American has tinkered with their basic economy fares like no other airline.
In 2017 they matched United when they launched basic economy by not allowing carry-on bags.
In 2018 they added back the ability to carry-on bags for free and the option to pay for seat assignments.
Last August they allowed elite members to get preferred seating and upgrades on basic economy fares, but took away the ability to earn elite qualifying miles on basic economy fares.
In December they announced that all AAdvantage members, even non-elites, could get priority boarding on all tickets, including basic economy tickets.
This year they launched an international basic economy fare that included a free checked bag and a free carry-on.
Oddly, while every other US airline extended their free change waivers on basic economy fares, American was the lone holdout.
Or were they?
As pointed out by Crankyflier, it appears that American has stopped selling domestic basic economy tickets altogether.
I priced out $39 AA tickets on several routes that used to be basic economy, and they’re all main cabin now.
Is AA’s basic economy gone for good? Probably not. After all, with airlines offering free changes on standard economy tickets, they need to have a way to offer a less expensive ticket package.
Perhaps they want to see if people will buy their tickets over the competition if they’re offering main cabin and not basic economy? May as well try as long as other airlines are giving free changes!
Either way, it will be interesting to watch and see what happens next.
Will main cabin fares at basic economy prices get you to buy American?