American to offer ‘no-frills’ Basic Economy fares

American Airlines Boeing 737
An American Airlines Boeing 737 prepares to land at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on March 5, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

American Airlines is doing its best Spirit Airlines impersonation.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline says it will start selling no-frills Basic Economy fares next month, and customers who buy the tickets will not be allowed to bring overhead bin luggage on board.

Basic Economy fares will go on sale in February in 10 markets. The first flights will take place shortly after tickets go on sale, and American said it will expand the offering to additional market later this year.

Not every American flight will offer Basic Economy fares, the airline said in a news release.

“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,” American Airlines President Robert Isom said in a news release. “Importantly, this new fare product also gives American the ability to compete more effectively with the growing number of ultra low-cost carriers.”

There are no upgrades with the fares, regardless of elite status level, and Basic Economy customers will be the last group to board and will be seated in the Main Cabin.

“Our goal is to make sure that all customers have the opportunity to purchase a ticket on American that works for their specific needs,” Isom said. “We will work hard to ensure transparency, provide clear explanations of these fares, and we look forward to continuing to offer a wide variety of services to our customers.”

United Airlines also offers a similar fare.

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