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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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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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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 11, 17, 2:10 pm
  #1606  
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Originally Posted by ORDtoMEM View Post
I was looking for some cheap vacation flights this afternoon and came across an interesting data point that I don't know if anybody has seen yet. For a June 21 one way LAS-ORD the BE fare is $44, with the buy-up to Y for $40.

$44 is still $20 less than Spirit and $84 is way less than anyone else so still a great deal, but I have seen several times here that the largest price difference will be $25 one way so I wonder if the difference is already starting to get larger...
But after the buyup is it still considered a BE fare for earning purposes?
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Old May 11, 17, 2:27 pm
  #1607  
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
But after the buyup is it still considered a BE fare for earning purposes?
No. On that date, on that route, the difference between BE and regular economy is $40.
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Old May 11, 17, 2:27 pm
  #1608  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
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Originally Posted by ORDtoMEM View Post
$44 is still $20 less than Spirit and $84 is way less than anyone else so still a great deal, but I have seen several times here that the largest price difference will be $25 one way so I wonder if the difference is already starting to get larger...
Bizarre. They're using a $25 differential on much longer routes, so this is pretty weird.
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Old May 11, 17, 2:38 pm
  #1609  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Bizarre. They're using a $25 differential on much longer routes, so this is pretty weird.
I see up to $40 OW on SFO-DFW. A couple days ago it was $30.
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Old May 11, 17, 4:34 pm
  #1610  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Bizarre. They're using a $25 differential on much longer routes, so this is pretty weird.
It seems that a lot of the newer G- fares have larger price differentials. I'm seeing quite a few $40 differentials. The K- fares on the same routes are the more standard $25.
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Old May 11, 17, 6:36 pm
  #1611  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 73
Originally Posted by kay_jay View Post
Thanks.
Can I use electronic certificate if flying in basic economy?
Am I entitled to book economy plus seats?
If flying with family (3 people) can they also get access to economy plus seats?
In addition to the "no E+" answer you already received, just wanted to point out that the family may be split up and all be sitting separately in E- if on BE tickets.

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...c-economy.aspx
Group and family seating is not available
Please note that customers traveling in a group, including families, will not be able to sit together.
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Old May 11, 17, 7:48 pm
  #1612  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Programs: United 1k
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what does this mean?
Basic Economy tickets do not earn lifetime flight miles
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Old May 11, 17, 7:50 pm
  #1613  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Originally Posted by bryanwallace View Post
what does this mean?
Basic Economy tickets do not earn lifetime flight miles
It means, "if you care about million miler status, do not buy Basic Economy tickets". Miles flown won't count toward your MM status,
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Old May 11, 17, 9:25 pm
  #1614  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by bryanwallace View Post
what does this mean?
Basic Economy tickets do not earn lifetime flight miles
If you want any frequent flyer benefits, including lifetime miles, you can pay an extra $30 +/- on every trip. It is the new "flyer friendly" United...
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Old May 11, 17, 9:51 pm
  #1615  
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
If you want any frequent flyer benefits, including lifetime miles, you can pay an extra $30 +/- on every trip. It is the new "flyer friendly" United...
repeating the same lie over and over again doesn't make it correct.

There are some FF benefits that you don't get with a BE fare, and some that you do. In basic, you still get your extra RDM (total of 6, 8, 9 or 11x dollars paid, based on status), still get to board in group 1/2 (again, based on status) and waived check bag fees. You also get an extra benefit not afforded to other basic flyers: the ability to bring on a standard carry on bag. It's true there are other FF benefits you don't get, like PQM, lifetime miles, E+ seats, chance of CPU (which some people would say isn't a real chance on other fares anyway...my experience disagrees with that, but I'm putting it out there). FF benefits are certainly more limited on BE, we get it, but they aren't non-existent.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 11, 17 at 10:03 pm Reason: discuss the issue, not the posters
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Old May 11, 17, 11:59 pm
  #1616  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Programs: United 1k
Posts: 1,432
thanks all.
so when you book there is not a ticket class (L or whatever) it just says basic economy?
is this only domestic routes?

have played around and this only seems to show up on us site which is why i had not seen it before..doesnt show on the japanese site..
interesting..

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 12, 17 at 12:45 am Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old May 12, 17, 12:18 am
  #1617  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by bryanwallace View Post
thanks all.
so when you book there is not a ticket class (L or whatever) it just says basic economy?
is this only domestic routes?
Domestic routes only (and only some right now). All Basic Economy fares book into N class and are pretty obvious.
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Old May 12, 17, 8:31 am
  #1618  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Originally Posted by GoSh4rks View Post
I see up to $40 OW on SFO-DFW. A couple days ago it was $30.
I am seeing $35 o/w differential on a EWR-ORD R/T in August (8/19-8/21).

On a lark, I selected BE on the EWR-ORD leg, and the differential came back as $70 ($35 *2) to select Economy on the ORD-EWR.

- Selecting an economy fare then adds a note to the next screen that "we've updated your outbound flight(s) to economy."

- Selecting another BE fare does not prompt a second pop-up requiring me to accept that I have selected another BE fare. Apparently the first one carries forward. Additionally, the final selection page indicates that BE fares trigger "an additional $25 gate handling charge" for bags brought to the gate, and is on top of the $25 checked bag charge meaning BE fares checking bags at the gate will pay $50.


So for those desiring to fly BE in only one direction of a R/T, the only option is to book two separate one way itineraries. Seems obvious, but I do not recall being explicitly stated previously in this thread; apologies if it has been mentioned.
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Old May 12, 17, 8:34 am
  #1619  
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Originally Posted by bryanwallace View Post
thanks all.
so when you book there is not a ticket class (L or whatever) it just says basic economy?
is this only domestic routes?

have played around and this only seems to show up on us site which is why i had not seen it before..doesnt show on the japanese site..
interesting..
as mentioned, books into N.

It will typically be a amount off of the lowest regular fare - say, $20 less (depending on route). On UA.com there is a column for basic economy (where available) and one for economy lowest (I think they still call it that). You will not be able to book the basic fare without the pop up coming up with the list of restrictions, you'll have to check a box to agree, and then will need to click another button to proceed. Really, really difficult to book a basic fare on UAs site without knowing it. On OTAs, etc, there are different levels of warning from non-existent, to a pop-up box.
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Old May 14, 17, 12:00 pm
  #1620  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
As someone who flies SFO-SEA at least 2-3 x month, I can say that for at least the last year, UA is often the low price leader.

But on the broader point, if United was not doing what everyone with examples, on multiple city pairs has shown they are doing - matching a BE to a competitors Y when the flights get close in, and demanding a "elite surcharge" of $30 +/- to get elite benifits - well someone would have posted a counter example. You don't have a counter example, but are welcome to believe United is doing something all of the actual evidence shows they are not doing.
I've seen a mix on SFO-SEA. For 4-6 weeks out, United often don't have the best fare and/or have worse times of day for the same fare, in fact I'm seeing AS/Delta/Virgin exactly matching, and UA (BE) for $12 more on some days, and UA matching AS/Delta/Virgin on some days. It's been a while since I saw UA show a lower price than anyone on that route, right now I only see one cheaper UA flight (SEA-SFO) on May 31st within the next 3 weeks.

I pay for my tickets myself - the $30 isn't large, but (A) there's no economic justification to book UA and (B) it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Hence, no more UA out of principle (except to use up my miles and ETCs).
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