The Benefits and Disadvantages of Basic Economy Fares

Last year, three of the biggest airlines in the world: Delta, United, and American Airlines revealed their own versions of basic economy seating. Basic economy is a “no frills” ticket option that may be worth investing in depending on your travel needs.

Below, we list the pros and cons of the seat option to help you make your next purchasing decision:

Benefits

• Cheaper fares – This means more money to spend during your trip.

• One personal item (that can fit beneath your seat) – Now you can spend less time finding room for your carry-on in an overhead bin.

• Inflight-entertainment – You’ll still get to enjoy free movies, TV, music, and games

• Snacks – Skip the expensive airport food for free snacks during your flight.

Disadvantages

• No early seat selection – This is not an ideal option for family seating.

• No refunds – Since you can’t make last minute changes, be sure to add trip protection with your ticket purchase.

• No carry-ons/overhead bin use allowed (Delta excluded) – If you’re packing light, this won't be a problem for you.

• No same day changes – If your plans do change, don’t expect to hop on an earlier or later flight.

• Last group to board – This will add a longer wait time to get on the plane.

Since the tickets are non-refundable, be sure to double check the fare you select before purchasing. Airlines will list which fares have these restrictions, but it is sometimes easy to miss.

Bottom line: Basic economy may be a better fit for those taking a quick trip and plan to pack light. On the other hand, if you’re flying with your entire family it could be more cost-effective to fly a low budget airline.

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