About Delta NOT Shaming: I Said This Back in April…

am not sure as to what is up with all of the media attention pertaining to Delta Air Lines supposedly shaming customers into purchasing Main Cabin economy airfares instead of those for Basic Economy; but in this article back on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, I posted the following content which argues against what I believe is a widespread illogical conclusion:

When you select a Basic Economy class fare for your ticket to travel as a passenger on a flight operated by Delta Air Lines at its official Internet web site, you get a warning — to which you must answer whether or not you agree before continuing with your purchase — as follows:

Try booking a ticket on a Basic Economy fare and you receive this warning.

Click on the image for an enlarged version.

You selected a Basic Economy fare, which includes the following restrictions:

  • Last to board and last to access overhead bin space except Medallion® members and other Priority Boarding eligible customers
  • Other restrictions apply to all customers including but not limited to Medallion® members and SkyTeam® elites
  • No seat assignment until check-in
  • No refunds
  • No ticket changes
  • No paid or complimentary upgrades to Delta One™, First Class, Business Class, Delta Comfort+™ or Preferred Seats
  • No Priority Boarding for purchase
  • No same-day confirmed or same-day standby travel changes


“Delta is now warning you about the evils of BASIC economy seating (and making you sign off on them)!” is the title of this article written by René de Lambert of Delta Points — and I actually believe that that is a good thing.

Think about it: you are clearly being warned by Delta Air Lines that you are purchasing a highly-restricted airfare which excludes certain benefits afforded with other airfares.

By the indication of an additional column with grey buttons solely dedicated to Basic Economy airfares as seen in the screen shot shown above, I personally thought that customers already were clearly informed which airfares were Basic Economy — even clearer than the differences between the economy class and premium class columns…

…but I know of at least one person who was surprised as a passenger on a recent flight operated by Delta Air Lines that he could not choose a seat or board sooner. “I must have purchased one of those Basic Economy fares,” he lamented to me in what sounded like a tone of disgust when he called via the telephone as he was at the gate awaiting his flight — and I could tell that he was disappointed…

…so in my opinion, the idea of this blatantly clear warning which no one can ignore pertaining to purchasing a Basic Economy fare is great; and I applaud Delta Air Lines for implementing such a clear warning. I only wish that lodging companies would have a similar warning when customers are about to reserve a room of which resort fees cost extra money but are mandatory — but that will be the day when pigs fly.

Oh, yeah — that’s right: here is proof that pigs do fly. I will have to search for another clichéd analogy…

In other words, I never did believe that this was a way for Delta Air Lines to purposely shame its customers into purchasing a more expensive ticket, as many in the media seem to want for you to believe. Rather, it is simply a way to clearly convey to the customer what purchasing a Basic Economy ticket entails — and by doing this, I have always believed that Delta Air Lines is doing the right thing.

All those in the media had to do was read that aforementioned article which I wrote for what I believe is the truth.

Just sayin’…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “About Delta NOT Shaming: I Said This Back in April…”

  1. Blind Squirrel says:

    I agree with your premise. That Delta is so transparent earns a kudos on its part.

    What irked me the one time I flew on one of those fares was the inconvenience caused to OTHER passengers. Yup. You read that right.

    As a way of giving me what I paid for, I was of course boarded last. Well, to the two people who were already seated and comfortable in their assigned seats I was the last thing they wanted to see. All 6’3″ of me and a healthy 230 lbs. of me had to squeeze by them to get to my assigned seat. They did nothing to warrant such an intrusion on their space…they just purchased a more expensive ticket with a boarding priority that was a smidgen above my waif status.

    So yeah, what seemed an inconvenience to me paled in comparison to what those two poor souls had to endure. Wonder if Delta gave that any thought before putting the rock bottom ticket policies in place.

    Just sayin’.


    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That is a rather interestingly different perspective, Blind Squirrel. I appreciate you imparting your experience. Thank you.

  2. MilesMath says:

    I don’t believe Delta is including the warning for our benefit. If they could sell Basic Economy fares without listing any of the restrictions and get away with it, they would. They likely have the warning because (1) they would receive too many complaints and potentially have DOT issues if they didn’t disclose and (2) it’s a convenient way to lure buyers in by listing a lower price on travel booking sites and then encouraging those buyers to pay up once they get there.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I would definitely never purposely imply that Delta Air Lines is including the warning solely for the benefit of the consumer, MilesMath — but the airline did have what I believed was an adequate warning prior to the one which is currently used.

      Here is the screen shot of the warning about which I am referencing…


      …but regardless, I do agree with you; but I do not believe that the airline should be shamed for providing what is a clear and unmistakable disclosure citing the differences between the Basic Economy and Main Cabin airfares.

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