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Delta Airlines' New Fare Class: Cheaper, No Seat Assignment

Delta Airlines(WASHINGTON) -- Delta Airlines' new fare class, called Basic Economy, is basic indeed.

The new fare offers the airline’s lowest prices but even more restrictions than the already-restricted non-refundable economy-class fares offered by airlines and purchased by most leisure travelers. In essence, you purchase the fare itself — but nothing else.

Most significantly, there are no advance seat assignments. Considering Delta’s load factor was 84 percent in March 2012, up from roughly 80 percent a year earlier, this means you better not mind sitting in a middle seat if you choose Basic Economy because there’s a good chance that’s what you’ll get.

Second, there are no changes. Period.  On most non-refundable tickets, travelers are able to change a ticket for a fee, usually about $150. Not with Basic Economy.

“It’s a good option for the most cost-conscious customers,” Paul Skrbec, Delta spokesperson, told ABC News.

For now, the new fare class is only available on flights between Detroit and Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Will Basic Economy be introduced on other routes in the future?  Delta spokesperson Paul Skrbec told ABC News the airline is “looking at its [Basic Economy's] performance and customer response. ”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio