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Hate Basic Economy Fares? More Are Coming

Buying airline tickets is getting even more dastardly: Basic Economy fares are spreading nationwide. ( More...

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jwmson 10
"The cattle will refrain from mooing."
Apparently that's a rule - Four of us were flying Southwest in the early 80's (back when it was grab what you can). My friend made a cow noise and the gate agent held us until we where the last ones on the plane.
ToddBaldwin3 3
I fell into this trap with American, I didn't notice the fare restrictions until after I had purchased the ticket (I'll take part of the blame for that). For the cost of checking my luggage on American, I can get ticket on SWA and check two bags, plus a carry on. Sadly, AA didn't drive me to purchasing a higher cost ticket (and still have to pay to check luggage), they drove me to another carrier.
Basic Economy ... THe big 4 less SWA need am option to fight Spirit, Allegiant and other discount airlines. So they offer some tickets at that price point, for example on UNITED you save maybe 15 dollars on a one-way from LAX - ORD. (no seat assignment no carry on no mileage credit)
For a family of 6 or 8 it could make sense - especially if you never fly. But if your flying just 2 or 3 trips a year it makes sense to not take this fare and accumulate mileage for a free ticket at some point. Not one of the big 3 want you take these fares, unless you're going to walk to a discount carrier. Then the upsell starts, with the rare occasion of securing a Economy Plus / Extra seat because the back is already full.
Bryan Opalka 4
The "basic" economy fare is what the "normal" economy fare used to be. They just added $$$ to the cost of the "normal" economy fare. Travelers are getting less for the same price... and have to pay more for what used to be the norm. So, I don't see where "basic" economy saves anyone any $$$.
Eric Vickery 1
I fly SWA when I need to fly, bags fly free and no $25 charge for carry on bags.
the "many fares" dilemma with passengers started actually in the late 70's,early 80's..the issue now is the airlines (as the article says)doing the "do you want fries with that" marketing strategy,where you have to pick and choose and there is a charge for the most basic issues when you travel,like baggage!not to sound "old fashioned",but when I started with the airlines,there actually was a large book of fares and taxes you could call upon to hand write a ticket if you could not issue one from a a.b.c.d,x,y,x fares when the moon was full! why make peoples lives complicated when computers and more people travelling should make it easy to book reservations and purchase a ticket!
when I was hand writing tickets in the 70s (and, prior to computers) , there were the following fares: First and Coach. Student and Military confirmed; Student and Military Standby. DA30 (Discover America Fare) and, Family Discount fares for spouse and Children. Fare changes were infrequent and often times we could commit to memory the most popular city pair fares.
Marc Rodstein 1
The reason fares changed infrequently in the 70's is that they were government regulated. Fares then were higher than today after inflation, but you got "free" baggage, meals and ticket changes. You could even take a ticket from airline A and use it to fly on airline B.
marc,you are partially correct..yes, before deregulation,fares were pretty much standarized,but in order to take your ticket on aa over to dl for example, the ticket had to be "endorsed" with a rule 240 from the airline agent,not re issued,just endorsed ..when the ticketing got more complex.competing airlines would only accept a ticket if it was totally reissued..yes,back then even up until the late 90's, there were no bag fees except for overweight bags,meals such as they were, were offered to all passengers without charge,and the whole travel thing was simpler for the passenger and the airline employees.................
These issues all go back to the sunset of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and the previous requirement for a minimum per mile charge and strict management of actual route authorities around 1980. Airlines were able to make reasonable return on investment and compete on the basis of service they could provide on the playing field of a known per mile revenue. It should be noted that inflation adjusted fares were much higher then making air travel relatively unaffordable for many people. So this was the idea behind deregulation and the removal of CAB restrictions and guarantees. The results which were predicted and well known at the time closely approximate the travel experience we have today (airline bankruptcies, consolidation, fare wars, etc.). If you want the travel experience of the pre CAB era, you buy a non restricted coach or discounted business class (first class really doesn't exist any longer) ticket for something approximating the cost of the 1970's coach thicket. If that's not economically feasible, you buy a progressively discounted ticket all the way down to 'basic' and fly when 40 years ago you couldn't. Airline management and workers were ill prepared for these changes and it arguably has taken this long for the industry to sort itself out. Personally I hope the turmoil is largely passed and we can all settle into a stable period where we all understand what it is we're purchasing...
patrick baker 2
this is going utterly the wrong way. Travelers are not poverty cases, so if a comfortable seat, reasonable baggage allowances, and predictable scheduling are offered, in the end these will sell and bargain hunters will go back to greyhound or amtrack.These fares and conditions are so unsatisfactory that the entire marketing mindset of the airlines offering them ought to be examined one more time. Spirit, Frontier- these are trash airlines that give very little for very much money.
matt jensen 7
This is what you get from deregulation. Live with it or take the 'hound
CaptBmckay 0
209flyboy 1
'Bean Counters' are loose all around us. Nothing has to do with customer service or flight comfort. Only the bottom line counts. So, soon seats will be eliminated and you'll be standing strapped into a vertical chamber box or forced to climb into the overhead luggage bin so they can fit 800+ people in the plane. A single toilet will charge you $2.00 to relieve your self or just go in your Depends. No baggage will be allowed and you'll have to send it ahead via FedX. There will be a surcharge of $1.00 for each pound over each person who's weight exceeds 175 lbs. TSA will require you to be naked, except for your Depends and covered with a sheet which will cost an additional $2.50.
Yes, this sounds a bit extreme, but I've had it with these sky robbers and have directed all my employees to drive their cars if possible, this way there will be no delays or nuts to deal with while flying.
jrollf 1
The issue I have is I don't mind paying more for a comfortable seat, but when that seat is a $1,000 more than 'Economy' I just can't afford it. Economy Plus is a joke, it is what basic economy used to be.
We booked Flight from LAX to SEA. Looking at the Costs we found Spirt Airlines has a Flight that was listed as $68. BUT.. Even your Personal Carry on would have cost us $38 EACH. NOT COUNTING ANY CHECKED BAGS. When we checked AlaskaAir we found that they were $36 CHEAPER if you added in the cost Spirit wanted for our Personal Carry On Bag. And if you ADDED in our 4 International Check Bags from MNL, Spirit would have been $102 MORE than AlaskaAir! That is silly! Unless you went in your UNDERWARE Spirit costs MORE, than the GOOD QUALITY Airlines!
joe danser 0
People want the cheapest fare point A To B. its always been that way. thats why the cheap airlines are making bo coo money right now. Don't complain if you didn't read what you bought before you press the purchase button.. do your research.. then buy. Note even tho SWA doesnt charge for bags most all the time the fare includes bag check ad is much higher. so watch out.

JOE..i am in agreement with you..southwest,although much loved,has promoted the "low cost,bags fly free" advertising for quite some time now..its good advertising, and yes, their people are fun and courteous,but in reality,by fare comparison, their fares are no cheaper than anyone else in the same market..a lot of travelers do not realize fares are what is called "market based",meaning how much competition any airline has on certain routes..


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