it will begin selling "basic economy" airfares in February in 10 "select" domestic markets. American is joining Delta and United airlines in announcing lower-tier fares to attract budget-conscious consumers that currently opt to fly ultra-low-fare airlines such as Spirit and Frontier.
American, which operates a hub and more than 400 daily flights in Philadelphia, said it would identify the initial markets closer to when the fares begin.
With American's basic economy fare, passengers will not select their seats in advance. Seat assignments will be made at check-in. Tickets will not be refundable, and itineraries cannot be changed. Customers who do not make the original booked trip will forfeit the value of the ticket. Passengers can bring one personal item, such as a purse, a backpack, or a briefcase that fits under the seat. A carry-on bag will not be permitted in the overhead bin. Passengers with basic economy tickets will board the plane last and will not be eligible for upgrades.
Basic economy fares will be in addition to standard economy tickets, and will not replace them. As the name suggests, the price will be cheaper, but there will be few amenities.