Lonely Planet Writer

Airlines in America introducing an economy minus class to appeal to the cost-conscious passenger

Airlines in the US have devised a new ‘class’ to appeal to the super thrifty.

Delta Airline have a basic class which is popular with a certain type of passengers who wants to spend as little as possible on an airline ticket
Delta Airline has already introduced a basic economy class which is popular with a certain type of passengers who wants to spend as little as possible on an airline ticket Image by Prayitno / CC BY 2.0

The class below economy, also called ‘basic economy,’ ‘economy minus’ and ‘last class’ will come at a price but passengers will have to endure smaller seats and few, if any, real flying perks.

The economy minus passengers is happy to eschew perks once the price of a ticket costs less than other classes of travel
The economy minus passenger is happy to eschew perks once the price of a ticket costs less than other classes of travel Image by Simon_sees / CC BY 2.0

cityam.com reports that Delta Airlines and some ultra low-cost carriers are already up and running in this new class. More recently American Airlines and United Airlines have disclosed that they too will roll out this class segment later this year.

While passengers won’t have to pay much for their seat, they will not  be able to reserve a place.  They also won’t qualify to upgrade seats or cancel or change their reservations beyond 24 hours after booking.

It is also expected that carriers will reduce perks to boost profitability.

The Fortune Magazine reports that up to now economy-class passengers travelling with major carriers had seats with at least 30-inches of pitch and also could change reservations if they paid a fee. They also had the option to upgrade and were offered free snacks.

Delta said they are providing what price-conscious customers demanded of them – a low-cost service with no frills.

If a customer wasn’t concerned with seat choice, it was a popular and price-sensitive alternative which is exactly what they were looking for.

American Airlines is due to launch its new low-cost service some time this year, but hasn’t disclosed the details of what will be on offer.