I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Delta is the best airline of the “big three” legacy carriers. They have the best customer service and the best in-flight experience compared to the other two and especially now during Covid, they have been the most flexible and accommodating for all passengers. They may not always be the cheapest flight option and their Sky Miles program is sh*t, but everything else considered, I would choose Delta over American and United any day of the week.
And I’m not even talking about business class or even regular “main cabin” tickets. I’m talking about Delta’s bottom-of-the-barrel, basic economy tickets. My last few flights have all been basic economy tickets and I’m fortunate to say that I have not had a single negative experience with them. They have been accommodating and I have had zero issues and honestly, I’m gonna keep buying Delta’s basic economy tickets from now until the end of the year. Here’s why.
First and foremost, the price. This one is pretty obvious. Delta’s basic economy fares are priced significantly cheaper than main cabin fares. It’s not uncommon to find basic economy tickets about 25% cheaper than main cabin fares and on flights costing more than $500, it’s not uncommon to see basic economy tickets costing over $100 less per person. It’s a no-brainer to save that much money.
Secondly, the flexibility. Delta is the only airline of the big three that is allowing all tickets, including basic economy tickets, to be changed WITHOUT a fee for any flight between now and December 31, 2021. Keep in mind, you are still responsible for the fare difference between your original flight and the new one but this is standard for all airlines and fares.
This flexibility waiver is valid for any Delta basic economy ticket booked from May 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, and valid for any flight departing between July 28, 2021, and December 31, 2021. If you need to change your flight plans for any reason, you must book your new flight by December 31, 2021, and travel no later than December 31, 2022. More details on Delta’s basic economy waiver can be found here.
And lastly, the main reason why I love Delta so much – you still get the same great in-flight experience with a basic economy ticket compared to a main cabin fare, including free snacks and seatback entertainment. Basic economy passengers are also allowed one piece of carry-on luggage (something that can fit in the overhead bin) and one personal item such as a purse, laptop bag or backpack (something that can fit under the seat in front of you). You can’t do that with a United basic economy ticket.
You can’t select your seats ahead of time for free but if there are any open seats at check-in (24 hours before departing), you can change your automatically assigned seat to any other open seat for free. Other airlines won’t let you do that either but Delta will.
However, keep in mind that there are some drawbacks to Delta’s basic economy fares. You do board last so overhead bin space may be full by the time you board, which means you may have to gate-check your carry-on bag. If this happens to you; don’t worry. Just remember to remove all your electronics, medications and other valuables/necessities before giving them your bag.
With basic economy tickets, there is always a chance that your traveling party may not be seated together. If this is a non-negotiable point for you, you can always pay to select your seats ahead of time. Most of the time, paying for a basic economy ticket and paying to select your seats will still be cheaper than paying for a main cabin ticket. And lastly, basic economy tickets do earn elite qualifying and redeemable mileage but they do not qualify for elite upgrades. Free checked bags still apply if you qualify with status or a co-branded credit card.
So as you can see, for the average traveler, there really is no reason why you should pay more for a main cabin fare when you can save hundreds of dollars with a Delta basic economy ticket. You can still change your flight fee-free from now until December 31, 2021, and you still get the same great in-flight experience as others paying way more than you. Delta really is a great airline and they have made some positive changes for passengers during Covid-19. Let’s hope some of these changes stick around long after the pandemic.
What do you guys think? Have you flown Delta’s basic economy fares? If so, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!