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Economy fares on Delta flights

30. 5. 2012

As full service airlines face increasing competition from low-cost carriers, Delta and other airlines, shift towards offering different levels of service. Now passengers can enjoy some options. But we suggest you double check what you are paying for before clicking that "book now" button

As a way to compete with low-cost carriers, Delta now provides options for a lower-level offering while also selling higher-priced tickets with more amenities.

Delta has began testing a “basic economy” airfare category on flights from Detroit to Orlando, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, with limited extras. The markets where Delta is testing these basic economy fares are in markets where Spirit Airlines gives them stiff competition. Spirit Airlines' low cost fares allows it to charge on other amenities and even on hand carried luggage.

The basic economy fare from Delta does not allow any changes to the itinerary. Further restrictions apply such as no change fee and passengers do not get seat assignments in advance. Seats are auto-assigned at check-in.

There are plans for Delta to expand the basic economy fare to other markets but for now, it is limited to the the routes mentioned. An indication of the fares for example show flights from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale on economy go for $248.60 and basic economy fares for $229.60.

Although the basic economy fares look great, it appears that the restrictions mentioned put off some seasoned travelers who may be looking for good deals but are well aware of the pitfalls of having tickets you could not change.

Passengers booking Delta may notice that the airline have started promoting add-on services such as priority boarding starting at $9, 1,000 extra frequent flier miles for $29, and a one-day pass for in-flight Wi-Fi Internet access for $12. Delta also sells an upgrade to seats with more legroom called "economy comfort" and other "preferred seats." Other options Delta has also added include selling "premium meals" to coach class passengers in advance on certain cross-country flights from New York and allowing travelers to take "flex" fare option which allows for refunds.

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