Airfare 101

Published on March 21st, 2018 | by Aaron Barroso


What are basic economy fares?

To compete with Ultra-Low-Cost-Carriers (ULCCs), many major domestic and international carriers have introduced basic economy fares on select routes. Learn about these new options and how they can impact your travel.

Basic economy fares

Your Flight Centre travel consultant will always present the best options to you, so it makes sense to consider booking a basic economy fare, right? Well, not exactly.

While saving money is the obvious advantage of this restricted airfare, it should be noted that complimentary options found with standard economy, like carry-on luggage, would be an additional cost with basic economy. Coupled with the last-minute changes and cancellations that can occur with regular travel, it may up be ending costing you more to go with a basic economy fare.

Currently, this airfare is available on select domestic routes, but we anticipate expansion into the US and possibly beyond in the coming weeks.


We feel it is important to explain the inflexibility and restrictions of basic economy fares, to ensure that your customer experience is a positive one.

Here is a list of this fare’s limitations, to help you make an informed decision:

  • Changes are not permitted.
  • Cancellations are not permitted meaning if you cancel, there is no credit value.
  • Upgrades will not be applicable.
  • Additional fees, like advance seat selection and preferred seating, may come at a higher cost than with a normal fare.
  • Same-day airport changes are not possible.
  • You are not eligible to earn any reward miles or points with partner frequent flyer programs.
  • You would board last, due to a new boarding zone for basic economy. Among the disadvantages of this would be no overhead bin space remaining.

While budget considerations are important, when these important factors are highlighted, the basic economy fare may not be a suitable choice for you, the traveller.

Flight Centre expert travellers will always recommend the best product to you to ensure you receive an amazing travel experience every time.

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About the Author

Aaron Barroso

Aaron Joshua ‘AJ’ Barroso is the Senior Manager, Content & Digital for Flight Centre Travel Group Canada. He has an insatiable appetite for travel and makes it his mission to travel to at least one new destination every year. His favourite cities are Paris, London, New York and Rio de Janeiro.

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