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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 Feb 21, 17, 11:19 pm
  #1216  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Berkeley, CA
Programs: United, Copa, Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, Marriott, Hertz, Avis
Posts: 10
"I think BE is really just a sneaky way of up-faring, but BE will be a massive brand devaluation for AA and UA."


It totally is. I've been pricing a flight for several days. That same flight is now the BE price. Regular economy is $25 more per leg than BE. BE isn't cheaper, it's just less.

I also discovered that Chase travel services can't even price out regular economy. They can sell you economy and business but not RE. They said they are working on it, but who knows. So this is a chase point devaluation as well as a downgrade for United.

As far as I can tell United award flights are still going into regular economy. I can't wait for them to reprice for BE. Ugh.

Last edited by ManSeekingMiles; Feb 21, 17 at 11:29 pm
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Old Feb 22, 17, 12:06 am
  #1217  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: UA 1K&1.88MM, MR lifetime Gold, HZ PC,
Posts: 1,561
Rationality dictates that we should wait to see how this plays out, however, I'm finding it impossible to see it as anything but a poorly camouflaged price increase. If you look at it like that, it could easily be a half-billion dollar annual increment to the UA coffers.
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Old Feb 22, 17, 12:32 am
  #1218  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: LAX, EWR, LHR
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 223
Originally Posted by ermintrude View Post
Also I think it will be interesting to see how UA deals with GS pax who (accidentally) book BE? forced manual upfare if requested?
Everything I've read says this won't be possible but I sure do hope there is some way to upfare. My travel department is dumb enough to book these I wont have the option to cancel and repay but I can upfare.
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Old Feb 22, 17, 1:08 am
  #1219  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,534
Originally Posted by eigenvector View Post
Yes, I have the same problem. My company prohibits the booking of non-changeable fares, but I am still able to see these new BE fares on Concur without any indication that they are actually non-changeable. Only the usual non-refundable warnings show. For the non-FTer that doesn't know what fare class N denotes on United, there's certainly a chance to get bitten here.
This is really between employees and their corporate travel department. The major portal engines are absolutely capable of blocking BE fares, and we've had quite a while now of DL selling E fares to prepare. It's simply a question of whether a specific company is set up to block them. Mine thankfully is, and Concur does not price UA N.

(staging a screenshot of the BE warning page):
Attached Images  

Last edited by findark; Feb 22, 17 at 1:15 am
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Old Feb 22, 17, 1:29 am
  #1220  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New York
Programs: UA GS, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,068
Originally Posted by vdostoi1 View Post
Not that we expected for this to happen, but I can confirm that Concur is not blocking BE fares for my company...
Same, but I would not be surprised if they simply haven't had a chance to review and decide whether to block.
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Old Feb 22, 17, 2:22 am
  #1221  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: New Jersey
Programs: UA MM 1K, AA MM Gold, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,617
Originally Posted by BBSHOPSINGER View Post
I just checked Concur, as I was curious because MSP is my most frequent destination. It appears to be blocking out these fares, so that's good news for me.
Checked my company's Concur site as well - N fares blocked.
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Old Feb 22, 17, 6:52 am
  #1222  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: ORD
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Titanium/LT Platinum, Hilton Gold, AA Platinum
Posts: 4,420
Anyone familiar with the Carlson Wagonlit system? My company uses this and I can't figure out how to see fare codes. Perhaps it can be configured differently by company as well. I have a fare rules link with 10 pages of the usual crap...would there be any indicator of BE in there?

Thanks
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Old Feb 22, 17, 7:40 am
  #1223  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 9,869
Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Anyone familiar with the Carlson Wagonlit system? My company uses this and I can't figure out how to see fare codes. Perhaps it can be configured differently by company as well. I have a fare rules link with 10 pages of the usual crap...would there be any indicator of BE in there?

Thanks
You'd find it right in the first rule: "BASIC ECONOMY OW/RT UNBUNDLED FARES". You should also see the conditions:

OTHER CONDITIONS
NON REFUNDABLE FARES
NO CHANGES ALLOWED
NO PRERESERVED SEATS
NO CARRYON BAGGAGE
UNUSED COUPONS HAVE NO RESIDUAL VALUE
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Old Feb 22, 17, 11:19 am
  #1224  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,534
Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Anyone familiar with the Carlson Wagonlit system? My company uses this and I can't figure out how to see fare codes. Perhaps it can be configured differently by company as well. I have a fare rules link with 10 pages of the usual crap...would there be any indicator of BE in there?

Thanks
Also if you have an easy way to see the fare basis, the last two letters before the forward slash should be 'BN'. Example: TAA2ARBN/8N02 and the bold letters indicate Basic Economy.
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Old Feb 22, 17, 11:35 am
  #1225  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: UA 1K, AA, DL, LH, VX, HA
Posts: 5,578
Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Where this gets really insane is the last minute purchase that's still subject to a corporate "lowest fare" requirement. Pax could be forced to buy a $1,037 BE Y fare that's not changeable or refundable (etc.), where $5 more would have purchased a fully flexible ticket.
Then that corporation has a stoopid policy.

Originally Posted by cricketer View Post
Rationality dictates that we should wait to see how this plays out, however, I'm finding it impossible to see it as anything but a poorly camouflaged price increase. If you look at it like that, it could easily be a half-billion dollar annual increment to the UA coffers.
Indeed - making a price increase stick for more than a few days is a separate challenge. It could be the prices float down so that BE is below current pricing. My guess is things settle somewhere in between as not all pax are savvy enough to pick up on this.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 22, 17 at 12:26 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member -- please use multi-quote
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Old Feb 22, 17, 11:51 am
  #1226  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,534
Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Indeed - making a price increase stick for more than a few days is a separate challenge. It could be the prices float down so that BE is below current pricing. My guess is things settle somewhere in between as not all pax are savvy enough to pick up on this.
Given that they did both new-discount BE fares and "hidden increase" fares in the different rollout markets, I would guess they're collecting data on how customers react to each option.
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Old Feb 22, 17, 12:09 pm
  #1227  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: MCO
Programs: UA GS 1MM ★G | DL Silver | Marriott LT Ti | Hilton ♦ | Hertz PC | Global Entry TSA Pre
Posts: 2,641
Originally Posted by findark View Post
Given that they did both new-discount BE fares and "hidden increase" fares in the different rollout markets, I would guess they're collecting data on how customers react to each option.
This sparked some thought .... I have noticed over the last 8 weeks that FAR more deep discount fares have been available in the G bucket. These are fares that I have not seen in years... for example... DEN-LAX $100 r.t. a.i. Another example DEN-ORD $112 r.t. a.i. Yet another, DEN-SFO $140 r.t. a.i. I have capitalized on these fares and made some really nice weekend trips out of these good deals. Finding fares like these in years past has been very difficult.... maybe 1 per year.

My belief is that UA is likely opening up more "deep discount" fares, and these G fares will roll into the N fare class and be available as basic economy. The typical L, T, S, and higher fare class prices, even for MSP routes, have not changed from what I have explored so far.

Will be interesting to revisit some searches in the coming weeks as more destinations are affected, and see if this is still the case.
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Old Feb 22, 17, 12:55 pm
  #1228  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: dark side of the moon
Programs: papa card, UA 1K
Posts: 700
Originally Posted by ermintrude View Post
Also I think it will be interesting to see how UA deals with GS pax who (accidentally) book BE? forced manual upfare if requested?
Originally Posted by FL390 View Post
Everything I've read says this won't be possible but I sure do hope there is some way to upfare. My travel department is dumb enough to book these I wont have the option to cancel and repay but I can upfare.
6 or so months ago GS agents were able to manually force solve all sorts of issues or problems that UA IT didn't allow automatically. Some bright spark has significantly handcuffed GS agents by introducing a restrictive IT for GS agents without fixing UAs underlying IT issues so who knows if upfaring out of BE will be able to be manually forced by GS?

My guess is GS agents will spend a lot of time trying to manually override the IT as IME they tend to be particularly helpful, however this does increase the call time and call delay for waiting GS callers.... perhaps this is why for the past few months there are often relatively long wait times calling GS?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 22, 17 at 1:11 pm Reason: repaired quote
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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:15 pm
  #1229  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: AVP & PEK
Programs: UA 1K MM, Hertz PC
Posts: 2,426
Originally Posted by JBord View Post
From the start, I was fairly certain this is a case of everyone loses but UA.
When UA predicted how many extra billion$ they were going to make, it was pretty obvious who the winner was going to be, and who the losers were going to be.
UA knew this too, and threw some considerable money at the spin-machine (as they always do) to make it sounds all nice and sweet.
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Old Feb 26, 17, 9:07 pm
  #1230  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 4
Is it true you now have to sit in the back of the plane if you're [booked in N class] [Moderator edit to keep relevant to the thread topic and forum.]

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Mar 24, 17 at 7:20 pm Reason: See note above.
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