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American, United brace to compete with ultra low-cost carriers

American Airlines and United Airlines have said that it’s about time to meet the challenge of ultra LCCs (low-cost carriers) head on. The two leading U.S. carriers have decided to sell their newly launched “Basic Economy” seats. This no frills fare offering won’t have any additional benefits included. The two airlines have said that they are going to put up strong competition being constantly posed by the domestic ultra low-cost carriers such as Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Allegiant Air and many of their likes.

Media reports said that the basic economy customers traveling on either of the airlines won’t be allowed any refunds, upgrades or cancellations. Moreover, the economy class travelers would be the last to board the aircraft after travelers of other classes have boarded their flights. The customers booking basic economy fares for travel on American Airlines would be seated last after passengers of 8 different categories have taken their seats. This will be effective from March 1, 2017 onwards. The basic economy fliers traveling on United Airlines would also be the last ones to board the aircraft after passengers in four other seating categories have boarded their flights. This will be applicable starting from April 18 this year.

According to the reports, the first group termed as pre-boarding would comprise of travelers with disabilities, families with children, elite loyalty reward members, and active members of the military. This group will be the first one to board the flights on both airlines. Early boarding also comes with an advantage as lots of space is available in the overhead bins for keeping the luggage. The travelers who are the last ones to board their flights are virtually left with no space as the overhead bins are mostly filled to capacity.

This is however not a matter of concern for basic economy customers as they already know that bare bones fare doesn’t allow this provision. The basic economy passengers traveling on both American Airlines and United Airlines would only be allowed to carry along with them a small bag which is able to fit under the seat. They will however be charged extra fee it they want a bigger bag to be accommodated into the overhead bin.

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