To say Basic Economy fares are frustrating and confusing is an understatement. Regardless of how often you travel, this fare category is something we all need to understand, especially so we don’t book these fares without intentionally meaning to. That’s what happened to my friend. Maybe it’s happened to you too? She’s not blaming the airlines, though. She didn’t quite understand and didn’t pay good attention to what she was booking. But she won’t make that mistake again! In talking to her, I realized it would be a good idea to explain what Basic Economy fares mean and to understand what restrictions are placed on your ticket.
The three legacy airlines all have a Basic Economy category. Delta was the first one to introduce these fares, but now United and American Airlines have them as well. Each of them have their own set of restrictions. In general, though, the restrictions usually mean: NO advance seat selection, NO carry-on baggage allowances (your personal item will have to fit under the seat in front of you), last to board, NO accruing miles for the trip, fares are non-refundable and non-changeable, and other restrictions. Delta’s policy is slightly different on a few of these, so check each airline carefully. The legacy airlines see this as competing with what we might call the Low Cost Carriers such as Southwest and JetBlue. Or competing with the Ultra Low Cost Carriers such as Frontier and Spirit.
Originally Posted in January 2017 – Updated with new data points in September 2017!
If you or someone you know has a Mexican passport or resident card, they might be leaving money on the table when they purchase airline tickets to/from/through Mexico.
When you purchase a plane ticket to Mexico, the fare has a tourism tax built in – similar to US customs and immigration fees. This fee goes toward the cost of immigration processing and the arrival / departure card required for foreign visitors. The fee is 500 Mexican Pesos, which is roughly $28 USD. (The fee increased from 390 pesos at some point in 2017). On your ticket receipt you may see this referred to as UK (the IATA code for this tax) or DNR (the Spanish abbreviation).
Screenshot from ITA Matrix showing the Mexico tourism tax – tax and exchange rate as of December 18, 2016.
Good afternoon everyone. At the end of March, I received an email from Barclays regarding my Barclays JetBlue Plus Credit Card. The email said I could earn 10,000 bonus JetBlue Points for spending $750 or more for 3 consecutive months (April, May, and June). I had to make sure to spend $750 or more from April 1-30, May 1-31, and June 1-30 (not when my credit card statement closed in April, May, and June). I received the 10,000 bonus JetBlue Points ~5 months after the date I received the email.
Here’s all the news that caught my eye this week – let me know if you learn something new!
Airlines + Miles
The TSA is reportedly piloting a new requirement in Kansas City (MCI): forcing passengers to remove any paper products from their luggage. Yet another reason to get Global Entry if you don’t have it already. [Schneier on Security]
American Airlines has a new promotion where you can earn up to 10,000 points for transactions with their shopping partners. [Mommy Points]
American Airlines also announced that they plan to cram so many seats into their new 737 MAX planes that some rows will lose two additional inches of legroom. [CNN Money]
Hawaiian Airlines unveiled a brand and livery refresh. It looks pretty slick! [The Design Air]