Travel

How bad is Air Canada Basic Fares?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 11th, 2020 4:52 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 14, 2015
694 posts
42 upvotes
Edmonton

How bad is Air Canada Basic Fares?

Currently selling for $81 versus the Standard Fare which jumps up to $171 is the difference in savings worth it? Or is it that bad in terms of treatment etc? Figured I can use my CC to deal with cancellations if there are any ...
23 replies
Deal Fanatic
Sep 29, 2005
5412 posts
1025 upvotes
Montreal
I just had to decide between the 2 options. From what I can tell, the only major issue is that you lose the ability to make any changes vs. Standard where you can change your ticket for a fee. Since changes are $100 or so each way, it seems to me that's not worth the extra. There are other things you give up but I think they're minor inconveniences.

In my case, my wife and I will be flying YUL to FLL. The Basic fare was below $300 each. The standard fare would have been something like $30 more each way. If we cancel, we'll lose about $596.
Last edited by Phils on Jan 31st, 2020 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Phils
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
34285 posts
8114 upvotes
Ottawa
The ticket prices vary but once on the aircraft, the seats and service is identical.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Guru
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Oct 5, 2008
12332 posts
6193 upvotes
Toronto
You have to bring your own seat with the basic fare.

:rolleyes:
Deal Guru
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Apr 26, 2004
11633 posts
1838 upvotes
Mississauga
I flew AC basic to Halifax and back few months ago. If you're willing to sacrifice Aeroplan points and are set in your dates, it's fine. You do board as part of Zone 6, which is the final boarding zone, so you and your carry-on may be in different parts of the plane if it's a full flight.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
5733 posts
1062 upvotes
Toronto
Pete_Coach wrote: The ticket prices vary but once on the aircraft, the seats and service is identical.
But if you choose basic fare and not willing to pay extra for the seat, you and/or your companion might ended up seating in separate middle seat of a row. I went to Vancouver last summer, I heard a couple saying, "you see you are not willing to pay extra now we ended up seating separately and both on the middle seat...".
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
34285 posts
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Ottawa
cgtlky wrote: But if you choose basic fare and not willing to pay extra for the seat, you and/or your companion might ended up seating in separate middle seat of a row. I went to Vancouver last summer, I heard a couple saying, "you see you are not willing to pay extra now we ended up seating separately and both on the middle seat...".
The seat and service is still the same, no matter where you are seated in the economy section of the aircraft.
As for the seat location....if you pay extra, you can pre-select your seats.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2013
4323 posts
1529 upvotes
markham
cgtlky wrote: But if you choose basic fare and not willing to pay extra for the seat, you and/or your companion might ended up seating in separate middle seat of a row. I went to Vancouver last summer, I heard a couple saying, "you see you are not willing to pay extra now we ended up seating separately and both on the middle seat...".
I always fly the cheapest fair...never had an issue of not sitting together..I semi check in on line 24 hours before and use that time to change seats (the free ones) and seat myself with others I am flying with (if I want) or even wait till check in at the airport depending on how full the flight is
Newbie
Jan 26, 2020
71 posts
11 upvotes
Canada
Decades later the husband says to his wife...."You see I was not willing to pay extra then so which palatial mansion would you prefer nookums?"
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 6, 2002
8063 posts
1003 upvotes
Vancouver
Talamasca wrote: I flew AC basic to Halifax and back few months ago. If you're willing to sacrifice Aeroplan points and are set in your dates, it's fine. You do board as part of Zone 6, which is the final boarding zone, so you and your carry-on may be in different parts of the plane if it's a full flight.
Zone 6 is almost guaranteed forced gate check if the flights full or almost full and your carry on doesn’t fit under the seat. This is very true on narrow bodies. Particularly that embrarer junk (get ready for the worst bins in the industry. ) Even the a321 bins fill up fast.

Air Canada has been enforcing boarding zones more and more these days.
Did I post something that interests you? Feel free to PM further questions.
Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
11652 posts
8880 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Some will no doubt disagree with me ... and my POV *
But its definitely based on what I see at the Gate

Basic Economy category boards last (zone 6)
Basic category is also the most likely to run into issues
Be it the fact their carry on won’t fit aboard
Or ... they discover they have unassigned, or reassigned seating
The latter, cuz the Flight Attendants have decided others need to change seats (ie For a family to sit together etc)
AND ... most importantly ... they always seem to be the folks being paged and told ...
The flight is overbooked, and they’ve been bumped

* That’s the part other RFDers disagree with
YES there can be extenuating circumstances ...
Like the last person to check in etc
But still, more often than not it’s someone on a Basic Fare
Who doesn’t have any sort of status with the Airline
(Ie ... NOT an Airline Loyalty Member ... such as Aeroplan)

I like a good deal as much as the next guy
But I hate being inconvenienced when it’s not my own choosing

So I quit booking Basic ... and moved up one level to Standard Economy
And am much much happier
For just a few bucks more
Plus I earn Aeroplan points
And have the ability for a fee to make changes if I need them

When I book now, I also look at the next category up Flex

Which sometimes is worth the price cuz it also includes
More Aeroplan points
Lower change fees
Free Seat Selection
And 1 Free Checked Bag
The latter 2 stuff ... many travellers are paying anyhow no matter the lower fare
Deal Addict
Dec 7, 2011
2095 posts
532 upvotes
Whitehorse
Worse than your grammar.
;-)
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 30, 2015
536 posts
351 upvotes
If you dont have bags to check and dont care about seat selection, basic fare is OK. Otherwise it's not ahah
Sr. Member
Mar 1, 2008
852 posts
123 upvotes
Toronto
if it was like a 4 hour or less flight, i would go basic but otherwise, i go one level up to standard.

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