Delta Air Lines has introduced Basic Economy — a class of service currently available between Detroit and four destinations in Florida, including Orlando, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa — which allows passengers to book the lowest airfares possible. However, there are a few caveats about which you should know:
- There is no advance seat assignment — not even for top-tier elite Medallion members
- There is no change fee — that is because no changes are permitted at all
- The Basic Economy fare class is non-refundable, although it is not exempt from the 24-hour risk-free policy where you are entitled to a full refund if you change your mind within 24 hours of purchasing your airfare
You can still earn full Medallion Qualification Miles, get upgrades, stand by for Same Day Confirmed, and receive many of the same benefits and policies as on other economy class airfares.
While there are currently no differences other than what has been outlined above between a Basic Economy class E fare and a Standard Economy class airfare, I will most likely avoid purchasing a seat in the Basic Economy class — especially as the price difference is negligible, with reports of the difference being only $15.00 or so. I prefer having a seat assignment when I book my reservation — especially to avoid a middle seat in the rear of the aircraft, which I am not sure that can be accomplished with Basic Economy — and I do not like the supposedly more rigid restrictions.
If you hold a corporate American Express card or work for a company where the lowest airfares are automatically booked when reserving an itinerary, keep a wary eye out for E class on Delta Air Lines — you may be well advised to avoid it, especially for business travel.
If, however, you are extremely budget-conscious and know for certain that there will be no changes in your itinerary, a Basic Economy seat may work for you. After all, a $15.00 difference per ticket does add up when purchasing multiple airfares over time…