Delta Basic Economy Only $3 Less Than Main Cabin Tickets, No Thanks

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We’ve covered an Overview of Delta Basic Economy Fares, and generally you should not book these fares as they are extremely limited in what they offer.

On an upcoming flight, Delta had both Basic Economy and Main Cabin fares available and the price difference to upgrade to a Main Cabin fare was $3. I can’t help by cringe, to those who are booking a Basic Economy fare on this route to save a meager $3.

Basic Economy Restrictions: 

  • Seats can not be assigned in advance and will automatically be chosen at check-in or at the gate, however there are no seat changes
  • Fare is non-refundable and non-changeable, meaning if you can’t take the flight, you’re out for the entire value of the ticket
  • Zone 3 boarding for Basic Economy customers unless a Medallion Member, then Priority boarding would apply
  • No Same Day Travel Changes allowed since the ticket is non-changeable. Medallion members are NOT eligible for Same Day Confirm or Same Day Standby option
  • Ticket is not upgrade eligible for anyone including Medallions
  • Not eligible for complimentary Comfort + or Preferred seating or to buy up to these seats

Bottom Line

I don’t know if this is a pricing glitch, but to see a fare difference of $3 from a Basic Economy fare to a Main Cabin one, is ridiculous, and I sure hope no one is booking the cheaper of these two.

How much would it take for you to save to book a Delta Basic Economy fare over a Main Cabin ticket? Feel free to comment below with your experience. 

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

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  1. Are you sure on the Boarding number? I checked and they said because I have the AMEX Delta Gold, I still get group 1. I bought a r/t SLC-SMF for $42 less with “basic.” I can survive in any seat for 90 minutes, and am not checking a bag anyway (although I could because of my card).

    Just wondering.

  2. The difference between basic and main cabin varies dramatically. I recently booked a flight where basic economy was $50 dollars higher than MC. Today, that same itinerary is $50 dollars less in basic economy so keep checking until you find a fare that’s right for you. I’m a Delta Diamond so I would never book basic economy because I get Comfort+ for free (only in MC) and my upgrade record to 1st class is about 90% (also, not available in Basic Econ).

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