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.
Buenos dias everyone! A friend recently asked some questions about an upcoming connection through LAX, and since there have been so many changes at that airport this year, I decided to write up a quick guide in case anyone else has an upcoming trip.
LAX has 9 terminals – numbered 1-8 and TBIT (Tom Bradley International Terminal). TBIT and terminals 4-8 are connected by tunnels and bridges post-security; terminals 1-3 are not connected to anything. Note that if you’re going to TBIT and you have TSA PreCheck, there is no PreCheck at TBIT – you can go through the PreCheck lane in T4 and then walk to TBIT via the terminal connector (which conveniently drops you off right next to most of the lounges).
Airline policies often baffle me. The carry-on luggage restrictions are mind-boggling, to say the least. There are no standards and each airline sets their own rules. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago. I was in a mall and walked by a House of Samsonite store. Inside the store were signs showing luggage dimensions and weights for a few airlines. I found the signs helpful, but also realized they were obviously incomplete for those of us who travel a lot and use a broad variety of airlines.
Is one of your mottos, “Waste Not Want Not”? For sure, this is one of mine. One of my friends has this saying embroidered and hanging in her kitchen. It was given to her by her beloved mother-in-law, so it’s really special. And when I’m in her kitchen, it always gets me thinking… especially this past week. Turns out, I had two United Club passes expiring on July 31. I wasn’t going to use them. I asked everyone I knew if they could use them. Nope. Grant did the same. No luck. I had this nagging “Waste Not Want Not” feeling and today the inspiration for what to do with them came to me. I would do a random act of kindness and, at the same time, take myself on a nice walk. I would go down to the San Diego Airport (SAN) and walk up to people by the United Airlines counter and see who could use them.
I arrived at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa mid-week in September. The resort is situated on prime beach front real estate and the views are fabulous. 8,000 SPG points were offered for attending a promotional review of their timeshare presentation, so that was a nice bonus as well.
I could have done a separate review of United First Class, but it wasn’t all that spectacular. Sure the seats are wider and there was food service in first that presumably coach did not get, but the seats were not lie-flat. United did have 120V electricity outlets on each seat, which was nice. The first flight from Denver to San Francisco had WiFi, but there was no entertainment system. The flight from San Francisco to Honolulu did not have WiFi and the DirecTV entertainment system went offline soon after leaving the airport, but movies were still available. Despite this being a fairly long First Class flight, one doesn’t get United Club lounge access unless you have a membership or Star Alliance Gold status from any carrier but United.