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American Will Sell You Early Boarding, Reduced Change Fees and Standby for about $9-$19

American Airlines is rolling out a program called “Your Choice” that offers passengers the ability to buy a package of amenities for a price somewhere between $9-$19 per flight (depending on distance).  The amenities in the first package (called Boarding and Flexibility) include:

– Group 1 Boarding
– $75 off your change fee
– Free standby for an earlier flight that day

You’ll note that Elites get early boarding and free standby already.

Later this year they’ll be rolling out the ability to just purchase early boarding for a flat $10 per flight.

I’m sure that news stories will refer to this as a fee, but it’s really just the ability to buy yourself a bit of flexibility for a few bucks (or an insurance policy, however you want to look at it).  Most airlines will price this way in the coming years, so get used to it.  I just find it funny that some people still refer to network airlines as “full service carriers.”  Ha.

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  1. Interesting move. I think they’ll be able to sell a couple of these, mostly to biz travellers.

    Only real (and modest) losers are the elites, who will now have to contend with a larger crowd in the early boarding stage.

  2. This is a mistake. If I stand by for an earlier flight, that frees up a seat on my original flight. That seat can be sold to a last-minute passenger at a very high price. Discouraging passengers from taking earlier flights closes down that profit mechanism. This change may actually decrease revenues instead of increasing them.

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