Is there some kind of stigma attached to the phrase “basic economy”? Delta uses that designation for the lowest level of the new branded fare categories it introduced last winter, and officials said this week the airline has been successful in moving customers into the higher fare categories.
Those include Main Cabin economy, Delta Comfort+ (extra-legroom economy), First Class and Delta One (international business class). The Basic Economy fare does not allow for changes, refunds or advance seat selection. The new designations took effect in March.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Delta executives said in an earnings conference call this week that almost two-thirds of ticket buyers opt for Main Cabin economy over Basic Economy, and overall, the new fare categories have brought an extra $56 million into the company’s coffers during the second quarter.
More travelers are also buying first class seats rather than using SkyMiles upgrades, they noted, with paying customers now accounting for 57 percent of front-cabin seats, up 13 percent. (The bad news for frequent flyers: fewer spaces available for upgrades.)
Meanwhile, Delta also said that because pilots have rejected a new labor contract, it will cancel orders for 60 new planes, including 20 Embraer E190s and 40 737-900ERs.
NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: This guy got 1 million United miles + More changes to Delta SkyMiles+Airline fees: No end in sight + ATMs are out + More!