The good news: flights to Europe with American Airlines could soon be a bit cheaper! The bad news is that American Airlines is following in the footsteps of other airlines by adding a level known as "basic economy," which lowers the price of airfare at the expense of some standard services that many brochures are accustomed to.
Starting in April, American Airlines will offer basic economy fares on transatlantic flights, including those operated by British Airways, Iberia and Finnair. The biggest compensation for holders of basic economy tickets is that they will not get a seat assignment until they register on their flight. They can change the seat assignment, or choose their own seat in advance, but for a fee. However, they will not be able to update their ticket after the purchase and they will not be able to make flight changes on the same day or try to board a previous flight in standby mode.
In addition, basic economy transatlantic travelers may bring a handbag and a personal item on the flight, but will be charged for any checked baggage. That means that, unlike American Airlines' basic economy restrictions on domestic short-haul flights, travelers can keep a bag in the overhead compartment free of charge.
More generally, American Airlines' transatlantic basic economy tickets are less restrictive than the domestic version, which is good. Remember to check as soon as possible what ticket you are buying from now if you use a global service such as Kayak or Expedia. Making flights more affordable sounds like a great idea, but the fees involved in bypassing the restrictions of the basic economy state may end up costing some customers more in the long run. It's a strategy that is paying a big price for airlines, which raised almost $ 60 billion in fares around the world in 2017.