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Basic economy vs. regular economy - Which Airlines Have the Best (and Worst) Fees?

by Sanjay Singh Content Marketing

There’s only one real benefit to the basic economy: the price. And that it gives customers some buying power with the a la carte model—pay only for what you want, whether it be a pre-assigned seat or access to the overhead bin.

Full-service with American Airlines Reservations and Delta Airline Reservations offer two general classes of economy tickets:

  • Basic economy.
  • Main cabin (or regular economy).

The price displayed on search engines like Google Flights is usually for a basic economy ticket. When clicking through to book the ticket, many airlines’ websites will try to sell you on the advantages of switching your ticket to the main cabin (for a fee).

Delta is especially tricky on its website, making its “move to main cabin” button look like the default while minimizing the prominence of its basic economy option.

When to choose one over the other
The differences between Delta’s main cabin and basic economy tickets are true for most airlines. Here’s how they (generally) differ:

 Basic economyMain cabin
Seat selectionNot allowed, or for a higher fee.Allowed, sometimes for a fee.
Changes and cancellationsUsually not allowed.Allowed, often without a fee.
Points and milesNot earned, or earned at a lower rate.Earned at the usual rate.
Elite status benefitsUsually not included.Included.
BagsCarry-ons usually included. Checked bags not included.Carry-ons included. Checked bags not included.

In general, you should stick with lower-priced basic economy tickets only when:

  • You don’t mind the possibility of a middle seat or getting separated from your travel partners.
  • Your plans are firm and you don’t expect to change them.
  • You’re not a frequent flyer who cares about points, miles and elite status benefits.

Otherwise, you should choose a main cabin fare if your budget accommodates it.

Which Airlines Have the Best (and Worst) Fees?

Average fees by airline

The expected add-on fees for a typical fare, including a checked bag, overhead carry-on bag, and selected seat.

Baggage fees by airline

Expected fees for a single checked bag and overhead carry-on bag in the lowest fare class.

Seat selection fees by airline

Average fees for selecting a seat on basic economy and main cabin fares.


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About Sanjay Singh Advanced     Content Marketing

27 connections, 0 recommendations, 127 honor points.
Joined APSense since, May 15th, 2010, From Delhi, India.

Created on Feb 4th 2021 09:16. Viewed 246 times.

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