Delta announced that for basic economy tickets booked as of today for travel starting in 2022, you will no longer earn any redeemable miles or Medallion qualifying miles. Delta doesn’t allow advance seat assignments, upgrades, standby, or free changes on basic economy tickets as well.
This comes after American has flip-flopped on the elite mileage earning issue. They eliminated elite qualifying mileage earning from basic economy tickets last year after they removed most basic economy restrictions. That means that standby was allowed on basic economy, as were upgrades and elite benefits like preferred seat selection.
But then American announced that they would be changing their entire elite qualifying structure and would award full elite qualifying loyalty points on basic economy fares. That means that American’s basic economy fares mainly just restrict seat selection for non-elites and free changes.
United awards full miles and Premier qualifying points, but doesn’t award Premier qualifying flights on basic economy fares. They also don’t allow early boarding, carry-ons, or online checkin with basic economy, though that’s allowed for United cardholders or elite members. United doesn’t allow elite members to select seats or get upgraded. There are no free changes, but standby is allowed.
JetBlue has some of the most punitive basic economy rules, not allowing carry-ons or early boarding even if you have their credit card. They charge $100 for changes to flights within the US, Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America or $200 for other flights, even if you have Mosaic status. Basic economy fares earn just 1-2 points per dollar spent instead of 3-6 points per dollar spent.
In other news, starting for travel in 2022 Delta will allow you to pay for changes on basic economy tickets. They will undercut JetBlue by a buck, charging $99 for changes to flights within the US, Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America or $199 for other flights.
American and United don’t allow changes on basic economy fares as of yet.
Delta has been making several elite unfriendly moves of late, such as devaluing their systemwide upgrades.
What do you think of Delta’s latest changes?