Let’s talk about flying…
So you’re looking for a simple flight from point A to point B. Let’s just get the cheapest flight, right?
Hidden Problems with Booking the Cheapest Option (aptly named “Basic Economy” fares)
1. No Flexibility
With a flight booked in Basic Economy, you, my frugal friend, are only allowed to choose a seat 24 hours prior to your flight.
By this time, there are either no seats left or you get stuck in the middle seat in the last row on top of the bathroom.
2. Can’t Change Your Mind
With a Basic Economy ticket, you lose the ability to change/cancel the ticket at all. Traditional Economy Fares allow you to change your ticket (with a hefty fee, of course) if you need to change your dates or where you are flying.
Basic Economy fares allow no changes at any time — so if you booked the wrong city or dates, you lose every penny you spent — and — you’ll have to start over and buy a whole new ticket.
3. Hello, Bag Fees
Some airlines won’t let you use their overhead bins for a carry-on bag with a Basic Economy ticket. With traditional economy fares, you are allowed to bring one carry-on bag of proper dimensions (check your carrier for specifics) and one personal item like a purse/laptop bag that can be stowed under your seat.
With your basic economy bag, you are only allowed to bring a personal item on board.
If you bring a carry-on, be prepared to check it at the gate once the airline ticket agent reviews your boarding pass — and — it will cost you.
Are you really saving any money by booking these enticing low fares? Instead of wondering, call your travel agent before you book a flight.
Remember: When it comes to flights, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.