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Now that major Canadian airlines (Air Canada and WestJet) have joined the basic economy bandwagon, I thought it would be best to put them in a comparison chart with the other major US carriers. My basic economy comparison chart serves to be a one-stop resource for folks that want to compare their plight if they choose these fares 😉
My thoughts on basic economy fares are simple, I don’t mind them on short haul rides (1-2 hour flight time). On longer flights, if I have to fly economy, am happy to spend a few more bucks to fly regular economy with hopes of an upgrade or at the very least pick an exit row seat (poor man’s business class).
Basic Economy Comparison Chart
**scroll hotizontally to view complete chart**
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A quick glance at the comparison tells me that Air Canada and WestJet are almost identical in their restrictions. Among US carriers, Delta is a better option (in this race to the bottom) since they allow a regular sized carry-on bag and let us choose our own seats at check-in.
Although basic economy fares are not for everyone, they are worth a consideration on short haul flights or regional jets that offer a 2-2 configuration in economy (no risk of being in a middle seat). Its best to calculate the fare difference between basic economy and the next fare bucket up.
As a Canadian resident, I am following the development of Basic Economy fares in Canada closely. While they have been introduced on select routes for now, expanding these fares across the network is always a dreaded possibility, in the future.
Drop me a line if you find any mistakes in the chart above, happy to update – cheers!