American Imposes Cap on Some of Its Fares

AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, fighting back against JetBlue Airways Corp. and other low-cost carriers, said it won’t charge more than $299 for a one-way coach seat on nonstop flights from New York’s Kennedy Airport to Long Beach, Orange County and San Jose.

The fare cap (not including security fees and taxes) is effective immediately and apparently runs indefinitely. Spokesman Todd Burke declined to comment on whether the new fare has an end date.

In recent days, the highest price for a coach seat on those routes had been $1,223, he said. The airline, which teetered on the edge of filing for bankruptcy protection last month, said it’s now better able to compete on price after recently securing $4 billion in annual cost savings, including $1.8 billion from labor.

JetBlue offers one-way fares between Long Beach and JFK Airport for $119 to $299.


American, which in recent years had removed seats to offer more legroom, also said it would restore the seats to nearly one-quarter of its fleet in markets “where customers tell us price” is the main factor in choosing an airline.

-- James F. Peltz