Economy Fares and Airlines - Are They Worth The Hassle?
Recently, many major airlines have created basic economy seating to expand their seat options for their customers. For example, Delta, United, and American Airlines recently revealed their economy seats, highlighting their lower price and the benefits of economy travel seats like these.
If you're interested in booking an economy seat with these or any other airlines, we're here to help. At The Parking Spot, we can help you better understand basic economy seats, their many benefits, some downsides, and how you can travel with your children or while on business trips.
What is Basic Economy Class?
Basic economy class is a travel class that provides the lowest fares for travel. These fares were introduced to give even more inexpensive travel options for people who couldn't afford to fly. It has become a popular option when traveling with many kids or for business people taking multiple trips in a short period. It cuts back on expenses and provides a reasonably priced alternative.
While this economy seat option has seen some criticism, they are often the only way that some people can afford to travel. However, these economy travel seats do come with some limitations that are important to understand. Below, we'll explain how this economy airplane travel option may benefit you and the drawbacks you may experience when booking this way.
The Benefits of Flying in a Basic Economy Airplane Seat
Booking a basic economy seat can be very beneficial for people on a tight budget. Using this option is:
- Less Expensive: If you don't have much money, basic economy travel can save you even more. They're cheaper than even traditional economy fares and work well for people who want to plan weeks in advance and are flexible in their travel plans. The savings here can be hundreds of dollars per trip, which can add up for regular fliers looking to save.
- Easier to Book: Basic economy travel seats are often simpler to book than other seats because planes often have many of them. Airlines are also desperate to fill their planes and will book basic economy seat options instead of nothing at all. As a result, you'll usually find a basic economy travel option reasonably quickly and might even get more discounts if you're filling up a near-capacity plane.
- More Straightforward: The most significant benefit of an economy airplane seat is its transparent pricing. There are no hidden fees when booking your seat; you pay exactly what it says on the site. You may have to pay more for seat selection or checked baggage. These can add to your pricing, so pack carefully to minimize luggage needs.
The Downsides of Basic Economy Travel
While basic economy seats are an excellent option for many people, there are issues with these seats. Here are a few concerns you need to understand:
- Few Amenities: Basic economy class typically limits how many amenities you receive, including limiting your carry-on luggage and charging you extra to choose your seat. You may also get less attention from the plane flight attendants, though that varies depending on the airline. It's a no-frills option that is about as basic as it gets for airplane travel.
- No Refunds: Did you book a basic economy seat and need to cancel your flight or change your trip? Expect to pay a hefty fee and receive no refund. That's because these seats are typically not refundable and cannot be changed without paying for them. As a result, they're only suitable if your plans are unlikely to change or if you feel very comfortable with your travel situation.
- Restrictions: Basic economy seats have many boarding and seating restrictions that can make them frustrating. For example, you typically cannot choose your seat or get a seat when you sign in, which could leave you with a bad spot. Rushing through airport security is also unnecessary because you're typically one of the last passengers allowed to enter the plane when booking with this option.
Booking a Basic Economy Airplane Seat for Business Trips
A basic economy airplane seat is an excellent option for business travelers because they're often easier to book. They also easily fit into business budgets and may cause less conflict with your employer. They're particularly significant if you plan on flying back on the same day because you may get return trip discounts.
Bring a neck pillow to sleep easier if you plan on flying basic economy on your business trip. You can also book two seats instead of one, giving you more room. Surprisingly, this option is cheaper than booking a standard economy, business, or luxury seat.
Finding the Best Economy Seat on a Plane
- Book ahead of time to increase your chances of getting a great seat
- Work with an airline company that you trust
- Choose a 2-2 seating configuration whenever possible
- Find an extra-legroom option to improve your comfort
Sleeping in a Basic Economy Plane Seat During Travel
While sleeping in a basic economy seat while you fly might seem impossible, it's not as hard as you might think. Follow these suggestions to improve your sleep on those long red-eye flights:
- Book a window seat so you can lay against the wall as you sleep.
- Bring a travel pillow to minimize neck strain and pain
- Wear an eye mask and earplugs to avoid distractions
- Book extra legroom or two seats to increase your available room
Using Airport Lounges If Booking Basic Economy Travel
If you book a basic economy seat, you might be barred from entering the airport's lounge. Many airlines limit this option to people who fly economy or luxury class. Most airports will let you pay a small fee to use the lounge, typically when booking your tickets.
This extra fee is typically far below what it would cost to book a traditional economy ticket and is worth it if you enjoy hanging out with other travelers in the lounge. In addition, you can avoid this extra fee if you plan to head to your hotel or home after your flight.
Booking Your Next Big Trip
If you're interested in basic economy travel seats, following the tips and suggestions outlined in this article is essential. While these seats can save you a lot of money, they're typically less comfortable than other options, so you must prepare adequately to avoid frustration.
For example, you should book your parking with The Parking Spot to ensure you don't have to rush to your flight at the last second because you can't find a place for your car. This step can further streamline your trip and even save you money on your parking spot.