American Airlines rolls out new fare structure

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DALLAS — American Airlines is changing the way it charges passengers to fly.

American will charge up to $88 more per round trip for passengers who want a basic ticket that includes the ability to check baggage or change the reservation later on. Currently, the airline levies separate fees for those and other extras for everyone except premium passengers.

It's calling the new fare levels "Choice," "Choice Essential" and "Choice Plus."

American said Wednesday that the options will be sold on its aa.com website and through travel agents for flights in the contiguous 48 states.

Rick Elieson, managing director of aa.com, said the new pricing structure is a response to customer complaints about fees for changing a reservation.

"This will eliminate the fear about what-ifs," Elieson said. He said it will encourage customers to compare airlines by quality and reward those, "like American, that invest so much in its product."

Elieson said American will still sell a basic fare without protection against add-on fees "for the less-discriminating passenger who is just looking for the cheapest way to get to where they've got to go."

American Airlines' new fare categories

Choice

Tickets will be similar to the current basic economy fare. If passengers want to check bags or change reservations later, they will be charged extra.

Choice Essential

Fares will cost an extra $68 per round trip and include one checked bag, no additional fee for changing the itinerary later and early boarding.

Choice Plus

Fares will cost an extra $88 per round trip and will include a checked bag, no change fees and early boarding, plus bonus miles for frequent-flier purposes, standby privileges, a drink for no additional charge and other perks.

American Airlines rolls out new fare structure 12/12/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 9:14pm]

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