Whilst basic economy may not seem like an imminent problem, the impact is going to be felt very soon.
When you see that tantalising low fare and compare it to a range of more expensive fares, it seems like a no-brainer to make the decision to go for it, especially when it is on the company’s money. However, you could be in for a rude awakening if what you’ve actually chosen is the basic economy fare – and unless you read the fine print, how will you ever know?
So, what does basic economy mean, in simple terms the new fare is restrictive on: –
- Seats assigned after check-in
- No priority boarding
- No upgrades (paid or complimentary)
- No same-day confirmed or same-day standby travel changes
- No changes whatsoever (and they really mean it)
For flyers, this really will mean a different flying experience altogether, you won’t be able to select seats, there will be no option to get preferential treatment by gate agents, your miles and elite status won’t mean anything with this ticket. There will be no space for any bags if airlines follow through on the no carry-on baggage policy with the basic ticket, there will be no preferential treatment, and no option to pay to get anything better.
Of course, reading this, there is no way any frequent flyer would want to be stuck with such a non-flexible ticket – but sometimes you might not even know this is the ticket you purchased. This type of ticket could be hidden as the lowest fare, and when in a rush or thinking of your company policy, you may be tempted to go for what will cost the least. Then not even realise until you’re at the airport you’re on a completely restricted ticket, unable to get the seat you want, unable to skip the queue, which as a frequent flyer really can be detrimental.
Being a roadwarrior, the little things really matter, and having to keep tabs on what types of tickets you’ve purchased can take a lot of energy and time you just don’t have.
Ahoy takes the stress out of understanding fare types and making sure you don’t fall into a basic economy trap, by helping you book flights, get the extras you deserve when flying and give you peace of mind your journey will be smooth from start to finish. See more on how we can help you here.