Kayak Now Helps You Decode Basic Economy Fares
By Meredith Carey. Photos: Getty, Courtesy Kayak.
These days, passengers have a lot of options when it comes to air travel. They could choose a budget airline, or a legacy airline, or a budget fare on a legacy airline. It's confusing, and that's coming from a team of Condé Nast Traveler editors who fly for a living. But now, at least two online travel agencies (OTAs) have caught on, offering tools to help consumers know just what they are (or more importantly aren't) purchasing with economy, basic economy, or the sure-to-be-announced ultra-low super extreme economy where you just hang on to the wing for dear life. Hopper launched its Fair Bear in February, which helps users see how much the ticket would actually cost if they check a bag, select a seat assignment, and order food. And now, Kayak is chiming in with its own tool to help fliers traverse the economy fare game.
On Kayak, for Delta, American, and United's basic economy fares—where passengers do not choose their seat assignment before boarding, board in the last group, and often can't use overhead bins—a “Basic Economy” label now appears, differentiating it from "Economy," with an option to show details to compare the fares. For now, the detailed breakdown of the different options only appears in search results for the Big Three.
“A flight on American was a flight on American. And the same on Delta and United. If you bought a fare, you got from point A to point B and—at the time—you even got a checked bag,” Kayak president Keith Melnick told USA Today. “[But now] you want to be able to compare across the different airlines and what their basic product is. The goal is to expose all of this information.”
Fingers crossed that this will keep passengers from being bamboozled by these new types of fares.
This story originally appeared on Conde Nast Traveler.
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