One Airline’s Approach To Creating The ‘Inferior Economy Class’

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22/07/2009 – One Airline’s Approach To Creating The ‘Inferior Economy Class’

OK…maybe the airline isn’t creation the ‘Inferior Economy Class’ but I am not sure what to name the complete opposite of ‘Premium Economy Class.’

Over the past few years many established airlines have experimented with creating an all economy class airline within their existing brand.  United Airlines created “Ted,” Delta operated “Song,” both of which failed and British Midland/BMI has been operating BMIbaby since 2002.   Moving away from the low cost carrier battles, many airlines have embraced the creation of Premium Economy on longer routes, with United Airline’s offer a ‘tweener’ class of Economy Plus throughout their entire fleet structure.

El Al Airlines is now experimenting in a whole new way, by creating a completely devalued economy class that for lack of a better term I am calling ‘Inferior Class’ or ‘Inferior Economy Class.’  El Al’s movement into exploring an ultra low cost model has been spurred by low cost European airlines entering the Tel Aviv market.

El Al plans to integrate this stripped out economy class into its existing economy class cabin. Roughly 20% of the economy class cabin, sectioned off in single area of the aircraft, will be designated “Inferior Economy Class.”   Passenger who purchase seats in the “Inferior Economy Class” will have the same size seats and leg room as those seated in plain old “Economy Class” however these passenger will no provided amenities.

Passengers choosing the “Inferior Economy Class” will pay for everything when flying with El Al. No inclusive baggage, no headsets, no snacks, food, drinks, pillow, blankets, in-flight entertainment, nada, nothing.   Passengers in this section of the cabin will be subject to paying for everything in cash (or credit card) as an additional fee.

I see a number of kinks in this system, such as someone from the  “Inferior Economy Class” asking a flight attendant for a can of soda while waiting in the galley for a restroom to open up and snagging some pillows off ‘regular economy’ seats on the way their seat in the back, however it is an interesting concept.

Can an airline provide a full-service product and ultra-low cost service product simultaneously on a single flight?

Below is a photo how I envision this segment of the airline industry trending…Pack Yourself & Save!

Happy Flying!


  1. I don’t see this as a bad idea. I mean, if people are willing to save as much money and get no frills, why not? Plus people will think “oh I don’t need a drink or something to eat” and be on the plane and now willing to pay more to get it.

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