The Lowdown on Air Canada’s New Economy Basic Fare

Canada’s ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) industry is shaping up with airlines, including, WOW Air, Flair, Swoop. and new comers coming soon like Jetlines and Enerjet’s FlyToo.

Following in the footsteps of american carriers, AA, Delta, and United, Air Canada is now trying to step into the ultra discounted economy fare game in the wake of all of this recent new competition.  They are now offering a new economy fare class on select flights within Canada called Economy Basic FareThey do not offer this discounted fare on any flights to the United States or internationally.  This fare is also only available for Air Canada branded flights, Air Canada Rouge does not offer this fare.

Economy Basic Fare is now the fourth economy fare ticket class, along with the existing economy fares of Tango, Flex, and Latitutde.

For customers ultimately looking for the lowest possible price, the Economy Basic Fare fare will give you a normal economy seat as you would have in any Economy class but with more restrictions.

Flight changes and cancellations are not allowed.

Flights can still be completely refunded within 24 hours of purchase, but after 24 hours there is no refund possible, and no credit offered towards future flights with Air Canada.

You will earn absolutely ZERO Aeroplan miles travelling in an Economy Basic fare.  With Tango Economy fares, you only get 25% of the regular Aeroplan miles since Air Canada already considers Tango Economy a discount fare which is lesser than a regular fare.

Upgrades are not possible.

Like Tango and Flex fares, there is no priority check-in, bagging handling, or boarding.  This is reserved for Business Class, however the Economy Latitude Fare offers this for a $50CAD upgrade.  The same goes for lounge access.  However, if you are a Star Alliance gold member, you will still have priority check-in and boarding.

Seat Selection is possible, but you will pay more than if you had an Economy Tango fare. Depending on if you want a seat with leg room or not, you will pay $20CAD to $100CAD for set selection per flight leg.  With Tango, the price is $10 to $50.

Carry-on requirements are the same with the other standard economy fares.  Unlike ULCCs, the Air Canada Economy Basic fare will not restrict you to a single hand held piece of luggage and there is no upgrade fee if you want to bring a standard carry-on suitcase.

Checked baggage is not included in the Economy Basic fare.  Air Canada has not indicated the cost of adding a checked bag, yet, for cases when you show up to the Air Canada counter needing to check in., Air Canada will charge you a check in fee.  (We will update this article once we have this information from Air Canada)

There will certainly be confusion with customers using an online travel agency such as Orbitz or Sky Scanner, as the specific fare class for the ticket you are buying isn’t always known.  Any deals offered on our site will clearly indicate if the fare class has any ULCC type restrictions or fare class restrictions that might surprise you when buying an economy fare.

Air Canada has indicated that this new Economy Basic fare is available now on select flights, but we were unable to find any.  We searched a wide variety of flight routes, including routes in direct competition with ULCC’s, but have been unsuccessful in finding flights offering the Economy Basic fare as an option.  We will keep searching, and we’ll update this article with pricing information once we find flights offering this fare.  Air Canada has not announced the flight dates and routes this new fare is now available on.




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