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Any rumors of UA bringing back carry-on for BE?

Any rumors of UA bringing back carry-on for BE?

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Old Nov 19, 18, 9:11 am
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Any rumors of UA bringing back carry-on for BE?

DL allows BE fares to have a regular sized carry on. AA took that away, then brought it back. UA took it away and still hasn't brought it back.

Frankly, I haven't booked UA since that change. NK/F9 are almost always cheaper than UA and if UA is pricing the same as AA or DL, I'm flying them.

Any talk of them allowing carry-on's again for BE fares?
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Old Nov 19, 18, 9:21 am
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Donít have the link with me, but in a WSJ article last week talking about BE in general on all the carriers, including Alaskaís take on it, quoted someone from UA saying they have no plans to change the carry on restriction (though the article also refers to it as restricted from using the overhead bin, which technically isnít true, as the rule only allows a smaller article, which technically, room permitting, could be put in the overhead).

The arricle also also talks about what many folks on here also speculated: that BE and the restrictions it comes with is meant to get people to pay up to the regular fare.

IME, I donít personally think it will change, and honestly, I donít think it has to. If you want a bargain basement fare, then feel free to buy it, but understand itís bargain basement because it comes with restrictions, somewhat different than the restrictions on Spirit, Frontier, etc., but similar. If you want the full benefits of a regular fare, then forget about BE and just purchase a regular fare. If you like DL or AAa version of BE, then go for it. I donít think UA is concerned about losing too many BE fares, as if you go to someone else, they can sell that seat to someone else who might be willing to pay the regular fare.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 9:33 am
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Agree it seems unlikely. BE aren't the customers UA really wants to attract - i.e., the ones that are looking for the lowest fare possible regardless, although they're happy to take their money. The fares are designed to appear to be competitive in search engines more than to drive sales.

Unless they realize they can't fill planes without offering a carry-on, seems like they'll stick with it.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
If you want the full benefits of a regular fare, then forget about BE and just purchase a regular fare. If you like DL or AAa version of BE, then go for it. I donít think UA is concerned about losing too many BE fares, as if you go to someone else, they can sell that seat to someone else who might be willing to pay the regular fare.
That's what is surprising me though. I've flown DEN-Chicago 7x this year. That's 14 flights -- and 0 of them have been on UA. There's 5 carriers competing on that route - UA, AA, NK, WN, and F9.

My most recent trip this weekend cost around $130 for each ticket (so $260 RT). AA, WN and UA offered the same price, AA and UA were BE. What's the incentive for me to fly UA when they're going to cost $20-25 more than AA or WN, per flight?

NK and F9 both offered around $90-110 fares, so when you added in the checked luggage, it brought it to the AA/WN/UA fares. If UA was matching ULCC fares with BE, then I'd understand.

Surprised they haven't seen more people booking away, I guess based on what you said. Captive audience?
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Old Nov 19, 18, 10:00 am
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Makes no sense to me why UA won't match AA/DL/AS with this. UA might lose some competition on this, and UA should be working to keep its customers after what happened last year and all the negative PR fallout. My two cents.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by caverunner17 View Post
DL allows BE fares to have a regular sized carry on. AA took that away, then brought it back. UA took it away and still hasn't brought it back.

Frankly, I haven't booked UA since that change. NK/F9 are almost always cheaper than UA and if UA is pricing the same as AA or DL, I'm flying them.

Any talk of them allowing carry-on's again for BE fares?
No.

And, if you are strictly a price shopper, you aren't a target flier of UA - or, DL or AA or SWA. You are more a target of Frontier or Spirit.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by MrAndy1369 View Post
Makes no sense to me why UA won't match AA/DL/AS with this. UA might lose some competition on this, and UA should be working to keep its customers after what happened last year and all the negative PR fallout. My two cents.
The entire point of these fares is not to sell them. They're teaser fares, designed to show up in the search engine and then UA hopes to be able to up-sell the customer from there. They likely consider a customer booking AA a win, as it saves a seat for someone who will buy-up.

I'm not necessarily defending this policy -- it seems short-term focused. I'm just explaining it. UA feels there are enough customers to go around, particularly at fares they consider to be low.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 10:31 am
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Originally Posted by caverunner17 View Post
Surprised they haven't seen more people booking away, I guess based on what you said. Captive audience?
A little more than a year ago United admitted to suffering with BE. Great article title:

United Admits Theyíre Losing Business Because of Basic Economy, Will Keep At It

by Gary Leff on July 19, 2017

https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea...omy-will-keep/
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by caverunner17 View Post

Surprised they haven't seen more people booking away, I guess based on what you said. Captive audience?
I have never looked at BE fares. I like to be able to choose my aisle seat in the Exit Row or in the bulkhead when I book my flights. I book my flights long enough in advance that those seats are available. All for work so no problem. However, if I would suggest to my wife to book a BE seat and she ends up in a middle seat at the back of the plane I would hear about it for the next 20 years.....
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:47 am
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Considering in their latest earnings reports United did phenominal, why would they? I mean more people are buying up according to their last report.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by MrAndy1369 View Post
Makes no sense to me why UA won't match AA/DL/AS with this. UA might lose some competition on this, and UA should be working to keep its customers after what happened last year and all the negative PR fallout. My two cents.
I always assumed that part of the BE strategy was to make sure that fewer regular Y pax have to involuntarily check their bags. There's not enough room in the overhead for everyone, so why not offer some pax a discount not to use it? They'll be happy with the discount, the business travelers will be happy with their overhead bin space. Win-win.

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
The entire point of these fares is not to sell them. They're teaser fares, designed to show up in the search engine and then UA hopes to be able to up-sell the customer from there.
Do you have any evidence for that, or do you mean "I'm not the target demographic of this product"?
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Old Nov 19, 18, 12:04 pm
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I see no reason for UA to change. BE is a teaser fare as was stated above. You may say you flew 7 flights on other airlines but my experience is that someone else is picking up the UA fares because the cabins are nearly always full. UA has no incentive to change their formula to promote more BE or reduce fees if they're selling near-theoretical max capacity for the flight. If they were looking to pick up more cash, BE is hardly the place to do it.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Agree it seems unlikely. BE aren't the customers UA really wants to attract - i.e., the ones that are looking for the lowest fare possible regardless, although they're happy to take their money. The fares are designed to appear to be competitive in search engines more than to drive sales.

Unless they realize they can't fill planes without offering a carry-on, seems like they'll stick with it.
But that's the thing. The search engines are getting smarter. It is now possible to search by price including things like carey-ons.

Budget travelers are not the customers UA wants to attract, but those cheap seats are sold for a reason, they are crucial to profitably . I dont think they will be content on ceding this traffic to HA/AS/DL/AA/B6/WN, or charging $25 less for the long term.

No free carry on probably works fine in markets that they are not directly competing with the other non ULCCs. Maybe they ran the numbers and the extra revenue in those markets compensates for the lost revenue in the others.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Aliquot View Post

Budget travelers are not the customers UA wants to attract, but those cheap seats are sold for a reason, they are crucial to profitably .
I disagree, I doubt there is much or any profit on the BE seats. It does make Load Factor and RASM look better when announcing earnings (which from a perception basis is important) - but I'm not sure much of that fare goes to the bottom line.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 12:28 pm
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UA's earnings are doing just fine, unless it is falsifying its quarterly reporting. So, I'm not sure that anybody at UA is worried about losing net revenue (not customers, but net revenue) to BE fares and their restrictions.

One can mess around with this all one wants, but it's ultimately geometry. Take care of BE passengers and it comes at the cost of annoying an HVC on a tight connection who can't find space for his bag. There is only so much space in the OH, so it's really a question of who gets it, not whether BE is a great deal.
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