5 Ways Basic Economy Airline Tickets Can Ruin Your Travel Experience

For most of us, vacation time is everything. The last thing you want to be doing with your vacation budget is spending a ton of money on airline tickets, right? Hold up there! There are five serious reasons why you should reconsider buying that cheap basic economy airline ticket.


  1. There are some serious restrictions on your baggage!

I don’t know about you, but I want to look cute on my vacation! If you purchase a basic economy airline ticket, then you might run into some problems with what you’re able to bring. Those seats typically don’t allow for free checked bags, and depending on the airline, you can be forced to pay up to $75 just to bring your suitcase.

Airlines such as United currently don’t allow carry-on bags for passengers who are in basic economy seats. In most cases, booking the next class up will save you the cost of having to check a carry-on bag, and sometimes even offer a free checked bag!

  1. You are stuck with whatever you seat you get

Probably one of the worst parts of booking a basic economy seat is that you aren’t able to pick your seat. If you’re part of the 13% of the world who doesn’t care about where you sit on the plane, then this might not bother you. For the other 87% of the world, this can easily ruin a flight!

Some airlines let you change seats for a fee, but the main airlines in the US will not allow you switch seats unless you fully upgrade your seat out of basic economy. Also, these seats are typically the smallest on the plane, and are not in desirable locations either!

  1. Make sure you read the fine print!

One of the biggest considerations when it comes to a basic economy ticket is their refund policy. This is something that some travelers overlook, but it can make a huge difference in your purchase decision. Depending on the airline you travel with, there are certain polices that allow you to make changes to your reservation. These are the restrictions on the three largest airline in the United States.

  • United Airlines offers a 24-hour flexible booking policy that allows you to 24 hours to cancel your flight as long as it is at least one week prior to your departure. Additionally, if you have to change your trip due to a change by United, they will rebook your seat.
  • Delta Airlines also allows you to cancel a flight within the first 24 hours after purchase if you purchase the ticket through the Delta website.
  • American Airlines also follows a 24 hour policy. They also allow changes to be made for flights between the United States and Europe. There will be a fee up to $750 for these changes which is important to keep in mind. If American Airlines changes your flight, a death happens, or a military order, you are able to possibly get a refund for the purchase price with valid documents.

No matter what airline you choose, make sure you fully understand their refund and cancellation policy so you are not stuck with a ticket that you are unable to use!

  1. Fares are often limited to certain days

You probably aren’t booking your vacation around when the cheapest flight day is, so why would you want to be limited to what days you can travel? One of the biggest complaints when it comes to basic economy tickets are the days and times you can actually get the cheapest seats. They are often really early in the morning, or the last flight out of town at night. Both of these can waste an entire day at your destination, or even cost more when it comes to your hotel by having to pay extra for late check in, or pay for half a day because you arrived super early.

  1. You can forget about boarding the plane early!

After waiting around for your flight, you are probably ready to board the plane, right? Well, I hate to inform you, but basic economy seats are usually the last ones to board. Not only does this mean you’ll wait another fifteen to twenty minutes for everyone else to board, but you will most likely have to gate check your carry on due to there being no overheard space!

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