American Airlines offering new discount fare option

"Basic economy" fare further limits size of carry-on bags, doesn't allow you to choose seat assignment

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – Passengers who want to pay less for their flights may be in luck; American Airlines is offering a new, cheaper flight option.

It’s called “basic economy” fares, and the tickets offered will be cheaper than any fares in the main cabin. But the cheaper price also comes with some restrictions, including last minute seating assignments, no overhead bins, and no refunds.

Passengers can usually bring one small carry on item onto their flight, which they can then place into the overhead bin. Basic economy fliers won’t be able to do that. Instead, they’ll only be allowed to bring one small item that can fit under their seat.

Allan King of Connecticut told 22News that’s a perk he wouldn’t want to give up. “I’ll stick to the one where I can carry at least my one carry-on bag. Convenience is worth spending the extra money,” he said.

Robert Thurseon of Connecticut agrees. “I’d rather pay a little more, and know I can put my bags somewhere, and know what seat I’m going to be sitting in,” he said.

According to, basic economy fliers will save an average of $20 a flight.

Elena Buttgereit of Easthampton told 22News, sacrificing certain amenities would be worth the discount for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of luggage. “I absolutely think I would try it, just for the benefit of making a more affordable price for the tickets. It might not be as good for someone who is bringing a lot of gear,” she said.

American Airlines started selling the basic economy tickets at select airports this week. They aren’t available at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut yet, but the carrier said they plan on eventually expanding the option to the rest of the U.S.