Air Canada Joins the Basic Economy Bandwagon

Air Canada has introduced basic economy fares earlier today, Tuesday, February 20, 2018, which — for the most part — emulate those of its brethren which are based in the United States; and the Economy Basic airfares apply to domestic flights within Canada for now.

Air Canada Joins the Basic Economy Bandwagon

Compare the eight different airfares now offered by Air Canada, with Economy Basic highlighted in red:

Fare Component
Economy Basic
Economy Tango
Economy Flex
Economy Latitude
Premium Economy (lowest)
Premium Economy (flexible)
Business Class (lowest)
Business Class (flexible)
Refundable
No refund
No credit for future travel
No refund No refund YES No refund YES No refund YES
Any-time Change
No changes permitted A fee applies A fee applies Fare difference only*
$50 USD*
Fare difference only*
$50 USD*
Fare difference only*
Same-day Airport Change
No changes permitted
$150 USD
$100 USD

on select routes††

$75 USD
YES
$75 USD
YES YES YES
Same-day Airport Standby
Not applicable Free on select routes†† Free on select routes†† YES Free on select routes†† YES Free on select routes†† YES
*
Any fare difference will apply. Contact Air Canada Reservations for details.
††
Free on Rapidair routes and flights between Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver

Mileage Accrual and Altitude Benefits

 
Mileage Accrual and Altitude Benefits
Economy Basic
Economy Tango
Economy Flex
Economy Latitude
Premium Economy (lowest)
Premium Economy (flexible)
Business Class (lowest)
Business Class (flexible)
Aeroplan Miles Accumulated
None
25%
100%
125%
125%
125%
150%
150%
Altitude Qualifying Miles Accumulated
None
25%
100%
125%
125%
125%
150%
150%

Travel Experience

 
Travel Experience
Economy Basic
Economy Tango
Economy Flex
Economy Latitude
Premium Economy (lowest)
Premium Economy (flexible)
Business Class (lowest)
Business Class (flexible)
Priority Check-in, Baggage Handling and Boarding
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable YES YES YES YES YES
Not applicable Not applicable
+ $50 USD
+ $25 USD
+ $25 USD
+ $25 USD
YES YES
Free Checked Baggage Allowance (fees are per direction)
1st bag

$25 USD

 
2nd bag

$35 USD
1st bag

$25 USD

2nd bag

$35 USD
1

2nd bag

$35 USD
2
2
2
2
2
Exemption from Sports Equipment Handling Fee (for 1 item)
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable YES Not applicable Not applicable YES YES
Advance Seat Selection (fees are per flight segment)
$20 – $100 USD
$10 – $50 USD
YES YES YES YES YES YES
Treat yourself to a little more legroom with our Preferred seats. Free if you’re travelling on a Latitude fare.
Complimentary Meal
Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable YES YES YES YES
Prepaid Air Canada BistroVoucher (a value of up to $16.46 CAD, all taxes included)
+ $7.95 USD
+ $7.95 USD
+ $7.95 USD
YES Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
On My Way Travel Assistance Service
From

$25 USD
From

$25 USD
From

$25 USD
From

$25 USD
From

$25 USD
From

$25 USD
From

$25 USD
From

$25 USD

Summary

Unfortunately, the basic economy disease is spreading; and the only way to stop it is for people to stop purchasing these airfares — but the possibility of that happening any time in the foreseeable future is virtually zero.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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