Airlines to Introduce Basic Economy Class

April 18, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. amenity / əˈmɛn ɪ ti / (n.) – a feature that makes a place convenient, comfortable, or enjoyable
Example: The airline offers amenities such as warm blankets, comfortable seats, and free drinks.

2. follow suit / ˈfɑːloʊ sut / (idiom) – to do what somebody else has just done
Example: Only one company has imposed the new policy, but the others are expected to follow suit.

3. accommodate / əˈkɒm əˌdeɪt / (v.) – to give what someone wants or needs
Example: They made an all-vegetable pizza to accommodate vegetarian customers.

4. customize / ˈkʌs təˌmaɪz / (v.) – to make changes on something according to someone’s needs or preferences
Example: They customized the chairs for the convenience of children.

5. premium / ˈpri mi əm / (adj.) – having superior quality than others, usually for a higher price
Example: The hotel offers premium products for VIP guests.


Read the text below.
Major American airlines will include a new “basic economy class” to their list of travel classes.

The new class will be cheaper, but will also offer fewer amenities and services than the regular economy class. The latter allows passengers to choose their seats in advance and make changes in their flight schedule, but passengers in basic economy class will not experience the same flexibility. In-flight food and entertainment may also be charged extra fees. Passengers who choose the basic economy class would also be assigned smaller seats with less leg space.

Delta Air Lines is already offering the option, but other major carriers like American Airlines and United Airlines are expected to follow suit.

Some people criticize the new option as a way for airlines to earn more by downgrading their services. In defense of the basic economy class, Delta said that it is designed to accommodate customers who are budget-conscious and are not very particular with seat choice. United Airlines, which also plans to offer the option, said that it would give the customers the chance to customize their flights according to their chosen prices and amenities.

While some airlines are choosing to offer cheaper alternatives to their services, some airlines offer extremely luxurious options, such as lavish cabins for VIP passengers who can afford premium service.

For instance, United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Airlines introduced The Residence, an upper-deck cabin that spans 125 feet and features a double bed, a private bathroom, and a 32-inch LCD screen. The Residence also has a chef who would cook gourmet food upon a customers’ request.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were to travel by plane, would you be willing to book the basic economy class? Why or why not?
·         If you could personalize your traveling experience, how would you like it to be?

Discussion B

·         What is the importance of being able to customize the services you are given?
·         What are the possible disadvantages of having highly customizable services?

April 18, 2016