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What “Basic Economy Fare” Means Per Airline

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For the longest time, the most common airline fares were for First Class, Business Class, and Economy class. However, after years of competing with low-cost carriers like Spirit and Frontier, many U.S. airlines have decided to roll out a new fare – “Basic Economy.”

Today’s low-cost carriers offer discounted airfare in exchange for basic luxuries. For example, if you book a flight with Frontier, your fare will cost less, but you’ll have to pay extra to choose your seat or to bring a carry-on bag. U.S. airlines’ Basic Economy fares are designed the same way and aim to give travelers a “no-frills” experience.

Here, our Providence airport parking company shares the Basic Economy restrictions that apply to travelers flying American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines:

American Airlines

Baggage: One personal item allowed (no carry-on)*

Checked bag fee: $25

Seats: Assigned at check-in

Flight changes/refunds: Not available

Flight upgrades: Not available

Boarding: Last group*

*Doesn’t apply to AAdvantage elite status members or AAdvantage credit card holders

Delta Air Lines

Baggage: One carry-on and one personal item allowed

Checked bag fee: $25

Seats: Assigned at check-in; Passengers flying together may not be seated together

Flight changes/refunds: Not available

Flight upgrades: Not available

Boarding: Last group

United Airlines

Baggage: One personal item allowed (no carry-on)*

Checked bag fee: $25

Seats: Assigned at check-in; Passengers flying together may not be seated together

Flight changes/refunds: Not available

Flight upgrades: Not available

Boarding: Last group*

*Does not apply to MileagePlus Premium members, MileagePlus credit card holders, or Star Alliance Gold members

While Basic Economy fares only apply to the above three U.S. airlines, there have been talks of Alaska Airlines introducing its own Basic Economy fare and even non-U.S. airlines like Aer Lingus have considered the idea. This means Basic Economy may become a staple fare amongst travelers in the future. What do you think about this new fare?

No matter which airline you choose to book your next flight, don’t forget to make your parking reservation with our Providence airport parking company! We offer a hassle-free parking experience.

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