American Airlines courting “new customers” by easing restrictions on its basic economy rate.
Six months ago, when air travel was still booming thanks to business travel and an increase in Millennials who preferred spending on experiences rather than hoarding goods, Basic Economy was a no-frills option. intended to maximize affordability.
Buyers were unable to secure upgrades such as priority boarding, additional main / preferred cabin seats – which offered an additional room – or confirmed flight changes on the same day.
By October, passengers will be able to make these purchases as needed, as the Fort Worth-based carrier adjusts to falling demand for air travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
At present, “the basic economy has not shown the full potential of the American travel experience because it was so restrictive,” an airline spokesperson told FOX Business. .
Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja told Bloomberg the Basic Economy fare has been used differently in recent months compared to its introduction. The low-cost fare is now one of the main factors helping the airline to fill the seats.
Air travel to the United States plunged 95% in April, just weeks after the first major coronavirus outbreaks in the United States, and although it has recovered slightly since then, it is still a long way from what it looks like. were a year ago.
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Raja told Bloomberg that more than 85% of passengers took the low-end tickets during an increase in travel in June. Of these travelers, the majority were under 30 and two-thirds were not enrolled in American’s loyalty program.
As of June, Raja said, low-cost tickets have made up the majority of the carrier’s customer base.