Guess what? United, American and Delta's "basic economy" airfare where you basically get made into a [expletive] isn't actually cheaper after all... it's just a way to raise standard airfares.http://www.npr.org/2017/03/20/520579728 ... -you-think
I don't see anything really surprising in this. Those basic economy fares were made specifically to compete with the ULC (ultra low cost) carriers like Spirit and Frontier that charge you for literally everything under the sun (hell, Spirit charges you just to print your damn boarding pass).
In their defense, all of their ancillary costs are usually specified up front.
But if my reading of the article is correct, the basic economy fares aren't cheaper than the prior lowest fares.
They are not. Basic economy was advertised as "well, you get to fly for cheap, but you get no amenities (which really aren't amenities at all, they're standard features)."
A basic economy fare on United in about a month will cost you the same as a standard economy fare does now... the one where you get to pick your seat, have a carry-on, etc. Naturally, you can assume the standard economy cost is going to go up too.