Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

It's March already.

Spring is almost in the air. 

You, though, hanker after being in the air and going somewhere a little more exotic than your home town.

Europe, perhaps.

For you, I have fine news.

American Airlines announced today that it's extending its beloved Basic Economy fares to transatlantic flights.

(I pause for your shrieking and hurrahs)

These fares, which I prefer to dub Sub-Cattle Class, take away some of the basics of Economy Class, so that you can enjoy the experience slightly less.

Or so that you take one look at these fares and agree to pay more than you used to for standard Economy Class.

As with all these types of fares, the devil -- or, some might grumble, merely the evil -- is in the finer print.

Let's look at the (relative) positives.

On American Transatlantic Basic Economy, you'll still get the same carry-on allowance as the slightly more exalted passengers in standard Economy.

You'll also get the same entertainment, drinks and meals as the standard-bearers. 

Now for the less delightful aspects.

You don't get a free checked bag. Not even one.

"A new fee will apply for the first checked bag on transatlantic Basic Economy," says American.

Oddly, it doesn't say how much. 

To give you some idea, Delta, which already has transatlantic Sub-Cattle Class, charges $60.

Then there's seat assignments. You'll get the worst seat, unless you want to pay for a better one.

And families? No, there's no guarantee at all that you'll be seated together, unless you pay for the (alleged) privilege in advance.

Oh, and your tickets are non-refundable and forget about upgrades, even if you're diamond-super-plated elite. 

Airlines have been peddling these new fares for some time now.

United Airlines has been forthright enough to admit that they exist in order to make you pay more for what used to be, well, basic.

Oddly, United's Basic Economy has been slightly less successful than that of some of its rivals, so it's now making tweaks.

American, on the other hand, seems rather excited by these fares.

The onus is on you to make a myriad calculations to decide what might work best for your vacation. 

Once you've done that, you'll want a vacation before your vacation to get over the brain-ache.

But it's the way of the airline world.

American says it will launch its Sub-Cattle Class in April and will reveal even more details then.

Bon voyage. 

Published on: Mar 1, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.