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Economist: America’s airlines are introducing a class below economy.

... some people suspect a more nefarious motive: Delta and its rivals are making basic economy so unpleasant that people will pay extra to “upgrade” to standard economy.” No joke, weren’t some contemplating standing room?

07/18/16 • 08:21 AM • TravelVehicles • (8) Comments


Poverty class?

Welcome back!

Posted by Will on 07/18/16 at 08:36 AM

I don’t think I agree with the assertion about “encouraging” upgrades since the fare difference can’t possibly make up for the lost revenue of an empty seat?

Posted by BillSaysThis on 07/18/16 at 09:06 AM

It’s a bit of a stretch, I’ll agree, but makes a good eyegrabbing quote.

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 07/18/16 at 09:19 AM

They have gotten very good at estimating how many people will “upgrade” to economy plus, and it’s interesting that they will let economy plus seats sit empty now. I think it’s less about encouraging people to upgrade and more about punishing those who don’t pay the minimum. They’re essentially saying that unless you take part in the frequent flier program and travel with them a lot, you are literally going to hurt.

Standard economy is already punishment—I really can’t imagine it being much worse unless we’re sitting on each other’s laps. Standing room has been floated as an idea, I guess, as has paying to use the restrooms. We’re not there yet, but it seems as if it’s only a matter of time.

I’m just very, very tired of industries whose main business model is making things progressively worse for people. (A lot of the online world feels the same way.)

Posted by Will on 07/18/16 at 09:25 AM

PAYING FOR RESTROOMS?!!! I’ll finish my private pilot license first.

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 07/18/16 at 09:32 AM

I think they had to do away with it, but…


Posted by Will R. on 07/18/16 at 09:44 AM

I think people who fly with a single carry-on and no checked luggage should get a drastic discount.

These people who think they need to pack half their belongings for a 7-day vacation are the people who are causing weight issues. Less luggage means more people. more people per plane means lower prices.

In theory, at least.

Posted by Cameron Barrett on 07/18/16 at 11:30 AM

Back when I flew frequently for A/V gigs, Business Class seemed based around this concept. Maybe just for TWA (now defunct, of course).

Checked baggage was, from my experience, a nightmare about 10% of the time. On a flight to Hawaii, my stuff ended up in South Africa. I had to buy expensive t-shirts for three days before they got me my stuff. So I made up a ‘drop-dead basics’ kit for carry-on. Unfashionable (at the time) washable synthetic t’s and underwear, at the least.

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 07/18/16 at 11:43 AM


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