American Airlines Unveils Routes For Basic Economy Fares

Image courtesy of Andrew W. Sieber

A few weeks back, American Airlines said it would soon begin offering a new “Basic Economy” fare that offers discounts in exchange for travelers giving up their ability to choose a seat or use the overhead bins. Now the airline has begun selling these lower-cost tickets on certain routes, at a savings of around $20 per leg of a flight.

NBC News reports that American began selling the new fares on Tuesday for flights taking place after March 1 on 10 routes from hub airports.

The following routes are part of the first Basic Economy rollout:

Charlotte to Orlando
Dallas Fort Worth to Baltimore
Dallas Fort Worth to Tampa
Miami to Tampa
Miami to New Orleans
Philadelphia to Dallas/Fort Worth
Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale
Philadelphia to Miami
Philadelphia to New Orleans
Philadelphia to Charlotte

While American previously didn’t say how much the new fare would cost customers, it did note they were less expensive than traditional main cabin fares.

A look at a few of the routes — of which there are generally one or two each day — shows a savings of about $20 per one-way trip.


A flight from Charlotte to Orlando on March 6 will cost about $131 with Basic Economy, while Main Cabin fare costs $151.

A trip from Dallas Fort Worth to Baltimore also came with a $20 savings between Main Cabin ($110) and Basic Economy fares ($90).


Likewise, a trip from Miami to Tampa runs $79 for Basic Economy and $99 for Main Cabin.

Fare for Basic Economy from Philadelphia to Dallas Fort Worth costs $148, while Main Cabin runs $168.


While booking a roundtrip could result in a savings of about $40 overall, a customer would spend more if they accidentally show up to the airport with a bag that can only fit in the overhead bin.

Per the Basic Economy fare, passengers can only bring one personal carry-on item that fits under your seat is allowed. If you do bring something like a rollerboard bag or larger carry-on, it must be checked at the ticket counter for the applicable checked-baggage charge.

That means you’ll incur regular checked baggage charges plus a $25 gate service charge per bag if you bring more than the one under-the-seat item.

These charges could quickly outweigh the savings of booking the Basic Fare.

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