Basic Economy vs. Main Cabin: What’s The Difference?

Basic economy seats come with cheaper fares, but seat selection and baggage is limited and varies between airlines.
Sally French
Sam Kemmis
By Sam Kemmis and  Sally French 
Updated
Edited by Meg Lee

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Nerdy takeaways
  • Changes or cancellations are not allowed with most basic economy fares but are free for many main cabin fares.

  • Seat selection is limited in basic economy, which can be hard for families and those who hate the middle seat.

  • Most basic economy fares do not earn as many (or any) miles, but this varies significantly by airline.

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