Baggage fees. It can take us from loving a cheap airfare to questioning the actual savings from the all-inclusive regular ticket price. American Airlines recently announced “good news” for its Basic Economy travelers that will allow them one free carry-on bag (in addition to a personal item) to all destinations, beginning Sept. 5. Sorry Labor Day travelers.
Basic Economy fares gained popularity with those who preferred the variety of routes from major airlines but could be swayed by the ticket prices of no-frills carriers. The downside? American Airlines implemented a $25 surcharge for carry-on bags, no access to overhead bins and no seat assignment until check-in for flights in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Even with the policy change, travelers will continue to board in the last group, leaving little, if any, space in overhead bins anyway.
A statement on American Airlines’ website explains that removing the carry-on bag restriction will make their short-haul Basic Economy fares more competitive. Delta already included a free carry-on with its lowest-priced tickets. Expect United Airlines to fall in line soon.