Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles
Reload this Page >

How terrible is Basic Economy? Seat Assignments/Boarding/Etc (Consolidated Thread)

How terrible is Basic Economy? Seat Assignments/Boarding/Etc (Consolidated Thread)

Old Mar 22, 18, 5:34 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 956
How terrible is Basic Economy? Seat Assignments/Boarding/Etc (Consolidated Thread)

I'm traveling for work, and I got booked into a terrible Basic Economy flight. I could pay $76 to get out of it, but I'm already pissed.

What experiences (for those with elite status) do you have with Basic Economy in terms of the seats that you ultimately get? If there are empty exit row preferred seats within 24 hrs of check-in, will I be able to select that?
Rommie2k6 is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 6:05 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: BOS
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 88
Make sure you pick your seat within 24 and before you actually check in. You can pick any non-preferred seat that is still open (so no exit row).
Then go to the gate, and if you get a friendly agent, they can move you to some other open seat if they want to. I've only had BE twice, and got a Comfort+ window seat each time by asking the agent.
scottsinct is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 6:21 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: St. Cloud, FL
Programs: DL PM, UA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Hertz Presidents Circle
Posts: 2,242
Originally Posted by scottsinct View Post
Make sure you pick your seat within 24 and before you actually check in. You can pick any non-preferred seat that is still open (so no exit row).
Then go to the gate, and if you get a friendly agent, they can move you to some other open seat if they want to. I've only had BE twice, and got a Comfort+ window seat each time by asking the agent.
Note that you are not always given a seat when you check in. (even at T-24) Iím not sure if you can select preferred seats if you are given a seat assignment at check in but if you canít, Iím sure you can find an agent who will do it no problem. From what I have seen (Iíve never bought BE before) DL is more generous to BE pax than AA or UA. Iíve heard of a story on UA where a pax was on BE and was given a middle seat on a wide open flight and UA gate agent refused to move the pax to the several open regular aisle window seats left.
MCO Flyer is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 6:24 pm
  #4  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 45,968
DL does not guarantee seat assignment at check in. Only that a seat assignment may occur as early as check-in.
MCO Flyer likes this.
Often1 is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 6:33 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: BOS
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 88
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
DL does not guarantee seat assignment at check in. Only that a seat assignment may occur as early as check-in.
If there's an open non-preferred seat within 24 hours, it can be reserved before checkin.
scottsinct is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 9:27 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 24,093
Originally Posted by MCO Flyer View Post
From what I have seen (Iíve never bought BE before) DL is more generous to BE pax than AA or UA.
I believe AA will let BE pax purchase seat assignments starting at T-72h, including Main Cabin Extra (legroom) seats. I don't think elite status provides any particular benefits though.
ijgordon is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 12:20 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Traveling the World
Posts: 5,336
But the question here is why would an Elite save a few $$$$ and may not get their benefits? Basic Economy is really for infrequent fliers who don't care about checking their bags or where they seat.

I along with the many frequent fliers will pay up to avoid Basic Economy and will even go as far as to book Comfort+ at the time of booking. With the Delta Gold Card at $99 per year its a no brainer that covers up to 8 traveling companions on one ticket. For me I would save the $25 each way bag fee and use the savings to avoid Basic Economy.


Let the infrequent fliers suffer the consequences and have them complain. Us educated frequent flier FT members should try and steer clear of Basic Economy unless its a short SFO/SJC-LAX flight and even then who wants to be put in the back of the bus?
danielonn is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 12:24 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Traveling the World
Posts: 5,336
Originally Posted by scottsinct View Post
If there's an open non-preferred seat within 24 hours, it can be reserved before checkin.
But for me who wants to take the gamble of maybe or maybe not getting the Preferred seat. I find its best to pay a bit more to be able to get my preferred seat. Also on international flights you would add the cost to check luggage and I would rather prepay for my luggage by purchasing the fare that includes checked bags.

I feel Basic Economy is for those who don't pack a lot. For me I figure the cost of Basic Economy does not work well because I like to check my bags in especially on long hauls.

YMMV on your personal situation but really is Basic Economy going to make your life any easier?

On a side note boarding last is just a polite way of saying "Thanks for flying Delta but perhaps next time you should pay a bit more to get better seating". Its sort of like advertising for Delta's premium products like Comfort Plus.
danielonn is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 12:37 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Programs: DL DM/MM
Posts: 1,849
Originally Posted by danielonn View Post
But for me who wants to take the gamble of maybe or maybe not getting the Preferred seat. I find its best to pay a bit more to be able to get my preferred seat. Also on international flights you would add the cost to check luggage and I would rather prepay for my luggage by purchasing the fare that includes checked bags.

I feel Basic Economy is for those who don't pack a lot. For me I figure the cost of Basic Economy does not work well because I like to check my bags in especially on long hauls.

YMMV on your personal situation but really is Basic Economy going to make your life any easier?

On a side note boarding last is just a polite way of saying "Thanks for flying Delta but perhaps next time you should pay a bit more to get better seating". Its sort of like advertising for Delta's premium products like Comfort Plus.
The problem is when the cost to "upgrade" from BE to MC is $50+ dollars for a short flight. I recently tried to buy a ticket from LAX-SFO about 3-4 weeks in advance. The total cost was maybe $170-180 r/t in BE. The fee to "upgrade" to MC was $45 each way -- in other words, the ticket would now cost $260-$270 for a 50-minute flight. At one point, the tickets were over $300 (including the added "upgrade" fee to MC). I basically gave up and started flying AS/VX because I'd rather spend $90 on a nice dinner or on something else. With AS/VX, I can at least confirm my seat and then move up to the front part of the cabin during OLCI. The cost on AS/VX was $150-$160 r/t.
UVAhoo06 is online now  
Old Mar 23, 18, 12:45 pm
  #10  
pvn
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: MEM
Programs: Starbucks Green Card
Posts: 5,431
Originally Posted by danielonn View Post
But the question here is why would an Elite save a few $$$$ and may not get their benefits? Basic Economy is really for infrequent fliers who don't care about checking their bags or where they seat.
...because they want to save the $$$$? Lots of fliers (frequent or otherwise) don't care one bit about checking bags or about picking a seat.

Why do people get worked up about the choices other people make and try to figure out why they like one thing more than another thing?
jetsfan92588 likes this.
pvn is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 12:47 pm
  #11  
pvn
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: MEM
Programs: Starbucks Green Card
Posts: 5,431
Originally Posted by danielonn View Post
But for me who wants to take the gamble of maybe or maybe not getting the Preferred seat. I find its best to pay a bit more to be able to get my preferred seat.
Then do that.
pvn is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 12:47 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Traveling the World
Posts: 5,336
Originally Posted by UVAhoo06 View Post
The problem is when the cost to "upgrade" from BE to MC is $50+ dollars for a short flight. I recently tried to buy a ticket from LAX-SFO about 3-4 weeks in advance. The total cost was maybe $170-180 r/t in BE. The fee to "upgrade" to MC was $45 each way -- in other words, the ticket would now cost $260-$270 for a 50-minute flight. At one point, the tickets were over $300 (including the added "upgrade" fee to MC). I basically gave up and started flying AS/VX because I'd rather spend $90 on a nice dinner or on something else. With AS/VX, I can at least confirm my seat and then move up to the front part of the cabin during OLCI. The cost on AS/VX was $150-$160 r/t.
This is the beauty of competition. I too love VX/AS and will miss Virgin America but I love Alaska. Their Premium Economy with the inclusion of an alcoholic beverages puts it up there with Delta Comfort+. I have nothing against Delta but would rather avoid Southwest unless I really have to.
danielonn is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 12:48 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Traveling the World
Posts: 5,336
Originally Posted by pvn View Post
Then do that.
Indeed I do(:
danielonn is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 1:32 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Programs: DL; SPG; Marriott
Posts: 14
Delta actually imposes fewer restrictions on its basic economy fares than AA or UA. If you are a Medallion on Delta, you still receive the priority boarding zone and the free checked baggage allowance associated with your Medallion tier. You also still receive a free checked bag with a Delta AmEx Card, even if you don’t have Medallion status. I’m not sure whether you still receive Zone 1 boarding with a Delta AmEx Card and no Medallion status. I try to avoid flying on AA and UA, and don’t have status on either, but I believe they have no free baggage allowance on their basic economy fares, even for elites.

As a GM flying primarily nonstop flights out of NYC to other airports in the Northeast, I will only book a basic economy fare if I’m flying on my own dime and the flight is being operated with a CRJ-200. I could care less about an upgrade to “comfort+” in the first row of a CRJ-200, so on this aircraft, and this aircraft alone, there isn’t really a downside to booking a basic economy fare as a Medallion so long as you’re not looking to SDC or SDS.

In my experience, whether you receive a seat assignment at check-in on a basic economy fare or don’t receive one until the GA clears the standby list shortly before departure depends on the load of the flight. On full, or close to full flights, you won’t receive a seat until the GA clears the standby list. On more lightly loaded flights, you will typically receive a seat assignment at check-in. In both these situations, though, I’ve always ended up in preferred seats on a CRJ-200 without having to ask the GA to put me in one. When your seat is assigned by the GA, I believe this happens because the vast majority of people on basic economy fares don’t have status, so when the GA clears the standby list, Medallions on basic economy fares clear into open preferred seats before non-status passengers further down the standby list. Then again, maybe I’ve just been lucky, or as “lucky” as I can be flying on a CRJ-200.
Danymal is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 3:12 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by danielonn View Post
But the question here is why would an Elite save a few $$$$ and may not get their benefits? Basic Economy is really for infrequent fliers who don't care about checking their bags or where they seat.

This was the reasoning given for the implementation of basic evening as well as to offer competition to lie cost carriers, but the actual reality of basic economy is that it is implemented across nearly all markets, regardless of competition, and the old main cabin price that was usually pretty close to competitor fares is now the new basic economy price. There is now a premium to be in main cabin .

​​Basic economy hurt frequent flyers. The fares were basically raised for any frequent flyer that wants to use any of their benefits or a shot at "gambling" for an upgrade.
BluQat is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: