I am sure by now you have heard the rumblings about airlines introducing “Basic Economy” seats. If you haven’t, check out this article from The Economist, it does a great job of explaining how it will be set up.
With Delta’s basic economy, you won’t be able to upgrade, select your seat ahead of time or even change your itinerary- making this the most uncomfortable way to travel. Most of the US airlines are uncomfortable and unreliable enough as it is. We are all stuck with out United/Delta/American airlines points that we can only use with those companies. I usually fly United when I fly domestically because I have a United credit card and I can earn miles towards free tickets. In order to purchase said tickets, I usually have to have about 50,000 miles for an economy ticket (and that is for one ticket to visit my in-laws in Idaho). The prices for basic economy won’t be much lower than regular economy and you will be treated like you are down in the hull with the luggage.
The US airlines have had some issues in the last few years, especially when it comes to competing in the international market. They whined and complained that they couldn’t compete with airlines that were subsidized by their governments and allowing those airlines to fly into the US was “unfair”. In reality, customers have realized that they can get a lot more for their money with other airlines. I would rather be in a slightly smaller seat in economy on an Etihad flight where I have access to free entertainment, good food and flight attendants that care than any United flight.
When I have the option, I try to fly anything but a US carrier. When we travel to Poland in June, we will be flying with Air France – their food is amazing by the way!
I am so not impressed by this “basic economy” concept and I know its just going to make the US airlines such more than they already do.