Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 24 2015

This Airline Just Unveiled A New Low-Cost Ticket Option

By David McMillin

As budget carriers attract more passengers with super-low fares, one legacy carrier is making a move to stay competitive. After starting to experiment with a low-cost program in 2013, Delta has expanded its Basic Economy ticket offerings to 500 markets.

What is Basic Economy? According to Delta, it’s a “value-fare option for price-driven customers.” The value comes with sacrificing some amenities, though. When you book a Basic Economy ticket, you will not be assigned a seat until after check-in, and you will not be able to make any changes to the flight.

I decided to do some research to see how a Basic Economy ticket compares to Delta’s standard Main Cabin ticket. On one search for a flight from Atlanta to New Orleans, I found a round-trip Basic Economy ticket at just $184 — a $40 savings from the Main Cabin offer. Unlike some low-cost carriers who have hidden fees and complex restrictions, Delta is very transparent with the Basic Economy details. Before proceeding with a purchase, the website alerted me to the differences.

While the “last to board and last to access overhead bin space” details would cause some challenges for me, there are plenty of passengers who do not care about being first in line or finding a place for a carry-on.

“A lot of customers literally only want a seat on the plane,” Anthony Black, a spokesperson for Delta, said in a recent CNNMoney article.

SEE ALSO: Could Child-Free Flights Be Part Of The Future Of Aviation?

Is Low-Cost Competition The Future Of Flying?

Earlier this summer, I heard Brett Snyder, President of Cranky Flier, discuss the future of air travel at DMAI 2015 in Austin.

“The growth is going to come from low-cost carriers,” Snyder said. “Allegiant is moving into a lot of cities where legacy carriers have removed service.”

As meeting planners, hoteliers and destinations alike look to see which carriers will increase capacity and add routes, Snyder highlighted that everyone should be looking at Spirit and Allegiant.

So what does that mean for United, American, Delta and Southwest? Delta’s Basic Economy may be a preview of what’s to come.

Interested in learning more about what to expect in the air? Check out “4 Predictions For The Next Generation Of Air Travel.”

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