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Air Canada Joins the Basic Economy Trend

Following the lead of America’s legacy carriers, Air Canada will also offer a lower class of service targeted towards budget-minded flyers. Named “Economy Basic,” the ultra-low fares offer no cancellations or flight changes, no award miles or elite qualifying miles and no access to upgrades.

Air Canada flyers will now have a new low-cost fare category to choose from, but with even more restrictions in exchange for a bare-bottom price. On a recently published webpage, the Montreal-based airline announced the launch of Economy Basic fares, advertising the lowest available price with fewer options.

Under the new fare category, flyers will give up many of their normal amenities in exchange for the lowest possible price on their airfare. Under the rules, tickets are not refundable after 24 hours and are not transferable to other flyers. Cancellations are not permitted, and no refunds will be given – even if a flyer does not make it to their flight. Like other basic economy plans, seats will not be assigned prior to check-in, but flyers can pay to select their seats.

In addition, anyone flying on an Economy Basic fare will not earn Aeroplan miles, nor will they gain credits towards elite status in the Air Canada Altitude program. Those who do hold Altitude status will be blocked from receiving an upgrade on their flight.

While the program sounds like a regular basic economy or ultra-low-cost carrier flight, Air Canada points out that many can still enjoy the standard amenities on their flights. These include complementary carry-on luggage, touchscreen personal entertainment screens in every seat back and in-seat power aboard most aircraft. The airline is presenting their program as a lower-cost alternative to Economy Tango, their previous lowest-tier airfare offering that offers a reduced price in exchange for reduced miles earned and changes for a fee.

The Air Canada move comes over three years after Delta Air Lines introduced the first basic economy fares for a legacy carrier. United followed suit in 2016, while American released details about their basic economy plans at the beginning of 2017.

Comments are Closed.
Joshua C February 22, 2018

At least they're imitating Delta and allowing a carry-on.

see2xu February 22, 2018

Hmmm, it would be hard to get much more "no-frills" than AC's regular economy service. I think you have to pay to use the lavatory, already.