American Airlines Is Getting into the "No Frills" Seat Game

Published On 10/27/2015 Published On 10/27/2015

Flying on American Airlines is about to get cheaper -- which is great. But that's only happening if you're willing to sacrifice the basic comforts (if you can call them that) of economy class for what's been dubbed as "no frills" fares. 

Starting next year, the world's largest airline will take on budget carriers like Spirit and Frontier by offering cheaper fares on select flights, company executives said on a recent earnings call. As you might have guessed, the reduced fares will come with reduced service, such as no snacks during the flight and less seat selection, according to a report by Mashable. Other than that, the company wouldn't elaborate on what exactly the "deal" will entail, but some have speculated you'll get less legroom and might have to pay additional fees for luggage.

Even though people love to hate them, Spirit Airlines and similar low-cost carriers have seen huge success by undercutting the cost of basic fares by charging fees for features normally included in the cost of an economy ticket, and by holding pretty insane flash sales. In doing so, they've attracted frugal travelers willing to give up good service to save cash. Now, American Airlines wants those customers, too.

“Given that 50% of our revenue is up for grabs in these markets, and these carriers have had so much success when they weren’t matched, we know that we have to match their fares,” American Airlines President Scott Kirby said, per the report. Let's just hope American doesn't attempt to match their ridiculous additional fees. 

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and feels like economy class already feels "no frills" enough for his liking. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.



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