PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you’re looking for a rock bottom airline fare, but don’t want to fly on a budget airline, well, you are in luck!
American Airlines will start offering a ‘basic economy’ ticket this month. The move follows a similar announcement by United Airlines.
The ‘basic economy’ fares will save you money, but come at a cost.
You’ll be last on board the plane, you can’t choose your own seat, and if your carry-on doesn’t fit under your seat, you’ll be paying to check it.
“We always have extra bags other than our suitcases,” said one flyer. “So, we really do need the overhead bins.”
These restrictive bargain tickets come as ultra-low fare carriers like Spirit are increasingly competing for customers.
“When it comes down to lower costs or convenience, I’ll take convenience,” said another.
United Airlines and American Airlines believe their “no overhead bin” basic economy ticket will be more competitive.
By 2020, United expects to earn an additional billion dollars annually by attracting fare-focused flyers.
“They’ve gotta wring every nickel out of the consumer with all these new fees,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, who is calling for legislation to keep the overhead free. “They charge you when you store luggage, they shouldn’t charge you for the overhead bins, plain and simple.”
Sean Kennedy, senior vice president for Airline for America, says these bin-less fares give flyers a new way to save.
“An airline is offering a cheaper product for customers who want to fly who are budget conscience, who want to find the lowest way to get from point A to point B,” Kennedy said. “I’m not sure why there would be controversy about that.”