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View Full Version : New Delta "Basic Economy": think hard before buying these fares.


NotUrsula
04-03-2012, 03:37 PM
Delta Airlines just introduced a new fare class that they are calling Basic Economy. The trade-off for the reduced price will be that you cannot get an advance seat assignment (not just for free, but not at all; you take what you can get at check-in), and there are NO changes allowed.

This would be a decent concept if the discounts were worth that trade, but so far, the travel press is saying that it doesn't appear to be so. For the most part, the price difference appears to be about $20 per ticket. Personally, I wouldn't bite at that price.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/04/delta-airlines-new-fare-class-cheaper-no-seat-assignment/

pigletto
04-03-2012, 04:20 PM
Neither would I. They would have to make a more attractive offer than 20 dollars to make it worth it to me.

deegack
04-03-2012, 05:27 PM
I am sure this will bring a new wave of complaints that delta didn't sit Johnny next to mommy and how everyone should move there seats around so they can sit together. Oh and the ever popular how sneaky of delta not to tell that they won't sit together

Lewisc
04-03-2012, 05:45 PM
I don't think I'd book it but I wouldn't book Spirit or Allegiant either.

The $150 change fee already negates a significant % of the value of tickets we book to Orlando. Maybe some people would be better off using the $20 toward the cost of travel insurance. Might make a lot of sense if you're booking accommodations which are pre-paid and non-refundable. Priceline. Vacation home. Timeshares.

It makes some sense. Give a lower price to passengers will to accept "leftover" (mainly middle) seats.

I don't think I'd do it to save $20 but suppose Delta is honest. Once the load factor of the flight is high, and remaining seats are allocated for gate assignment Delta only offers basic economy. I might book it if that was the only available coach fares on the flight.

NotUrsula
04-03-2012, 06:21 PM
I didn't say I'd never book this fare class, but I thought it was worth mentioning because we get so many folks here who buy first and read the fine print later. If there is another fare bucket available that is only about $20 higher but comes with seat assignment options and the chance of at least a partial refund, then I'm going to go with that. I'm personally not all that hung up on the issue of where I sit, but there are a lot of people who are, and since this airline normally offers assigned seating, it follows that the "leftovers" are likely to be isolated middles. Caveat emptor.

Travel insurance is a good idea, but many times it doesn't pay out under all circumstances, which again, is worthy of mention.

I fly Ryanair all the time, but I know and accept their limitations ahead of time, and quite frankly, their sale prices make the risk worth it. When I can fly from Leeds to Dublin for $22.50, I'm fine taking my chances and limiting what I carry; if I lose $22.50 I'm not crying over it.

Lewisc
04-03-2012, 07:07 PM
Many people, including people on DIS, don't read the fine print. Booking sites like Expedia don't make the differences clear. I think your thread serves a good purpose.

I think it's interesting Delta will be giving FF credits for this fare class, accepting elite status etc. Kind of shows how little offer those perks cost the airline.

Hannathy
04-03-2012, 07:43 PM
I would take it. No one in my family cares where we sit or with who. (a few like a window but not enough to not save the money) If that is 20 per person that is $80. That is a dinner or our whole souvenir budget!


But you are right people will buy this and then gripe about how Delta won't let them pick a seat or sit with their child who will absolutely not make it alone for 2 hours.

rewok
04-03-2012, 09:03 PM
I wouldn't buy these fares, but then, I don't look for ultra-low cost when I fly. The change fee is not the issue, but the no seat assignment is. I like to sit with DH, not because I can't live without him, but because that means I'm not besides someone else! (or only on one side) For that, I prefer to pre-select a seat (for free!), and don't like when it's not possible or very $$$. But on an airline with free seat assignment on most fares, it's pretty sure only middles will be left. Stuck between 2 strangers...

P.S. I've sit besides very nice people on planes, but also had encounters with the guy who want to make a new best friend...

aubriee
04-05-2012, 03:26 AM
I wouldn't buy these fares, but then, I don't look for ultra-low cost when I fly. The change fee is not the issue, but the no seat assignment is. I like to sit with DH, not because I can't live without him, but because that means I'm not besides someone else! (or only on one side) For that, I prefer to pre-select a seat (for free!), and don't like when it's not possible or very $$$. But on an airline with free seat assignment on most fares, it's pretty sure only middles will be left. Stuck between 2 strangers...

P.S. I've sit besides very nice people on planes, but also had encounters with the guy who want to make a new best friend...

I'm another one who wouldn't book one of these. I do look for low cost airfare, but am willing to pay for what's important to me. I hate flying and will pay for an aisle seat closer to the front if I can, so even on my solo flights would not be interested in this option.

I agree with a previous poster who said people choosing this option will now be griping that Delta didn't make people move so they could sit next to their kids. I've seen it every single trip I flew Air Tran. Even though it pops up in the booking process that if you want to sit together you can choose to pay for your seats, for some reasons parents think that doesn't apply to them and that Air Tran will just automatically move people to accommodate them.:rotfl:

seashoreCM
04-05-2012, 07:49 AM
The Basic Economy takes some of the isolated middle seats out of circulation so others are less likely to get stuck with one of them.

By the way, with just a few semantic changes, Basic Economy versus regular economy on Delta is similar to regular economy versus pay for seat selection on some other airlines.

The flight crew should step in upon request to make guys keep to themselves instead of trying to make new best friends.

Lewisc
04-05-2012, 10:20 AM
A different issue. Assume the flight is overbooked. BPs won't be available once all the seats have been assigned. Passengers will just get a security document which lets them get to the gate. That means those passengers will be the first to get bumped if the flight is overbooked and there aren't enough volunteers.

Not really fair. Delta keeps 100% of the ticket price if the passengers are a no-show. There really isn't a reason to overbook those seats.

Brian Noble
04-05-2012, 10:29 AM
I also would be unlikely to buy this fare, but you can ameliorate the risk of being bumped by checking in early in the 24-hour check-in period. With a pretty painless online checkin process (including dedicated apps for most smartphones) I think the risk of being bumped is pretty low.

Lewisc
04-05-2012, 02:18 PM
I also would be unlikely to buy this fare, but you can ameliorate the risk of being bumped by checking in early in the 24-hour check-in period. With a pretty painless online checkin process (including dedicated apps for most smartphones) I think the risk of being bumped is pretty low.

I agree the risk of being bumped in general is low. However I think the risk of an economy basic passenger being bumped, assuming any passenger is going to be bumped, is high.

What if a seat is not assigned to me at time of check in?

A seat request boarding pass will be issued which can be used to clear airport security. Your seat assignment will be assigned at the gate.

Check in a T-24 and you could wind up with a seat request BP. That gets you to the top of the list of passengers who get bumped.

dougsmom98
04-06-2012, 09:48 PM
A different issue. Assume the flight is overbooked. BPs won't be available once all the seats have been assigned. Passengers will just get a security document which lets them get to the gate. That means those passengers will be the first to get bumped if the flight is overbooked and there aren't enough volunteers.

This was exactly my thought. This could be good or bad depending on whether you want to play the bumping game and get vouchers for free flights in the future.

PaulaSB12
04-07-2012, 01:53 AM
I am sure this will bring a new wave of complaints that delta didn't sit Johnny next to mommy and how everyone should move there seats around so they can sit together. Oh and the ever popular how sneaky of delta not to tell that they won't sit together

I remember a long while ago someone complaining that her children where given seats behind the poster, when the lady who had been given the isle seat wouldn't swap the poster encouraged their children to get out of the chairs to annoy her.

ironpig70
04-09-2012, 12:09 AM
A different issue. Assume the flight is overbooked. BPs won't be available once all the seats have been assigned. Passengers will just get a security document which lets them get to the gate. That means those passengers will be the first to get bumped if the flight is overbooked and there aren't enough volunteers.

Not really fair. Delta keeps 100% of the ticket price if the passengers are a no-show. There really isn't a reason to overbook those seats.



I thought under the new rules if you where bumped the airlines owed you more than the ticket? Or had to get you to the destination within a short time frame?


The idea of an assigned seat doesn't bother me as I have done and love Southwest. Never had an issue even with a party of 6.

rewok
04-09-2012, 04:26 PM
I thought under the new rules if you where bumped the airlines owed you more than the ticket? Or had to get you to the destination within a short time frame?


The idea of an assigned seat doesn't bother me as I have done and love Southwest. Never had an issue even with a party of 6.

Not having assigned seat on an airline that doesn't assign any (eg. Southwest, many European carrier on short hauls) is very different from no seat assignment on a carrier that allows them (Delta, United, JetBlue, ...). In the first case, checking-in early should get you seats (or boarding pass # for SW) together. In the second case, most passengers have chosen seats when booking, and many single seats will remain scattered all over the plane. It's pretty sure that even getting 2 seats together is quite unlikely, not to mention 6! (a bit different with United, since they will release unsold seats in Economy Plus, so there will probably be seat groups left).