Big U.S. airlines measure the success of their cheapest, most restrictive fares by how many passengers pay up to avoid them.
American Airlines next month is easing a key restriction of these so-called basic economy tickets — a ban on carry-on bags in the overhead bin — for travelers using its cheapest domestic tickets. The change, set for Sept. 5, makes these tickets look more like rival Delta Air Lines' basic economy product.
"There are other features of that product that we think will continue to provide us sell-up rates," Kurt Stache, American's senior vice president of marketing, loyalty and sales, told reporters at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Denver. "We think it will be in the 50 percent range."