United Airlines is taking a stand and, unlike competitor American Airlines, will not be reversing its policy that basic economy travelers have to pay for a carry-on bag; Delta Air Lines also offers basic economy travelers a free carry-on, and the airline has since the fare class was first introduced.
American Airlines, citing falling revenue, recently decided to reverse their policy of not allowing basic economy travelers to have free carry-on bags. United, though, is taking a stand, and refusing to make that change. Passengers will still have to pay to bring a carry-on bag.
“We’re happy with where we’re at,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, during an earnings conference call reported on by USA Today. Nocella noted that the policy is working fine as it is.
Delta Air Lines, like American, allows a free carry-on for basic economy travelers, but the airline has since the fare class was introduced, and has no intention of changing policy.
Ultimately, United may end up losing customers over this fee, like American did—and also thanks to a confusing policy regarding basic economy check-in. Essentially, if you’re checking a bag, you’re allowed to use the website or app to check in for your flight—but if you’re a standard basic economy traveler without a bag to check, you’re forced to check in at the airport.
Some travelers have tweeted their displeasure about the often-frustrating policy:
“I should not be prevented from On-Line check-in simply because I do not have a bag to check (for a $25 fee),” Twitter user Lynn Roberts posted. “I am making a one day trip that does not require luggage. Please re-consider this policy: No baggage requires airport check-in. #TrustMe #NoBaggage #TooManyFees”.