With effect from August 30, 2017, American Airlines will no longer provide complimentary Main Cabin Extra or Preferred Seating to "Y" class fare ticket holders. This affects all Y class tickets, even if they are booked through the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flyer program. To enjoy this benefit going forward, ticket holders will have to pay an extra $27.
Main Cabin Extra seating is often a preferred choice for passengers because of the extra leg room. In most cases, flyers enjoy an additional 6 inches of space. While this may not sound like a lot, it makes a significant difference in comfort, especially on long flights.
Customers may not respond well to this new additional fee, especially when you consider the price of a Y class ticket. On average, a Y class ticket, which is a fully flexible ticket, costs more than three times the cost of a First Class ticket and almost four times the cost of a discounted flexible ticket. Additionally, flyers who wish to travel on a non-flexible ticket can do so at a tenth of the cost of the new Y class ticket.
Tickets purchased prior to the August 30th date will not be impacted in any way. However, any tickets purchased after that date will now have restrictions unless the additional fee has been paid.
American Airlines has not made any official announcements as to why it is implementing this change or if this change is permanent. However, this change does take place very close to the time that Delta began implementing the same upcharges for this type of seating.