Basic Economy

Basic Economy

Our lowest Main Cabin fare around the world

Book a Basic Economy fare to get our lowest price. There are some restrictions, but you'll still enjoy a comfortable seat in the Main Cabin, free snacks, soft drinks and inflight entertainment.

Basic Economy fares cannot be combined with other fare types.

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The basics about Basic Economy fares

Changes and cancellations

Basic Economy fare tickets cannot be changed,* but there are exceptions.

Within 24 hours

You have 24 hours from the time you first buy your ticket to make changes or cancel for a refund if you booked at least 2 days before departure. After 24 hours, changes and refunds to the original form of payment are not allowed.

You can change or cancel your ticket online if you booked directly through American. Keep in mind you may have to pay a difference in fare for flight changes.

Find your trip

If you bought your ticket through a travel agency or another booking source, contact them about changes.

Read about 24-hour cancellations

After 24 hours

AAdvantage® members can cancel Basic Economy fare tickets on or after January 17, 2024 and receive travel credit for a fee. To qualify:

  • Your AAdvantage® number must be in your reservation before canceling.
  • Your trip must also be on an American marketed and operated flights within the 50 U.S. states.
  • Cancel on or the American app before the first flight departs.

If the fee is more than the ticket price, travel credit will not be issued.

*If your trip originates in Europe (except Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), you can change your Basic Economy ticket for a fee.

Your bags

You can bring 1 carry-on bag and 1 personal item on board the plane. Carry-on requirements apply to all customers, including AAdvantage® status members.

  • Carry-on bag: This bag must fit in the overhead bin above your seat
  • Personal item: This item must fit under the seat in front of you
  • Basic Economy fares do not include free checked bags**

In addition to your 1 personal item, you can also bring instruments, pets and special items that meet our guidelines, but you will be charged a standard fee for these items.

No other items can be carried on; they must be checked at the ticket counter.

Need more information about bag policies?

**Doesn’t apply to AAdvantage® status members. Eligible AAdvantage® credit cardmembers are exempt only when flying within the U.S. and Canada on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines. For travel to / from Asia, India, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel for tickets issued on / after June 7, 2023 there are no free checked bags and for tickets issued on / before June 6, 2023 Basic Economy has 1 free checked bag.

Your seats

You can choose a specific seat at any time for a fee. AAdvantage® members can choose complimentary seats based on their status. Otherwise, seats will be automatically assigned for free at check-in. We cannot guarantee that companions on the same ticket will be seated together.

Families traveling

If you’re a family traveling with children under 15, and do not already have seats assigned, our system will search for seats together automatically before the day of departure. We’ll try our best to keep you together, but if seats are limited, we’ll assign seats so children under 15 are next to at least 1 adult.

Traveling with children and infants

When you’ll board

Basic Economy passengers board last, typically in Group 9. Overhead bin space is usually full by then, so plan to check your carry-on bag and bring only 1 personal item on board. Customers who need special assistance and families with children under 2 years old can ask to board early at the gate.

AAdvantage® status members, AAdvantage® members who reach 15,000 Loyalty Points during the qualification year or eligible AAdvantage® credit cardmembers may board in the group shown on their boarding pass.

Boarding process

Same-day travel

If you have a change of plans, you can make same-day confirmed changes on select flights for a fee, with some exceptions. You can also stand by for a flight at no charge.

Same-day travel

AAdvantage® members

AAdvantage® status benefits may vary for flights marketed and / or operated by our partners.

Upgrades This content can be expanded
AAdvantage® members and eligible AAdvantage® credit cardmembers This content can be expanded
Award miles and AAdvantage® status qualification This content can be expanded

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