MIAMI (CBSMiami) – American Airlines will be trying to compete in the low-cost carrier game later this month when they begin offering a super low “basic economy” ticket.
While the fares may be a good deal for some, the restrictions may end up being a deal breaker.
American Air, which has a major hub at Miami International Airport, said passengers who book basic economy will not be able to choose their own seat, will be the last to board the plane and if their carry-on doesn’t fit under the seat – they will be charged to check it.
Also, those who book the new economy ticket will not be able to change flights.
The restrictive bargain tickets come as ultra-low fare carriers, like Spirit Airlines, are increasingly competing for customers.
United Airlines also instituted a new ‘no overhead bin’ basic economy ticket to help them become more competitive. They hope to add an additional billion dollars annually to their bottom line by attracting fare focused fliers.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer says ‘enough is enough’.
“They’ve gotta wring every nickel out of the consumer with all these new fees,” said Schumer.
The senator is calling for legislation to keep the overhead bins free.
“They charge you when you store luggage, they shouldn’t charge you for the overhead bins, plain and simple,” said Schumer.
“If customers don’t like this product, customers won’t use it,” said Sean Kennedy
Kennedy, a senior vice president for “Airlines for America,” said these new bin-less fare give fliers a new way to save.
“An airline is offering a cheaper product for customers that want to fly that are budget conscience and want to find the lowest way to get from point A to point B. I’m not sure why there be controversy about that,” said Kennedy.
Under American Airline’s policy, there will only be a select number of seats offered at the new “basic economy” price. Once onboard it will be the same experience as the rest of coach, except no use of the overhead bins and no chance of an upgrade.
So will the plan fly? Well, studies show a vast majority of fliers book their flights based solely on price.