We’re living in a “basic economy” world, and it’s getting more confusing every day.
While major airlines like Delta, American and United plan to add more restrictive, low-cost fares to more flights this year, consumers scanning for deals are finding that “basic economy” tickets aren’t what they’re cracked up to be.
In the end, these no-frills seats — where airlines strip away traditional perks like overhead bin space and assigned seating — are bid to compete with low-cost airlines like Spirit and WOW Air, but there’s a point where flyers must ask how low they’re willing to go for the cheap seat.
Luckily, Google is here to help.
Google Flights announced this week a new comparative shopping feature that reveals what exactly you get when you buy a “basic economy” ticket. Now when you search for a flight, Google can tell you what’s covers your ticket, including if that ticket includes baggage, overhead bin space or the ability to pick a seat.
Moreover, it’ll tell show you what said additional “upgrades” would cost.
The feature is a big win for deal-seeking flyers that want options. This is especially true when you take into account that the “basic economy” experience is different across major airlines.
In addition to bringing up the curtain on “basic economy” fares, Google also introduced more info on flight delays. To do so, Google uses historic flight status data and machine learning to predict delays “with 80% confidence.”
Here’s hoping it doesn’t come down to that.