I flew roundtrip to Europe on 4 flights in basic economy for under $300 and beat the most limiting fare at its own game just by asking
- Basic economy fares allow travelers to fly for less if they're willing to sacrifice some amenities.
- I chose the fare on a recent trip to Europe and only paid $284 for the roundtrip ticket.
- Despite the restrictions, I was easily able to get the best out of the fare and secure some of the best seats in economy.
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Just when we thought that flying in economy couldn't get any worse, airlines gave us basic economy.
Basic economy is not its own physical subsection of the economy cabin, but rather its own fare class that greatly restricts what you can do with the ticket and the amenities you receive. Once onboard the aircraft, there's really no difference between a basic economy and regular economy flyers, though the buildup is usually the most stressful.
Often, for no good reason.
After finding a flight to Copenhagen from New York over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend for $284, I immediately went to book what I thought was a killer deal. The flight times were great, the airlines were well-known full-service carriers, and I didn't see any negatives - at first.
When I got the booking page, however, alarms went off and I was immediately given the warning that this wasn't a normal ticket. It was a basic economy fare and I am essentially the worst person in the world if I book it.
Ok - that last part didn't actually happen. But it did feel like I was being hit with scare tactics to get me to pay over $100 more for a regular economy fare that I didn't really need.
Despite flying on four flights in basic economy, I managed not only to survive but thrive against all odds.
Here's how I did it.
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