I know, I know, I complain a lot about Basic Economy.  But that’s just because I think it’s the absolute height of airline executive hubris, absolutely slaughters the customer experience, and is a thinly-veiled way of raising prices.

Basic economy is basically (pun intended) a threat.  Airlines are holding a pleasant somewhat pleasant thoroughly average flight experience hostage and are taunting you by warning how miserable you will be unless you pay up.

I mean sure, airline executives tripped over each other describing how Basic Economy “allows us to offer EVEN LOWER PRICES LOLJK” but it’s all bait and switch: basic economy is not about lower prices, it’s a crap experience with the expressed intent of milking every single penny possible from the poor sods who happen to book a basic economy fare.

I’ve seen some hilariously big price differences between Basic Economy and grownup Economy but the one today takes the cake.

For a regular consumer choosing between American and Spirit, sure this makes sense.  For American’s frequent flyers this is a slap in the face.  It’s pretty much a $745 copay to access the benefits of my frequent flyer status.

Needless to say I’m not booking this flight with American.  I hope something just happened to be broken with their pricing system because that difference is completely stupid.

So yes, this post is mainly to complain, but it’s also a chance for a quick little survey: what’s the biggest difference you’ve seen between a Basic Economy and Regular Economy fare?

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