Delta Airlines Basic Economy

What you should expect when flying Delta Airlines on a basic economy ticket.

Basic Economy is a Delta Airlines marketed low priced fare class in the main cabin where travel changes and seat assignments are not allowed.  All seat assignments are randomly selected at the gate (even Medallions flying in Basic Economy will not be able to select a seat).  All seat assignments are based on availability (mostly back of the plane, middle seats) and board in Zone 2.  This fare class (while attractive in price) should be avoided by Medallion members due to the inability to access specific benefits of your elite status.

Mileage and Elite status earning in Basic Economy

The following matrix gives you your earning potential while flying Basic economy as a Member, Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion, Platinum Medallion or Diamond Medallion on Delta marketed/operated flights.




MQM

MQS

MQD

RDM

Member



100%

100%

100%

5 miles per MQD

Silver


100%

100%

100%

7 miles per MQD

gold



100%

100%

100%

8 miles per MQD

platinum



100%

100%

100%

9 miles per MQD

diamond



100%

100%

100%

11 miles per MQD

Upgrade priority in Basic Economy

The following matrix gives you an idea of your chances of an upgrade while flying Basic economy as a Member, Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion, Platinum Medallion or Diamond Medallion on Delta marketed/operated flights.


International Business/First

Upgradeability

Domestic Business/First

Upgradeability

Domestic Business/First

Upgrade Priority

Business/First Upgrade

Restrictions

Upgrade Tie Breakers



BASIC

ECONOMY

E

NOT ELIGABLE

NOT ELIGABLE

NOT ELIGABLE

NOT ELIGABLE

N/A

What you should expect in Basic Economy

At the gate

  • Seat Assignment – Nope.  Don’t even ask.  All seats are assigned by the gate agent usually within 30 of boarding.  You’ll probably be in a middle seat towards the back of the plan.
  • Boarding – Zone 2… Yep, you’re last.  If you have a roll-a-board, expect it to be gate checked.

In flight

  • Standard seat – Nothing to write home about.  It’s small and has an average recline and not a lot of leg room. You’ll probably be in a middle seat towards the back of the plan.
  • Complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages over 250 miles – Coke products and light snack (Pretzels, peanuts, cookies).  The snacks are the same in Economy class too.
  • Beer, Wine, Spirits available for purchase – Between $6-$10 depending on what you order.
  • In-seat power available on some flights – Newer planes with the upgraded seat-back entertainment have USB ports on every screen.  Very useful for charging phones.  Some planes have 110V AC power ports between the seats, but they are typically in the front of the plane (ie: Not basic economy).
  • In-flight entertainment – Planes equipped with seat-back entertainment are useful.  Otherwise you’ll need to use your phone/tablet to connect to the in-flight entertainment system.  There’s a variety of movies, TV shows and music.
  • Pillow/Blanket – The pillow is small and the good ‘ole red Delta blank is awkwardly sized for normal sized people and almost see through.  You’ll probably need two blanks.
  • Amenity/sleep kit – Honestly, I wouldn’t want to fly Basic Economy long-haul, but they give you eye shades and ear buds if you do.

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