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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
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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 Feb 16, 17, 10:25 am
  #1156  
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Originally Posted by kale73 View Post
but seriously?
Yes, seriously. There are 6 weeks left in the quarter; that's plenty of time for it to still happen and not be late.
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Old Feb 16, 17, 10:34 am
  #1157  
 
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Yes, seriously. There are 6 weeks left in the quarter; that's plenty of time for it to still happen and not be late.
Yeah, I know. I was one of those kids who routinely stayed up all night in school to finish a project that had been assigned weeks before.
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Old Feb 16, 17, 11:05 am
  #1158  
 
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Yes, seriously. There are 6 weeks left in the quarter; that's plenty of time for it to still happen and not be late.
United told travel agents to be ready to support the new fares on February 21, 2017. As such, I would be surprised to see them before that, but it could still be some time after that.
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Old Feb 16, 17, 11:33 am
  #1159  
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Originally Posted by Sykes View Post
United told travel agents to be ready to support the new fares on February 21, 2017. As such, I would be surprised to see them before that, but it could still be some time after that.
And initially only for trips to/from MSP --- so only a very few will be affect by BE initially.
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Old Feb 16, 17, 6:33 pm
  #1160  
 
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The other day I saw a $63 one-way ORD-SFO. I thought for sure I'd found a BE fare. Nope. Full mileage accumulation, both PQD and PQM. Obviously, not much PQM on that one.

Not sure there could be a much more "worthy" excuse for a BE fare than that one, so I have my doubts they've got a handle on implementing it yet.
Originally Posted by tannebil View Post
I ran into my first BE booking today for a trip from Quito to Chicago in September. Flying with my wife and we are both United Gold.

As an aside, the BE fare for this leg was only around $350 so $199 was a huge upcharge. I didn't realize it was going to be that large. Is it a percentage of the fare, something based on distance, or a black box mystery?
It's already been determined that what you found was not a BE fare, but if $350 was a r/t price ORD-Quito, a $200 upcharge to a "normal" fare w/benefits wouldn't seem that outrageous to me. $550 seems like a very good deal. At $350 United is simply filling seats to prevent competitive poaching. They're not making $$$. It's not the most-extreme example, but I could see it (that $350 fare becoming BE) happening.

Last edited by Mike Jacoubowsky; Feb 16, 17 at 6:41 pm Reason: merged answers
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Old Feb 20, 17, 1:50 pm
  #1161  
 
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Basic Economy = "N"

I'm not sure if it has already been posted upthread, but I noticed that it looks like the "N" bucket will be the one assigned to basic economy.

"For regions with a Yes*, Global Premier Upgrades are not available on flights booked in fare classes Z, P, S, T, K, L, G or N. Basic Economy (N) fares are not eligible for any type of upgrade."

Source: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...e/default.aspx
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Old Feb 20, 17, 3:25 pm
  #1162  
 
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Originally Posted by kale73 View Post
I'm beginning to wonder if they ever will. It was announced that fares would be offered for sale in the first quarter of 2017 for travel in the second quarter. The first quarter is half over and no one has reported a confirmable instance of seeing Basic Economy. Sure, they could wait until March 31 and still fulfill the first quarter promise threat, but seriously?
Maybe they're waiting for AA to start selling?

And maybe AA is waiting for them to start selling?
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Old Feb 20, 17, 3:48 pm
  #1163  
 
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Originally Posted by 1353513636 View Post
Maybe they're waiting for AA to start selling?

And maybe AA is waiting for them to start selling?
Supposedly, they start selling tomorrow out of MSP.
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Old Feb 20, 17, 4:08 pm
  #1164  
 
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Originally Posted by 1353513636 View Post
Maybe they're waiting for AA to start selling?

And maybe AA is waiting for them to start selling?
DL already started or we'd have that famous ethnic standoff.
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Old Feb 20, 17, 4:17 pm
  #1165  
 
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I added use of N b/c to the wiki as it's now explicitly stated on the UA website in addition to having been confirmed via several means.
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Old Feb 20, 17, 8:11 pm
  #1166  
 
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IMAGINE: Pre-boarding for people with young kids and/or disabled passengers who didn't know they are on BE fares. Will gate agents actually make them pay for their bags in front of literally all the other pax?
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Old Feb 21, 17, 10:26 am
  #1167  
 
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Basic Economy is live; you can see it on MSP-LAX. The fare table is currently broken, however; on an example roundtrip from 8/1-8/15, the Basic Economy fare is currently more expensive than the regular economy fare.

Selecting Basic Economy results in a pop-up window requesting confirmation. There's a checkbox, off by default, saying that you agree to the conditions. You have to select the checkbox before you can purchase the fare.

The first batch of BE fares are limited to non-stop flights.

Also: UA does appear to have published BE matching fares all the way up to Y, although the BE-Y fare currently requires B class availability, so I think it's broken also.

Looking at the fares in EF for that particular date, and matching them by prefix, they appear to be using a fixed $50 price differential on a roundtrip; e.g., KAA4AKBN is $198 and KAA4AKEN is $248; EAA7AFBN is $1020 and EAA7AFEN is $1070. Note to EF users: these fares are showing up in EF the same way that DL's do -- the booking class listed is the underlying class, not N. To see if it's a BE fare or not, you'd need to look at the last two letters of the fare (-BN) or pull up the fare class mapping screen (the 'C' icon on the far right-hand side of the EF fare display).

Last edited by jsloan; Feb 21, 17 at 10:34 am Reason: Additional information
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Old Feb 21, 17, 10:42 am
  #1168  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Basic Economy is live; you can see it on MSP-LAX. The fare table is currently broken, however; on an example roundtrip from 8/1-8/15, the Basic Economy fare is currently more expensive than the regular economy fare.

Selecting Basic Economy results in a pop-up window requesting confirmation. There's a checkbox, off by default, saying that you agree to the conditions. You have to select the checkbox before you can purchase the fare.

The first batch of BE fares are limited to non-stop flights.

Also: UA does appear to have published BE matching fares all the way up to Y, although the BE-Y fare currently requires B class availability, so I think it's broken also.

Looking at the fares in EF for that particular date, and matching them by prefix, they appear to be using a fixed $50 price differential on a roundtrip; e.g., KAA4AKBN is $198 and KAA4AKEN is $248; EAA7AFBN is $1020 and EAA7AFEN is $1070. Note to EF users: these fares are showing up in EF the same way that DL's do -- the booking class listed is the underlying class, not N. To see if it's a BE fare or not, you'd need to look at the last two letters of the fare (-BN) or pull up the fare class mapping screen (the 'C' icon on the far right-hand side of the EF fare display).
pretty good job on warning people:

http://imgur.com/a/lRorA

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Old Feb 21, 17, 10:44 am
  #1169  
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They sell into N but can book from any fare class available in the market. I found a "Y" fare with Basic Economy rules filed via EF.
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Old Feb 21, 17, 10:47 am
  #1170  
 
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
They sell into N but can book from any fare class available in the market. I found a "Y" fare with Basic Economy rules filed via EF.
https://twitter.com/WandrMe/status/834091479786217472
I saw the same thing for LAX, but this is why it looks like a mistake to me:

>$LB70
070 MSPHOU 01AUG17 UA USD 2496.00 YAA0AFBN STAY---/-- BK-N
FARE CLS EXPLANATION BOOK CODES
-------- ---------------------- ----------
YAA0AFBN ECONOMY OW UNBUNDLED FARES N
YAA0AFBN APPLIES FOR ONE WAY FARES
YAA0AFBN FOR ADULT

BOOKING CODE EXCEPTIONS
VIA UA B/N REQUIRED N WHEN B AVAILABLE
VIA UA NO BOOKING CODE DATA EXISTS
That seems to suggest that B inventory is actually required, unless I'm missing something. Still, there's no question in my mind that this is intended to be a Y-BN fare; there appear to be some wrinkles to iron out.
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