New Early Boarding Fee on American Airlines?

Included in the “Boarding and flexibility” option now for sale AA.com (nee PriorityAAccess for sale?) is an optional fee where non-elite American AAdvantage members who purchase non-Y economy class airfares are now offered the option of purchasing a “Boarding and Flexibility package” when purchasing a new ticket at www.AA.com.

Depending on distance for each one way, current pricing is $9, $14 or $19 per passenger, including connections.

In addition to early boarding privileges, one can also stand by for an earlier flight at no additional charge, as well as save $75 off the regular $150 service charge, when applicable, when one changes one’s travel itinerary.

Is this a good idea, or just another way for an airline to gouge its customers out of as many dollars as possible? Is this program fair or unfair to American AAdvantage elite members?

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