Several long-haul airlines have recently launched discounted ‘basic economy’ fares, allowing budget-conscious passengers to travel to destinations such as the USA with hand luggage only and avoid unnecessary fees. Therefore, to help savvy travellers weigh-up their long-haul options, Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) has put together a table comparing the new economy ticket options available on flights from the UK, available at

The APH guide looks at the economy fares offered by nine airlines, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Norwegian Air, comparing hand and checked luggage allowances, seat selection, seat width and legroom, and if complimentary refreshments are provided.

In terms of luggage, seven of the nine airlines allow travellers to bring up to 10kg of hand luggage onboard. However, both American Airlines’ Basic Economy and WOW air’s Basic fares do not allow passengers to put hand luggage in the overhead lockers and restrict passengers to carry-on personal items that fit underneath the seat in front. Checked baggage is not included as part of a basic fare, but an allowance of 23kg of hold luggage is included with 11 of the airlines’ standard economy charges, including Air France, KLM and Icelandair.

For those passengers who don’t mind where they sit on the plane, most of the airlines automatically assign passengers a seat with Basic tickets, however Air France, KLM and Icelandair all allow passengers to choose where they sit during the flight. Similarly, complimentary food and drink is not available with six of the fares researched, including Norwegian’s LowFare and Primera Air’s Light option. Passengers travelling with Icelandair should also pack snacks for the flight as complimentary refreshments are limited to soft drinks, tea and coffee only.

When it comes to boarding, most of the Basic tickets allow passengers to board at the same time as other travellers, however British Airways’ Basic and Delta’s Basic Economy fares asks customers to board last and the Basic Economy fare with American Airlines places customers in Boarding Groups 8 and 9, dependent on the destination.

Although travellers who select a Basic fare pay a discounted price, the seat width and pitch were not found to differ from that of a typical economy seat. Legroom provided in the economy cabin varies from 29 inches with WOW air to 32 inches with four of the airlines researched, including Air France and KLM. However, travellers with longer legs may want to consider upgrading their seat to Virgin Atlantic’s Economy Delight or WOW Air’s Premium tariff as these provide seats with 34 inches and 37 inches of legroom, respectively.

Nick Caunter, Managing Director of Airport Parking & Hotels (APH) said, “Following the introduction of new hand-baggage only fares by some of the long-haul airlines, travellers need to be aware of all their options when it comes to choosing a long-haul ticket. Whether it’s checking-in luggage, choosing where you sit or ensuring you don’t board last, the APH guide will hopefully allow passengers to choose a ticket that best suits their needs.”

For further information on Airport Parking & Hotels (APH) visit
or call 01342 859515.


About Airport Parking & Hotels (APH)
Established in 1980, Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) is an award-winning airport parking operator and retailer, winning the ‘Best Airport Parking Company’ award at the British Travel Awards 2017 for an eighth year running. In addition to APH’s own car parks serving Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham Airports, APH also offers parking at all major UK airports as well as airport hotels, airport lounges and via trusted partners other extras such as car hire and travel insurance.

APH is a carbon-balanced company having worked closely with the World Land Trust for many years to off-set their carbon emissions and to help support rainforest conservation by protecting threatened forest habitats. APH also supports other charities and is a proud corporate sponsor of the University of Southampton Centre for Cancer Immunology, where the world’s most eminent experts come together in the quest to find new and innovative treatments. APH has also recently started a new partnership with Action Medical Research for Children to raise vital funds for research through a series of staff-based cycle and running challenges.

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