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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 Apr 4, 18, 12:41 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 36
Basic Economy as segmentation tool at United

Article states that "United never envisioned basic economy as a tool to combat discount airlines, but as a ďsegmentation toolĒ to split customers willing to pay more to get more from price-sensitive travelers, says Dave Bartels, Unitedís vice president for pricing and revenue management. ďI wouldnít necessarily equate the two [basic economy and Saturday-night stays], but directionally thatís probably true,Ē he says."

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-sec...ere-1522847683

Mods, Wasn't sure if this should move this to the Basic Economy thread,
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Old Apr 4, 18, 12:42 pm
  #62  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Full story via subscription only
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Old Apr 4, 18, 12:45 pm
  #63  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Originally Posted by NH_Clark View Post
Full story via subscription only
Google the title and add "facebook". click on a link that starts with FB.com. Access the link via FB and you'll get past the paywall.
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Old Apr 4, 18, 12:47 pm
  #64  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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"That’s exactly what the much-hated Saturday-night stay requirement, now seldom-used in the U.S"

Um, what? Seldom-used? Go to any one of the threads asking "Why is this UA fare so high" and go see how many responses are "You're not including the saturday night stay requirement".

Seldom-used? Really?
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Old Apr 4, 18, 12:51 pm
  #65  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
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Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
Seldom-used? Really?
Yes, seldom used. It depends upon your market, but if you consider the US as a whole, domestic UA fares rarely have a Saturday-night stay requirement. In fact, I'd say I see the exact same prices for one-way or round-trip flights on over 95% of my domestic searches (mostly ex-AUS, ex-DFW, ex-SAT...)
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Old Apr 4, 18, 12:58 pm
  #66  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
AFAIK this is not true. I bought my ticket with a different card but have a MP Explorer card. Me + companion got BG2.
This happened to me a few times early on, but not in a long time. If I don't pay with the card, I don't get the perks associated with the card.
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Old Apr 4, 18, 1:37 pm
  #67  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Yes, seldom used. It depends upon your market, but if you consider the US as a whole, domestic UA fares rarely have a Saturday-night stay requirement. In fact, I'd say I see the exact same prices for one-way or round-trip flights on over 95% of my domestic searches (mostly ex-AUS, ex-DFW, ex-SAT...)
If you only fly to larger metros that have LCC/ULCC service, this is probably true. However there are still many smaller metros where the legacy still price discriminate by having Roundtrip + Saturday night stay requirements in their cheaper fares. It also largely still true for international destinations.
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Old Apr 4, 18, 3:49 pm
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by BBSHOPSINGER View Post
This happened to me a few times early on, but not in a long time. If I don't pay with the card, I don't get the perks associated with the card.
Do you mean in the context of a BE fare or even for normal economy? I have no UA status, use my CSR for most flights, and always get BG2.

The only perk I have to use the card for is checked bag.

The card website agrees with me:

https://www2.theexplorercard.com/

The primary Cardmember and companions on the same reservation will be invited to board United-operated flights prior to general boarding.

The primary Cardmember and one companion traveling on the same reservation will each receive their first standard checked bag free ($25 value, each way, per person) on United-operated flights when the primary Cardmember includes their United MileagePlusģ number in their reservation and purchases their tickets from United with their Card.
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Old Apr 4, 18, 4:10 pm
  #69  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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So do I understand this correctly? If I do OLCI and state that I am planning to check in luggage then a seat will be assigned at time of
OLCI? No check in luggage, no seat assignment?
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Old Apr 5, 18, 6:09 am
  #70  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
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Letís say you are a 1K and youíve already earned 100k PQMs/$12k PQDs and are requalified for next year.

You need to take a last minute flight (as in within the next hour or two), like ORD-MSP. Basic Economy is significantly cheaper than regular Economy. The seat map is already almost full and no upgrades are left available (or you know you wonít get one anyway). Itís either such a short flight you donít care about which seat you get, or there are no good seats left.

Is there any reason not to take BE? I canít think of one.

Letís also assume you arenít going to benefit from earning enough PQMs to get more RPUs - maybe you donít use them or maybe you wonít be able to cross the 25k or 50k threshold this year.

IRROPs donít matter since itís last minute anyway. Worst case, just go buy a full priced regular ticket.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 6:50 am
  #71  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
Letís say you are a 1K and youíve already earned 100k PQMs/$12k PQDs and are requalified for next year.

You need to take a last minute flight (as in within the next hour or two), like ORD-MSP. Basic Economy is significantly cheaper than regular Economy. The seat map is already almost full and no upgrades are left available (or you know you wonít get one anyway). Itís either such a short flight you donít care about which seat you get, or there are no good seats left.

Is there any reason not to take BE? I canít think of one.

Letís also assume you arenít going to benefit from earning enough PQMs to get more RPUs - maybe you donít use them or maybe you wonít be able to cross the 25k or 50k threshold this year.

IRROPs donít matter since itís last minute anyway. Worst case, just go buy a full priced regular ticket.
For that specific situation the only thing I can up with is credit for lifetime miles, etc. -- and for me, I value having certainty in my seating enough that that alone would do it (and I've been known to watch seatmaps like a hawk if I'm in a "bad" seat and thus far am about 90% success in getting myself to a seat I want [like an exit row window] that I don't put much weight on the 'only bad seats' argument) -- likewiseish, if you're a 1K and buying a last minute fare your chances of scoring the upgrade to the last available seat or being at the top of the list if someone no-shows are high enough that they can't be completely discounted.

That said, my question is would UA still be selling a "low" BE fare within a couple hours of departure? More and more often I'm not seeing BE offered at all when I'm booking a ticket (not complaining at all, BTW) but selling a 'low' BE fare in the business person's bread and butter seems like exactly the cannibalization that UA needs to avoid for BE to be a long term success.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 8:49 am
  #72  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
That said, my question is would UA still be selling a "low" BE fare within a couple hours of departure? More and more often I'm not seeing BE offered at all when I'm booking a ticket (not complaining at all, BTW) but selling a 'low' BE fare in the business person's bread and butter seems like exactly the cannibalization that UA needs to avoid for BE to be a long term success.
In a limited number of markets, UA has published deep discount BE fares with no advance purchase requirement that do not map to a corresponding no-advance-purchase regular economy seat. These normally require G space to be available, so I'm not sure how likely you are to find them on a flight like OP specified (with the seat map almost full), as it doesn't seem that UA will always equalize all buckets prior to departure they way they used to do.

However, if it did happen to be that kind of market, you may find yourself choosing between an $80 BE fare and a $400 regular economy fare. I've never purchased BE, but I've also never been faced with a multiple-hundreds-of-dollars fare difference either.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 11:46 am
  #73  
 
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Last year $60 ORD-MSP last minute fares were common.

I see less of them this year but they do still happen and the difference is pretty stark - $80 vs $400 typically. Itís hard to think of a reason to spend an extra $320 for a 1 hour flight leaving in the next hour (even if someone else is paying for it). The difference on board is very slight, especially for Premiers or cardholders.

If United came up with some way to keep good E+ seats open at the last minute for high booking classes - or would keep open 1 or 2 seats with P/Z/A space - we wouldnít be having this discussion. Often I have to buy a last minute ticket and end up sitting next to a group 5 person. Might as well pay the same price they do.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 12:15 pm
  #74  
 
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One does not have to look very far. Doing a search for ORD-MSP tomorrow (April 6) shows $70 BE and $253 regular economy.

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Old Apr 5, 18, 1:35 pm
  #75  
 
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At the end of the last year there were $60 LAX-CLE fares compared to $85 in regular economy. It was tough to come up with a reason to spend the extra $25. We ended up spending the extra money so we could sit together.
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