Last updated on December 30th, 2022 at 05:35 am

A Complete Guide To The American Airlines Basic Economy 

What is American Airlines Basic Economy?

Basic economy cabin class was introduced against the ultra-low-cost carriers in the USA. Basic economy flights come with a much lesser price but restrictions and fewer facilities to save cost.

Cabin class for the basic economy is for people who are looking for affordable flights and they don’t mind forgoing some services against that. American Airlines introduced this cabin class to retain all sorts of customers. It wanted its flight tickets to be available for people with all budget needs. 

that meant to compete with low-cost carriers like Southwest, frontier, etc.

Restrictions that come along with American Airlines basic economy flights!

Seat assignments cannot be select by the passengers no matter check-in was online or at the airport. At the airport counter, a seat is assigned. If you want a seat of your choice, you have to pay an extra amount.

The basic economy passengers, board the flight in the last groups however, if you wish to board the plane faster you can pay an extra amount for priority boarding. The AA elite members or the members holding credit cards if AAdvantage have an early boarding benefit.

No elite miles are earned for the basic economy flights of American airlines. However, you do earn redeemable miles for basic economy tickets- five miles per dollar spent.

The tickets for basic economy class cannot be changed, the pandemic situation is an exception to that. For the basic economy flights, a change fee is to be paid other than the coronavirus situation. The current situation is an exception. The free change basic economy flights are limited for a particular time.

Perks for flying Basic Economy with American Airlines 

When you fly in American airlines basic economy, you get the following benefits:-

  • Passengers get the same food and drinks as economy passengers.
  • The same luggage allowance is provided including one carry-on bag and one personal item.
  • The passengers on basic economy flights are eligible for upgrades.
  • Basic economy passengers can also standby for other flights at no cost.
  • All the services are the same as the economy class.

Is American Airlines Basic Economy worth it?

Yes, the American airlines basic economy is worth it with the added benefits. The passengers can now pay for the seat assignment and priority boarding or even without these you’re still getting the economic benefits for luggage, meals, etc. I think it’s completely worth it. The only major exception is the change fee.

The price difference is not less if the basic economy costs $48 than the economic cost $65. You can save the difference amount and use it somewhere else.

Basic Economy for Elite Members

If you are an elite member of AAdvantage you must book the basic economy flights as it will save you money while providing you the best benefits. The elite members have the option to select a main cabin seat for free. There’s no major difference in the prices of basic and normal economy flights but there’s not even much difference in the services provided. The basic economy tickets are eligible for a free upgrade for elite members.

For additional services like priority boarding, you can look for these services separately and see the price difference.

Even the economy passengers don’t always get the best seat assignments, free ones are very limited and also, economy passengers are not the ones to board the flight first.

Selecting a seat assignment costs $10 and opting for priority boarding costs $9.

If you don’t care about the status you can just book basic economy flights and pay for the additional services that you want.

What all routes of American airlines have basic economy flights available? 

American airlines basic economy is mostly available on all the domestic routes. The basic economy class is also available on flights between the US and Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe.


The basic economy class is designed to attract people with low fares. The aim is to not let our customers go to any other airline. Some people only want low fares and some people don’t mind paying extra. Basic economy is now a quite preferred class as it offers almost the same benefits as of economy class. However, not all the flights of American airlines have basic economy flights available. If the basic economy is available you’ll see the option while booking. Even if the basic economy is not available you can still check the flights with economy fares at times they are also cheap.