Difference between Economy (R) and Economy (L)

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If you have tried booking with Air France (or any other airline, for that fact) before, you will notice that there are several options to book with Economy, Business, and Premium. With so many fare classes (more on that below) just in Economy from Economy (L), to Economy (R), to Economy (S) and more, what means what?

We shall go over what different fare classes for Air France signify, but let’s start with the difference between Economy (L) and Economy (R).

Difference between Economy (R) and Economy (L)

Although both Economy (R) and Economy (L) belong to the Economy Flexible category for Air France, the two Economy fare classes are slightly different.

For Economy (L), you are not required to have a minimum stay (we shall discuss what minimum stay is, in the next segment of this article) while booking your flight. However, you can not cancel your flight ticket later and demand a refund for the same.

Changing the ticket, which usually means upgrading is allowed at a fee. The fee is moderate and if you wish to upgrade or downgrade your flight ticket, you will be able to do so at a price. As long as you are upgrading, it sounds rational, however, we strongly suggest you do not downgrade at a price.

Economy (L) is aligned with other fare classes of Economy Flexible such as Economy (U), Economy (K), Economy (H), Economy (T).

Coming to Economy (R), it is an Economy Flexible class fare which requires a minimum stay at the destination. If your itinerary does not meet the requirements of the minimum stay laid down by Air France the ticket will not be valid. This is the only point of difference between Economy (R) as well as Economy (L). Since a minimum stay is required for booking an Economy (R), the fare should be cheaper than that for Economy (L).

Similar to Economy (L), Economy (R) has non-cancellable tickets that allow change at a fee.

What is a minimum stay requirement while booking a flight?

Instead of requiring a specific number of days, some airlines charge a lower fare if you can stay “at least one Saturday night.” Business travellers typically return to their families on the weekend. Consequently, airlines make the assumption that anyone visiting their destination for the weekend is there for a vacation.

A plane ticket’s technical design includes a “minimum stay” requirement. It refers to the minimum amount of time you must spend at the fare destination in order for the fare to be valid. Those who plan to stay for fewer than seven days are likely to be business travellers, who can afford to pay much more for their plane tickets than tourists.

So most often there is a 7-day minimum stay requirement for the cheap tourist fares. The business traveller who insists on spending the weekend with his family rather than spending extra time at the destination pays significantly more.)

The cost of a short-term trip may be more expensive than if you plan to stay for a longer period of time. This, in brief, is the concept of minimum stay requirements.

Why do minimum stay requirements exist?

To answer this question, what is the rationale for requiring a minimum stay? If you’re a business or corporate traveller, this is an opportunity for airlines to rake in more money from you. Airlines know that business travellers are less price-conscious than leisure travellers.

People on vacation, on the other hand, are more concerned about the cost. As a result, airlines use price discrimination to raise the cost of travel for business travellers.

Airlines can accomplish this in part by imposing strict guidelines on how long passengers must stay at the destination. In general, airlines make the assumption that people who buy a round-trip ticket but only intend to stay for a short time at their final destination are doing so for business purposes. However, a person who stays for a few weeks is more likely to be on vacation.

Are you required to stay ‘physically’ at the destination for your complete minimum stay?

It is not necessary for you to physically remain at the destination for the entire seven-day duration. You are free to leave at any time. You can even take another flight to a different destination as long as you don’t make any changes to your current ticket. If you decide to travel somewhere else, there are no penalties as long as you do not change your existing airline tickets for which the minimum stay was required.

Changing your flight ticket to stay at your destination for less than seven days will necessitate using a different fare, which could be significantly more expensive, as a result of the repricing.

What Is Fare Class?

Fare class is a term used to describe the type of fare you pay for your airline ticket. It can be broken down into two categories: base fares and peak fares. Base fares are the lowest-cost tickets that airlines offer, while peak fares are higher-priced tickets during high-demand times such as holidays or summer travel.

The difference between these two types of fares is determined by how much time you have before your flight leaves. If you’re traveling on a Friday evening, for example, you may want to purchase a cheaper peak fare because it will save you money in the long run. However, if you’re flying on an early morning Monday, you may want to buy a more expensive base fare so you don’t miss out on any discounts offered by the airline.

The next thing to consider when purchasing airfare is whether or not you should book online or through a travel agent. There are pros and cons to both booking methods, but ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer to use their computers to search for deals, while others like the convenience of having someone else do all the work for them.

If you decide to go with an agency, make sure they provide you with a list of reputable carriers who fly to your destination. You also need to know what kind of fees they charge for booking flights. Many agencies will tack on additional charges for things such as checking bags, changing dates, etc., which could end up costing you more than buying directly from the airline.

If you choose to book online, there are many websites that allow you to compare prices among different airlines. This way, you won’t have to worry about being overcharged by an unscrupulous travel agent.

When searching for cheap airfares, keep in mind that some airlines only sell discounted tickets at certain times of the year.

For instance, Southwest Airlines typically offers great deals around Christmas time. In addition, some airlines require you to book well in advance to get the best price. So, if you’ve got a few months until your trip, you might want to start looking for cheap airfare now.

What Is Economy Class?

Economy class seats are usually located near the front of the plane. They tend to be smaller than coach seats, but still comfortable enough to enjoy your flight. The main advantage of economy class seating is that it allows you to stretch out and relax without worrying about bumping into other passengers.

However, one drawback of economy class seating is its limited legroom. Most planes today feature reclining seats, allowing you to lie back and rest comfortably. But, if you’d rather sit upright, then you’ll probably find yourself cramped up in a small space.

Another issue with economy class seating is that most airlines limit the amount of carry-on luggage you can bring onboard. For this reason, it’s important to pack light when flying economy class.

What Is Premium Economy?

Premium economy seats are usually located near the front of the plane, just behind first class. They come with extra legroom and larger seats, making them ideal for longer trips. The cost of premium economy varies depending on where you’re flying, but generally ranges anywhere from $100-$300 per person.

However, most airlines offer free upgrades to the premium economy if you’re willing to pay for it. For example, United Airlines allows passengers to upgrade for free if they spend at least $1,000 on their ticket.

There are three main benefits of upgrading to premium economy:

More Space – Most airlines offer a minimum of 15 inches of space between rows. While this isn’t exactly luxurious, it does mean you’ll have plenty of room to stretch out.

Free Food & Drinks – When you’re sitting in premium economy, you can expect complimentary meals and drinks. Plus, you’ll receive priority boarding, meaning you’ll be allowed to board earlier than other passengers.

Extra Leg Room – Premium economy seats are bigger than standard economy seats, allowing you to sit back and relax without worrying about hitting your head on the seat in front of you.

What Is Economy Plus?

Economy plus seats are similar to premium economy seats, except they come with more legroom and additional perks. You can typically get these seats for around $50-$150 per person.

The main benefit of the economy plus is that it offers more legroom than regular economy seats. This makes it perfect for long flights. It’s also worth noting that some airlines allow you to purchase economy plus seats as an add-on option.

If you decide to buy economy plus, make sure to choose a carrier that offers free upgrades. Otherwise, you could end up paying for something you didn’t want or need.

Premium Economy Vs. Economy Plus

While both premium economy and economy plus are great options for travelers looking for more comfort, there are some differences between the two. Here are some key differences:

Price – Premium economy costs less than an economy plus. In fact, many airlines charge only $30-$40 per person for premium economy. On the flip side, economy plus starts at $60 per person.

Legroom – Premium economy comes with more legroom than an economy plus. That said, economy plus has more legroom than economy seats.

Upgrades – If you’re planning on buying economy plus, make sure that your airline will let you upgrade for free. Otherwise, you may end up spending more than you planned.

How To Save Money On Airline Tickets?

There are several ways to save money on airline tickets. First, you can look for discount codes. These codes are often available on flyers, magazines, and newspapers. Second, you can check out the various travel sites that offer special deals. Finally, you can try using a credit card that gives you points for every dollar spent.

You can also take advantage of frequent flyer programs. These programs reward customers for flying frequently. As a result, you can earn free upgrades, free checked baggage, and even free meals.

Finally, you can always ask friends and family members for help. When you’re traveling, it’s easy to forget about those closest to you. However, asking for help doesn’t mean that you don’t appreciate everything they do for you. Instead, it means that you realize how much they care about you.

What does each letter of the fare basis code mean?

Below we have come up with a list of airlines and the different fare classes, elucidating what each letter of the fare class means according to the airline.

Air France

Within Europe:

  • Economy Flexible (U, K, H, L, T) – no minimum stay, cannot cancel, change with a fee
  • Economy Fully Flexible (Y, B, M) – no minimum stay, change possible, cancellation possible.
  • Economy Flexible (W, S, A, Q, E, N, R, V, G) – minimum stay required, cannot cancel, change with a fee


  • Economy Fully Flexible (Y, B, M) – no minimum stay, change allowed, cancellation possible
  • Economy (L, Q) – minimum stay 7 days, change at a fee, no cancellation
  • Economy Flexible (U, K, H) – minimum stay (U: 2 days, K: 4 days, H: 6 days), change possible (with a fee), cancellation possible (with a fee)
  • Premium Economy Fully Flexible (W) – no minimum stay, change free, cancellation possible
  • Premium Economy (S, A) – minimum stay (S: 2 days, A: 6 days); change (S: with a fee, A: not allowed); cancellation (S: with a fee, A: not allowed)
  • Lowest Possible (Q, T, N, R, V) – minimum stay 7 days, no change, no cancellation

Alaska Airlines

  • F, P = First Class
  • Y, S = Economy
  • M, B = Discounted Economy
  • H, Q, L, V, N, K, G, T, R, W = additional economy seats with the most restriction
  • U = complimentary upgrades
  • Z = Refundable Main Cabin awards

Air Canada

Flights within Canada:

  • J, C, D = Business Class (flexible) | Premium Rouge
  • O = Premium Economy
  • Z, P = Business Class (flexible) | Premium Rouge
  • M, U, H, Q, V, W, G = Flex
  • E, N = Premium Economy (lowest)
  • Y, B = Latitude
  • S, T, L, A, K, F = Tango

Flights between Canada and the U.S.:

  • Y, B = Latitude
  • M, U, H, Q, V, W, G = Flex
  • J, C, D = Business Class (flexible) | Premium Rouge
  • Z, P = Business Class (flexible) | Premium Rouge
  • S, T, L, A, K, F = Tango

Delta Air Lines

  • J = Business
  • C, D, I, Z = Business and Discounted Business
  • W = Premium Economy (Available on flights operated by Air France, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia)
  • W = Delta Comfort
  • F = First Class
  • P, A, G = Discounted First/Delta Premium Select
  • Y, B = Economy
  • M, H, Q, K, L, U, T, X, V, E = Economy, Discounted and Deeply Discounted Economy
  • R, O, S, N = Award Travel

Hawaiian Airlines

  • F, P, C, A = First Class (Inter-Island and Transpacific flights)
  • Y, W, X, Q, V, B, S, N, M = Economy (Transpacific and International flights)
  • I, H, G, K, L = Additional Economy seats with the most restrictions. (Transpacific and International flights)
  • J, P, C, A = Business Class (international flights)
  • Y, W, X, Q, V, B, S, N, M, I, H, G, K, L = Economy (Inter-Island flights)

Spirit Airlines

  • For an additional fee, the all-coach airline allows passengers to purchase a BIG FRONT SEAT. According to the airline’s fact sheet, there are ten on its A319 aircraft and four on its A320 and A321 aircraft.

American Airlines

  • A, P, D, I, R = Discount First/Business
  • Y, W = Economy
  • F, J = Full Fare First Class/Business Class
  • H, K, M, L, W, V, G, Q, N, S = Economy
  • B – Basic Economy

United Airlines

  • Z, P = Business Class
  • Y, B = Economy
  • F, J = First Class
  • A, D = Business First
  • N = Reward travel
  • C = Business
  • M, E, U, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, G = Discounted Economy
Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.


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