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United's Basic Economy - Discussion, Q&A, ...

United's Basic Economy - Discussion, Q&A, ...

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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:30 am   -   Wikipost
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Important Note: these fares became available 21 Feb 2017 for MSP for travel beginning 18 Apr 2017. More markets were added 19 April 2017 for travel starting 9 May 2017.

Related thread: Basic Economy Airport and Plane Experiences (First or Second Hand)

If you booked before the dates above, you did not have a BE fare. If purchased on united.com you will see a warning like:


4. MileagePlus members will earn full Premier qualifying dollars, 50% Premier qualifying miles and 0.5 Premier qualifying segments for each flight, as well as lifetime miles and toward the four-segment minimum.



Link to UA's description of how these fares will work: Basic Economy.

Here are the key facts:
  • No seat assignments until check-in. Seats will be assigned by the system and cannot be changed.
    *NEW* When purchasing a Basic Economy ticket, you will not receive a complimentary seat assignment but may be able to purchase advance seat assignments during booking and up until check-in opens. If you donít purchase an advance seat assignment, your seat will be automatically assigned to you prior to boarding, and you won't be able to change your seat once it's been assigned.
  • No guarantee of adjacent seats with companions
  • No voluntary ticket changes after 24 hour purchase period
  • Carry on limited to 1 personal item unless the customer is a MP Premier member, primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card, or Star Alliance *G
  • Customers ineligible for carry-on who bring one to the gate will be charged a $25 convenience fee to gate-check in addition to standard baggage fees (source: @united twitter)
  • Customers will not be eligible for Economy Plus or premium cabin upgrades. This includes all forms of upgrades (CPU,supported or purchased). Likewise for E+ access (elite or purchased).
  • Customers will board in the last boarding group (currently Group 5) unless the customer is a MP Premier member, primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card, or Star Alliance *G
  • Companions on same PNR will have same boarding group and carryon if one on the PNR has a waiver
  • No combinability with regular economy fares or partner carriers. Interline travel is not permitted.
  • Tickets will earn RDMs (based on fare and status), PQMs (50% of distance), PQSs (0.5), PQDs, in addition it will count for minimum 4 segment and lifetime miles (New as of Dec 2018)
  • Basic Economy tickets will use booking code 'N'
  • Online check-in only with paid checked bag, otherwise need to see a United representative to verify the onboard bag allowance and receive a boarding pass.
In air, passengers will receive the same standard economy inflight amenities including United Economy dining options, inflight entertainment, United Wi-Fi (availability depending on the flight)

To aviod domestic BE fares
ITA Matrix ~bc=N

Google Flights -- select 1 Carry-on bag
related threads
New UA/*A TATL -LGT Economy fare - no free first bag, no changes/upgrades allowed

Benefit impact of restricted economy fares on UA Elites (Basic Econ, -LGT, Light Econ

Pre-announcement speculation thread (now closed) New "Budget Economy" fares

United's Basic Economy - Discussion, Q&A, ... {Archive}
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Old Jun 9, 18, 10:25 am
  #166  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Is this a close-in flight?

There have been a few examples of this, where UA is trying to compete with a low-cost ULCC fare without destroying their pricing power for business travelers. So far, they've all been 0-advance purchase G-BN or K-BN fares that don't have a corresponding regular economy fare.

Basically, it's an example of UA attempting to use BE for what they said it was for -- ULCC competition -- instead of simply as a fare increase.
Likely the case here. As an example, UA294 today SFO-DFW is showing a $61 BE fare with a massive $444 upcharge. They aren't really matching a ULCC, though, but it does make sense to capture the last minute non-biz travelers I suppose.
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Old Jun 9, 18, 10:29 am
  #167  
 
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Originally Posted by pushmyredbutton View Post
Likely the case here. As an example, UA294 today SFO-DFW is showing a $61 BE fare with a massive $444 upcharge. They aren't really matching a ULCC, though, but it does make sense to capture the last minute non-biz travelers I suppose.
As a frequent last-minute non-business traveler who values E+/F (and, to a lesser extent, PQD), I assure you, this wouldn't capture me. But I can't argue that much with the strategy; it's certainly a better one than their initial strategy of trying to sell Y-BN fares. I'm also not familiar with that route, so I don't know if it used to be common to get the $61 fare as a last-minute traveler or if $505 was the usual price.

ETA: upon re-reading, I should point out that I also normally have a great deal of destination flexibility. I haven't been offered a $400 BE difference on a flight that I actually needed to take. I don't want it to sound like I'd pay the extra $400; I'd simply decide, "well, SFO-DFW is out..."

Last edited by jsloan; Jun 9, 18 at 10:42 am
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Old Jun 9, 18, 10:37 am
  #168  
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Jeez. SFO-DFW day-of. If it were where I live, I'd buy that in a heartbeat. I could sell the BBQ/tamales I bring back for more.
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Old Jun 9, 18, 10:43 am
  #169  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
But I can't argue that much with the strategy; it's certainly a better one than their initial strategy of trying to sell Y-BN fares.
Agreed, at least it's not just a disguised fare increase, which is what BE has mostly turned out to be. Though if I were UA, I'd be concerned about cannibalizing sales of the expensive fares, a concern that's been expressed every time someone points out one of these large fare discrepancies.
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Old Jun 9, 18, 10:45 am
  #170  
 
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wow, that is a weird one.

AS is $452 o/w (12:30 departure)
AA is $505 for 11 am departure
UA is $62 (BE) for a 10:41 am departure.

and there is only one seat (10E) empty on the plane.

This fare has to be the result of incompetence on the part of UA's fare/IT department.

p.s. same $61 BE fare is also available on Wed 6/13, when the plane is 40% empty per the seat map.
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Old Jun 9, 18, 10:47 am
  #171  
 
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
wow, that is a weird one.

AS is $452 o/w (12:30 departure)
AA is $505 for 11 am departure
UA is $62 (BE) for a 10:41 am departure.

and there is only one seat (10E) empty on the plane.

This fare has to be the result of incompetence on the part of UA's fare/IT department.
AA has an identical $61 fare from OAK-DFW, maybe that's what UA was trying to match?
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Old Jun 9, 18, 10:54 am
  #172  
 
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Originally Posted by pushmyredbutton View Post
AA has an identical $61 fare from OAK-DFW, maybe that's what UA was trying to match?
maybe, but that is really, really stupid programing. AA's fare itself is sort of stupid too, but the flight leaves oak at 11:49pm (i.e. its a red-eye), but even then the BE is rather strange at $61, but perhaps that is what you get when you have 29 seats empty the morning before a late evening red-eye.
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Old Jun 9, 18, 10:58 am
  #173  
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
This fare has to be the result of incompetence on the part of UA's fare/IT department.
Didn't you hear, UA's RM always knows exactly what it's doing. They're much smarter than we are.
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Old Jun 9, 18, 11:16 am
  #174  
 
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Originally Posted by pushmyredbutton View Post
AA has an identical $61 fare from OAK-DFW, maybe that's what UA was trying to match?
NK has a similar fare on DFW-OAK. F9 has a similar fare on DFW-SFO. Neither of them have an advance purchase requirement. AA has an identical BE fare filed DFW-SFO. AA, AS, and UA all have 21-day advance purchase fares filed for $20 more.

Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
maybe, but that is really, really stupid programing. AA's fare itself is sort of stupid too, but the flight leaves oak at 11:49pm (i.e. its a red-eye), but even then the BE is rather strange at $61, but perhaps that is what you get when you have 29 seats empty the morning before a late evening red-eye.
OK, so as nearly as I can tell: If a fare is low, UA is stupid for selling a low fare. If a fare is high, UA is stupid for trying to overcharge customers. Did I get that right? If this is stupidity, it's a shared stupidity between the major carriers in the market.

The likelihood that they'll sell the fare to anyone today, one hour prior to departure, is quite low. The buckets simply normalized to permit SDC, the way that they were always supposed to but haven't always done. If they do find someone who's within 5 minutes of the airport and thinks, "whee, four hours in a middle seat for $61; Dallas, here I come," then that's $61 they wouldn't otherwise have.

UA opens G inventory when they don't think they can sell the seats at a higher price point; here, they're trying to do so in a way that preserves the business traveler market segmentation.
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Old Jun 9, 18, 4:57 pm
  #175  
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Ok, so now we know. Impressive differential, but it's starting to make more sense as a fare with no advance purchase requirement.

This was next-day ORD-SFO, by the way.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 5:34 pm
  #176  
 
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Originally Posted by pushmyredbutton View Post
Likely the case here. As an example, UA294 today SFO-DFW is showing a $61 BE fare with a massive $444 upcharge. They aren't really matching a ULCC, though, but it does make sense to capture the last minute non-biz travelers I suppose.
Just came across the same thing on the same route in reverse. DFW-SFO on either Sunday (tomorrow!) or Monday only.



Only available on the first flight out, despite all flights for the day being N9, so I'm guessing the fare rules are limiting it to just this one flight.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 6:00 pm
  #177  
 
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Only available on the first flight out, despite all flights for the day being N9, so I'm guessing the fare rules are limiting it to just this one flight.
Fare rule:
FROM DFW - PERMITTED 500AM TO 959AM DAILY. TO DFW - PERMITTED 800AM TO 1159AM DAILY.
In addition to this, it's a G fare, so you need both G and N inventory. N is (almost always) equal to Y, so that's rarely a problem. The fare rules limit the applicability to the first two flights Monday; inventory excludes the second morning flight (which is G0).
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Old Jun 22, 18, 11:06 pm
  #178  
 
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
From the email confirmation of my most recent Basic Economy ticket (the flight was less than two weeks ago):


Perhaps you are correct, the one companion limitation appears to apply only to the first checked bag fee waiver.
just to update you guys - all three of us get group 2 and Iím also surprised all are granted with one check bag and I can also have same day change with another flight....

i also wonder to see if I hop on a detour flight whether I get more miles
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Old Jun 23, 18, 9:00 am
  #179  
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Originally Posted by tobiashenry View Post


just to update you guys - all three of us get group 2 and Iím also surprised all are granted with one check bag and I can also have same day change with another flight....

i also wonder to see if I hop on a detour flight whether I get more miles
miles are done based on fare paid - I can almost guarantee that there are no additional RDM, and outside of IRROPS where you could theoretically be booked in a higher class, 0 PQMs.
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Old Jun 23, 18, 9:43 am
  #180  
 
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post


miles are done based on fare paid - I can almost guarantee that there are no additional RDM, and outside of IRROPS where you could theoretically be booked in a higher class, 0 PQMs.
Also my last couple IROPS events credited PQM has matched booked/paid not rebooked -- e.g. a week ago I had an "E" fare turn into a "Y" rebooking but I only got credit for the E -- and had enough sense not to even bother asking for the Y credit . If SDC really is an option for BE it seems like the only option that would make sense would be to take a shorter/more direct routing as you aren't getting more RDMs, you aren't getting any PQM/PQS...
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