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American adds ‘basic economy’ fares on more flights

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines is expanding so-called basic economy fares to more flights as it fights budget carriers like Spirit for travelers who just want a cheap seat.

The no-frills tickets often cost about $40 less per round trip than a regular economy seat, but sometimes the difference is under $10. Passengers who book basic economy on American can’t pick their seat ahead of time, they board last, and they can’t stow a bag in the overhead bin.

American said Tuesday that it expanded basic-economy fares to many flights throughout the 48 contiguous states.

The move had been expected. A spokesman said American tested basic economy on dozens of routes in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. Delta and United already sell basic economy on many domestic flights.

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