Airlines adding early-boarding perk

Want to board your flight early? On some airlines, you can — if you’re willing to pay a fee for a privilege long reserved for elite business travelers and those flying in first-class.

American Airlines recently became the latest carrier to sell the perk, following moves by United Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

For fees ranging from $9 to $19 each way, American’s “boarding and flexibility package” puts passengers in the first group to board the plane. It also includes a $75 flight change credit, to offset fees charged if fliers need to change their itinerary. And it lets passengers stand by for an earlier flight on departure day, at no charge.

“From customer feedback, we understand that those are services that they are willing to pay for and value,” spokeswoman Martha Pantin said in an e-mail.

Associated Press