December 7, 2017
AirFrance/KLM, Alitalia, and Delta Imposing New Fees for Checked Bags

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We already know that Delta wants to expand Basic Economy fares to all international routes by the end of 2018. As a reminder, Basic Economy comes with a host of restrictions. Seats are assigned at check-in, ticket changes and refunds are not allowed, travelers are not eligible for paid or complimentary upgrades, they board last, and same-day confirmed or standby changes are not allowed. Delta is expanding some of these restrictions, which previously applied to domestic fares, to trans-Atlantic fares. And to make matters worse, Air France/KLM and Alitalia are matching these changes.

The biggest change is the introduction of checked bag fees on trans-Atlantic routes. Passengers traveling in Basic Economy will now have to pay $60 for their first checked bag and $100 for a second checked bag. The tickets are still subject to the previous Basic Economy restrictions as well (seat assignments at check-in and no ticket changes). Air France/KLM and Alitalia are imposing identical fees and restrictions on their own “Light” fares. The new policy applies to flights operating April 10, 2018 and beyond.

Delta’s Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer said, “Expanding Basic Economy is one more way Delta is providing customers more choice and control in their travel. This is a great solution for price-conscious customers flying across the Atlantic who still want the high-quality cabin experience Delta has to offer.” Laugh along with me at this ridiculous statement.

I’d imaging this is what the future of international Economy travel will look like. Low cost airlines like Norwegian and WOW Air are successfully invading the trans-Atlantic market with rock bottom fares while selling every imaginable amenity separately. This market success is prompting legacy carriers to compete. I wonder when Delta, American, and United will start charging for food as well.