You see, American, United and Delta say you should be thanking them for all the freedom they’re offering you with so many new choices!
Gee, thanks guys.
Trend That’s Sweeping The Industry
Last week the third Domino fell – American announced that it would join its ‘competitors’, United and Delta, and start selling Basic Economy fares next month.
The terms are basically the same – that is, last to board and not being allowed to use the overhead bins.
The NYTimes wrote this week that it’s business travelers who are really suffering with this new airfare, as companies usually require their staff to use the lowest airfare available for travel.
Taking Economy Class To A New Low
What is Basic Economy? It’s a bare-bones ticket that allows no choice in seat assignment, means last to board, no stowing a carry-on bag in the overhead bin and usually no frequent-flier miles.
All three majors allow one small ‘personal item’ that must go underneath the seat. American and United prohibit use of the overhead bin. However, Delta’s current policy allows for one personal item and one complimentary carry-on bag.
United and American’s Basic Economy fares will begin next month, but Delta’s is already up and running. It was the first legacy carrier in the US to adopt a Basic Economy fare, in 2012.
You may be asking, how can they increase income by adding a cheaper ticket tier?
The airlines boast that they expect to add billions to their annual operating income with Basic Economy fares, because customers often give in, or give up, and just fork over more money to check luggage and to avoid ‘misery class’.
Why do we have this sneaking suspicion that the lowest priced ticket isn’t actually going to go down? Why do we suspect the cost of the cheapest ticket will remain the same and the cost of all of the others will go up?
Right, this is no discount. it means everyone’s normal price is about to go up. So, let’s call it what it is; another money grab.
The Labor Day Mattress Sale Approach
What’s next? “Would you like to upgrade to WingSeat Premium* Class?”
(*Seat belts free with Premium package. Goggles and bird shield available for additional fee.)
One reader compared it to:
Customer: “$1 for a slice of cheese, that’s insane!”
Customer: “Free cheese!”
But how do they police it? Do they stand guard next to the overhead bin and demand to see your ticket? What’s to stop someone from storing their carry-on in the overhead bin just to stick it to United?
Just kidding. Here is an exclusive look at how United plans to handle the situation -that other airlines will likely copy:
(if you cannot see the below graphic, please click HERE.