American Airlines will debut its long-awaited basic economy fare in February, joining Delta Air Lines and United Airlines with a no-frills offering.

The Fort Worth-based carrier will offer basic economy in 10 markets initially and expand it to more later in 2017, it says. It does not plan a systemwide roll out, it adds.

The fare is being marketed as a response to ultra low-cost carriers in the domestic market, however, many analysts see it more as a way to increase fares in the US by shifting business travellers to higher fare buckets and increasing ancillary sales.

American says the new fare class will be lower than existing economy fares in most markets.

“Our goal is to make sure that all customers have the opportunity to purchase a ticket on American that works for their specific needs,” says Robert Isom, chief commercial officer of American, in a statement. “We will work hard to ensure transparency, provide clear explanations of these fares, and we look forward to continuing to offer a wide variety of services to our customers.”

Passengers booked in basic economy will not be able to select seats prior to check-in, upgrade to a premium seat, make flight changes or carry on rollerboard bags. They will board flights last except for elite frequent fliers who will board with their usual boarding group.

The carry-on bag rule is comparable to one announced by United, which also received significant flak for the limit, in its basic economy announcement in November. However, American will charge basic economy passengers who bring a rollerboard bag to the gate a $25 fee in addition to standard checked bag fees.

Elite frequent fliers booked in basic economy will be able to bring rollerboards onboard flights.

Source: Cirium Dashboard