Why Delta’s ‘ Basic Economy’ Fare Is All Your Fault

5 Jun

A Delta jet at the gate in Atlanta. Photo by Benét J. Wilson

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Delta Air Lines has begun testing rock-bottom “basic economy” fares on selected routes — and you, the traveler, have no one but yourselves to blame.

Why is it your fault? Because you refuse to pay the higher fares that Delta and other airlines want you to. And since you refuse, they are going to get the money out of you other ways, by hook or by crook. Take a look at what fees have been introduced in the past 10 years: checked bags, food, drinks, change fees, phone booking fees and fuel surcharges, to name some.

So Delta for the past two months has been testing fares that are remarkably similar to those offered by Spirit Airlines, on some of the routes that the ultra-low-fare carrier flies, including Detroit to Orlando, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. With basic economy, travelers can’t make any changes to their itinerary, nor can they choose seats in advance.

You may hate what Spirit does (see why in this guest blog post), but you can see how other airlines have followed some of the things they do.  And someone does like the airline, because they have full flights and regularly make a profit. 

So if Delta is successful with this test, look for it to expand the basic economy fares into other markers.  And don’t be surprised if other airlines follow.

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2 Responses to “Why Delta’s ‘ Basic Economy’ Fare Is All Your Fault”

  1. Jean | DelightfulRepast.com June 5, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    I don’t understand why people think airline prices are too high. Don’t get me wrong–I don’t have a lot of money–but think about this. I was looking through a vacation album the other day and saw where I had saved the tickets from a trip to England 28 years ago. They were basic coach tickets, the best deal my travel agent could find, and guest what? I can fly to England today for even less! We’re paying multiple times more for everything else than we were then, yet we still think the airlines should be charging less. Doesn’t make sense.

    • Aviation Queen June 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      Jean-I agree 100%. We are getting some real air fare bargains. And people want to forget that airlines are businesses, not charities or entitled transportation.

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