What Is Economy Light?


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Economy Light is a ticket type offered by many traditional airlines.

Traditional airlines, also known as full-service airlines, are known for offering certain services to their customers. These services often include free checked baggage, meals, seat selection, different seating classes, in-flight entertainment, Wi-Fi, ticket flexibility, amenity kit, etc. Some of it for free, some – for a fee.

But in the last few years traditional airlines have started offering cheap flight tickets with less perks. These are so-called Economy Light tickets.

Airplane seats and in flight entertainment
Airplane seats

1. What Is Economy Light?

It is the cheapest option for both long-haul and short-haul flights.

Very often, this cheapest option is without checked baggage or anything extra (like ticket changes, ticket refund, etc.).

Economy Light comes without free baggage allowance.

We see this all across the industry. Full-service traditional airlines are offering tickets without free checked baggage allowance. The wording is also often the same — Economy Light. So, if you see this, most likely it’s without checked baggage (carry on baggage only).

When you see very cheap KLM, Lufthansa, Air France, Finnair and other full-service airline flights, make sure you pay attention to baggage allowance. Because many full-service airlines also offer these “Economy Light” tickets. If you are traveling with checked baggage, this ticket type is not for you.

2. Economy Light Cabin Baggage

On Economy Light flights, you are allowed to bring cabin baggage.

But the number of cabin bags and weight vary from airline to airline. 

For example, KLM and Air France are quite generous when it comes to Economy Light cabin baggage. They allow Economy Light passengers bring 1 hand baggage and 1 personal item, with a total weight of 12 kg (26.5 lbs). It may change in future, though.

Lufthansa and Finnair are less generous with carry on baggage. They allow only one bag weighing not more than 8 kg (18 lbs). 

Economy Light is not available on all flights.

As you can see, Economy Light ticket type is the cheapest option without checked baggage, ticket change and refund options. And if the cabin baggage rules of this particular airline are very strict and limiting — may not work for you.

Read more:

Two backpacks

3. Economy Light Checked Baggage and Other Extras

Economy Light comes without free baggage allowance.

Economy Light also doesn’t offer ticket changes, ticket refund, seat selection (only during check-in). If it is possible then only for a fee. Basically, it’s the cheapest fare available. However, you can add some of the extras like checked baggage and choose a seat for a fee at the time of booking.

Are meals included with Economy Light?

Meals are usually included in Economy Light fare.

4. How to Tell It Is Economy Light?

You can see that when you are booking a flight.

You can see all the ticket types available for this flight.

First, however, you will need to choose the travel class (e.g., Economy Class, Premium Economy, Business Class, First Class) before choosing the ticket type (e.g., Light, Standard, Flex). Economy Light is a type of ticket, not a travel class.

If you have booked the flight already, but you haven’t paid attention to the ticket type, you can check your booking on the website of the airline you’re going to fly with (look for “Manage your booking”). Type in your booking reference and Last name, or whatever they are asking, and press Continue to see your booking. You will see all information regarding your flight, like, date, time, flight number, duration, travel class, ticket type and cabin and checked baggage allowance.

Some of this information you can see in the booking confirmation sent to your email. But, for example, not always baggage allowance is shown.

Not always the cheapest economy ticket option will be called Economy Light. Many airlines offer similar ticket type, but the name is slightly different. It can be called “Go Light”, “Light”, “Basic Economy”, “Low Fare”, etc.

Here’s an example with Norwegian LowFare:

Norwegian Flight Information Email Confirmation
Norwegian flight information seen in booking confirmation sent to a passenger’s e-mail. As you can see the passenger has no seat reservation and no checked baggage. Ticket type is LowFare which is identical to Economy Light.

4.1 How to book an Economy Light ticket? 

Here’s how we recommend to book connecting flights.

You can go directly to airline website, or to flight booking website.

  • Choose the flight;
  • Choose the travel class;
  • Select the ticket type;
  • Add extra options (if needed).

Here are a few examples how Economy Light is displayed.

Air France Economy Light Ticket
1. Air France Economy Light and other Economy ticket types
Economy Light Ticket with Finnair
2. Finnair Economy Light, Economy Classic and Economy Flex. Economy Light is the cheapest option.
Lufthansa Economy Light Ticket
3. Lufthansa Economy Light, Economy Basic, Economy Basic Plus and Economy Flex

Have you traveled on Economy Light ticket? What was your experience? Was it significantly cheaper than a “regular” Economy ticket?


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