- Delta Air Lines will now charge $US60 for checked baggage on select international flights.
- The fee applies to basic economy fares for flights between the US and Europe or North Africa.
- Basic economy passengers previously received an allowance of one free checked bag.
This week, Delta Air Lines updated its basic economy travel policy with the addition of a new checked baggage fee. If you are flying Delta basic economy between the US and Europe or North Africa, it will cost $US60 to check your first bag and $US100 for the second bag.
The new fee applies only to tickets purchased after December 6 for flights on or after April 10, 2018. Before the change, basic economy passengers were afforded one free checked bag on these flights, the same as Delta’s main cabin passengers. Basic economy passengers travelling before April 10 will still get the free checked bag.
“Delta will introduce a basic economy checked bag fee for trans-Atlantic routes only to align with similar basic fare products in the market. Domestic basic economy bag policy is not changing,” a Delta representative told Business Insider.
Basic economy is a new phenomenon that has only recently become pervasive in the airline industry. The fare class is targeted at a specific band of customers for whom price is the top priority and would normally turn to low-cost carriers for air travel.
In the US, ultra-low-cost carriers like Spirit and Frontier have grown considerably in recent years while international LCCs like Norwegian Air and WOW Air have also made their presence felt.
By unbundling its traditional main cabin, legacy airlines like Delta are in a more competitive position to take on the growing threat of low-cost and ultra-low-cost carriers in the US and abroad.
Delta’s basic economy passengers do not get seat assignments in advance, are not eligible for upgrades, and cannot receive refunds.
In fact, Delta’s new fees are similar to the checked bag charges customary on international low-cost carriers like Norwegian and WOW.
However, it should be noted that basic economy passengers receive the same service and amenities as all main cabin passengers once on board the flight.