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Talk:Basic economy

GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:Basic economy/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Bungle (talk · contribs) 12:00, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

Will review this soon. Bungle (talkcontribs) 12:00, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

@Feminist: Having read through this, I have some fundamental concerns that I can't get away from in relation to the article's purpose, but i'll lead on to that. In terms of identified issues on the lead prose, the following stand out:

  • "..and to encourage passengers to upgrade to standard economy fares." - How could it have been introduced to encourage passengers to upgrade to a travel class (standard economy) which itself was the entry-level class prior to the "basic economy" introduction? This doesn't make sense, as the suggestion is that airlines wanted the then-entry level class to become one that is upgraded to, which could only be facilitated by the introduction of a new class, but this is not implied or clear from the prose.
  • ..and are the last to board and leave the aircraft." - only 1 airline's section has this restriction noted in the prose, but the initial sentence structure and the use of "typically" implies this is common practice
  • The lead itself is very short and I guess that's because the article doesn't have much factual prose to use for this section

The sections for each airline are reasonably well written, however I sense it may be a little futile to examine this with any degree of thoroughness as I am concerned that the article in its current state is not really one that could be considered for GA class. My view is that this article is not much more than an airline comparison page, bordering on marketing, although the prose gives weight to both positive and negative aspects of each airline's restrictions so could not be considered as being purely marketing in that sense.

The term "basic economy" is essentially a marketing term for a service marketed by major airlines (US airlines as noted in the article) and I am struggling to justify how it could be worth inclusion on wikipedia. As it stands, I can't consider the article as suitable to be graded as a GA, even if it were exceptionally well referenced and written. In saying that, there is clearly a movement among transport operators to compete with ultra-low-cost offerings and a google search for "super economy" returns what is essentially the same type of package for rail travel. Likewise, the concept of a lower-graded economy class seems to exist outside of the US too, such as British Airways, yet this article gives no weight towards the suggestion that this may be an international marketing ploy.

At this stage, I feel the article is leaning too far towards being promotional, insufficiently encyclopedic and lacking representation of a worldwide view, nor does it take into account similar concepts across other transport sectors.

If I felt there was any scope for short-term fixing or correction I would have put this on hold, and indeed I am more than willing to work through lengthy reviews and article rebuilds if I feel it's appropriate, but I don't at this time. You may want to consider stripping this back, such as condensing the overly worded sections for each US airline and instead focus more towards worldwide representation and similar concepts across other transport sectors. If this is achieved, i'd be willing to consider another review as it would hopefully be better justified as an article. Bungle (talkcontribs) 21:38, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

Moving forwardEdit

@Bungle: thanks for the GA review. Looking at the article again I understand your concerns, and I personally noticed a number of issues as well:

  • I did not mention clearly that basic economy fares were initially only available on markets where full-service airlines compete with LCCs. This is an important fact that clarifies the purpose of such fares, and I'm currently thinking how best to add it to the article.
  • The distinction between low-cost carriers and ultra-low-cost carriers is not clearly defined. I initially made the distinction because of JetBlue's plans to introduce its version of basic economy, and they are a low-cost carrier, but now I think it's better to limit this article's coverage to airlines who offer or have announced plans to offer these fares.

I understand why you decided that the article is too far from GA standard to place it on hold, and I am addressing a number of concerns identified in the review.

  • I am now describing basic economy as a type of airfare rather than a travel class, and instead of phrasing (standard) economy as a travel class to be upgraded to, I am now phrasing it as a more expensive product that passengers can purchase to avoid basic economy's restrictions. Please remind me if anything is not clear enough.

Regarding the concern that this article is promotional or that it should not belong to Wikipedia, my view is that there is nothing stopping a marketing term or product segmentation strategy from getting an article, as long as the topic meets WP:GNG or another applicable notability guideline. In my view GNG is clearly met here, due to articles in mainstream and specialist media critical of the concept (e.g. the Bloomberg and Skift sources) as well as articles intended for consumers who want to know what restrictions these fares entail without necessarily being interested in the marketing strategy behind them (e.g. the USA Today and Condé Nast Traveler sources). I think I have given quite a bit of weight to the suggestion that the introduction of these fares is a way for airlines to pressure customers into paying up for services they used to get for free (see for example Bloomberg and Runway Girl Network in the Reception section). Feel free to provide suggestions on how to make this article sound less promotional. For example, should I focus more on the reasons why airlines introduced and expanded these fares, rather than descriptions of these fares as offered by each airline?

As for similar products offered by train operators and airlines outside the United States, I am aware of the existence of hand baggage only (HBO) fares offered by airlines like British Airways and SAS Scandinavian, as well as train services like IZY. However, unless a source explicitly compares these products and concepts with basic economy as offered by airlines in the United States, adding such content to this article would violate WP:OR and WP:SYNTH. I will see if any source makes such a comparison or calls airfares offered by a non-American airline "basic economy".

Feel free to provide any additional suggestions as you see fit. feminist (talk) 03:56, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

@Feminist: Thanks for your understanding in relation to the judgement I reached. Whilst we have slightly different views on how the article could be developed or indeed its core purpose, I think we can both appreciate that it's previous state was not entirely suitable.
I have considered your comments above and how you feel about the article's purpose and positioning. I can't find any other articles which specifically deal with the concept of a lower-grade economy class bracket, unless you can? I envisaged this article could be reconfigured as such to be more broadly focused around the lower economy grade class in general, rather than a very specific emphasis on a promotional term used by American airline operators. In contrast to your view, I do think at the very least it would be advantageous, perhaps even advisory, to mention worldwide carriers that also operate a similar class of travel, even if it isn't specifically marketed in the exact way; it isn't WP:SYNTH when an international carrier makes a clear distinction between different levels of economy, one clearly sold as "basic" as per British Airways.
Fundamentally, and you alluded to this yourself, there is a distinction between "basic economy" the fare (a promotional tool) and "basic economy" the travel class (which may in fact be the same as the fare but perceived as a class due to the adoption by notable carriers).
Your thought regarding whether the emphasis should be on the reasons behind its introduction vs descriptions is exactly the point I made in the review and discussing how this came about would be far more interesting to readers than knowing who charges extra to reserve seats or who forces you to leave the plane last. Part of the GA criteria, specifically criterion 3, is that an article is broad in coverage and it would not be harmful to explain, even as a side-note, that the concept is known to be used outside of the airline space, albeit marketed differently but fundamentally not too dissimilar (unless a generic article covering the class as a whole exists or could be established). Bungle (talkcontribs) 16:42, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
As you can see I have significantly expanded the article, so that it now covers similar airfares charged by European and Asian airlines. I have expanded the lead section and redefined "basic economy" as a type of airfare charged by airlines for segmentation (as defined by many sources) instead of a travel class. I have also added more content relating to airlines' rationales for introducing these fares. The article is still mainly focused on airlines in the US, because that is what most sources talk about with regard to basic economy fares. Unfortunately I have been unable to find sources that directly compare basic economy fares with similar pricing strategies on other modes of transport, though I imagine such concepts can be linked via a See also section. feminist (talk) 16:52, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
Return to "Basic economy" page.