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

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

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Old Feb 9, 19, 9:19 am   -   Wikipost
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This is an archive thread -- the active thread is United's Basic Economy - Discussion, Q&A, ...

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)

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
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Old May 1, 17, 1:48 pm
  #1486  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
I also think it is shady, it is basically a bate and switch by United, to try to cover up charging more than the competitor: "We offer this $289/fare, same fare as Delta/AA, but well, you get treated like crap... But for a mere $5/10/15 each way we will treat you just like you could have gotten treated on DL/AA (ok, a little worse, but who is kidding, we are Untied Airlines)"
It obviously hasn't hurt DL to pull their shady bait-and-switch on lower fares. No reason to think that will change for UA's higher fares.
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Old May 1, 17, 2:08 pm
  #1487  
 
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Originally Posted by minnyfly View Post
It obviously hasn't hurt DL to pull their shady bait-and-switch on lower fares. No reason to think that will change for UA's higher fares.
Lots of examples of what is being discussed. If I pay $139 to fly SFO-MSP two weeks out, or $80 to fly ORD-MSP, I am likely on the look out. If I buy SFO-MSP a few days before departure, and it is $261 o/w (real example, see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28228679-post1423.html) I neither am expecting a BE not on the look out for one. United's $261 is a BE, Delta's fare is the same $261 but its a regular Y fare. Doing things the way United is is just a rip off.
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Old May 1, 17, 3:01 pm
  #1488  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
Lots of examples of what is being discussed. If I pay $139 to fly SFO-MSP two weeks out, or $80 to fly ORD-MSP, I am likely on the look out. If I buy SFO-MSP a few days before departure, and it is $261 o/w (real example, see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28228679-post1423.html) I neither am expecting a BE not on the look out for one. United's $261 is a BE, Delta's fare is the same $261 but its a regular Y fare. Doing things the way United is is just a rip off.
I think you're forgetting that, a) people have free will, and b) airfares are driven by demand.

First, no one should be tricked into buying a BE ticket. Even if you're comparing fares on a website like Expedia, it is clearly highlighted. If customers choose to avoid United and purchase an equivalent Delta fare, the fare bucket equilibrium will shift at some point, leaving lower fare buckets (both BE and non-BE) open on United while Delta only has higher fare buckets open. United will see the changes in booking patterns in real time and will either, a) do nothing and see loads and potentially PRASM decline, or b) adjust fares in response.

On the other hand, if there are enough loyal United customers on SFO-MSP that purchase non-BE fares, United will earn a small yield premium.
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Old May 2, 17, 1:11 pm
  #1489  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
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I guess I am in the target market because I just bought a one-way LAS-DEN in regular economy. Las Vegas is one of the few destinations from Denver where I still get upgrades as a Gold (I have MM but don't fly UA much anymore). The cost was $15, so a seat in Economy Plus and a potential upgrade (plus a carry-on) was worth it to me.
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Old May 2, 17, 3:29 pm
  #1490  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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SFO/BUR now has N fares as of this morning (new since yesterday). Not terribly significant but it seems like the rollout continues. Only competition here is WN and AS, so matching them with N fares just seems dumb

eta. can now confirm that the round-trip match of refundable fares does not price in N unless (as jsloan noted) you are trying to combine with BE in the other direction. Just shows BE as "Not Available".

Actually just a hilariously sloppy debut:
Name:  Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 2.35.49 PM.png
Views: 707
Size:  200.3 KB

Last edited by findark; May 2, 17 at 3:38 pm
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Old May 2, 17, 3:38 pm
  #1491  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
SFO/BUR now has N fares as of this morning (new since yesterday). Not terribly significant but it seems like the rollout continues. Only competition here is WN and AS, so matching them with N fares just seems dumb

eta. can now confirm that the round-trip match of refundable fares does not price in N unless (as jsloan noted) you are trying to combine with BE in the other direction. Just shows BE as "Not Available".
yup, a turn of the screw The formerally LCC, WN and AS, are now the full service carrier, and United is the one offering a ULCC experience, where they take away everything from you, unless you pay an extra $10/15 more each way.

So are you going to fly WN and AS and get treated well, or fly UAdbaSpirit.
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Old May 2, 17, 4:08 pm
  #1492  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
yup, a turn of the screw The formerally LCC, WN and AS, are now the full service carrier, and United is the one offering a ULCC experience, where they take away everything from you, unless you pay an extra $10/15 more each way.

So are you going to fly WN and AS and get treated well, or fly UAdbaSpirit.
As much as I hate the BE fare scam, I think you're giving WN a little too much credit. Everything about WN is LCC, except for the price. No F, no meals, no seat assignment, etc. If by "treated well", you mean the FA's will tell stupid annoying jokes while making announcements, and be really nice to you, OK they're good at that.
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Old May 2, 17, 4:17 pm
  #1493  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Everything about WN is LCC, except for the price. No F, no meals, no seat assignment, etc. If by "treated well", you mean the FA's will tell stupid annoying jokes while making announcements, and be really nice to you, OK they're good at that.
I have to disagree with that.. if you have no status with either I think WN offers a significantly better experience than a legacy carrier in Y. No bag fees, no change fees (and no award change fees), and no seat assignment means sitting in sardine class behind the wing isn't a foregone conclusion (I can get Row 1 with decent success with EBCI, and even just caring about when you check in is usually good for your choice of aisle or window).

WN lags in the elite and top of market experience. Open seating is worse than my pre-selected 7A, and of course there's no F. But their unique business model is IMO a very attractive proposition for the irregular Y traveler (and means I'll fly them when price and schedule win out, something I would pretty much never do in AA/DL Y-). It's night and day compared to NK/F9/etc.
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Old May 2, 17, 5:27 pm
  #1494  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
SFO/BUR now has N fares as of this morning (new since yesterday). Not terribly significant but it seems like the rollout continues. Only competition here is WN and AS, so matching them with N fares just seems dumb

eta. can now confirm that the round-trip match of refundable fares does not price in N unless (as jsloan noted) you are trying to combine with BE in the other direction. Just shows BE as "Not Available".

Actually just a hilariously sloppy debut:
Attachment 31877
Wow, gotta love BE being the same price as Y. UA IT strikes Again!

Not sure the date you are looking at, but I see 5/16/17 as the first day they are bookable on UA.com. On that date, UA wants $15 o/w for Y with BE being $128 or $141 (making Y $143 and $156 o/w)

On those days AS is offering $69 o/w (from SJC) and SWA is offering $69 o/w on each of the 4 flights they fly.

So United wants to charge you more for BE than the competition,and then demand another $15 not to get treated like crap. Lots of customers are going to be POed.
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Old May 3, 17, 5:10 am
  #1495  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
Wow, gotta love BE being the same price as Y. UA IT strikes Again!
I'm sure this is a very low priority ticket in the IT queue compared to many other things!
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Old May 3, 17, 6:11 am
  #1496  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by jjmoore View Post
I'm sure this is a very low priority ticket in the IT queue compared to many other things!
This reflects a pricing strategy, not an IT issue.
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Old May 3, 17, 7:36 am
  #1497  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I have to disagree with that.. if you have no status with either I think WN offers a significantly better experience than a legacy carrier in Y. No bag fees, no change fees (and no award change fees), and no seat assignment means sitting in sardine class behind the wing isn't a foregone conclusion (I can get Row 1 with decent success with EBCI, and even just caring about when you check in is usually good for your choice of aisle or window).

WN lags in the elite and top of market experience. Open seating is worse than my pre-selected 7A, and of course there's no F. But their unique business model is IMO a very attractive proposition for the irregular Y traveler (and means I'll fly them when price and schedule win out, something I would pretty much never do in AA/DL Y-). It's night and day compared to NK/F9/etc.
Free Wifi, guaranteed A seat, free live limited tv (everyone gets that). . Free companion.
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Old May 3, 17, 10:41 am
  #1498  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
eta. can now confirm that the round-trip match of refundable fares does not price in N unless (as jsloan noted) you are trying to combine with BE in the other direction. Just shows BE as "Not Available".
I'm not entirely sure what you are saying here but I would note that if you book a round trip with British Airways in an eligible market, they will only sell you their "handbaggage only" fares if that fare type is available in both directions (they won't sell a HBO outbound / non-HBO return round trip journey).
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Old May 3, 17, 12:43 pm
  #1499  
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
This reflects a pricing strategy, not an IT issue.
Very likely.

Haven't seen it reported in a while (though I'm not over there as much), but the AC forum used to have lots of posts on on higher ticket groups pricing cheaper than a lower one...i.e. a flex being same or less than Tango (even though flex gives you a seat, and Tango is an add on).

Interestingly enough, I was looking up a potential itinerary on Ultimate Rewards site yesterday, and noticed that it wouldn't show me a UA BE fare (not that I wanted it), but did show a DL E fare (complete with a pop up warning). I confirmed BE was offered by looking at the same flights on the UA site, which did show a BE fare available (and DL site showed me the E fare on their site). UA and DL basic fares were the same, as were the regular/main cabin fare, but for some reason, UR site wouldn't try and sell the UA BE fare. Is it possible that some sites are choosing to block out UA N fares (while still selling DL E)?
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Old May 3, 17, 1:39 pm
  #1500  
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
... but for some reason, UR site wouldn't try and sell the UA BE fare. Is it possible that some sites are choosing to block out UA N fares (while still selling DL E)?
Certainly possible, but I know others have seen the UA BE fares on the Chase site so I'd say that's an unexpected irregularity, not a policy decision.
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