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Last week, American Airlines nearly doubled its number of basic economy routes. Today, the airline is going international with these new bare-bones fares, which brings the total number of routes ‘featuring’ basic economy to 69. One peculiarity of this extension — all 25 new routes are between US and four Canadian cities: Calgary (YYC), Montreal (YUL), Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver (YVR).
Just yesterday, it was announced that United, which has already made basic economy available on all domestic flights, is planning on expanding basic economy to Hawaii and Latin America. While AA has been slower to roll-out basic economy fares overall, it seems the airline was eager be first out of the gate with these additional revenue-generating fares.
Basic economy fares seems to be loaded onto these routes starting this Saturday, June 17:
With these 25 new routes added, AA’s basic economy map is starting to look a lot more crowded:
For those keeping score at home, that’s now 20 airports that have basic economy fares. The new list of most-affected cities is now: Amarillo (AMA, 15 destinations); Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW, 15); Midland (MAF, 14); Calgary (YYC, 12) and Miami (MIA, 11).
As a reminder for those who are unaware, travelers who book American Airlines basic economy fares don’t get seat assignments, board in the last group (Group 9), aren’t allowed to bring a carry-on bag, earn a reduced amount of elite-qualifying miles, can’t get upgrades and can’t change these flights.
With that said, you can jump to boarding Group 5, earn back your carry-on bag and get a free checked bag on these basic economy fares just by having a co-branded card such as the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard or the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees