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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New "tiered" ticketing options on American

Per The Points Guy, American is now laying out new tiered ticketing options that include various perks depending on the type of ticket you decide to buy.  Details include:

1. Choice Fares: These are basically the discounted economy fares as they are today – the least expensive way to get from point A to point B with no extras added on. You pay fees to make changes and you accrue miles normally.
2. Choice Essential: For an additional fee of $68 roundtrip, these fares will include 1 checked bag, Group 1 priority boarding and no change fees.
3. Choice Plus: These fares cost $20 above Choice Essential (so $88 above Choice/Regular Fares) and have the same three perks as Choice Essential plus a 50% AAdvantage mileage bonus (not Elite Qualifying Miles), waived same-day confirmed flight changes, same day standby and a premium beverage (including alcohol).

At first glance, it doesn't look like it's going to change any boarding options (since the Group 1 boarding is after Priority Access boarding) but instead will welcome a new host of people to that level.  Since I have that Group with my AA credit cards, the gate lice I'm sure will out in force. 

It also highlights various perks that may make sense for some people to purchase (such as same day flight changes and standby).  If you're already paying for these, you'll get your perk plus additional miles - not bad.

American seems to be taking a proactive approach to new fare options, and it's the first airline to do so without going too crazy or make things too complicated.  While this isn't necessarily a game changer for me (since as a United 1K I'll still be doing the majority of my flying there), it does provide some interesting future options.

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