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  • Writer's pictureFoozy

Basic Economy. Is it Worth It? Usually Not.

About a month ago I posted about my awesome trip I scored to Barcelona and Lisbon. A week before my trip I realized something: my ticket was basic economy 😱! If this is not your worst travel nightmare come true it should be. I caution you, use my struggle as your guide to do better.

In my blog post, Airfare to Barcelona, Lisbon, London, and Milan for under $500!, I explained how I bought tickets to Portugal and Spain for under $550! It was called a “hackers fare” through Kayak, which then redirected to I purchased my flights through but there was never an indication that this was basic economy - I booked with them for the amazing price! But the fine print or something you should look out for is of it says “BASIC FARE”. This is the most restrictive class of airline ticket and prevents you from making any changes to your ticket, selecting your seat, makes you board the plane last, and you pay for baggage! Now if you don’t care about where you sit and you can travel with just a carry-on then proceed with basic economy, but even then be aware that you have no rights to make any changes or cancellations.

I ended up get reamed with all of these extras: $192 in baggage fees and $130 in seat selection fees for a total of $322! That is outrageous! And while I enjoyed the layovers in London and Milan, I could have had direct flights to Barcelona and New York. When I flew from Barcelona to Lisbon I took TAP Portugal and they also had fees for baggage and seats and sold this as basic economy as well. Additionally, two days before check in, I received an e-mail from indicating that I could select and pay for my seats, which I did. However, when I arrived at American Airlines they had no indication of my seat purchase and the selections weren’t honored and my friend and I were separated to middle seats in different rows. Just because a flight is cheaper does not make it a good one.

Ultimately I would say, DO NOT BOOK THROUGH As an Online Travel Agent (OTA) or third-party booking agency they are responsible for advertising what fare you are booking and they did not properly do so. Not all is lost, I will be complaining directly to for their failure to fully disclose all the details of this trip.

Moral of the story, triple check your fares and flights before booking.

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Oct 01, 2019

Absolutely, Gloria! I feel fortunate that my trip wasn’t interrupted but what a headache to be sure! I will be issuing my complaints.


Oct 01, 2019

My thoughts are pretty much, "if it's too good to be true, then it probably is," and going to all those locations for a low price would've raised red flags for me :-) however, I only always carry one bag (preferably a carry-on) and my backpack. I really don't care where I sit, unless it's really making me uncomfortable. Those fees will get you and you were lucky that you were able to pay them. Think perhaps, of those who couldn't come up with those fees while attempting to board. Food for thought, for sure.

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