Airlines in America introduce a class below economy

James Nickerson
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Delta first introduced basic economy (Source: Getty)

Airlines in the US are further segmenting their customers, creating a new class for the particularly thirfty (or those who simply can't afford the cost of air travel as it stands).

The lowest class will sit below economy, and is called "basic economy", first introduced by Delta airlines.

It's now also been announced by United Airlines and American Airlines, and will be rolled out later this year.

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Basically, in exchange for a smaller fee, travellers will lose out on the ability to reserve a seat, as well as forfeit the right to upgrade seats or change or cancel reservations more than 24 hours after booking.

Though, thinking about some airlines that operate in Europe, travellers on this side of the pond may wonder what all the fuss is about.

The airlines, for their part, will be able to limit the things passengers are entitled to in an effort to boost profitability. In particular, eliminating upgrades and standby flying for certain passengers reduces administrative overheads.

Yet, sceptics think the move may be an effort to persuade people to upgrade to more comfortable classes offered.

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