American Airlines just announced a major change to its basic economy tickets that passengers will love

  • American Airlines will allow basic economy ticket holders a free carry on bag beginning September 5.

  • The airline announced the policy change during its second quarter 2018 earnings call.

  • American Airlines CEO Doug Parker cited the need to make basic economy more competitive in the marketplace and consumer-friendly as the reasoning behind the change.

American Airlines will soon allow free carry-on bags for its basic economy tickets. The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline made the announcement on Thursday during its second quarter 2018 earnings call.

Beginning September 5, American will allow basic economy tickets holders a free carry-on bag as well as the personal item already permitted on board.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker cited the need to make its basic economy product more competitive and consumer-friendly as the reasoning behind the policy change.

"Basic Economy is working well in the markets where we offer it, and we continue to see more than 60 percent of customers buy up to Main Cabin when offered a choice," company president Robert Isom said in a statement. "Removing the bag restriction will make Basic Economy more competitive, allowing us to offer this low-fare product to more customers."

American, Delta, and United all offer an unbundled basic economy offerings as a means to compete for budget-conscious consumers that would otherwise fly with ultra-low-cost carriers likes Spirit or Frontier. American's updated carry-on bag policy will bring it in line with Delta Air Lines. As a result, United will be the only one of three that restrict basic economy ticket holders to just a personal item.

American Airlines reported a second-quarter profit of $566 million, down from $864 million during the same period last year. The airline cited increasing fuel prices and a costly technical failure at its PSA Airlines subsidiary for the lower profitability.

The airlines spent an addition $593 million on fuel during the quarter and expect to spend an additional $2 billion for the year.

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