Last Updated on June 5, 2018
You might have heard your family members, friends, and other people you know complaining about the basic economy fares and how it has ruined their long-planned vacation!
Well, don’t be surprised! It’s true that Basic economy fares offer you the option to customize your trip and pay only for the choices and option you make, they are better avoided!
In fact, they all come with a ton of restrictions and with a few major disadvantages that can actually ruin your trip before you even make it to your travel destination.
Interested to know more, click on NEXT to find out why purchasing basic economy fares can ruin your vacation even if it might seem like helping you to save some bucks! Don’t hesitate to read till the end as we are offering some useful tips that can help you improve your air travel experience!
Limited Or Fee-Only Assignment
What flyers might not know is that seat assignments on basic economy fares can vary from one airline to another.
Let’s take American as an example, travelers can be charged $40 and sometimes even more only for one seat assignment 48 hours before check-in while United airlines would offer flyers the same option with fewer charges that can vary from $5 to $10. As for Delta Airlines, the seats are assigned at check-in.
The only airline that seems to give you the opportunity to choose your seat during the booking process in Alaska, but still don’t be much excited about this option as most of the times, the seats you are given are all in the back of the plane.
No Group Or Family Seating Is Guaranteed
Most of the times travelers are misled! They believe that opting for basic economy fares can give them the chance to select the seats and enjoy sitting together in one spot, especially if they are a family or group of friends, but guess what?
Not even this is guaranteed with basic economy fares as many of the airlines might put certain restrictions concerning this matter. For instance, United’s basic economy fares don’t offer this option and even say ‘’ no group or family seating’’ while Delta can give flyers the option to choose the available seats and also group and family seating.
Hence, You should always be careful and take the time to read carefully about what are the available and offered options by that particular airline, especially if you are traveling with your young kids and need to sit near them!
You’ll be The last Group To Board The Plane
Travelers or flyers who are on basic economy fares are the last ones to board the plane! What makes this even more frustrating is the fact that you can hardly find a remaining space in the overhead bins where you can put your stuff.
That’s not everything, sometimes you are even asked to pay to be allowed to use the overhead bins, so you can imagine how you would feel to pay for something that you cannot use!
Baggage and Overhead bins Are Restricted
We all know that baggage policies vary depending on the airline ! For this reason, travelers should know quite a lot about the airline they are picking before it is too late! Of course, you don’t want your long awaited vacation to be ruined because of a stupid detail, right?
For instance, Travelers who choose to fly on basic economy fares with American need to know that this airline completely bans the use of overhead bins and baggage too. Instead, you are only allowed to carry a carry-on bag in which you can put your personal items and that can fit under the seat in front of you.
While United allows travelers to carry their personal items for free and charge them with $25 in case they need to use the overhead bin. This means that flyers who choose to fly on basic economy fares can check their bags online. However, if they fail to do so, they will be still obliged to finish the checking process at the airport.
Delta, however, is less restrictive. It offers passengers a free carry-on and personal item and might even check-in your bag at the gate if there is no space left by the time you board in the overhead bins.
Still, airlines that provide basic economy on international flights are known to be less restrictive and a bit more permissive. Speaking about the major airlines both American and Delta allow passengers’ carry-on bags for with a fee for all checked baggage.
Forget About Something Called Upgrades!
Once you pay for your flight ticket and get your seat, there is no single chance to make any changes or upgrades concerning your seat, fare class or anything else. This policy is somehow adopted by all major airlines including Delta, United, Alaska, and American.
In fact, these airlines even clearly state it saying that ‘’ Upgrades and Economy Plus are not available’’ and also ‘’ Upgrades for flyers on economy fares are prohibited’’.
Forget About Any Changes Of Any Kind
Guess what, Economy fares also ban any changes that have to do with same-day ticket changes or standby flying even if you are ready to shell out some cash and pay the fare difference.
This kind of restriction is almost adopted by almost all the major airlines including, Alaska, United, and Delta.
You might not get Full Mileage Credit
Some travelers might want to act smart and opt for flying basic economy believing that by doing so, they will tend to get full mileage credit. Guess what?
That’s not always possible, American Airlines, for instance, will only offer you half the air miles in case you are an elite flyer while United will give you the miles but no premium credit.
However, both Delta and Alaska airlines are considered to be more generous as they offer flyers normal mileage accrual.
Don’t expect Expedited Security
Don’t expect much as you might end up disappointed! Getting an expedited security stamp on your boarding pass is not something easy unless you are a TSA Precheck or a Global Entry member!
Despite the few disadvantages, you can still improve your experience and make it more interesting by following these simple yet useful tips :
– Choose A Plane With No Middle Seats :
During the booking process, make sure you check the seating chart on the flight. This way, you can easily find out if the plane has configured seats, which means that no middle seats are available. This tip would also help you make a better selection and your trip more comfortable.
– Put Your Mile Or Elite Status To Work :
It’s true that elite flyers would rarely purchase basic economy fares, but in case it happens and you are one, be smart and use the status you have to improve your traveling experience. You can, for instance, see what possible additional benefits you can get!
A good example is that of United airlines that offer flyers with elite status and all other premium members the advantage to check their carry-on bag for free without having to pay $25 gate fee.
– Put Your Credit Card To Work :
You can be smart and use your credit card grants to make your air travel less stressful. Did you know that some airlines are less restrive with flyers who use their airline credit card at the time of purchasing?
This way, you can do the same and benefit from the things you have. Some airlines, for instance, might even offer you the priority of boarding, which you don’t want to mess, right!
– Always Take The Time To Shop Before Purchasing :
You should always make a comparison before finally purchasing! sometimes small leaks can lead a great ship to sink. Hence, always make sure that whether the basic economy fare offers cheaper options than other regular economy or not.
– Use The Mandatory 24-Cancellation Period :
We have also mentioned how almost all the basic economy fares prohibit any kind of changes and upgrades. This way, you should always act on time before it’s too late. This way, try to work out any concerns you might have before the federally mandated 24-hour cancelation period is over.