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Delta's New 'Basic Economy' Fare Won't Even Let You Pick Your Seat

April 2, 2012 at 10:27 AM | by | ()

We really thought Delta was standing tall when compared against the competition; after all we don’t just hand out Jaunty awards to anyone and everyone. Alas, it doesn’t look like they’re going to repeat in 2012 as we’re a little concerned about one of their latest “innovations” of ticketing and fares.

Delta has introduced a new ticket option—something they’re calling Basic Economy. With this new fare class—it books into the E fare bucket for those interested—you might just save a few more bucks, but you'll also loose out on some basics usually associated with the major carriers. With a Basic Economy ticket there’s no advance seat assignment, and that’s even the case for some of the airline’s best frequent flyers.

Additionally there are no ticket changes allowed, and that’s true even if you’re willing to pay a change fee—no changes, no refunds, no shifting your plans. Travelers will still get upgrades if they’re hot shots with Delta, and you will also still earn frequent flyer miles towards that dream vacation. However, we’ve got to say that the lack of seat assignments and lack of the ability to change things up really doesn’t sit too well with us.

Right now it looks like the new ticket option has only really been available from Detroit down to spots in Florida, like Orlando, Ft. Myers, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if it expands and catches on elsewhere. Don’t get us wrong—we’re usually big Delta fans (who doesn’t love in-flight WiFi like pretty much everywhere and their BusinessFirst seats?) but this is certainly quite a bummer. With Delta making the first move with this type of ticket, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the legacy competition create something similar before too long.

[Photo: Pylon757Seattle PI]

Archived Comments:

policy alienates business travelers

My company (a very, very, very, large company) will only pay for the lowest fare, so what does that mean? If I choose the Delta flight, I'm going to get stuck in the goddamned middle seat. I am usually a loyal Delta customer but now with this new policy I'm going to have to switch my airline preference to one where I can sit aisle or window. I can't imagine I'm the only person stuck in this situation and it seems like Delta will lose (non-medallion) business travelers like me.