Travel Terms You Need to Know: Basic Economy

Travel Terms You Need to Know: Basic Economy


Hey, I’m Scott, founder
of Scott’s Cheap Flights. You know, I’m obsessed with cheap flights, and over the years, I’ve
learned a thing or two about how to find them
and how to book them. In this video, I want to talk
with you about basic economy. What it is and what you need to know about this new stripped down fare class. Basic economy began as a
pushback by the major airlines, think Delta, American, United, against those sort of really
low, eye-catching airfares offered by these low cost
carriers like Spirit Airlines, Allegiant, Norwegian, Frontier,
and the now defunct WOW Air. Basic economy is a
restrictive class of fares that offer maximum savings in exchange for a no-frills travel experience. You’ll sit in the same
economy section of the plane as travelers who have purchased
regular economy seats, but in basic economy you
miss out on a few benefits, or you have to pay extra for them. Basic economy can actually be found in one form or another on
almost every major US carrier and it shows no signs of going away. It’s on flights not only within the US and all of North America,
but now on flights from the US to Europe, to Central America, and even to the Caribbean. For now, flights from
the US to South America, to Asia, and to Africa do not
have basic economy flights, though that’s always possible
sometime in the future. So while it’s always important to read the fine print before you book a ticket, it’s even more important
with the basic economy fare so you can know exactly what
is included in your fare price. In addition, basic economy’s
not the same on every airline. In other words, they don’t all refer to this fare class by the same name, so make sure you check
your airline’s website to figure out what’s what. Some of the others names
basic economy goes by include economy light, saver fare, economy basic, grab and go, and my personal
favorite, bare fare. First, it’s helpful to go over what’s in most regular economy fares. They usually include things
like early seat selection, flight changes or cancellations for a fee, seat upgrades, again, for a fee, or maybe complimentary if you have status, and a free checked bag on
some international routes. But basic economy fares typically
don’t follow these rules, and these things either
aren’t allowed at all, or you have to pay an additional fee. Most basic economy tickets
include a carry-on bag, but on some routes on United Airlines, typically within North
America or to Latin America or the Caribbean, they only include a personal size carry-on, not a full size, so make sure you look at the fine print. Advanced seat assignments are generally not included in basic economy, though there are some
exceptions like Alaska Airlines, and many airlines allow
basic economy passengers to select their seat
once it’s at check-in, 24 hours before travel. Ticket changes and refunds typically are not allowed on basic economy, nor are upgrades to a better cabin, even if you want to pay for it. Basic economy is a great option if you’re looking for
the lowest priced flight and you don’t need extras
like advanced seat selection, or you’re not worried about things like upgrades or mileage accrual. But, if you plan to pay
extra to check a bag, make sure you compare the
cost of adding the bag to the cost of upgrading to main economy. Sometimes the difference is minimal, but sometimes it’s
actually cheaper to upgrade to main economy than it is to
pay for your bags à la carte. For example, let’s say you’re
flying from New York City to Barcelona and you want to check a bag. If you’ve booked a basic economy ticket, a checked bag’s gonna
run you $120 roundtrip, but for that same $120,
you could’ve booked a main economy ticket, which
includes not only a checked bag, but also advanced seat
selection and other perks. So just be sure to make these comparisons and select any upgrades
before you purchase, because remember, basic
economy fares are not eligible for upgrades once they’ve been ticketed. For Scott’s Cheap Flights deals, where basic economy is the lowest price, remember that regular economy
is always still available, as long as you’re willing to
pay a little bit more for it. So to wrap up, if you travel light and you don’t mind waiting
for your seat assignment, basic economy can be a great
way to save money on flights. But if you need the extras,
it’s worth it to compare the price of a checked bag
to the price of upgrading. It might cost the same to
just book main economy. For more tips, check out our other videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow the links under this video, and if you want to save big on airfare, join us at Scott’s Cheap Flights. You know, since 2015, we have
helped millions of people be able to travel places they never thought they could afford. It is our dream to be
able to make this happen, and we would love to have
you be a part of this. Our members save, on
average, $550 per ticket, and so if this sounds like something that you would be interested
in, we would love to have you. Sign up at the link below,
and get cheap flights delivered right to your inbox. Thanks for watching, see you guys later!

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