Delta Air Lines has launched a new air fare class called Basic Economy. It comprises the airlines “lowest-priced fares” and does not allow refunds, changes or advance seat assignments.
Basic Economy fares initially are available to customers traveling between Detroit and Orlando, Ft. Myers, Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa, but “may be expanded to other markets in the future as determined by Delta,” the carrier noted on its website.
The main difference between Basic Economy and other advance-purchase, nonrefundable economy fares is that ticket-holders cannot select their own seats. Instead, Delta indicated that seats “will be auto-assigned for Basic Economy fare holders during check in.” That goes for elite frequent flyers as well, according to Delta, which called the fare “ideal for travelers who seek the lowest fare option, do not intend to make changes and do not consider seat choice an important part of their travel experience.”
Delta would not disclose the average cost difference between Basic Economy and the next step up on the ladder.
While its price may be appealing to cost-sensitive travelers, the fare requires some new disclosures to would-be buyers. “If the Basic Economy fare is selected, the customer must be notified of all the fare rules. In addition, expectations of the travel experience must be clearly explained,” Delta noted.
Its new “Trip Extras,” for example, is a suite of services that includes priority boarding in certain markets, frequent flyer mile bundles and inflight Wi-Fi access. Additionally, Basic Economy ticketholders “may purchase any available Preferred Seat,” but only at check-in, Delta noted.
Source: Business Travel News