News Column

American Airlines Rolls Out Airfare 'Upgrade' Packages

Dec 12, 2012

Gregory Karp


American Airlines on Wednesday introduced packages of airfare upgrades that will be available on round-trip flights booked through its website.

For example if you book on, an extra $68 will get you a free checked bag, priority boarding and no fee if you need to change your flight reservation.

The move is consistent with an airline industry movement toward more fees and upselling extras. Airlines have said it's about giving passengers more choices for improving their flight experience.

"With our renewed customer focus, we've designed these choices around what our customers tell us will make their travel most enjoyable -- more flexibility and benefits that give them the most ease and convenience," Rob Friedman, American's vice president of marketing, said in a statement.

American's round-trip upgrade options include:

-- Choice Essential, which features no change fee, one checked bag -- or a third checked bag for AAdvantage elite and Oneworld elite members -- and group 1 boarding for an additional $68 round-trip.

-- Choice Plus, which features all of the Choice Essential upgrades plus a 50 percent AAdvantage mileage bonus, same-day flight change, same-day standby and a premium beverage, such as an alcoholic drink onboard, for an additional $88 round-trip.

The upgrades are only available on American's website,, and only for round-trip flights in the 48 contiguous states.

Source: (c)2012 the Chicago Tribune. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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