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Icelandair is the latest to launch pared-down economy class fare

Relaxnews (AFP) logoRelaxnews (AFP) 10/5/2017

Icelandair © Provided by AFPRelaxNews Icelandair Icelandair is the latest airline to try and keep low-cost and ultra-low cost carriers at bay by launching a new airfare that squeezes itself somewhere in between. 

After American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta, Air France and Lufthansa, Icelandair has launched its own version of a stripped down economy class fare, called Economy Light. 

Other iterations have been called Basic Economy. 

The new fare level comes with a maximum baggage allowance of up to 10 kg (22 lbs) including carry-on luggage. Icelandair says the new pricing structure is designed for weekend getaways, quick business trips and travelers who can pack light.

When the three legacy carriers in the US adopted the new pricing scheme earlier this year, it attracted criticism for policies like banning the use of overhead bins, eliminating advance seat assignments, restricting booking changes and upgrades. 

Analysts have also called out the new fare as a price hike in disguise, accusing airlines of surreptitiously using the cheaper fares to boost the price of traditional coach tickets. 

Before committing to an economy light or basic economy fare, Consumer Reports recommends digging a little deeper to see if you're exempt from the raft of restrictions.

Loyalty members and holders of airline credit card holders, for instance, could still be entitled to priority boarding or more generous bag allowances. 

Likewise, editors recommend being extra vigilant when purchasing airfares from third-party sites, which may not make the distinction between standard economy and basic or light economy fares. 

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