Virgin Atlantic announced three new types of fares yesterday, adding Economy Light. Virgin Atlantic Economy Light fares are similar to Basic Economy fares that we’ve seen on the three major airlines on this side of the Atlantic. The new Virgin Atlantic Economy Light is a move that comes amidst expanding ultra low cost airlines such as WOW or Norwegian who are offering sub $100 one way fares between USA and Europe. The new fares will be introduced in Spring 2019. Premium Economy seats will remain a separate product and will be called simply “Premium.”
Virgin Atlantic Economy Light will offer the cheapest fares possible from the airline. These will be similar to Basic Economy fares now in place at the three big U.S. airlines. Economy Light fares will not have advance seat assignment and they’ll be slotted into seats with the least amount of legroom. Checked luggage will not be included in the price of the ticker, but can be purchased separately. Economy Light passengers will at least receive meals and drinks on-board.
Economy Classic includes the basics you would expect to come alone with a plane ticket. You can select a seat for free and you’ll likely be able to seat together if you’re in a group, assuming you book early. One checked luggage of up to 50lbs is also included in the price of the ticket. Economy Classic passengers will still be restricted to Virgin Atlantic’s tighter seats that have a 31” seat pitch.
This will be the most expensive of the new offerings. Economy Delight fares include advance seat assignment, checked luggage but you’ll also be able to choose Virgin Atlantic’s roomiest coach seats. Those seats have an extra 3″ of legroom at a pitch of 34”. These tickets will also include priority check-in and boarding.
Basic Economy or Economy Light fares are being added on many airlines in order to compete with budget airlines. Clearly there’s a market for these types of fares and certainly they look more competitive in pricing. If you’re traveling alone and have no luggage then you want the option to pay less than someone who gets to bring on luggage. But these Basic Economy or Economy Light fares confuse many casual flyers who are not aware of the limitations that come with these low fares. They might expect to check in luggage for free and end up paying more when they find out that it’s not included.
What do you think of these Basic Economy or Economy Light fares?