We’re constantly working to make booking and traveling easier for Brex travelers, which is why we have added the much-requested basic economy and low cost carrier fares to the Brex Travel Portal, laid out in our innovative Next-Generation Storefront (NGS) display -- more on that later.
Basic economy is the cheapest tier of airline ticket options. This ticket comes with a minimalist flight experience and more restrictions than standard economy or business class tickets, for a lower cost. For some companies and travelers, the bottom line matters most, making basic economy and low cost carrier fares a viable option for those who are happy to trade flexibility and convenience for the cheapest flight.
What’s with the stars? Is this new system recognized by other travel agencies or airlines?
TravelBank teamed up with ATPCO (Airline Tariff Publishing Company) and major airline partners to implement a new, industry-standard, six-star rating system similar to how hotels are rated. This is aimed to help travelers compare airline seats easily. Using information you value in your decision making, the new system will help you compare seats, boarding priority, and carry-on baggage options with ease.
When you expand the flight cards, you will see more information on the flight and selected seat, such as the amount of legroom available, the type of seat, and any amenities such as free wifi available. Travelers can see these ratings on all flight search results and make the best choice for their trip by comparing seats at a glance or toggling between seat options to view detailed offerings.
As the most restrictive fare class, basic economy and low cost carrier fares fall into the 1-star rating category.
Learn more about TravelBank’s perspective on NGS in this LinkedIn article by our Co-Founder & CEO, Duke Chung.
Basic Economy Restrictions and Fees to Know
Booking the lowest fare available comes at the cost of flexibility. The first serious restriction about basic economy is rigid scheduling. There are no flight changes (including same-day changes, which are an option with regular economy) and no refunds. The airline requires you to take the exact flight you initially booked, so changing to a different flight would require buying a new ticket. Last-minute seat assignments increase the chances of an unpleasant middle row flight, or even getting involuntarily bumped to an alternate flight if the flight is oversold.
Basic economy puts ticket holders on the lowest priority rung when it comes to boarding and travelers are also likely to find themselves attended to last if a flight needs to be rebooked due to weather or mechanical problems. Basic economy fares typically have restrictions on seat selection, ticket changes, carry on bags, boarding priority, and upgrades.
Major airlines created basic economy fare to compete with bare bones tickets offered by low cost carriers like Spirit, Frontier, etc. To ensure that Brex travelers do not accidentally book these fares without understanding the restrictions, we’ve created a warning dialog that requires users to confirm any time they select a 1-star flight.