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United Basic Economy + Star Alliance Gold Companion

United Basic Economy + Star Alliance Gold Companion

Old Sep 11, 19, 9:12 pm
  #1  
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United Basic Economy + Star Alliance Gold Companion

Hello,

I am Star Alliance Gold (Lufthansa Senator) and want to ask about the rules for a companion who is traveling with me.

As far as i know as *G I get a free carry on and 1 free checked luggage 23KG on a basic economy fare.

Does my companion also get any of those benefits with me? (Officially or unofficially)


Thank you in advance
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Old Sep 11, 19, 9:26 pm
  #2  
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Welcome to FT!, therealvash

My first reaction would have been to say companions are included as that is true for UA elites BUT
Carry-on bags: On trans-Atlantic flights, your carry-on baggage allowance is the same as for standard Economy tickets. For all other Basic Economy tickets, you're allowed one small personal item that fits under the seat in front of you, such as a shoulder bag, purse, laptop bag or other small item that is 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm) or less. Mobility aids and other assistive devices are also permitted. View our baggage policies. You're not allowed a full-sized carry-on bag unless you're a MileagePlus Premier member or companion traveling on the same reservation, primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or Star Alliance Gold member. Everyone else who brings a full-sized carry-on bag to the gate will be required to check their bag and pay the applicable checked bag fee plus a $25 gate handling charge.
UA speaks of companions only with respect to UA elites.

Just to check -- is this a TATL itin and is the first flight UA operated?
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Old Sep 12, 19, 4:27 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Welcome to FT!, therealvash

My first reaction would have been to say companions are included as that is true for UA elites BUT

UA speaks of companions only with respect to UA elites.

Just to check -- is this a TATL itin and is the first flight UA operated?
It says it on the bottom. Star Alliance benefits do transfer to the companion.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 4:57 am
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
It says it on the bottom. Star Alliance benefits do transfer to the companion.
I thought so too at first, but on a second read I reckon it's for Star A member only, not companion.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 5:18 am
  #5  
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As far as I know, the carryon restriction is implemented by boarding group. That is, if you board with group 5, then you don't get a carryon -- if you board earlier, you get to take a carryon. Generally, if two people are flying together and one has a higher boarding group, they are informally (but reliably) allowed to board together. So if your *G status puts you in Boarding Group 2 (or whatever) despite the BE ticket, then your companion will be able to walk up to the gate with you during BG2 and board with you -- and take a carryon bag.

I could be wrong about several parts of this -- I have no personal experience with it! I'm not 100% certain that *G status gets you a higher boarding group on a BE ticket, nor am I 100% certain that a BG5 passenger boarding with a companion in BG2 will be allowed to take a carryon.

And the checked bag question is totally separate, because that's a formal process at checkin. So United's official policy (whatever it is) is much more likely to be enforced there.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by QBK View Post
As far as I know, the carryon restriction is implemented by boarding group. That is, if you board with group 5, then you don't get a carryon -- if you board earlier, you get to take a carryon. Generally, if two people are flying together and one has a higher boarding group, they are informally (but reliably) allowed to board together. So if your *G status puts you in Boarding Group 2 (or whatever) despite the BE ticket, then your companion will be able to walk up to the gate with you during BG2 and board with you -- and take a carryon bag.

I could be wrong about several parts of this -- I have no personal experience with it! I'm not 100% certain that *G status gets you a higher boarding group on a BE ticket, nor am I 100% certain that a BG5 passenger boarding with a companion in BG2 will be allowed to take a carryon.

And the checked bag question is totally separate, because that's a formal process at checkin. So United's official policy (whatever it is) is much more likely to be enforced there.
While GA's could certainly look up the fare basis for each passenger boarding, it is highly unlikely that they will. Thus, against the slim chance that one is required to check the bag and pay $55 vs. $30, I would take the $25 risk.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 3:19 pm
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Thank you all!

Gonna take the risk and hope that the carry on will be for free.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post

Just to check -- is this a TATL itin and is the first flight UA operated?

I am not sure what a TATAL itin is. Its a domestic direct flight with united we want to book (DTW - DEN).
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Old Sep 13, 19, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by therealvash View Post
Thank you all!

Gonna take the risk and hope that the carry on will be for free.




I am not sure what a TATAL itin is. Its a domestic direct flight with united we want to book (DTW - DEN).
I should point out that as a *Gold you will have access to the Lufthansa Senator lounge at DTW (near Gate 4). I know it's hard to believe that LH has a lounge at DTW of all places but they do and the food is pretty good - certainly better than the McDonald's and coffee shops in that terminal! Since you're LH *Gold you should also have access to the United Club lounge at DEN.

Auf Wiedersehen,

James
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Old Sep 13, 19, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by therealvash View Post
.....
I am not sure what a TATAL itin is. Its a domestic direct flight with united we want to book (DTW - DEN).
UA has two kinds of Basic Economy
-- Domestic
-- Trans Atlantic (TATL) -- flights between USA and Europe on UA, AC and LH group.

The rules are slightly different.

In your case for a Domestic flight, if your companions also get BG1 (Boarding Group 1) they should be OK, if they get BG5, then they may have a problem
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Old Sep 13, 19, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
UA has two kinds of Basic Economy
-- Domestic
-- Trans Atlantic (TATL) -- flights between USA and Europe on UA, AC and LH group.

The rules are slightly different.

In your case for a Domestic flight, if your companions also get BG1 (Boarding Group 1) they should be OK, if they get BG5, then they may have a problem
It's actually a bit more complicated than that. Flights on UA metal between Canada and anywhere don't have Basic Economy offered. It's just like the good ol' days with K(ettle) fares. Unsure if OP minds driving to YYZ to catch said flight but that's one way to evade the horrors of Basic Economy.

That being said, aside from the lower PQM earning rate, as a UA elite it can often be a good approach to travel - you get the same baggage allowance (at least on TATL), access to E+ seats (if you ticket it correctly), lounge access and the like. Sure you can't upgrade, you can't do same day changes for free but if your travel needs are basic, then basic is probably right for you!

-James
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
It's actually a bit more complicated than that. Flights on UA metal between Canada and anywhere don't have Basic Economy offered....
The first statement is correct, the second is incorrect.

It is true that at the moment UA does not offer BE fares for simple transborder flights staying entire in Canada and USA (and never said they did).
However, USA-Canada-Europe BE flights are offered under the TATL JV. Where the Transborder flight is BE -- been a couple such cases posted.

And at 250 miles, 4 hours OW between YYZ and DTW, it would probably cost less to check the companion's bags then travel to YYZ and it would save more than doubling the travel time.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 13, 19 at 8:32 pm Reason: YYZ travel
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:28 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
However, USA-Canada-Europe BE flights are offered under the TATL JV. Where the Transborder flight is BE -- been a couple such cases posted.
Yikes! You're right! When I last booked such an itinerary (LHR > YYZ via ORD on UA then YYZ > FRA via AC/LH) back in July only regular economy was available. Seems like UA made some "enhancements" over the past month or so. Here's to hoping that UA doesn't introduce Economy Basic for flights between Europe and Oceania!

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:39 pm
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If I am a SQ *G member and looking to book a wholly domestic (LAX-EWR) flight on UA Basic Economy; would I be entitled to a free checked bag? I have tried calling the UA 800 number but have received conflicting / confused responses - so I thought this would be a better place to ask.

Further complication and second question: Although I am a SQ *G member (and have my SQ card to prove it), I would like to credit this flight to another *A program where I currently have no status. Do you see any problem is this scenario? Thanks!
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:49 pm
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Originally Posted by puchong View Post
If I am a SQ *G member and looking to book a wholly domestic (LAX-EWR) flight on UA Basic Economy; would I be entitled to a free checked bag?...
Yes, as UA states
MileagePlus Premier members, Star Alliance Gold members and qualifying MileagePlus cardmembers who purchase their tickets with their card will receive standard checked bag benefits when checking in with United for flights operated by United or United Express.
Originally Posted by puchong View Post
Although I am a SQ *G member (and have my SQ card to prove it), I would like to credit this flight to another *A program where I currently have no status. Do you see any problem is this scenario? ...
Yes, some agents may required the *G be on the reservation to get the bag, some will not. It will require a manual override of the computer if the *G is not on the reservation. The is no clear rule statement either way.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 11:39 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Yes, some agents may required the *G be on the reservation to get the bag, some will not. It will require a manual override of the computer if the *G is not on the reservation. The is no clear rule statement either way.
Another possible option would be to set the the frequent flyer as SQ*G for now, check-in and get your baggage allowance (and boarding pass), then update the frequent flyer information online, at the United Club or gate.

Switching frequent flyer programs is a normal thing, especially if you hold award miles across different *A programs. Case in point, I have a heap of points on AC, but my *G status is with UA. Hence, I'll book the award ticket with AC then call up AC later and have them update the FF my United one, that way I can get complimentary E+ seating, baggage allowance, CPUs (on "domestic" UA flights), and priority everything.

Safe Travels,

James
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