American Airlines Considers A La Carte Pricing

Pioneer of baggage charge may expand cost breakdowns

The idea of paying a single, simple fare to fly is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

American Airlines is about to accelerate the trend of "unbundling," breaking the cost of a trip into an airfare plus many smaller fees.

Airline officials said that starting next year, American plans to imitate the "a la carte" pricing structure pioneered by Air Canada. They said there are likely to be a few basic fare plans, and travelers can pick additional services for a fee.

Fans of "unbundling" say it gives travelers lower base fares with the option of paying for extras that they really want, from beverages to blankets.

Some travelers are wary, however, and suspect the airlines are just trying to chisel them out of a few bucks at a time.

It was American that led a stampede by U.S. carriers to charge customers for checking even a single suitcase.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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