American’s Checked Baggage Changes Include The First Ever JFK-Tel Aviv Basic Economy Fares, Will Other Airlines Match?

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American announced several changes to their checked baggage policy today.

  • All premium economy tickets now include 2 bags, up from 1 in markets like Alaska and Hawaii.
  • All long-haul tickets now include 1 bag, down from 2 to Asia and Oceania.
  • Basic economy tickets are now being sold to Asia, India, Israel, and Oceania and those include a free carry-on and checked bag as with standard economy tickets.

The biggest news there that DansDeals readers will care about is the introduction of a basic economy fare to Israel.

Up until this point, carriers have avoided selling basic economy tickets from NYC to Tel Aviv as none of them wanted to be known as the airline that introduced that fare type in that market.

But American is new to the JFK-Tel Aviv market and they are going there:

Basic economy tickets tickets purchased by 3/31 include free changes, though after that waiver ends tickets won’t be changeable.

Basic economy tickets don’t include free seat assignments unless you have elite status. American’s basic economy fare now allows for elite members to select extra legroom seats and for them to use upgrade certificates, so it’s a lot less punitive than their competitor’s basic economy fares.

American’s basic economy tickets earn regular award miles, but they don’t earn EQMs, EQSs or EQDs to qualify for elite status.

American hasn’t actually dropped their fare in the market, they just increased their standard economy fare.

For now, Delta and United offer standard economy at the same price that American charges for basic economy. El Al’s pricing for next January is oddly uncompetitive:


Will Delta, El Al, or United match? Or is the market competitive enough that they will leave AA high, dry, and forced to retreat? Or will one airline (El Al?) capitalize on the situation and advertise not having basic economy fares in the market, as a competitive advantage?

HT: zagguru, via DDF

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9 Comments On "American’s Checked Baggage Changes Include The First Ever JFK-Tel Aviv Basic Economy Fares, Will Other Airlines Match?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Cause coach to TLV wasn’t a bad enough thing you need to make it worse by Basic-ing it?

Middle seat at the last minute – here you come!


Of six Basic Economy flights that I took in 2019 (AA, BA, and IB), I never got a middle seat. On one of those flights, I paid the seat selection fee in advance and ended up seated near two babies who cried loudly for the entire (overnight trans-Atlantic) flight. On the five others, I asked nicely at the check-in counter for a window seat, and my request was granted all but one time, when I was offered an aisle instead (not my first choice, but much better than a middle).

Of course, I know that I may end up in a middle seat. Oh well. Somebody’s got to end up in those seats unless the flight is very empty.

If Basic Economy doesn’t meet your needs, don’t buy a Basic Economy ticket.


Typical, first ULCC normalize bare bones fares now that they are not in the market anymore AA can offer these fares at higher prices.


El al knows that they israel will still be closed by January ……


Heaven forbid

Jack out of the Box

So basic-ally the difference is that you cannot choose seats in ADVANCE? At check-in you can still choose?
If you’re traveling as a group or family with children how would they seat you?


Elal has a new CEO who has had his talented father lead every level of success and innovation. As far as the CEO himself, it’s the blind leading the blind. Everything is going as predicted with the type of inexperienced leadership at the front.

Shmekel- with-paranoia.

El Al not adjusting their prices to be in sync with market, is because they believe the Shekel is now worth 3 x then USD.


At least they offer a checked bag with the basic economy fares. The ultimate chutzpah is to offer transatlantic flights without checked baggage.