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It’s a good news, bad news situation. Delta has quietly expanded what was already a quiet launch of Basic Economy award tickets to encompass even more cities, including its hubs in Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Detroit (DTW), Minneapolis–St. Paul (MSP), Salt Lake City (SLC) and Seattle (SEA).
That’s the bad news: There appears to be no stopping the subtle creep of BE fares, even on the award side. The good news is that it does appear some fares are lower than we’ve ever seen, such as the ability to fly from Detroit (DTW) to Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW) on Delta’s brand new A220 for 9,500 SkyMiles each way.
Delta initially rolled out BE award fares to a pair of test markets — Pittsburgh (PIT) and Charleston (CHS) — and clearly the trial was successful. With its major hubs now selling Basic Economy award seats, it’s only a matter of time before every airport, both domestic and international, is included. As alluring as it may be to spend a few less miles for a seat, we’d urge extreme caution.
Delta’s Basic Economy fares aren’t the most restrictive in the industry, but they’re still a huge pain. You won’t get a free checked bag, you can’t select your seat ahead of time, you’ll board last and you’ll get zilch in return should you need to cancel your flight.
Mercifully, you can bring a carry-on aboard and you still earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs).
In what can only be viewed as a move completely devoid of aloha, Basic Economy award seats are now being sold to Hawaii.
Basic economy tickets, classified as E fares, have historically been non-changeable and non-cancelable after 24 hours. No refund, no partial value toward future travel. Nothing. Per verbiage on the airline’s website and as indicated during the booking process, Platinum and Diamond Medallions will not be excepted from this policy. To get the fee-free cancellation perk they’re used to, they will need to pony up for pricier Main Cabin (or above) seats.
If you’re looking for a card that provides these benefits, consider getting one of the following cards:
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express ($0 annual fee for the first year, then $95) (See Rates & Fees)
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express ($195 annual fee) (See Rates & Fees)
- Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express ($450 annual fee) (See Rates & Fees)
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express ($0 annual fee for the first year, then $95) (See Rates & Fees)
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express ($195 annual fee) (See Rates & Fees)
- Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card ($450 annual fee) (See Rates & Fees)
H/T: Thrifty Traveler
Featured image of Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport by the author.
For rates and fees of the Gold Delta Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Delta Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Gold Delta Business Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Delta Business Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Business card, click here.
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