When the only option is Basic Economy

Reply

Old Jun 29, 18, 10:41 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: RDU
Programs: Hhonors Gold, UA Silver, DL GM
Posts: 237
When the only option is Basic Economy

Hi all - I just booked a flight DEN-RDU and intended to buy normal economy. Books into W on the outbound, but on the return the banner above the flight says 'Economy' but the booking class shows N. I usually fly Delta and I'm not sure if this is true for UA as well, but usually these BE fares aren't combinable with other normal Economy fares. The thing that really bothers me about this is there was no way to avoid this while booking. I'm now on the phone and the agent has no clue what happened - but is cancelling and rebooking.
AviationFreak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 10:56 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Programs: UA 1K; *G, AA Plat
Posts: 1,662
Originally Posted by AviationFreak View Post
Hi all - I just booked a flight DEN-RDU and intended to buy normal economy. Books into W on the outbound, but on the return the banner above the flight says 'Economy' but the booking class shows N. I usually fly Delta and I'm not sure if this is true for UA as well, but usually these BE fares aren't combinable with other normal Economy fares. The thing that really bothers me about this is there was no way to avoid this while booking. I'm now on the phone and the agent has no clue what happened - but is cancelling and rebooking.
Screenshots?
laxmillenial is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 11:05 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: RDU
Programs: Hhonors Gold, UA Silver, DL GM
Posts: 237


Outbound - BE not available, selected regular economy (W)


Return: Only Economy available, but booking class N. Pretty sure the general public can't be expected to know that N is a basic economy fare.

And FWIW, I submitted a DOT complaint.
BThumme likes this.
AviationFreak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 11:28 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Houston/DC
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 419
Originally Posted by AviationFreak View Post


Outbound - BE not available, selected regular economy (W)


Return: Only Economy available, but booking class N. Pretty sure the general public can't be expected to know that N is a basic economy fare.

And FWIW, I submitted a DOT complaint.
Just curious, what is the reasoning for the DOT complaint?? Not that I have ever filed one, so I may be unaware that this is some sort of nefarious business practice that needs addressing
FlyngSvyr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 11:28 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: MBS/FNT/LAN
Programs: UA 1P, HH Gold, CGI Plat, Mariott Gold
Posts: 8,847
Originally Posted by AviationFreak View Post
And FWIW, I submitted a DOT complaint.
Why?
jhayes_1780 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 11:34 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: RDU
Programs: Hhonors Gold, UA Silver, DL GM
Posts: 237
Well for one, I wasn't getting what I was told I would be paying for - imagine what this thread would look like if you thought you booked Polaris and ended up stuck in Economy...
AviationFreak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 11:34 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3,675
Interesting, I think they are doing something funny, using N as the 'fare class' for a W/K basis ?? . Example:

Code:
City pair  Fare class  Fare basis code
RDU-DEN    W           WAA4AKEN
DEN-RDU    N           KRN3ACER
I don't think it's basic economy, though.

Last edited by fumje; Jun 29, 18 at 11:51 am Reason: fix code tags that ft text box ate
fumje is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 11:38 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: MBS/FNT/LAN
Programs: UA 1P, HH Gold, CGI Plat, Mariott Gold
Posts: 8,847
Originally Posted by AviationFreak View Post
Well for one, I wasn't getting what I was told I would be paying for - imagine what this thread would look like if you thought you booked Polaris and ended up stuck in Economy...
But you were not booking polaris, and getting economy. You are booking economy and getting economy.

Even your own screenshots indicate there should be no "gripe" over not getting mileage on the returns.

I'm not suggesting that there may not be an error here on UA.... but for your first line of defense to file a DoT complaint?
jhayes_1780 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 11:46 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, DL, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 8,158
It's a fare table error. -ER and -EX fares are supposed to book into their prime code for the Basic Economy price; looks like a typo on KRN3ACER. It's technically not a Basic Economy fare, but this is not a fight with UA's systems I would want to get in to. You cannot get this price with a different fare. I went halfway to booking it, and the computer is just confused.. grayed out E+ but let me select an E- seat for free.. what a mess.

Code:
    V FARE BASIS     BK    FARE   TRAVEL-TICKET AP  MINMAX  RTG
  1   KRN3ACER       N R   158.00 R14NV         3/1  -/  -    1
PASSENGER TYPE-ADT                 AUTO PRICE-YES              
FROM-DEN TO-RDU    CXR-UA    TVL-29JUN18  RULE-ECC2 DFR/11
FARE BASIS-KRN3ACER          SPECIAL FARE  DIS-E   VENDOR-ATP
FARE TYPE-ERS      RT-2ND LEVEL ECONOMY RESTRICTED
USD   146.98  0001  E27JUN18 D14NOV18   FC-KRN3ACER  FN-4A   
SYSTEM DATES - CREATED 27JUN18/1216  EXPIRES INFINITY
 
PUBLISHED RTG DEN-RDU/UA1   /TAR-DRG1    EF-27JUN18 DIS-INDEF
 
 TRAVEL MUST BE NONSTOP
.
Code:
	   NOTE - THE FOLLOWING TEXT IS INFORMATIONAL AND NOT
   VALIDATED FOR AUTOPRICING.
   NORMAL  / EXCURSION FARES
   APPLICATION
    CLASS OF SERVICE
     THESE FARES APPLY FOR FIRST/BUSINESS/ECONOMY/
      PREMIUM ECONOMY/OFF PEAK ECONOMY CLASS SERVICE.
    TYPES OF TRANSPORTATION
     THIS RULE GOVERNS ONE-WAY AND ROUND-TRIP FARES.
     FARES GOVERNED BY THIS RULE CAN BE USED TO CREATE
      ONE-WAY/ROUND-TRIP/CIRCLE-TRIP/OPEN-JAW JOURNEYS.
    CAPACITY LIMITATIONS
     SEATS ARE LIMITED.
findark is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 11:48 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: RDU
Programs: Hhonors Gold, UA Silver, DL GM
Posts: 237
Sure, DoT may not have been a great first choice - but agent and supervisor didn't provide an adequate explanation and tried to charge more instead of admitting an issue. And thanks @findark for the digging.
ContinentalFan likes this.
AviationFreak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 12:09 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 7,425
Originally Posted by jhayes_1780 View Post
Even your own screenshots indicate there should be no "gripe" over not getting mileage on the returns.
Nonsense. The screenshot clearly shows 0 PQM, which is exactly how this would have credited.

Originally Posted by findark View Post
It's a fare table error. -ER and -EX fares are supposed to book into their prime code for the Basic Economy price; looks like a typo on KRN3ACER. It's technically not a Basic Economy fare, but this is not a fight with UA's systems I would want to get in to. You cannot get this price with a different fare. I went halfway to booking it, and the computer is just confused.. grayed out E+ but let me select an E- seat for free.. what a mess.
I agree on all counts. In an astonishing first for the BE system*, UA messed up the fares somehow. There is no way I would purchase that fare.

Originally Posted by AviationFreak View Post
Sure, DoT may not have been a great first choice - but agent and supervisor didn't provide an adequate explanation and tried to charge more instead of admitting an issue.
I don't think I would have filed a DOT complaint until / unless I had the BE experience on the return. But I wouldn't have expected PQMs, and I doubt the fare would have been upgrade eligible. You probably could have talked your way into a seat assignment though.

BTW, you're correct -- BE fares don't combine with non-BE fares. The problem is, there's no rule for "non-BE fares that stupidly book into the BE bucket."

It's times like this that I really wish UA would allow me to contact specific departments directly. If they had public access to their issue tracking system, issues like this could be fixed in hours. But trying to explain it to their first line support just isn't worth my time.

* Can you sense the sarcasm?
jsloan is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 12:13 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Jersey Shore/YYZ
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Gold, National Exec, Hertz PC
Posts: 12,142
I think DOT is excessive too, as they don't legislate change fee or fare rules. The OP got what he paid for originally even if many of us avoid it. At least the computer warned of the 0 earnings, but that's not an obligation.
aacharya is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 12:23 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3,675
Note that this is not an actual BE fare, it is just being treated like one in some regards for some reason. I agree that I would not want to risk the computer misinterpreting whether to allow seat assignments and designate BG5, but the rules do not have, for example, the baggage restrictions of BE. Likely it is a mistake, but there are too many things in conflict to figure out what was intended.

I would say DOT is not warranted unless flying with the ticket and there were some BE restriction imposed on bags or other part of the travel experience.
fumje is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 12:49 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, DL, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 8,158
Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Note that this is not an actual BE fare, it is just being treated like one in some regards for some reason. I agree that I would not want to risk the computer misinterpreting whether to allow seat assignments and designate BG5, but the rules do not have, for example, the baggage restrictions of BE. Likely it is a mistake, but there are too many things in conflict to figure out what was intended.
It's because the fare was filed with an rbd of 'N'. Some of the systems use the actual fare rules for BE (changeability, primarily) and others use the rbd (upgrades, mileage earning).
findark is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 18, 1:20 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3,675
Originally Posted by findark View Post
It's because the fare was filed with an rbd of 'N'. Some of the systems use the actual fare rules for BE (changeability, primarily) and others use the rbd (upgrades, mileage earning).
Ah yes, my meaning was that I was not sure which was the mistake, the rbd of N or the use of non-BE rules for a BE price. Or is there a clear indication of which is the mistake? I suppose we can speculate about likelihood of one vs. the other.
fumje is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread