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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 Oct 10, 17, 1:28 pm
  #2956  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,907
Originally Posted by Exleftseat View Post
With the current SW fare sale being active, UA is out of whack again with the BE fares compared to "real" Economy. Sample for the 1 hr flight from LAX to PHX in a RJ700 : BE $ 49.00, Y 123.00. That's a whopping $ 80.00. Foolish not to stick it to them and go BE.
The difference is $40: an $89 G fare with a $(40) differential to N. This has been the standard for G-BN fares, but...

Originally Posted by 1353513636 View Post
I'm kind of dumbfounded that they are matching WN with BE. WN is arguably a more full service product than UA regular Y say nothing of BE.
This. I don't know if DL planned this much more carefully when they debuted BE, but the matching of WN/AS/VX on the West Coast using BE fares has been a monumentally stupid decision for UA. As you note, all of these carriers offer a better Y product than UA regular E-, and WN especially. My 1K status might lure me away from the schedule and convenience of WN at the same price, but insert a difference and I'm gone again.

I do note now that AA, DL, and UA all have $49 BE fares to match AS/VX/WN on Bay Area to LA fares, and.. I still don't get it. Who on earth is buying $49 BE when they could be buying a $49 WGA fare on WN? I know there are WN haters, but that just seems stupid.
findark is offline  
Old Oct 10, 17, 1:50 pm
  #2957  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: dark side of the moon
Programs: papa card, UA 1K
Posts: 700
Originally Posted by findark View Post
Who on earth is buying $49 BE when they could be buying a $49 WGA fare on WN? I know there are WN haters, but that just seems stupid.
Believe it or not maybe me on my own dime (for short hops when I don't need SDC CPU etc...)- I re-qualified for 1K in Feb so have been a free agent since. I don't think I'm the intended target though; a 1K in BE is arguably better off than a no status on WN well at least on paper. That said, I've yet to book BE.
ermintrude is offline  
Old Oct 10, 17, 2:07 pm
  #2958  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,907
Originally Posted by ermintrude View Post
a 1K in BE is arguably better off than a no status on WN well at least on paper. That said, I've yet to book BE.
I'm skeptical of that.. maybe if the reports that 1Ks in BE get E+ more than 50% of the time hold true.

Even without EBCI on WN, I get a window forward of the wing 100% of the time, and with EBCI Row 1 about 70% of the time.

If you include the free drink and snack for 1K, maybe, but I'm looking at sub-500mi routes as for a longer domestic flight I'm paying for F and not considering WN anyway.
findark is offline  
Old Oct 10, 17, 4:26 pm
  #2959  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: OZ Diamond/*G, UA Gold MM, IHG Spire Amb, Hilton Gold
Posts: 1,992
Originally Posted by findark View Post
The difference is $40: an $89 G fare with a $(40) differential to N. This has been the standard for G-BN fares, but...



This. I don't know if DL planned this much more carefully when they debuted BE, but the matching of WN/AS/VX on the West Coast using BE fares has been a monumentally stupid decision for UA. As you note, all of these carriers offer a better Y product than UA regular E-, and WN especially. My 1K status might lure me away from the schedule and convenience of WN at the same price, but insert a difference and I'm gone again.

I do note now that AA, DL, and UA all have $49 BE fares to match AS/VX/WN on Bay Area to LA fares, and.. I still don't get it. Who on earth is buying $49 BE when they could be buying a $49 WGA fare on WN? I know there are WN haters, but that just seems stupid.
AA's differential to regular Y is $8. UA is $40. No comparison.
1353513636 is offline  
Old Oct 10, 17, 4:44 pm
  #2960  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K 1MM; AS MVPG75K; Marriott Titanium; Hilton Diamond (Aspire); Hyatt Refugeeist
Posts: 41,378
Originally Posted by ermintrude View Post
I don't think I'm the intended target though; a 1K in BE is arguably better off than a no status on WN well at least on paper.
Originally Posted by findark View Post
I'm skeptical of that.. maybe if the reports that 1Ks in BE get E+ more than 50% of the time hold true.
I think your view on this depends on how you feel about flying WN. I personally have grown to really dislike the line up to board and the risk of getting one of those awful "evo" seats so can understand why a 1K might choose BE on UA instead.

But I think it's hard to argue that the WN ticket is not objectively a better value, since it is changeable and you have some control over where you sit.

Of course, I'm never buying a BE ticket so it doesn't matter. In fact, various factors, including the silly UA fare structure, are pushing most of my domestic purchases to DL and VX.
Kacee is offline  
Old Oct 10, 17, 4:52 pm
  #2961  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,907
Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I think your view on this depends on how you feel about flying WN. I personally have grown to really dislike the line up to board and the risk of getting one of those awful "evo" seats so can understand why a 1K might choose BE on UA instead.

But I think it's hard to argue that the WN ticket is not objectively a better value, since it is changeable and you have some control over where you sit.
I admit I have trouble understanding some of the emotional arguments about WN, but then I grew up a WN loyalist and really like the boarding process (never lice, never worry). WN's boarding and seating policies are a complete disaster if you aren't on a O&D flight with no thru pax, but for West Coast hops this is fine. To me, then, there is also the value add of being able to fly e.g. SJC-BUR/SNA etc. as this means less traffic hassle at each end. (And never mind half that time UA wants $220 to fly a CR2 if not to LAX )

Once I flew more and to further destinations, I moved on to UA for the F cabin (and international service) and they were occasionally poaching my short-haul California business as Row 7 E+ and a CPU shot seemed like a decent trade for hauling it up to SFO and LAX. But for the non-status Y experience, I find WN to be head and shoulders above all of its competition.

I haven't flown WN enough recently to pick out the "Devolve" seat that I know is controversial, but it's hard for me to tell also because I expect every ride in E- to be uncomfortable; I'm owning up to that when I buy a Y ticket and it's fine for a 1hr flight. And from Row 1, is it that noticeable?
findark is offline  
Old Oct 10, 17, 4:55 pm
  #2962  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: JAPAN
Programs: AS MVP Gold, UA 1K 1MM, IC PLAT AMB, HH Diamond, AVIS Pres, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 5,473
Originally Posted by findark View Post
The difference is $40: an $89 G fare with a $(40) differential to N. This has been the standard for G-BN fares, but....
The G fare did not show up on the reservation page, only the $ 123.00. When I checked a second ago,
that fare was no longer visible and changed now to the $ 89.00. In any case this is for a 50 minute ride in a RJ with no middle seat, nothing to lose. I am 1K until Jan 2019. I would go for that one.
Exleftseat is offline  
Old Oct 10, 17, 6:50 pm
  #2963  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: dark side of the moon
Programs: papa card, UA 1K
Posts: 700
Originally Posted by findark View Post
If you include the free drink and snack for 1K, maybe, but I'm looking at sub-500mi routes as for a longer domestic flight I'm paying for F and not considering WN anyway.
That's around the distance I was thinking of (maybe up to 750 miles). Free 1K Baggage allowance is - 3X70 lbs vs 2X50 lbs on WN I think. Also IROPS should be better with 1K. I think it's splitting hairs between the 2 products. My CPU rate this year is about 90% on the 4 lowest Y fare classes, so on my dime I'm buying Y and I let my company buy F & J (so no chance me buying BE on anything other than a short hop)

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Of course, I'm never buying a BE ticket so it doesn't matter. In fact, various factors, including the silly UA fare structure, are pushing most of my domestic purchases to DL and VX.
If you have never smelt poo how can you truly describe the smell; well that's my thought on BE. I'm going to have to try it once at some point (well on a short hop with a large fare differential)
ermintrude is offline  
Old Oct 10, 17, 7:15 pm
  #2964  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Programs: UA 1K; *G, AA Plat
Posts: 1,675
Originally Posted by ermintrude View Post
Also IROPS should be better with 1K.
Should be? I would hope! LOL.

Coworker takes Southwest LAX-SFO Monday mornings. He's been cancelled on about 33% of the time, flight cancelled for no reason. It's been really bad as of late. Southwest only allows you to "re-book" on their flights. So now you went from an A boarding pass to a C boarding pass, and you have 2.5 hours to kill for the next nonstop WN flight. And if that one is sold out, then 4 hours.

I take the United LAX-SFO flight Monday mornings / Friday mornings. When UA delayed for 2 hours (only happened once so far), they offered to put me on an AA flight, a DL flight, or offered to protect me on another UA flight so that I could have that option if that plane went out first.

Just knowing that SOMETIMES (and to be honest its most times in my experience) that UA will handle IRROPS better than WN, is worth it.
laxmillenial is offline  
Old Oct 10, 17, 8:42 pm
  #2965  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York, NY
Programs: United Premier Platinum
Posts: 960
This is a BE thread but there is a lot of discussion of Southwest. So many people I know love Southwest and fly them regularly. I personally don't like a free-for-all for seats and like to select where I'm sitting well before the flight. So I never fly Southwest (I did a couple of times many years ago) and always fly United or Star Alliance for the PQMs and benefits of status. I've paid the $200 change fee several times but just feel that's the cost of business. Southwest doesn't charge it but they also don't guarantee a seat.

I never plan to fly BE as it doesn't provide the two things I want - PQMs and an advanced seat assignment. Lately I've been flying paid Business so it hasn't been an issue. If and when I see an $80 difference between BE and regular Y I know I won't be happy. That would likely make me spring for paid Business and if I do that then United really wins with their horrible BE policies.
nycityny is offline  
Old Oct 10, 17, 11:21 pm
  #2966  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Programs: Hertz PC
Posts: 523
Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
Never underestimate the American public's lack of understanding of policies.
That's the Spirit Airline model to make money.

Savy traveler. I can fly roundtrip MCI-LAS for $22.50 each way. Have to be member of $9 club what is $59 year. Print ticket at home. Use backpack as your luggage. no choice of seat.

Avg to idiot traveler. Roundtrip MCI-LAS $45+ each way. $25 carryon at purchase up to $100 If you wait till gate each way. $10 Print ticket each way. Up to $50 each way if you want to select your seat.
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Old Oct 11, 17, 6:58 pm
  #2967  
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 42,859
Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
Should be? I would hope! LOL.

Coworker takes Southwest LAX-SFO Monday mornings. He's been cancelled on about 33% of the time, flight cancelled for no reason. It's been really bad as of late. Southwest only allows you to "re-book" on their flights. So now you went from an A boarding pass to a C boarding pass, and you have 2.5 hours to kill for the next nonstop WN flight. And if that one is sold out, then 4 hours.

I take the United LAX-SFO flight Monday mornings / Friday mornings. When UA delayed for 2 hours (only happened once so far), they offered to put me on an AA flight, a DL flight, or offered to protect me on another UA flight so that I could have that option if that plane went out first.

Just knowing that SOMETIMES (and to be honest its most times in my experience) that UA will handle IRROPS better than WN, is worth it.
This is why many businesses prohibit the use of WN. IRROPS handling and the lack of interline agreements.

You can blow a lot of savings having to pay $1,000 for a walk-up seat when your WN flight cancels and the next available on WN is 2 days later.
Often1 is offline  
Old Oct 11, 17, 7:55 pm
  #2968  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: IAH
Programs: UA GS (1MM); AA LT Gold (1.9 MM); SQ; WN; DL; "Bonvoy Titanium"
Posts: 384
Not to pile on to WN, but for a number of years I was at the Companion Pass level on WN and now am back on UA, and offer a couple of additional factors. For very short flights (like MSY/HOU), I found WN to be pretty good. I also liked the refundable tix. Once you get on longer flights (I fly IAH/BOS and IAH/SFO or HOU/OAK frequently), IMHO I find the UA product (including crew) superior. Also, lately on these routes, I find UA to very competitively priced and on IAH/BOS that UA regularly beats WN on price (E- or not). Also, WN is down to one IAH/BOS nonstop most days (some days none). YMMV. Go figure.
BeanTownBoy is offline  
Old Oct 11, 17, 8:22 pm
  #2969  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: LIT
Programs: DL SkyMiles, AA, CX Asia Miles, United MileagePlus, HHonors
Posts: 243
I read the stickied post in the United Basic Economy Q&A thread and searched, but I haven't found an answer to this: I have a MileagePlus Card, but it doesn't say MileagePlus Explorer on it, just "MileagePlus Card." It's a Chase Visa. Anyone know if this card qualifies for the free carry-on bag and priority boarding and if I can check in 24 hours prior to flight if I fly Basic Economy?
cloudeleven is offline  
Old Oct 11, 17, 9:31 pm
  #2970  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York, NY
Programs: United Premier Platinum
Posts: 960
Originally Posted by cloudeleven View Post
I read the stickied post in the United Basic Economy Q&A thread and searched, but I haven't found an answer to this: I have a MileagePlus Card, but it doesn't say MileagePlus Explorer on it, just "MileagePlus Card." It's a Chase Visa. Anyone know if this card qualifies for the free carry-on bag and priority boarding and if I can check in 24 hours prior to flight if I fly Basic Economy?
Does it say "MileagePlus Select" or have the word "Signature" at the bottom right? I have one of those and I don't think it offers any of the benefits that avoid Basic Economy rules- no priority boarding and no free luggage. Here are its benefits:

https://www.chase.com/online/Credit-...ewards-new.htm
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