I'm continuing this series on Basic Economy and today we will dive in to learn more about the Delta Basic Economy product.
All major domestic airlines now offer some flavor of Basic Economy on most of their routes. This new product was introduced first by United, then quickly adopted (see: copied) by other airlines. The whole idea is to unpack standard economy fares and offer rock-bottom flight deals to compete with Sprit, Frontier, Norwegian, and WOW airlines.
This means that you are often left paying for any and all amenities you might want such as checked baggage and/or a seat assignment.
Delta describes their Basic Economy product as a value-fare option for customers who require less flexibility.
I have to give kudos to Delta, as they have made it easy for passengers to fully understand their Basic Economy product. Unlike all the other mainline carriers, Delta has one standard Basic Economy product across all of their domestic and international routes.
Just like all of the other airlines, Delta Basic Economy fares do not include any free checked bags.
The carry-on baggage allowance is exactly the same as regular economy.This means you are allowed to bring one full-sized carry-on bag and one personal item for free.
One major drawback to Basic Economy is that you will have to pay an extra fee to choose a seat. Otherwise, complimentary seats will be randomly assigned at check-in.
Basic Economy tickets are not eligible for complimentary, earned, or mileage upgrades. Elite members also miss out on access to complimentary Preferred Seats. As I mentioned on my post about United's Basic Economy product, I would not necessarily count this as a major disadvantage as upgrades rarely clear these days, or cost an excessive amount of miles/cash.
Basic Economy ticket holders board in the last group. This often means that there is limited overhead bin space for your carry-on bags and you will sometimes have to gate-check them (for free) to your destination. Be sure to remove any fragile or important items if you are required to gate-check your bag.
Regardless of elite status, changes are not permitted for ticketed Delta Basic Economy fares, including advance and same-day flight changes. Refunds are only allowed if they are made within 24 hours of purchasing and the flight is at least 7-days in the future.
Now that we've covered the basics, there are a few workarounds that can help you 'hack' the Delta Basic Economy experience for the better. These apply to two specific groups which you may or may not already be a part of:
Running into any issues? Have additional questions? Send me a note — firstname.lastname@example.org — and I'll happily help you out.