Skip to content

Know All About Basic Economy Cabin and Airfare

When you book a flight, whether it’s your holiday or business trip, the airline will offer several choices of cabins that you can select. The lowest and the cheapest flight cabin that is offered on some airlines is basic economy cabin, also called a coach. If you have never experienced travelling in a basic economy, this blog will provide you with some useful information.

In this blog, we will give you an insight into a basic economy cabin in airlines. Also, how it is different from other classes of cabins and how much basic economy airfares cost.

What is Basic Economy in Airlines?

In air travel, a basic economy is the lowest class of cabin with limited or no amenities but offers the lowest airfare. It is also referred to as a ‘coach’. This class of cabin usually has restrictions on free seat assignment, checked baggage, bag allowance, boarding order, eligibility to make changes, cancel tickets, upgrades, etc.

A basic economy class of cabin, or ‘coach’, is offered by a few commercial airline carriers only. Also, such class of cabin is given different names by different airline carriers.

For example, a basic economy cabin is named as Basic Economy (on American Airlines flights), Economy Light, Blue Basic (on JetBlue flights), Main Cabin Basic (on Hawaiian Airlines flights), Bare Fare, Saver Fares (on Alaska Airlines flights), Grab & Go (on Sun Country Airlines) and many more.

Basic economy fares are non-refundable and also, cannot be changed and/or cancelled. However, if an airline carrier allows the cancellation of such a ticket, you may be charged a fee. Also, passengers travelling on a basic economy class are not eligible for complimentary upgrades, even if the passenger has an elite status membership and wishes to travel in this coach cabin.

Comparison between Basic Economy or ‘Coach’ Cabin and Standard or ‘Main’ Economy Cabin

If we compare a basic economy cabin to an airline’s standard economy cabin, there will be plenty of differences.


The airfare of a basic economy cabin is a lot cheaper than a standard economy cabin. This is due to the fact that the airline carrier strips off many services and amenities in order to cut the cost. Thus, customers pay the price of the ticket only and pay extra to avail any services and/or amenities they want.

While a standard economy cabin charges a little higher airfare, but will also include certain benefits, such as advanced seat assignment, standard bag allowance, etc., to customers.

Check-in and Checked Baggage

When travelling in basic economy class, you do not get to enjoy the benefits of priority check-in and checked-baggage services.

Thus, you will have to go through the procedure, and if there is a long queue, particularly on busy days and holidays, you cannot help but wait in line.

Some airline carriers, such as United Airlines, may limit passengers travelling in the basic economy to only a single carry-on item.


Passengers travelling in the basic economy will generally board their planes last, i.e., after all, passengers of the main economy cabin have boarded.

Also, basic economy passengers are not offered priority boarding services. This service is, however, available to standard economy passengers and a higher class of cabins.

Cabin Layout

Generally, the typical cabin layout in an aircraft includes the First Class, followed by Business Class, Premium Economy Class (on certain airline carriers), Standard or Main Economy Cabin and lastly, Basic Economy or Coach Cabin.

So, passengers travelling in basic economy class will be the last to board the plane and are seated toward the end of the aircraft. This cabin section is also the smallest section having few seats.

Services and Amenities In-flight and at Airport

Restrictions to services and amenities, both onboard the plane and at airports, may vary from one airline to another.

Which Airline Carriers Offer Basic Economy Cabins?

Not all airline carriers offer basic economy class cabins on their fleet of aircraft to customers. Instead, there are only a few of them that have included the coach cabin on their flights.

The following commercial airline carriers provide basic economy cabins on their aircraft to customers.

  • American Airlines


Basic Economy is the lowest cabin in an aircraft and offers the lowest airfare, in which you can still travel, but with minimal comfort though. You will, however, need to purchase premium services, amenities and upgrades in order to make your trip a little more comfortable and enjoyable.

If you are travelling light and are not concerned about upgrades or changes, then you can probably save on a basic economy fare.

Call Now