A Few Interesting Things I Learned After Flying Delta Basic Economy

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Flying Delta Basic Economy

A Few Interesting Things I Learned After Flying Delta Basic Economy

I am back, still alive and kicking! You know what, flying Delta basic economy wasn’t so bad. They may be trying to compete with the Spirit and Frontiers of the world with their basic offering but there are a few things that still sets them apart.  I already shared with you last week why I had no other choice than to book Delta basic economy, it just made too much sense.  The option came about after I had taken advantage of Delta’s free change, which was really easy to do.  But I learned a few extra things along the way that I thought I would pass along.

Boarding Zone, You Don’t Need No Boarding Zone

Ironically enough, flying basic economy may give you a leg up these days on beating everyone to your seat.  That is because Delta is boarding the plane from back to front so being the last zone to board (basic) isn’t a thing anymore.  Normally it would be something to consider, especially for team carryon, but right now there are no worries.  I was one of the first people on the plane for both flights.

Flying Delta Basic Economy

Overhead Space Is Easy As A Sunday Morning

Speaking of team carryon, there is not fighting for overhead bin space right now either.  That is partly because of the blocked middle seats on Delta, which ends in March, but more so because you can still get on the plane early. There was never an issue for me and if you get to the seat early you can slide your stuff under the empty middle seat too if you want as well.

Your Seat Assignment Is Not Rigid

The first two observations play because of the current pandemic set up.  But this is something of interest every time you fly Delta basic economy.  I checked in for my flight 24 hours out and was assigned a seat.  But, I was able to go in and move my seat to an open seat that wasn’t a premium seat (ones that charge fees to peons like me). If there is a seat fee attached then it isn’t an option for basic economy, even if you were willing to pay.

The cool thing is I changed it at check in, 24 hours out, and then again minutes before boarding started on the Delta app.  I noticed 5 or 6 empty rows in a row towards the back of the plane and plopped myself in the middle of it.  I didn’t have a soul within 10 feet of me…maybe 20 feet.

Flying Delta Basic Economy

How To Take Advantage Of This

If your flight is a last minute booking or only a few days out.  Check the seats before buying a ticket.  If there are a lot of open seats you may want to lean towards Delta basic economy knowing you can move around your seat 24 hours out.  There is still a risk they fill those seats but it is less likely if it is a close in booking.

This should save you a few dollars, or miles.  On the flight back they only had 2 open seats, which did not show up on my app since they were premium seats.

Flying Delta Basic Economy – Final Thoughts

I thought you would find these tips interesting if you were debating the extra cost of main cabin on an upcoming Delta flight.  While the first two are unique to the pandemic the seat tip should help you with future decisions.  Remember that this is just for Delta, other airlines may not let you change your seat assignment the day of travel.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. On Alaska if you ask a gate agent nicely they’ll move you to whichever seat assignment you want even on basic economy. Same for other airlines. So unless flight is full or you’re super picky, basic economy is totally fine.

    • Good to know – thanks Greg. I like that I can do it myself on Delta’s app…I wish more allowed it.

  2. Interesting in general but what I find fascinating is that not only can you change your seat in the app but that you can do so mere minutes before boarding. Is this applicable to any other airlines?

    • I have never really tried it since I always pick my seat in the past but others in our Facebook group have said they did it on other airlines too so I think it is possible with many of them.


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