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American Loosens Carry-On Restrictions for Basic Economy

July 26, 2018
Travel, Vacations & Trip Planning
American Airlines 737
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Starting Sept. 5, American Airlines basic economy flyers will be allowed to bring one carry-on bag on board, in addition to their one personal item. The policy change was announced with the company’s earnings July 26.

This change can save travelers as much as $50 per flight.

Following the trend among major carriers, American currently restricts basic economy ticket holders to one personal item, which must fit under the seat in front of them.

» Learn more: Airline credit cards can help you save on baggage fees — even in basic economy

Currently, those who want to take an additional bag on the airplane are forced to check it to their final destination for $25. Those who take a second carry-on bag to the gate are charged an additional $25, as a “gate-handling fee.” But if you have an American Airlines co-branded credit card, check out how you can avoid the carry-on ban until it is removed in September.

The new basic economy luggage plan

Executives at American say this move is to help them “create a world-class customer experience.” In the last quarter, the airline extended basic economy to its trans-Atlantic service classes to compete with international low-cost carriers.

Although this policy change will save travelers money, additional restrictions will apply on basic economy tickets. Passengers who choose to fly at the lowest price are not allowed to choose their seats or make changes to tickets, and they must board with the last group.

The move puts the Dallas-based airline on equal footing with Delta Air Lines, which also allows basic economy flyers one carry-on bag and one personal item. United Airlines is the last of the three major carriers to limit basic economy passengers to one personal item.

Feature image courtesy American Airlines.

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