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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 Apr 12, 17, 9:27 am
  #1306  
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
What are you searching for. Is it possible your itinerary requirements don't meet fare conditions for N class (i.e. advance purchase, etc.)?
There are no A/P restrictions on basic economy fares. You can (or could) buy a full Y that books into N.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:37 am
  #1307  
 
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Originally Posted by Bradley Charles View Post
Is this United's first step at disaster recovery?
Not sure how it would be. Quietly pulling a low-cost fare (even though we know it sucks) wouldn't seem to be much of a PR move.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:43 am
  #1308  
 
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Not sure how it would be. Quietly pulling a low-cost fare (even though we know it sucks) wouldn't seem to be much of a PR move.
It could be a calculation that selling such a barebones fare brings risk of more bad PR.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:56 am
  #1309  
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
It could be a calculation that selling such a barebones fare brings risk of more bad PR.
I've read several articles in the past few days which identify the BE fare as indicative of the airline's contempt for its customers.

But you'd think they'd make this part of the PR campaign if there was a connection.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:09 am
  #1310  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
But you'd think they'd make this part of the PR campaign if there was a connection.
Yes, that was my point. No benefit to pulling it quietly.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:16 am
  #1311  
 
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If UA was getting rid of basic economy, I think they would garner a more meaningful response if they present it as part of the response to the IDB incident (which Oscar mentioned will be on or before 4/30). "In addition to X, Y, Z changes, we will also be eliminating basic economy fares as part of our refocus on customer-friendly initiatives..."

Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Yes, that was my point. No benefit to pulling it quietly.
Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I've read several articles in the past few days which identify the BE fare as indicative of the airline's contempt for its customers.

But you'd think they'd make this part of the PR campaign if there was a connection.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:19 am
  #1312  
 
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
It could be a calculation that selling such a barebones fare brings risk of more bad PR.
And they would be right. Except that PR-wise, they would need to do this very publicly.

So, either this is a bug and they are not getting rid of this stupid program, or they mean to get rid of it but their PR dept is in deep slumber.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:25 am
  #1313  
 
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Yes, that was my point. No benefit to pulling it quietly.
Avoids potentially messy confrontations from uninformed (or so they would say) customers and Gate Agents.

Avoiding confrontations in the short term would be wise.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:33 am
  #1314  
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
Avoids potentially messy confrontations from uninformed (or so they would say) customers and Gate Agents.

Avoiding confrontations in the short term would be wise.
Considering the scheduled 4/18 rollout, this may indeed be why they've disappeared.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:35 am
  #1315  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I've read several articles in the past few days which identify the BE fare as indicative of the airline's contempt for its customers.

But you'd think they'd make this part of the PR campaign if there was a connection.
My impression was BE was toted as a tool to compete with low cost carriers to the investors and increase revenues. As such dying silently in the night would be a good death for UAL investor relations.

BE discount is/was not really large enough to be competitive with the lccs.

As with PQD, PQM; PQS, those upset with BE have already been considered to be too small a market segment and already written off.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:43 am
  #1316  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Considering the scheduled 4/18 rollout, this may indeed be why they've disappeared.
Also gives United something in their back pocket to announce in response to any further bad news that comes out.

"We have already taken steps to better serve our customers by eliminating restrictions on Basic Economy fares, etc."

The new reality at United must be strategic thinking...chess moves 3 steps ahead. Tactical responses are not enough.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:43 am
  #1317  
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Originally Posted by Michael D View Post
My impression was BE was toted as a tool to compete with low cost carriers to the investors and increase revenues. As such dying silently in the night would be a good death for UAL investor relations.

BE discount is/was not really large enough to be competitive with the lccs.

As with PQD, PQM; PQS, those upset with BE have already been considered to be too small a market segment and already written off.
UA can't afford a YouTubed gate confrontation over carry-on baggage right now.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 11:08 am
  #1318  
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But BE fares have already been sold. What about those who bought BE fares when they were available.

Perhaps this was done temporarily while they sort through the bad stuff happening now. Perhaps they saw something logistical that they wanted to sort out before enforcing the BE restrictions. Or, as mentioned above, perhaps just a glitch.

Anyone actually buy a BE fare - what does the res show now?
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Old Apr 12, 17, 11:14 am
  #1319  
 
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Perhaps this was done temporarily while they sort through the bad stuff happening now. Perhaps they saw something logistical that they wanted to sort out before enforcing the BE restrictions. Or, as mentioned above, perhaps just a glitch.
BE fares appear to be back. However, I'm seeing strangeness in the fare rules that I can't explain. This is from the voluntary changes section: "THE PROVISIONS BELOW APPLY ONLY AS FOLLOWS - TICKETS MAY ONLY BE SOLD BY TRAVEL AGENT 04552030."

It then goes on to list a $200 change fee (?) with language I've never seen before:

IN THE EVENT OF CHANGES TO TICKETED FLIGHTS
FOR WHV PSGR
BEFORE DEPARTURE OF JOURNEY AND WITHIN TICKET
VALIDITY
CERTAIN DOMESTIC REISSUE PROVISIONS MAY BE
OVERRIDDEN BY THOSE OF UA INTERNATIONAL FARES
CHARGE USD 200.00 FOR REISSUE OR HIGHEST FEE OF ALL
CHANGED FARE COMPONENTS - DISCOUNTS APPLY - NO FEE
FOR INFANTS W/O SEAT AND
REPRICE USING CURRENT FARES - ONLY BOOKING CODE
CHANGES PERMITTED
I don't recall seeing this before. The no-changes text is still in the endorsement section: "THE ORIGINAL AND THE REISSUED TICKET MUST BE ANNOTATED
- NONREF/NOCHGS/NOCBBG/NOASR - IN THE ENDORSEMENT BOX."

I'm guessing that someone was messing around and broke something earlier today. I don't think UA is trying to roll this back.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 11:27 am
  #1320  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
UA can't afford a YouTubed gate confrontation over carry-on baggage right now.
Won't matter that much in a week.
Next month even less.
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