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Used Google Flights, Euro non-BE fare, transfer to UA.com, now USD BE fare-no warning

Used Google Flights, Euro non-BE fare, transfer to UA.com, now USD BE fare-no warning

Old Aug 5, 19, 6:03 pm
  #1  
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Used Google Flights, Euro non-BE fare, transfer to UA.com, now USD BE fare-no warning

I just bought what I thought was an economy flight, but is seemingly a Basic Economy one?

I came to United via a GF search: https://www.google.com/flights#flt=L...12*2.USD.51142

I clicked the Basic Economy dropdown and changed it to Economy. I then proceeded to click through to United, landing on the UK-English localization, which showed the price in GBP. After entering my payment information, the site notified me that the flight was repriced to match my currency, which was unexpectedly cheaper ($515 as opposed to $610 or so). I was able to select seats (including E+ ones) complimentary, as expected. However, when checking my flight later, I found that all segments are labeled Basic Economy with reduced PQM and all the other limits (including no longer being able to change my seat for free).

Has this happened to anyone else/is there something I can do?

One curious thing is that if I click through to United per the above, then change my localization to US-English before paying, the flight again reprices to something cheaper, but there is ZERO indication that it's now a basic economy flight.
rmannion is offline  
Old Aug 6, 19, 10:48 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by rmannion View Post
I just bought what I thought was an economy flight, but is seemingly a Basic Economy one?

I came to United via a GF search: https://www.google.com/flights#flt=L...12*2.USD.51142

I clicked the Basic Economy dropdown and changed it to Economy. I then proceeded to click through to United, landing on the UK-English localization, which showed the price in GBP. After entering my payment information, the site notified me that the flight was repriced to match my currency, which was unexpectedly cheaper ($515 as opposed to $610 or so). I was able to select seats (including E+ ones) complimentary, as expected. However, when checking my flight later, I found that all segments are labeled Basic Economy with reduced PQM and all the other limits (including no longer being able to change my seat for free).

Has this happened to anyone else/is there something I can do?

One curious thing is that if I click through to United per the above, then change my localization to US-English before paying, the flight again reprices to something cheaper, but there is ZERO indication that it's now a basic economy flight.
If you are within 24 hours I'd cancel and rebook right away.

The back-end coding for TATL BE (which can be any fare class) vs. domestic BE (which is "N") seems to be totally separate and sometimes buggy. With domestic you can always tell if it's BE by looking at the fare bucket.

I can't recreate your problem because when I try to click through to united.com I get a 401 error

(Also I'd be unhappy with your 3 hour IAD-DCA transfer on that first leg!)
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:00 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by rmannion View Post
I just bought what I thought was an economy flight, but is seemingly a Basic Economy one?

I came to United via a GF search: https://www.google.com/flights#flt=L...12*2.USD.51142

I clicked the Basic Economy dropdown and changed it to Economy. I then proceeded to click through to United, landing on the UK-English localization, which showed the price in GBP. After entering my payment information, the site notified me that the flight was repriced to match my currency, which was unexpectedly cheaper ($515 as opposed to $610 or so). I was able to select seats (including E+ ones) complimentary, as expected. However, when checking my flight later, I found that all segments are labeled Basic Economy with reduced PQM and all the other limits (including no longer being able to change my seat for free).

Has this happened to anyone else/is there something I can do?

One curious thing is that if I click through to United per the above, then change my localization to US-English before paying, the flight again reprices to something cheaper, but there is ZERO indication that it's now a basic economy flight.
I had this exact same thing happen to me! Found the flights via the Dutch section of United.com. Wanted to pay using my US credit card, and it re-prices, but no indication at all it is basic economy. It even lets me assign seats in E+.
Unfortunately, this happened to my fiance as well, but she booked it a few months ago, so can't change/cancel. Looked at her confirmation email, and no indication of basic economy at all. She is also seated in economy plus, as she's a premier gold member. She does need the PQM for requalification, so not sure what to do.

United Twitter was more than useless, after sending them multiple screenshots and asking for a resolution they only came back with:
"We appreciate your patience, Thomas. We're sorry to hear about the error that you had online. Rest assured, we'll pass this information to our appropriate department. KJ"

Any advice?

Last edited by thomas199023; Aug 11, 19 at 1:16 am
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:04 am
  #4  
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Replicated it:


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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:30 pm
  #5  
 
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So is the price a BE fare or is a regular fare? Because if it's a BE fare, we just found a way to get free seat assignments if they don't want to fix it.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 4:25 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by SamirD View Post
So is the price a BE fare or is a regular fare? Because if it's a BE fare, we just found a way to get free seat assignments if they don't want to fix it.
I believe the point made by the OP was this:

I was able to select seats (including E+ ones) complimentary, as expected. However, when checking my flight later, I found that all segments are labeled Basic Economy with reduced PQM and all the other limits (including no longer being able to change my seat for free).

So, maybe you can be the newest data point and see if the E+ seat and PQM earning rate stick?
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Old Aug 11, 19, 5:26 pm
  #7  
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(OP here) When I checked the earning rates post-booking, they were displayed consistent with BE: 50% of what I expected. I cancelled shortly after posting as I was in the 24-hr window.

But yes, the reprice was the BE fare (which I didn't notice at the time, but thought was odd).
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Old Aug 12, 19, 5:00 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by thomas199023 View Post
United Twitter was more than useless, after sending them multiple screenshots and asking for a resolution they only came back with:
"We appreciate your patience, Thomas. We're sorry to hear about the error that you had online. Rest assured, we'll pass this information to our appropriate department. KJ"
Wow, did United hire the agents that quit Marriott Bonvoy?
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Old Aug 12, 19, 6:34 am
  #9  
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I've also experienced this quirk with respect to currency. I'm kind of okay with it. I do hate that there is no notice. But i covet my seats more than others at this point.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 10:15 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
Wow, did United hire the agents that quit Marriott Bonvoy?
Ah yes, the twits on twitter.

It's bad when the customer service department front door doesn't resolve an issue but jumping on the loudmouth bandwagon that is social media can be a faster avenue to a proper resolution. Something is wrong when the in-house support team is policing outside services to resolve customer complaints (and they do this as my wife build these contact centers for companies).
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Old Sep 22, 19, 3:24 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
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Used Google Flights, Euro non-BE fare, transfer to UA.com, now USD BE fare-no warning

I booked an international flight via the United Airlines website, and during the reservation process, there was no indication that the flight was basic economy. (I have booked basic economy tickets before and normally they warn you all over that youíre buying a basic economy ticket.) I chose a seat for free, paid for the ticket, and then received the ďyour reservation is processing" email with the booking details.

At the bottom of the email, it states the baggage policy, saying the first bag is free.

Then when I received the actual confirmation email, it said the first baggage was $60, which was not the case when I booked the ticket.

Fare classes: K and T (which I guess is BE for international?)

My question is what I can do in this situation. Customer service said they canít change the reservation. Iím wondering if I can go to the airport and talk to the agent directly about this situation to see if they can waive the fee? Can I just print out the initial email and show them that it says the first bag is free and also that I was able to choose a seat without any fees?

Thanks for the help.

Last edited by Xab22; Sep 22, 19 at 4:01 am
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Old Sep 22, 19, 4:19 am
  #12  
 
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Call now to resolve. If you canít resolve it, cancel within the 24 hour cancellation window.
jerseytom and horizinetravels like this.
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Old Sep 22, 19, 4:23 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
Call now to resolve. If you canít resolve it, cancel within the 24 hour cancellation window.
I booked the flight a week ago so itís too late to cancel. I didnít notice it was actually basic economy until I decided to check the reservation again.

I called them earlier today and they basically said that the ticket was BE and they canít do anything about it. They didnít seem to understand that there was no indication that it wasnít BE at the time of booking. I talked to a supervisor after and they told me to go the counter and tell them my situation and see if they waive it, and if they donít, ask for a refund online after. I will try that if thereís no other option, but itís not the response I was looking for.
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Old Sep 22, 19, 4:25 am
  #14  
 
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Could you comment on the itinerary you booked. In particular, were the flights operated by United or by a Star Alliance partner? It's my understanding that UA doesn't always warn of BE tickets when booked with a * partner like say LH. Also did the itinerary happen to start out from/to Canada by any chance? United has switched their ticketing policies recently where they can now unfortunately ticket into Basic Economy on such routes (although this may not have been clear on the website).

If either of these are the case, I'd recommend calling United again but this time asking them to put you in touch with the Web support team (they'll know what you're talking about) and explain the situation to them. More than likely if it's a logic glitch on their end, UA will swallow the cost of such one-off incidents.

In any event, it's good to hear that the ticketing glitch which allows United Premiers to get free E+ seating whilst ticketed in Basic Economy is still alive and kicking (hopefully this lasts!)

Safe Travels,

James

Last edited by j2simpso; Sep 22, 19 at 4:30 am
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Old Sep 22, 19, 4:35 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Could you comment on the itinerary you booked. In particular, were the flights operated by United or by a Star Alliance partner? It's my understanding that UA doesn't always warn of BE tickets when booked with a * partner like say LH. Also did the itinerary happen to start out from/to Canada by any chance? United has switched their ticketing policies recently where they can now unfortunately ticket into Basic Economy on such routes (although this may not have been clear on the website).

If either of these are the case, I'd recommend calling United again but this time asking them to put you in touch with the Web support team (they'll know what you're talking about) and explain the situation to them. More than likely if it's a logic glitch on their end, UA will swallow the cost of such one-off incidents.

In any event, it's good to hear that the ticketing glitch which allows United Premiers to get free E+ seating whilst ticketed in Basic Economy is still alive and kicking (hopefully this lasts!)

Safe Travels,

James
Thanks for the response. The itinerary is CDG - EWR (UA 56, then UA 57 for the return), and seems to be a United flight and not a partner one.
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