Airlines no longer sell “economy” tickets. American Airlines is just one of many airlines that offers seats in their economy cabin via a range of ticket types, including basic economy, Main Cabin Extra, and even Main Plus. American Airlines now calls the main cabin “economy”.
It’s even more confusing that the main cabin, basic economy, main cabin and main cabin tickets, as well as Main Cabin Extra, Main Plus, and main cabin tickets, are all located in one cabin.
This is what you need to know in order to decide if the main cabin ticket is right for you next American Airlines flight.
What’s the main cabin of American Airlines?
American Airlines refers its main cabin as the standard economy class product. American Airlines main cabin experience falls between American Airlines’ Basic Economy and Main Cabin Extra. This extra-legroom seat includes perks such as early boarding or a complimentary alcoholic beverage.
What can you expect from American Airlines’ main cabin
American Airlines main cabin offers a typical airline economy experience. It includes:
Seat selection is free.
You can carry a full-size bag and a personal item.
Free drinks and snacks
Seats: Main cabin seats have a pitch of 30 to 32 inches, depending on which aircraft type. Although it isn’t spacious, this arrangement offers a few more inches of legroom to the passengers on Spirit Airlines or Frontier Airlines. A Main Cabin Extra seat will give you 3-5 inches more legroom depending on which aircraft type.
American Airlines offers food and drink on domestic flights over 250 miles. Main cabin passengers can choose from a non-alcoholic beverage and a snack of cookies or pretzels. Select coast-to-coast passengers who are main cabin passengers receive a complimentary meal. On select long-haul international flights to Hawaii, you will receive a complimentary meal, beer and wine.
Boarding: Passengers who have main cabin tickets usually board in Group 7 or 8. Being an AAdvantage member can increase your boarding group to 6! You can also upgrade your boarding group by becoming an AAdvantage elite member, or credit card holder.
Book American Airlines’ main cabin
American Airlines main cabin tickets are available for purchase directly from the American Airlines website. Start your flight search directly from the homepage. American Airlines offers a range of price options depending on the route that you are searching for. Although the cabin options might vary, there should always remain a Main Cabin option.
Select the “Main Cabin” cost. Then, you’ll need to go through a series of pop-ups or upsells. These can include first class upgrades and converting your ticket into a refundable. Next, you will be able to choose your seat and pay your ticket.
The branding of an online travel agency, or portal for booking travel cards, may differ. If you do not choose tickets that are “basic economy”, you will most likely book an American Airlines main-cabin ticket. ”
Is main cabin worth it?
Booking main cabin rather than basic economy has the main advantage of being able to change your flight once you have booked. Basic economy tickets cannot be changed. American Airlines main cabin tickets are able to be changed or canceled, usually without any fees.
Basic economy tickets do not include free seat selection. Main cabin passengers have the option to select standard seats at no cost. You can also purchase Preferred or Main Cabin Additional seats at a slight discount.
This last aspect is how you board. Basic economy passengers board in last boarding group. The overhead bins may be full by this point and you might need to check your bag. You might be able to carry your bag on the plane earlier if you book a main cabin ticket.
The price difference is however the most important factor in deciding whether the main cabin is worthwhile. American charges only $10 more for a main cabin than it does for basic economy in the above example.
The price difference is almost always worth it because you can change your flight, choose your seat, and avoid being last to board.
How to get great value
American Airlines main cabin tickets are as expensive as any other airline ticket. Be flexible, avoid holiday travel and avoid peak travel times. These tickets can be saved in other ways.
Check for price drops
American Airlines removed change fees from most main cabin tickets in 2020. You can now change dates, cancel, or change your flights without paying a fee. This allows you to book earlier and watch for price drops.
You can cancel your flight if the price drops. The difference in price will be credited to your travel credit.
Get AAdvantage miles
You can book early and be flexible to get great mileage rates on American Airlines main cabins through AAdvantage Web Special Awards. We are currently able to find domestic awards pricing as low at 6,000 AAdvantage points each way, even for long routes from Atlanta to Los Angeles.
Redeem partner miles
American Airlines main cabin.
American Airlines’ main cabin is the standard economy product. It is the largest airline in the world. American Airlines’ main cabin is not always the most affordable way to fly. However, you might be able to make a savings by booking a basic economy ticket. It might be worth paying more to have the ability to cancel or change your flight, choose your seat, and avoid being the last boarding group.
A Main Cabin Extra Seat may be a better option if you want more legroom, faster boarding, or other perks such as a complimentary drink.
Photo by American Airlines
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