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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 Apr 12, 17, 11:51 am
  #1321  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,217
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
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."
Wonder if they're cutting some sort of strange deal where a specific agent (company?) can issue changeable N fares. Whoever "WHV" passengers are.

Penalties are still:

Code:
 TICKET IS NON-REFUNDABLE. CHANGES NOT PERMITTED.
         NOTE - TEXT BELOW NOT VALIDATED FOR AUTOPRICING.
          -------
          NO UNUSED TICKET MAY BE USED TOWARD THE PURCHASE
          OF A BASIC ECONOMY TICKET.
          -------
          NO RESIDUAL VALUE MAY BE USED TOWARD THE PURCHASE
          OF A BASIC ECONOMY TICKET.
          -------
findark is offline  
Old Apr 14, 17, 6:53 am
  #1322  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: MCO
Programs: UA GS 1MM ★G | DL Silver | Marriott LT Ti | Hilton ♦ | Hertz PC | Global Entry TSA Pre
Posts: 2,629
Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
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?
Just convert their tickets into the lowest non-BE fare class that was available at the time of purchase, and convert the ticket into a standard non-refundable ticket, and give the basic benefits back (seat selection, ability to change after paying a $200 change fee). Shouldn't be too difficult if BE is done away with.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 2:19 pm
  #1323  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,217
Basic Economy travel begins today - any reports from the field?

I note in the last week that the BE fare differential has been decreased in every market except ORD. The new differential basis for Basic Economy is

MSP to
SFO, LAX: $20
DEN, IAH, ORD, EWR, IAD: $15
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Old Apr 18, 17, 2:26 pm
  #1324  
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: NorCal - 1K 2MM
Posts: 1,983
Originally Posted by findark View Post
Basic Economy travel begins today - any reports from the field?

I note in the last week that the BE fare differential has been decreased in every market except ORD. The new differential basis for Basic Economy is
It'll be fascinating to see how UA's recent PR issues impact how aggressive they are or aren't in enforcing BE rules at the podium. It'll be highly visible when they try to turn away a BE pax with a carryon bag, for example.
Starman is offline  
Old Apr 19, 17, 6:22 am
  #1325  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 214
Originally Posted by Starman View Post
It'll be fascinating to see how UA's recent PR issues impact how aggressive they are or aren't in enforcing BE rules at the podium. It'll be highly visible when they try to turn away a BE pax with a carryon bag, for example.
They won't turn away a BE passenger carrying on a bag. If they aren't one of the eligible "free" carry on (CC holders, etc...) they'll just have to pay the checked bag fee and a $25 service charge.
Wayside is offline  
Old Apr 19, 17, 6:57 am
  #1326  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: ORD
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Titanium/LT Platinum, Hilton Gold, AA Platinum
Posts: 4,389
Originally Posted by Wayside View Post
They won't turn away a BE passenger carrying on a bag. If they aren't one of the eligible "free" carry on (CC holders, etc...) they'll just have to pay the checked bag fee and a $25 service charge.
Which may or may not turn into another fake news story for UA at a really bad time (like the Costa Rica seat-poaching couple).

I can just imagine some 80 year old grandmother being told she needs to pay $50 to check her bag at the gate while some self-proclaimed social media activist listens in and makes a big deal of the whole episode.

I assume that's Starman's point. Who's right or wrong doesn't matter right now for UA, because they're in a PR war.
JBord is offline  
Old Apr 19, 17, 9:25 am
  #1327  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: TX
Programs: UA Plat, Marriott G, Hilton G, SPG G
Posts: 429
BE fares are appearing on IAH-LAX route as of today.

As one data point: It does appear that the BE fare is taking over the lowest available fare and the lowest economy fare is being increased. I have been checking IAH-LAX for labor day weekend almost daily and the lowest fare was a T fare at $160 up until yesterday. Today, the BE fare is an N fare of $160. The lowest economy fare is still a T fare and is now $180. Just a single data point, but there ya go.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 9:53 am
  #1328  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 9,520
Originally Posted by txaggiemiles View Post
BE fares are appearing on IAH-LAX route as of today.
Effective 5/9.

It looks to be part of a broader rollout. I'm seeing fares filed between IAH and the other hubs (except IAD, for whatever reason), to leisure destinations (LAS, MCO, TPA), to non-leisure destinations (CLE, DTW), etc. No obvious pattern.

Most of them are effective 5/9, although IAH-DTW is effective 5/16 instead.

So far, BE still appears to be limited to non-stop flights.

Last edited by jsloan; Apr 19, 17 at 9:54 am Reason: non-stop
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Old Apr 19, 17, 10:52 am
  #1329  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: ATL/Florida
Programs: United 1K, Marriott Ambassador, Hilton Gold
Posts: 580
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Effective 5/9.

It looks to be part of a broader rollout. I'm seeing fares filed between IAH and the other hubs (except IAD, for whatever reason), to leisure destinations (LAS, MCO, TPA), to non-leisure destinations (CLE, DTW), etc. No obvious pattern.

Most of them are effective 5/9, although IAH-DTW is effective 5/16 instead.

So far, BE still appears to be limited to non-stop flights.
I just noticed this morning that the BE fares have been rolled out in TPA. Was looking at a long weekend flying into DEN, and the lowest fare is now listed as BE, in "N" Class, for $20 cheaper than regular economy fares. However I did find a few dates where the difference was only $15 for certain flights, and one was even $11 (seems like a weird number).

Looks like TPA has BE fares to ORD, DEN, and TPA, all effective 5/9. I did not see any BE fares to SFO, IAD, or EWR for the dates I searched.

Went into my company's Concur portal, and all BE fares are filtered out (good for me).
CruiserCLE is online now  
Old Apr 19, 17, 11:36 am
  #1330  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: EWR
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Gold, United Mileage Plus, Avis Preferred
Posts: 809
I am seeing BE fares for EWR-MCO & MCO-EWR in November. There is a $15 differential to buy up to regular Economy. This appears to be an up sell, as the current BE fare is what the regular economy was just a few days ago.

I think the hopper app is still picking up the "same" lowest fare for these dates, but without indicating that it is now a BE fare.
JohnneeO is offline  
Old Apr 19, 17, 11:55 am
  #1331  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, Hilton Silver
Posts: 4,571
SFO-ATL in June. BE $389 one-way

Last edited by JAaronT; Apr 19, 17 at 12:09 pm
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Old Apr 19, 17, 12:18 pm
  #1332  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,217
They've stopped doing simple matches of the highest fares.. some really weird interplay where on a number of routes the BE fare is a $0 differential and round trip only (will it even show up?).

SFO/IAH
Code:
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Cxr     Basis      BC  Cbn    Price   Tp  AP  Min  Max   Days    Rf  
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 UA  BRA0AFBN       N   Y    $977.00  RT                          N
 UA  BAA0AFEY       B   Y    $977.00  OW                          Y
 UA  BAA0AFFY       A   F  $1,176.00  OW                          Y
 
 UA  YRA0AFBN       N   Y  $1,088.00  RT                          N
 UA  YUA            Y   Y  $1,118.00  OW                          Y
 UA  YAA00UPY       A   F  $1,256.00  OW                          Y
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Old Apr 19, 17, 12:20 pm
  #1333  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: TX
Programs: UA Plat, Marriott G, Hilton G, SPG G
Posts: 429
Originally Posted by JohnneeO View Post
I am seeing BE fares for EWR-MCO & MCO-EWR in November. There is a $15 differential to buy up to regular Economy. This appears to be an up sell, as the current BE fare is what the regular economy was just a few days ago.

I think the hopper app is still picking up the "same" lowest fare for these dates, but without indicating that it is now a BE fare.
Bolding mine. This is consistent with what I witnessed on the IAH>LAX route.

Edit: I am shown BE fares on o/w searches IAH>LAX as well as the roundtrip. If BE is not selected for the outbound on a roundtrip, it will not be shown as an option for the return.

Last edited by txaggiemiles; Apr 19, 17 at 12:23 pm Reason: Edited to include o/w info
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Old Apr 19, 17, 12:28 pm
  #1334  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 9,520
Originally Posted by findark View Post
They've stopped doing simple matches of the highest fares.. some really weird interplay where on a number of routes the BE fare is a $0 differential and round trip only (will it even show up?).
I'm guessing that this is less "[t]hey've stopped" and more "they managed to push out the fare incorrect despite the months of lead time and practice in the MSP market." :-) However...

I expect that it would show up when booking via United.com -- you'd see the same price in the Basic Economy and Economy columns. Pointless in most cases, but remember that the combinability rules disallow BE fares from being used in combination with non-BE fares. So, if you wanted to purchase a roundtrip SFO-IAH, and, say, the outbound was Y1 B1 M0 .. N1 while the return was Y9 .. K9 G9 N9, you'd have to book the $0 differential B-BN fare on the outbound if you wanted to book a K-BN fare on the return.

No idea what would happen with a third-party booking site when trying to book a roundtrip that was Y1 B1 M0 in both directions, though. I hope it would default to the least restrictive fare, but who knows?
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Old Apr 19, 17, 12:53 pm
  #1335  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: MCO
Programs: UA GS 1MM ★G | DL Silver | Marriott LT Ti | Hilton ♦ | Hertz PC | Global Entry TSA Pre
Posts: 2,629
SFO-IAH on 5/26 o.w. $687 N class... terrible.

Obvious that UA has just implemented a 3% - 10% fare increase disguised as the introduction of "basic economy", that nobody will purchase...... nobody with common sense, that is.
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