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American Airlines launch Basic Economy fare that earns frequent flyer miles

American Airlines has announced it will begin selling Basic Economy fares in February in addition to the wide range of Main Cabin fares currently offered. These no-frills tickets provide a simple and affordable way to experience American’s network, and provide customers the option to pay for the services they want.

However, members of American Airlines’ frequent flyer program AAdvantage should note that upgrades are not permitted, regardless of elite status level.

Here’s what you can expect when you fly Basic Economy:

  1. In-flight experience – The same in-flight experience that all Main Cabin customers receive today, including free entertainment options, soft drinks, and snacks, and the same seats
  2. Seat assignments – Made automatically and only when customers check in. Paid seat assignments can be purchased 48 hours before the flight
  3. Boarding – Basic Economy customers will comprise the last boarding group and will be seated in the Main Cabin
  4. Bags – One personal carry-on item that fits under the seat (such as a purse or small backpack) is allowed. No overhead bin luggage may be brought on board. Larger carry-ons such as a rollerboard bag must be checked at the ticket counter for the applicable checked-baggage charge. Basic Economy customers who bring more than an under-seat personal item to the gate will incur regular checked baggage charges plus a $25 gate service charge per bag
  5. Tickets – Non-refundable, non-changeable. Use it or lose it. No same-day flight change or same-day standby

Here what Elite customers and eligible AAdvantage members need to know:

  1. Upgrades – Not permitted, regardless of elite status level
  2. Elite customers and eligible AAdvantage credit card members will be allowed to bring one personal item, one rollerboard, and they maintain their current free checked bag allowance
  3. Elite customers and eligible AAdvantage credit cardmembers will continue to receive Priority or preferred boarding even when purchasing this fare
  4. AAdvantage – Full AAdvantage miles and Elite Qualifying Dollars may be earned when purchasing these fares; however, only one-half Elite Qualifying Mile will be earned per mile flown, and one-half Elite Qualifying Segment per segment flown
  5. AAdvantage is part of the Oneworld alliance, so air miles can be used to book flights and rewards on partner airlines too