Times are really tough for three U.S. biggies – American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines – with the challenges thrown in by discount carriers in the country. American Airlines has decided to take this fight ahead and effectively counter low-cost carriers such as Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air.
American Airlines recently announced it will be launching its “Basic Economy” fares in early 2017. The airline had however planned to rollout its new economy class fares offerings in late 2016, but couldn’t do so. Media reports quoting travel experts said that the debut of new fares was delayed until next year because the airline didn’t want to disrupt holiday travel. However, others said that the airline wanted to buy more time pending the implementation of the new competitive pricing rules.
Apart from American Airlines, another leading U.S. carrier United Airlines is also planning to unveil its equivalent class in 2017. It may be noted that Delta Air Lines had in 2012 launched its “basic economy” pricing. The reports further stated that the specifics of “basic economy” fares vary for different airlines. In fact, it’s a simple trade-off insofar as “basic economy” rates are concerned. The customers are offered cheaper airfares comparable to those offered by most domestic low-cost carriers. This though comes with more restrictions and fewer amenities.
For instance, ticket changes aren’t allowed when booking basic economy fares with Delta Air Lines. The customers have also to make do with limited frequent flier benefits. The seats are also not assigned until after the customer’s check-in. The basic economy fares bring along with it some privileges too. These include snacks, onboard entertainment and Wi-Fi access.
According to a study, the basic economy fare class has been largely welcomed and gained immense popularity with the U.S. customers. The big three U.S. carriers – United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines – have by now come to understand the competitiveness such a service brings, and decided to take cue for the domestic low-cost rivals, which have themselves been influenced by European LCCs such as Ryanair and easyJet.