All You Need to Know About Economy Class in Air Travel
Last Updated on March 24, 2021 by Editorial Team
If you are a frequent flyer, you will notice that airlines will offer different sections of cabins on their aircraft. Each section of the cabin has its own share of price, comfort, services, and amenities. One of these cabins that we are going to discuss here is called the economy class. Here you will get to know a lot more about the Economy class. All you need to know about economy class in air travel.
In this blog, we are going to do an in-depth review of what is an economy class in airlines, how it is different from other class of cabins and more.
What is an Economy Class?
In airlines, an economy class can be defined as a class of cabin that usually forms the main cabin in a flight’s seating section and offers very few services and amenities to passengers. It is thus, the lowest seating section in an aircraft, less expensive and limited in many ways.
An economy class is sometimes, also referred to as the coach class or main cabin i.e., it has the largest seating section in an aircraft.
Many airline carriers have economy class as the lowest cabin tier on their flights. However, there is also a possibility that few airline carriers may also include the basic economy class, which is considered the lowest of all cabin tiers. For example, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, all based in the United States, offer basic economy cabins on both domestic and international flights.
How is Economy Class Different from Other Class of Cabins in Airlines?
Generally speaking, the various class of cabins in airlines are given below in descending order.
- First Class
- Business Class
- Premium Economy Class
- Economy Class
- Basic Economy Class
As already mentioned above, an economy class is the lowest cabin on many airliners’ flights. However, certain airliners may include basic economy class, which is even lower than the standard economy class.
Airlines usually allow travelers to choose their desired class of cabins at the time of booking flight tickets. And, in order to differentiate these cabins, airlines mark the seat category with alphabets. You will, therefore, see a capital letter printed on your ticket, indicating your seat category and the class of cabin on the flight that you will be traveling to your destination.
In the following section, we are going to look at several factors in order to know how an economy class differs from the other class of cabins in flights.
Price of Flight Tickets
Economy class tickets are usually less expensive than its higher cabin airfares. Since the tickets are cheaper, they are also non-refundable and no discounts are offered to travellers either.
However, travelers are given the option to upgrade to a higher class of cabin, such as from economy class to premium economy, business, or first class for a few extra bucks. Upgrading to a higher cabin tier may also allow passengers discounted fares and a couple of benefits that are not available to economy class passengers.
Sometimes, upgrades may vary by route in the flight’s itinerary. So, it is important that you check with your airline when booking a reservation or upgrading your current reservation.
Checked Baggage and Carry-on Fees
Passengers travelling in economy class on a given airline are likely to be charged a certain fee for checked baggage and/or carry-on bag.
Many airline carriers will charge checked baggage fees that is standard of all passengers, regardless of them travelling in any given class of cabin.
In contrast, since passengers that are travelling in higher cabin tiers pay more for their tickets, they often
Checking in and Boarding
Economy class passengers are not given priority check in and boarding facilities as compared to passengers travelling in higher class of cabins.
If you are travelling in economy class, you are left with no other option but to wait in the check-in queue for your turn, if there is a very long queue. You may have the same experience during the onboarding process.
When boarding a flight, the preference is always given to first and business-class passengers, followed by the premium economy, economy, and basic economy passengers. So, you can imagine how long you might have to wait before you are finally allowed to enter the plane and take your seat.
Also, passengers that purchase an airline’s elite membership subscription usually get to enjoy more benefits and priority services, including priority check-in and boarding. For this, reason, you will often see a separate priority lane at airports that are available specifically for such travelers.
Typically, economy class seats are located towards the end of the aircraft. So, you will have to pass through all other cabins to get to your seat.
If you compare the seats in economy class with those in other cabins, you will certainly appreciate the comfortable seats and privacy in higher cabins, of course.
What you will generally find in economy class seats is that the seats are non-adjustable to suit your comfort needs. This also means that you will have less legroom space to stretch your legs and can be challenging on long-haul trips.
So, if you prefer having a reclining seat that also offers more legroom space and a little privacy, then you may need to upgrade to a higher cabin seat.
Most airlines will offer more or less the same kind of in-flight entertainment services to passengers, regardless of what class you are travelling.
Thus, access to in-flight services, such as free Wi-Fi, audio, and visual entertainment is usually charged at the time of booking your flight. But, bear in mind that although some airline carriers may offer complimentary in-flight entertainment services to passengers, a few other airlines may offer these as premium services.
Snacks, Meals and Beverage
The service and quality of snacks, meals and beverage vary significantly on different class of cabins, time of travel, route etc.
For example, on short-distance flights, while an airline may serve light snacks to passengers, another airline may not offer such service.
On long-haul and overnight flights, you will be served meals, but the quality may again, vary, depending on which class you are traveling. Meals can be either pre-ordered, requested on-demand, or served at pre-determined meal times.
Some airlines also provide bars that are accessible to business and first class passengers. Both alcohol and non-alcohol drinks are served in these in-flight bars.
Last, but not least, economy class passengers may have restrictions for accessing certain amenities at the airport. These include lounges, ground transportation, etc.
For example, access to airport lounges is mainly allowed to business and first-class passengers before boarding their flights. Additionally, such passengers are also served snacks and beverage that is available both as a complimentary service or paid-for.
Although traveling in economy class may make you feel limited, but it’s not very bad as you might think. Usually, the largest cabin of any airline carrier is the main cabin, aka the economy class, and many passengers still prefer this class for traveling.