Basic economy to Hawaii? Hawaiian rolls out ‘Main Cabin Basic’
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Add Hawaiian Airlines to the list of carriers offering a “basic economy” fare.
The airline has rolled out “Main Cabin Basic” fares, saying it’s “initially” offering them on “select, nonstop flights” between Honolulu and the California cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Jose. The fare category is now being offered on those select flights for travel starting Oct. 21 and beyond.
With that, Hawaiian joins the list of other big U.S. carriers that have now added a no-frills “basic economy” type of fare to their repertoire.
So-called “basic economy” fares were first rolled out by Delta earlier this decade. The fares, which were eventually adopted by American and United in 2017, strip out most perks once associated with air travel. Among the most-common restrictions: no advance seat assignments, no changes — not even for a fee — and buyers of the fares are among the last to be called for boarding.
When first introduced, it was part of an effort by the traditional full-service airlines to have their fares display more competitively against the prices of ultra low-cost rivals like Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant. Those “ULCCs” are known for having rock-bottom base fares and adding fees for nearly everything beyond boarding the plane.
Now, the basic economy fare type is common throughout the industry. In addition to the USA’s “big three,” Alaska Airlines has rolled out its equivalent “Saver” fares. JetBlue also has tweaked its fare types in recent years, though its “Blue” fares tend to stop short of the restrictions seen in most of its rivals’ basic economy fares.
Southwest Airlines is the notable holdout, at least in part because its no-frills, open-seating concept leaves little else for it to strip out of its cheapest fares.
As for Hawaiian, it touted its Main Cabin Basic fare as an option for those who “prefer to forgo standard Hawaiian travel services such as advanced seat selection and the ability to upgrade in exchange for the most affordable fares.”
Similar to other carriers’ basic economy fares, those booking Hawaiian’s Main Cabin Basic will not be able to choose seat assignments prior to check-in and they will be among the last to board. Standby and elite frequent-flyer benefits also are curtailed with Main Cabin Basic.
However, customers booking the fare will still receive Hawaiian’s complimentary meal, snack and beverage service and will continue to earn one frequent-flyer mile per mile flown. Also of note: Hawaiian says its Main Cabin Basic customers will continue to get its standard carry-on baggage allowance of a complimentary bag plus a personal item. Main Cabin Basic customers will have no restrictions on using the overhead storage bins. Hawaiian offered full details via a Main Cabin Basic FAQ section on its website.
“We are now offering a full range of fare options to our guests on these routes with the addition of the best-value Main Cabin Basic product in the industry,” Brent Overbeek, Hawaiian’s senior vice president of revenue management and network planning at Hawaiian Airlines, added in a statement.
Featured photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees