Simplifying the Over-Complicated World of Airfare

It seems like overnight, booking a flight is no longer a simple task. With airlines rolling out new “basic economy” fares, suddenly your ticket comes with more restrictions than ever before. Thankfully, we’re taking on the challenge to help you through the process by showing you what’s included in your ticket price.

With our latest “fare families” feature, we’ll show your basic, standard and advanced options right in your flight search results. We’ve also added icons that call out flights that don’t allow a carry-on. That way, you have the information you need to decide if having priority boarding and the ability to bring a carry-on bag is worth springing for the upgrade. Go ahead, try it.

Why are “fare families” even a thing?

Thanks to low cost carriers ramping up the competition, major airlines are now “unbundling” their fares. These means things once included in the cost of your ticket now classify as “extras.” So that “great deal” on your ticket to Denver, starts to look different once you realize the flight doesn’t include a carry-on, drinks or an assigned seat.

Are you reaching for the aspirin, yet?

What airlines are offering these fares?

As of today, we’re showing three major domestic airlines that have started unbundling their fares: Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines.

How do I see them?

When you run a flight search, if there is a flight that offers different fares for the same flight, they’ll appear directly in your search results like this:


You’ll have the option to book the lowest fare price with the “View Deal” button, or select a different class for an additional cost. Unfortunately, there’s no standard for what is and is not included in the different fare classes across the airlines.
To break it down for you, here’s what the 3 fare classes include:

No Frills

United American Delta
Name Basic Basic Economy Basic Economy
Drinks
Snacks X
Overhead carry-on X X
Small personal item
Entertainment X X
Seat Selection X X X
Ticket Changes X X X
Priority Boarding X (last to board) X (last to board) X

Middle Ground (formerly known as Economy)

United American Delta
Name Economy Main Cabin Main Cabin
Drinks
Snacks X
Overhead carry-on
Small personal item
Entertainment X X
Seat Selection $
Ticket Changes $ $ $
Priority Boarding X $ $

Premium

United American Delta
Name Coming Soon Premium Comfort+
Drinks  
Snacks   X
Overhead carry-on  
Small personal item  
Entertainment   X
Seat Selection   $
Ticket Changes   $ $
Priority Boarding   $ $

 

As things change in travel, we’ll be there, saving the day with some sweet insights and updates that help you navigate planning and managing your trips. Travel Problem Solved.