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December 12, 2012

American unveils new pricing packages for online airfares

American Airlines unveiled new booking options for customers who buy tickets on its website, AA.com, on Wednesday.

The most noticeable difference is bundling bag fees as part of a customer's round-trip purchase when they buy the ticket (instead of charging at the check-in counter) and by pricing the flight as a round-trip instead of a one-way ticket.

The Fort Worth-based carrier said the new travel options should make it easier for customers to pay for add-on services, such as checked bag fees or same-day standby, at a lower price and before getting to the airport for their flight.

"With our renewed customer focus, we’ve designed these choices around what our customers tell us will make their travel most enjoyable – more flexibility and benefits that give them the most ease and convenience," said American vice president of marketing Rob Friedman.

When customers book a ticket on American's website, they will be given these options:

-"Choice" which is the lowest main cabin air fare with no extra services

-"Choice Essential" which gives customers one checked bag and allows them to change their ticket without the $150 change fee and Group 1 boarding. Costs $68 per round-trip

-"Choice Plus" includes no change fee, one checked bag, Group 1 boarding, 50 percent frequent flier mileage bonus, same-day flight change, standby and one premium beverage during the flight for $88 per roundtrip.

-"Fully Flexible" offers customers a refundable fare, two checked bags, priority seating and priority boarding access, same-day flight changes, same-day standby and 500-mile upgrade eligibility.

Business class and first class fares will remain essentially the same with many add-on services included in the price.

-Andrea Ahles



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