Delta Air Lines quietly introduced a new bare bones fare class a few weeks ago that’s just now getting some attention: the Basic Economy fare. According to Delta’s website, these are the lowest-priced tickets the carrier offers.
Basic Economy Only Available in Select Markets
If you want to try basic economy, you may have to wait. The Los Angeles Times reports for now it’s only available in select markets, “primarily Detroit to the Florida cities of Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale.” These new fares are priced about $10-$15 less than what might now be called regular economy fares, but there is a catch.
Basic Economy: What’s the Catch
Under the rules of basic economy fares, some privileges that most flyers take for granted no longer exist, including the following:
- No advance seat selection
- No refunds allowed
- No cancelations or changes can be made after ticket purchase
Some analysts seem to find the motive behind the new fares somewhat sinister. The Detroit Free Press, for one, urges flyers to “beware” of basic economy – but it seems apparent the motive, as always, is profit – which is more important than ever to airlines in this era of ever-rising fuel costs.
What Flyers Should Know before Booking
If there is any doubt on the part of a passenger that an itinerary may not be set in stone – that changes might be necessary – basic economy is not the airfare for you. Regular economy fares can be changed, though on Delta that means a $150 change fee but there are ways to get around this worst fee ever.