American Airlines changing carry-on policy

Posted at 1:25 PM, Jul 26, 2018

American Airlines is canceling a policy that prevented Basic Economy customers from carrying on luggage.

The airline said its new carry-on policy will begin September 5. That's about a year after American Airlines introduced Basic Economy tickets — cheaper ticket prices in exchange for stripped-down services.

Fliers that pay the Basic Economy fare with American Airlines are currently required to pay check any bags, beyond one personal item, such as a purse or a backpack that can be squeezed under the seat in front of them. Checking a bag on American costs about $25.

Over the past few years, Delta, United and American have all introduced a Basic Economy class of tickets that promises cheaper airfare for fewer perks. Basic Economy customers, for example, typically receive fewer frequent flier miles for their trip and cannot select their own seat assignment.

Airlines have rolled out cheaper ticket options recently as they have tried to compete with ultra low-cost carriers like Spirit and Allegiant, which keep fares down by charging for services normally considered standard.

But Delta has allowed all customers, even those who pay the bare-bones ticket price, to bring free carry-on roller bags. And Southwest permits its customers to check two bags free of charge.

American said it's looking to become more competitive with those offerings.

It comes as major airlines have seen their profits squeezed by climbing oil prices.