2017 Basic Economy Fare Class by Major Airlines - Cadence

Photo Credit:  Unitedairlines.com

Photo Credit: Unitedairlines.com

“Basic economy” will be the cheapest way to fly in 2017

If you think Spirit airlines is the only airline bargain out there, major U.S. carriers have recently launched (or plan to launch) their own version of budget travel.

You can look at it like “economy minus,” because you’re essentially trading off a few of the usual airline comforts for a lower price.

If you don’t need to change your ticket, choose your own seat, put a bag in the overhead bin, board before the last group, or use any of the frequent flyer upgrades you’ve earned, it is essentially a special discount for being as low maintenance as humanly possible.

You can expect to see Delta, Alaska Air, United and American expanding these fares in the coming months.

On the flip side, the expanding premium economy is giving airlines a chance to cater to travelers willing to splurge on their inflight experience, from extra legroom to complimentary cocktails to noise canceling headphones.

They say you get what you pay for- which end of the spectrum are you typically on?