LATEST TRENDS IN SAVING ON AIRFARE. It is called Economy airfare. Is it really a deal?October 2, 2018
Finding the best deal for airline tickets can be a challenge. It might even be more of a challenge with the economy fare. American, Delta, and United recently came out with another potentially enticing way to save on airfare. It is called economy fare. But is it really a deal?
Let’s break down some of the restrictions of economy fares: you don’t get to choose your seat, can’t make any changes or request for a refund, and you can’t store a carry on in the overhead bins (on Delta you can).
What you do get is a reduced fare. I pulled up what it would cost to fly from Phoenix to Los Angeles using economy fare on these 3 airlines. One-way economy fare versus their regular less restricted fares for Tuesday, October 2nd costs: $205.40/ $286.40 on American, $236.40/$291.40 on Delta, and $237/ $501 on United.
Then I compared the price to fly from Phoenix to Las Vegas on economy fare for these 3 airlines and the cost to fly it on Southwest Airlines and Allegiant to see how big the savings are.
On American to fly on October 3rd one-way to Vegas will cost you $163.20, Delta $171.80 and on United the most expensive at $338. On Southwest, you’ll pay $164 and on Allegiant that flight will just cost you $50. Keep in mind the entire purpose of these economy fares is to compete with no-frill airlines like Allegiant. Also, keep in mind that $50 fare from Allegiant includes nothing, not even snacks. The only things you get with the fare is a basic seat with no snacks, and you can carry on two very small bags on the plane. If you want to check those bags in, you’ll pay a pretty penny. The only airline that has no restrictions and a good price on the fare was Southwest Airlines which includes 2 checked bags, snacks and the same seat options everyone else gets. You do not get priority boarding, just general boarding.
Being a flight attendant who flies for Delta I see how these fares work on the plane. First off, you board last which means overhead bin space may be very limited or none. In addition, often the seats are in the way back and/or middle seat. If you are flying with other people, do not expect to get seats assigned together. This can be a challenge for families who have young kids and the flight is full.
My advice: I don’t think the savings are worth all the hassle. Avoid economy fare rates on United, Delta, and American Airlines. Get your assigned seat and pay the extra $50, plus you can take your bags on board and get a refund within the time frame of the airline. If you really want no frills priced fare then go with the airlines that branded themselves that way like Allegiant Airlines. A $50 one-way ticket is worth all the restrictions and fees.