Delta is now warning you about the evils of BASIC economy seating (and making you sign off on them)!

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Oh Delta. Do you really want to lower yourself to SPIRIT AIR standards? I mean we already know what the BASIC stands for (see helpful hint above).

We know even a Delta Diamond Medallion Million Miler will be treated like dirt if they pick this evil fare class.

warnings about delta basic fare class

Just how bad will it be? As you can see from the updated wording on Delta (HT to Twitter follower Trent) you have to click an accept button that:

Do you want to continue with your selection?
You selected a Basic Economy fare, which includes the following restrictions:

  • Last to board and last to access overhead bin space except Medallion® members and other Priority Boarding eligible customers
  • Other restrictions apply to all customers including but not limited to Medallion® members and SkyTeam® elites
  • No seat assignment until check-in
  • No refunds
  • No ticket changes
  • No paid or complimentary upgrades to Delta One™, First Class, Business Class, Delta Comfort+™ or Preferred Seats
  • No Priority Boarding for purchase
  • No same-day confirmed or same-day standby travel changes
  • No life vest under seat* (*OK I made that one up) 😉

WoW! That is quite a list of “gotchas” for this super-duper el’Cheap’O fare class. No thanks. I am not willing to save $10 to $20 on a round trip ticket and “enjoy” all that. Would you?

So let this be a warning because as of February 25th this year you could see these BASIC fares in:

Between Atlanta (ATL) and: Albany (ALB),Albuquerque (ABQ), Allentown (ABE), Akron (CAK), Austin (AUS), Baltimore (BWI), Baton Rouge (BTR), Birmingham (BHM), Bloomington (BMI), Buffalo (BUF), Cedar Rapids (CID), Charleston (CRW), Charleston (CHS), Charlottesville (CHO), Cincinnati (CVG), Cleveland (CLE), Colorado Springs (COS), Columbus (CMH), Dayton (DAY), Daytona Beach (DAB), Detroit (DTW), El Paso (ELP), Fayetteville (FAY), Flint (FNT), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW), Fort Walton Beach (VPS), Gainesville (GNV), Greensboro (GSO), Gulfport (GPT), Harrisburg (MDT), Hartford (BDL), Indianapolis (IND), Jackson (JAN), Jacksonville (JAX), Kansas City (MCI), Key West (EYW), Lafayette (LFT), Las Vegas (LAS), Lexington (LEX), Managua, Nicaragua (MGA), Melbourne (MLB), Memphis (MEM), Mobile(MOB), Moline (MLI), Myrtle Beach (MYR), New Orleans (MSY), Newport News (PHF), Norfolk (ORF), Oklahoma City (OKC), Omaha (OMA), Orange County (SNA), Orlando (MCO), Panama City, FL (ECP), Pensacola (PNS), Peoria (PIA), Pittsburgh (PIT), Providence (PVD),Raleigh-Durham (RDU), Richmond (RIC), Roanoke (ROA), Rochester (ROC), Savannah (SAV) San Antonio (SAT), San Diego (SAN), Sarasota (SRQ), Shreveport (SHV), South Bend (SBN), Springfield (SGF), St. Louis (STL), Tallahassee (TLH), Tampa (TPA), Tuscon (TUS), Washington-Reagan National (DCA), West Palm Beach (PBI), White Plains (HPN), Wilmington (ILM).

Between Detroit (DTW) and: Albany (ALB), Cancun, Mexico (CUN), Des Moines (DSM), Erie (ERI), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Ft. Myers (RSW), Harrisburg (MDT), Kalamazoo (AZO), Kansas City (MCI), Las Vegas (LAS), Madison, (MSN), Manchester (MHT), Minneapolis/St Paul (MSP), New Orleans (MSY), Norfolk (ORF), Orlando (MCO), Providence (PVD), South Bend (SBN), Syracuse (SYR), Tampa (TPA), White Plains (HPN).

Between New York-LaGuardia (LGA) and: Buffalo (BUF), Burlington (BTV), Charleston (CHS), Manchester (MHT), Portland (PWM), Rochester (ROC), Syracuse (SYR).

Between New York-JFK and: Richmond (RIC)

Between Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) and: Austin (AUS), Baltimore (BWI), Billings (BIL), Bismark (BIS), Boston (BOS), Bozeman (BZN), Cancun, Mexico (CUN), Cleveland (CLE),Dayton (DAY), Detroit (DTW), Duluth (DLH), Fargo (FAR), Flint (FNT), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Ft. Myers (RSW), Grand Rapids (GRR), Lansing (LAN), Las Vegas (LAS), Melbourne, (MLB), Minot (MOT), Oklahoma City (OKC), Orange County (SNA), Orlando (MCO), Portland (PDX), Puerto Vallarta (PVR), Rapid City (RAP), San Antonio (SAT), San Diego (SAN), St. Louis (STL), Tampa (TPA).

Between Salt Lake City (SLC) and: Albuquerque (ABQ), Austin (AUS), Billings (BIL), Colorado Springs (COS), Fresno (FAT), Kansas City (MCI) Oklahoma City (OKC), Ontario (ONT), Orange County (SNA), Palm Springs (PSP), Pasco (PSC), Reno (RNO), Sacramento (SMF), San Antonio (SAT) , Spokane (GEG), Tucson (TUS), Tulsa (TUL), St. Louis (STL),

Between Cincinnati (CVG) and: Cancun, Mexico (CUN)

Phew that is quite a list. I am sure some will go for this cheap fare but I also think a great many have not realized just how bad this fare class is and thus this new warning. Also be aware Delta is trying to warn travel agents and others who do bookings just what a flyer will have to put up with as I can imagine there were some medallions angrily calling their company’s booking service when they experience the joys of this fare class.

One small workaround is to hold the Delta AMEX cards from American Express as Delta Assist assures us that since you are a “Priority Boarding eligible customer” when you do hold the card as:

   “The AMEX SkyMiles Gold Card is applicable to all Coach fares. You

    will still attain your advanced boarding privilege.” – Delta Assist

I assume they also mean the Delta Platinum and Reserve cards as they carry the same ZONE 1 boarding perk but fellow flyers, pay attention, you have been warned! I will be paying attention. Will you? – René

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  1. For the non-medallion 1-2x per year traveler, I see this fare option being desirable. After all, they’re practically boarding last anyway, don’t have anywhere near the same leverage for changes as medallions, are never going to get an upgrade, and are already having to pay for any “perks” they want on the plane. Obviously for anyone with medallion status this is a horrible fare class and should be avoided at all costs….but I’m sure Delta did not have medallions in mind when they came up with this. I have great sympathy for those medallions that get forced into booking this fare class just because it’s cheapest.

  2. I had one of these tickets purchased for me. I also hold the AMEX Gold card. There were no issues and I boarded zone one. I was anticipating the “dropping of the other shoe,” however.

  3. Husband has to book business travel through his company travel agency. I don’t think he’s been forced to buy this fare class yet but I’m sure it will happen. I told him to keep a copy of this post from you to use as the justification for not selecting this fare.

  4. They just added these to the NYC – SLC route. This is a huge Slap in the Face to every Medallion. This will be the straw that sends me to united.

  5. Just flew r/t PBI-LGA on Basic Economy. Had no prior knowledge that the travel was in steerage, and can’t recall whether the details were fully disclosed at time of booking! Had a “zone 3” designation — which is akin to having leprosy in a crowded room. Zone 3 was never called at the gate – I was absolutely was the last person to board – and of course, all the baggage bins were full on the plane; I also had to sit between two obese cows which I’ve never done in my life. Luckily I was traveling only for a weekend and therefore carried just a backpack. Have been a SkyMiles member for 30 years, but will now avoid this criminal enterprise, Delta Airlines, at all costs when I book travel in the future. Caveat Emptor!

  6. Hi Rene – I’m curious if an exit row could be assigned at the gate for these basic economy tickets? I can’t seem to find that anywhere – and there sure are a lot of articles, musings, etc. about these tix!

    Thanks for all of the useful information you provide on your blog!

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