Travel Tips

American Airlines: Every Ticket Type Explained

Qtrip Team

January 10, 2021

Happy New Year, travelers! We’re continuing the blog series on how to understand the airlines’ various ticket types. We’ve heard from you that this has been helpful  in comparing fares so you can be informed and buy smart. This month we’re looking at American Airlines. Read about United and Delta‘s fare classes too.

Basic Economy:

American positions its Basic Economy as a ticket for travelers who look for the “lowest price.” It promises a comfortable journey in the Main Cabin with free snacks, soft drinks and inflight entertainment, albeit with some important restrictions and limitations.

What’s Included:
  • Seat assignments for a fee at time of booking or free seat will be assigned at check-in
  • Seat width ranges from 16”-18” depending on aircraft, Pitch varies from 30” – 32” depending on aircraft
  • One personal item and one carry-on
  • Complimentary beverage and meal/snack service*
  • Eligible for upgrades
What’s Not Included:
  • Generally speaking – no changes! The current Covid-19 situation has caused the airline to relax this rule, however. At least for the time being, you can change a ticket or even cancel without penalty
  • No seat changes once you’ve boarded (you can pay for an upgrade in advance)
  • Group and family seating (unless you purchase seat assignments in advance)
  • Free checked bags – you must pay fee depending on trip route

Main Cabin:

Essentially, Main Cabin gives travelers all the same inflight services and amenities as in Basic Economy without restrictions.

What’s Included:
  • Free seat assignments at time of booking
  • Seat width ranges from 16”-18” depending on aircraft, Pitch varies from 30” – 32” depending on aircraft
  • One personal item
  • One carry-on bag
  • Complimentary beverage and meal/snack service*
  • Eligible for upgrades
What’s Not Included:
  • Preferred or Main Cabin Extra seating available as upgrade.
  • Free checked bags – you must pay a fee depending on trip route

Main Cabin Extra:

American characterizes Main Cabin Extra as having “a little more of everything,” which we think sums it up nicely.

What’s Included:
  • Seats at the front of Main Cabin, offering extra legroom with pitch varying between 34” – 38” depending on aircraft and seat width averaging from 16” – 18”
  • One personal item
  • One carry-on bag
  • Priority boarding after Elite members and early access to overhead bins
  • Complimentary beer, wine and spirit as well as meal/snack service*
  • Eligible for upgrades

Premium Economy:

Premium Economy is described by American as “an elevated travel experience.” Tickets are available on the following aircraft: 777-300s, 787-8s (international flights and those flying to Arizona), 787-9s, A330-200s, and 777-200s.

What’s Included:
  • Wider seats (18.5” – 19”) situation just behind Flagship, Business and First.
  • Leather seats with extendable foot and head rests. Pitch 38”
  • Priority check-in, security and boarding privileges
  • Get your bags first when you land
  • One personal item
  • One carry-on bag
  • Chef-inspired meal service with complimentary alcoholic beverages*
  • Free, personal on-demand entertainment with larger monitors and noise-canceling headphones
  • USB ports and power outlets at every seat
  • Premium amenities from Baxter of California and STATE bags
  • Casper sleep sets

Business:

American promises the “highest level of service: on shorter international flights still offers Business Class as its gateway to a truly premium flight experience with a lot of extra perks included.

What’s Included:
  • Seat pitch varies from 36” to lie-flat depending on aircraft. Seat width varies from 20” – 21”
  • Priority check-in, security and boarding privileges with “Five-Star Service” available for a fee in select markets
  • Get your bags first when you land
  • Access to Flagship Lounge in select hub cities and access to Admirals Club in others
  • One personal item
  • One carry-on bag
  • Chef-inspired larger menu for meal service with complimentary alcoholic beverages, including . wine pairings*
  • Free, personal on-demand entertainment with larger monitors and noise-canceling headphones
  • USB ports and power outlets at every seat
  • Complimentary pillows and blankets

First:

The highest level of service available domestically.

What’s Included:
  • Priority check-in, security and boarding privileges (first boarding group) with “Five-Star Service” available for a fee in select markets
  • Get your bags first when you land
  • Access to Flagship Lounge in select hub cities and access to Admirals Club in others
  • Seat pitch varies from 36” to lie-flat depending on aircraft. Seat width varies from 20” – 21”
  • One personal item
  • One carry-on bag
  • Chef-curated menu by Julian Barsotti with complimentary alcoholic beverages, including wine pairings*
  • Free, personal on-demand entertainment with larger monitors and noise-canceling headphones
  • USB ports and power outlets at every seat
  • Complimentary pillows and blankets

Flagship Business:

Flagship Business offers discerning travelers an elevated experience for long distance travel on aircraft with lie flat seats

What’s Included:
  • Priority check-in, security and boarding privileges (first boarding group) with “Five-Star Service” available for a fee in select markets
  • Get your bags first when you land
  • Access to Flagship Lounge in select hub cities and access to Admirals Club in others. Arrivals lounge available at London Heathrow
  • One personal item
  • One carry-on bag
  • Chef-curated menus by James Beard Foundation with complimentary alcoholic beverages, including wine pairings*
  • Free, personal on-demand entertainment with larger monitors and noise-canceling headphones
  • USB ports and power outlets at every seat
  • This is Ground amenity kits
  • Casper sleep set

Flagship First:

Flagship First offers discerning travelers an elevated experience for long-haul international travel on Boeing 777-300 aircraft

What’s Included:
  • Private check-in available in select cities.
  • Priority security and boarding privileges (first boarding group)
  • Get your bags first when you land
  • Access to Flagship Lounge in select hub cities and access to International First Class Lounges and Admirals Club in others. Arrivals lounge available at London Heathrow
  • “Five-Star Service” available for a fee in select markets
  • Lie flat seats with aisle access
  • One personal item
  • One carry-on bag
  • Chef-curated menus by James Beard Foundation with complimentary alcoholic beverages, including wine pairings*
  • Free, personal on-demand entertainment with larger monitors and Bang and Olufson headphones
  • USB ports and power outlets at every seat
  • This is Ground amenity kits
  • Casper sleep set

Covid Policies
*Please check American’s Covid-19 page for a comprehensive list of modifications to on-board service and airport protocols in place to protect passengers at this time.

Qtrip Team

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