The three major US airlines — American, Delta, and United — have introduced basic economy fares over the past few years with the claim that these tickets let them lower the cheapest economy fares. Travel bloggers say the lowest prices haven’t dropped; they just buy you less than they used to.
Basic economy pares down what you would get with a regular economy ticket. You still get the same free soft drinks and snacks as the other passengers in the economy cabin, but the fares come with restrictions on seat selection, when you board, and even carry-on luggage.
You can, however, avoid those restrictions. Get a credit card from your favorite airline, whether it is American, Delta or United, and the card’s perks can make up for the most restrictive parts of the basic economy fare. You won’t even have to use the credit card in most cases.
American Airlines flyers might want to consider theCiti/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. Delta passengers can take a look at the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. United fans may prefer the United MileagePlus Explorer card from Chase.