Select Page
Is Paying Less for Basic Economy Worth It?

Is Paying Less for Basic Economy Worth It?

Did you ever hear of a Basic Economy fare?
See Also: How to Book Airline Tickets like a Pro 

Low fare airlines have been popping up all over the world. Hence the amazing deals by the legacy airlines who we’ve been jacking up the prices and reducing the services for the last 20 years. Now they have to reckon with the likes of Frontier, Allegiant and Spirit AIr.

Now while flying in 28″ legroom, hard as hell seats is highly unrecommended for flights over 45 minutes. Not to mention the nickel and diming for every conceivable convenience. However, it’s becoming more of an option for frequent fliers who are just looking for the cheapest way to get from point A-B.

So… the airlines figured they’d compete by offering a new reduced service phenomenon to our disadvantage called “Basic Economy.”  You may have seen it mentioned when trying to book a super low fare you were excited to book. Like this one:

Now for those of us who want to select seats in advance or have a chance at an upgrade, Delta figured out how to squeeze an extra $15 out of us.

So now for the question “Is it worth the extra $15 to fly in “Regular” economy? If you have status with one of the Legacy Airlines then I say yes. But if not, it may actually be worth it. Because if you have no status, you’re kinda flying Basic Economy either way.

Here’s a sample of American Airlines Basic Economy Restrictions compared to “Regular Economy.”

American Airlines Basic Economy

Now here’s the comparison of the different airlines that offer Basic Economy: (Courtesy of Point Me to The Plane.)

American Airlines Delta Air Lines United Airlines
Boarding Last Group Last Group Last Group
Carry-On Personal Item Only* Regular Rules Apply Personal Item Only*
Elite-Qualifying Credits Reduced (Half EQM/EQS) Regular Rates None
Changes/Refunds None Permitted None Permitted None Permitted
Seat Assignment Extra Fee, or at check-in At Check-in At Check-in
Elite Upgrades None Offered None Offered None Offered

*Passengers with elite statuses and co-branded credit cards will still be able to bring a full-size carry-on onboard with both American and United.