Will you be smiling that much when you fly Basic Economy? â€” Photo:Â United Airlines
Even though the vast majority of my flying is in economy, itâ€™s sometimes hard for me to know exactly what economy class isÂ anymore. In the good old days, it reliably meant aÂ seat with enoughÂ legroom, a drink, a snack, and my fair share of space in the cargo hold. But under pressure from ultra-low-cost carriers, U.S. legacy airlines have chipped away at what they offer travelers seated aft of the wing.
That trend took a major jump forward — or, depending on your perspective, backwards — with the introduction of new no-frills “Basic Economyâ€ fares that doÂ the bare minimum to get you from Point A to Point B. Delta announcedÂ the rollout of its Basic Economy in select markets in late 2014, and has expanded it to other routes since then. United unveiledÂ its own basic product late last year. Earlier this week,Â American shared that its own Basic Economy fares will be going on sale in February, starting withÂ ten markets.
Is this new category of barebones fares good news for price-sensitive flyers? Or is it a new circle of hell in the sky? Read on for more onÂ Basic Economy and what it means for you.
An American Boeing 787-8 (N812AN) at LAX; the 787-9 is a stretched version of the -8
This story has been updatedÂ to include new information about the availability of premium economy and anticipated dates for domestic operations.
American Airlines today announced new details and routes for its newest addition to the fleet, theÂ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (789), which isÂ set toÂ arriveÂ in the lastÂ quarter of this year. While American already operates 17 BoeingÂ 787-8s (788s), four of the stretchedÂ -9s, with new business class seats and a cabin configuration to include a new Premium Economy section, will be delivered by the end of December 2016, with a total of 22 on order.
The 789s will initially be based out of American’s home base, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW), and on November 4 will commence service to Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) and Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU).
AirlineReporter has received exclusive details on the inauguralÂ route the 789 will actually fly…
Follow the signs to the Hugo Junkers Lounge in DUS.
Recently on a oneworld itinerary connecting throughÂ DÃ¼sseldorf Airport (DUS), I was able to visit the Hugo Junkers Lounge, which is contracted by several airlines to serve their premium passengers. As I said in my review of the Hamburg Airport Lounge, I’m always iffy when it comes to third-party lounges, so I headed up the elevator with cautious optimism.
As a oneworld Sapphire elite member (in my case, Platinum onÂ American Airlines), flyingÂ withÂ Oneworld partners grants me access to airport lounges, though with the caveat that lounges operated by third partiesÂ may not be available. Fortunately, that restriction wasn’t in place on this trip; previously, flying Air Berlin on my first leg from Hamburg (HAM) to DUS, I was given access to the Hamburg Airport Lounge. My next leg from DUS to London Heathrow (LHR) was on British Airways, which contracts with the Hugo Junkers LoungeÂ operated byÂ DUS, to which I was also granted access thanks to my status.
Wikipedia: Who is Hugo Junkers?
The Hugo Junkers Lounge also contracts with several other airlines departing out of in the Schengen zone (read: mainly any airline not named Lufthansa), as well as a few membership programs. One could also pay â‚¬21 for access (credit cards only).
Big network expansion out of LAX for American, with eight new destinations all starting June 2
On June 2, American commenced a major expansion of its route network, with 21 new nonstop routes this month. This includes 10 new destinationsÂ just from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), marking the largest expansion ever at LAX.
Thursday saw the largest number of inaugural flights, with eight ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Los Angeles that day, something the carrier had never done before in its history. I was invited to be part of the festivities and join the entourage, which included Jim Moses, the Managing Director (MD) for AmericanÂ atÂ LAX. What does a day full of ribbon cutting ceremonies look like, you ask…?