APH compares ‘basic economy fares’ on long haul flights

Are new ‘basic economy’ fares on long-haul flights worth the squeeze?
Several long-haul airlines have recently launched discounted ‘basic economy’ fares, allowing budget-conscious passengers to travel to destinations such as the USA with hand luggage only and avoid unnecessary fees. Therefore, to help savvy travellers weigh-up their long-haul options, APH has put together a table comparing the new economy ticket options available on flights from the UK.

economy flight

The APH guide looks at the economy fares offered by nine airlines, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Norwegian Air, comparing hand and checked luggage allowances, seat selection, seat width and legroom, and if complimentary refreshments are provided.

In terms of luggage, seven of the nine airlines allow travellers to bring up to 10kg of hand luggage onboard. However, both American Airlines’ Basic Economy and WOW air’s Basic fares do not allow passengers to put hand luggage in the overhead lockers and restrict passengers to carry-on personal items that fit underneath the seat in front. Checked baggage is not included as part of a basic fare, but an allowance of 23kg of hold luggage is included with 11 of the airlines’ standard economy charges, including Air France, KLM and Icelandair.


AIR FRANCE / KLM

LIGHT ECONOMY FARE

ROUTES
• Between France and Europe, North Africa or Israel

HAND BAGGAGE
• 12kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• No

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 16” – 17”

LEGROOM
• 32”

STANDARD ECONOMY FARE

ROUTES
• Between France and Europe, North Africa or Israel

HAND BAGGAGE
• 12kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• 23kg

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 16” – 17”

LEGROOM
• 32”


AMERICAN AIRLINES

BASIC ECONOMY FARE – TO AND FROM EUROPE

ROUTES
• To and from Europe

HAND BAGGAGE
• Maximum weight not specified

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• No

SEAT SELECTION
• No

BOARDING
• Group 8

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 15.9” – 19.3”, depending on aircraft and route

LEGROOM
• 30”

BASIC ECONOMY FARE – FLIGHTS WITHIN THE U.S., CANADA, MEXICO & CARIBBEAN

ROUTES
• Flights within the U.S., Canada, Mexico & Caribbean

HAND BAGGAGE
• Not included and no access to overhead bins
• Personal item is included – up to a maximum size of 18x14x8 inches

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• No

SEAT SELECTION
• No

BOARDING
• Group 9

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 15.9” – 19.3”, depending on aircraft and route

LEGROOM
• 30”


BRITISH AIRWAYS

BASIC ECONOMY FARE

ROUTES
• London to Austin, Boston, Delhi, Denver, Hong Kong, Oakland, Philadelphia, Punta Cana, Singapore and Dubai

HAND BAGGAGE
• One cabin bag (23kg) and one handbag/laptop bag (23kg)

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• No

SEAT SELECTION
• No

BOARDING
• Board in final group
COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 17.5”

LEGROOM
• 31”

STANDARD ECONOMY FARE

ROUTES
• London to Austin, Boston, Delhi, Denver, Hong Kong, Oakland, Philadelphia, Punta Cana, Singapore and Dubai

HAND BAGGAGE
• One cabin bag (23kg) and one handbag/laptop bag (23kg)

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• 23kg

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 17.5”

LEGROOM
• 31”


DELTA

BASIC ECONOMY FARE

ROUTES
• Available on around half of Delta’s flights between North America and Europe

HAND BAGGAGE
• Yes

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• No

SEAT SELECTION
• No

BOARDING
• Board in final group

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 17” – 18.3”

LEGROOM
• 31”


ICELANDAIR

ECONOMY LIGHT FARE

ROUTES
• Between Europe, Iceland and the U.S.

HAND BAGGAGE
• 10kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• No

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes – limited to soft drinks, coffee and tea

SEAT WIDTH
• 17” – 19” depending on aircraft

LEGROOM
• 32”
ECONOMY STANDARD FARE

ROUTES
• Between Europe, Iceland and the U.S.

HAND BAGGAGE
• 10kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• 23kg

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes – limited to soft drinks, coffee and tea

SEAT WIDTH
• 17” – 19” depending on aircraft

LEGROOM
• 32”

ECONOMY FLEX FARE

ROUTES
• Between Europe, Iceland and the U.S.

HAND BAGGAGE
• 10kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• 23kg

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Priority boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes – limited to soft drinks, coffee and tea

SEAT WIDTH
• 17” – 19” depending on aircraft

LEGROOM
• 32”


NORWEGIAN AIR

ECONOMY LOWFARE FARE

ROUTES
• Flights to/from U.S., Thailand, Argentina, Singapore and Caribbean (excl. flights between U.S. and Caribbean)

HAND BAGGAGE
• 10kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• No

SEAT SELECTION
• No

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• No

SEAT WIDTH
• 17.2”

LEGROOM
• 31” – 32”


PRIMERA AIR

LIGHT FARE

ROUTES
• London to Boston, Washington D.C., New York and Toronto

HAND BAGGAGE
• 10kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• No

SEAT SELECTION
• No

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• No

SEAT WIDTH
• 17”

LEGROOM
• 30”

COMFORT FARE

ROUTES
• London to Boston, Washington D.C., New York and Toronto

HAND BAGGAGE
• 10kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• 23kg

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes – excluding exit and XL seats

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• No

SEAT WIDTH
• 17”

LEGROOM
• 30”

FLEX FARE

ROUTES
• London to Boston, Washington D.C., New York and Toronto

HAND BAGGAGE
• 10kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• 23kg

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 17”

LEGROOM
• 30”


VIRGIN ATLANTIC

ECONOMY LIGHT FARE

ROUTES
• Select direct routes

HAND BAGGAGE
• 10kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• No

SEAT SELECTION
• No

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 17”

LEGROOM
• 31”

ECONOMY CLASSIC FARE

ROUTES
• All routes

HAND BAGGAGE
• 10kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• 23kg

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 17”

LEGROOM
• 31”

ECONOMY DELIGHT FARE

ROUTES
• Select direct routes

HAND BAGGAGE
• 10kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• 23kg

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Premium check-in desks
• Priority boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 17”

LEGROOM
• 34”


WOW AIR

WOW BASIC FARE

ROUTES
• All routes

HAND BAGGAGE
• Not included and no access to overhead bins
• Personal item up to a maximum size of 42x32x25cm and maximum weight of 10kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• No

SEAT SELECTION
• No

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• No

SEAT WIDTH
• 17”

LEGROOM
• 29” – 30”

WOW PLUS FARE

ROUTES
• All routes

HAND BAGGAGE
• One personal item as above
• One carry-on bag up to 12kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• Yes

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• No

SEAT WIDTH
• 17”

LEGROOM
• 29” – 30”

WOW COMFY FARE

ROUTES
• All routes

HAND BAGGAGE
• One personal item as above
• One carry-on bag up to 12kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• Yes – one checked bag

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Board during general boarding

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• No

SEAT WIDTH
• 17”

LEGROOM
• XL legroom: seat pitch: 32” – 33″
• XXL legroom: seat pitch: 35″+
WOW PREMIUM FARE

ROUTES
• All routes

HAND BAGGAGE
• One personal item as above
• One carry-on bag up to 12kg

CHECKED BAGGAGE
• Yes – two checked bags

SEAT SELECTION
• Yes

BOARDING
• Fastrack security at KEF airport in Iceland
• Priority boarding at all airports

COMPLIMENTARY FOOD AND DRINK
• Yes

SEAT WIDTH
• 17”

LEGROOM
• 37”


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