When you're forced to gate-check your bag thanks to your later boarding group or end up with tragically little legroom, it's more than easy to feel like flying in economy class is already a basic, no-frills experience. And yet, major airlines are now offering even simpler fares with even fewer features, if you're willing to trade your sanity for saving some cash. The latest is American Airlines.
On Wednesday, American officially introduced its new "Basic Economy" fare, which essentially strips away most of the features -- a free carry-on bag, seat selections, among others -- that you're likely used to getting from a major carrier in exchange for a lower price. The airline joins rivals United and Delta in offering the new fares, which are seen as a response to increasingly popular budget airlines like Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant.
Just like United's Basic Economy tickets, American's allows you bring a personal item on board, but forbids full-size carry-on bags you'd put in the overhead bins. If you end up brining a carry-on bag to the gate by mistake, American said it will charge you not just the applicable checked bag fee, but an additional $25 "gate service charge" per bag, too. In other words, be careful when you book, folks. You're only exempt from the policy if you're an Elite-level frequent flier or have American's credit card.