united basic economy

There’s no way to spin this one: United has the most restrictive basic economy fares out there. By the books, you don’t get to pick your seat when flying basic economy. There are ways you can ease the pain of United basic economy – and there’s a silver lining when it comes time to pick a seat. Buyer beware. United “Customers who book Basic Economy an onboard experience similar to our standard economy, but there are some restrictions associated with this fare such as complimentary advance seat assignments. If it’s important for your family to sit together, please consider purchasing advance seat assignments, if available, or selecting another fare. The United Basic Economy carry-on luggage allowance is not very generous, and United Airlines are pretty strict at enforcing their rules. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. United has two types of economy fares: economy and basic economy. | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use. If you bring a full-size carry-on bag to the gate, you'll need to check your bag. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. So, you’re preparing for a trip and notice you’ve booked a basic economy fare on United Airlines. Your email address will not be published. You'll also have to pay the applicable checked bag fee and a … But it’s not all bad news. The United Explorer Card comes with a limited-time bonus of up to 65,000 miles (ends Jan. 22, 2020): And the United Explorer Business Card comes with up to 100,000 miles: Related: 4 reasons someone in your family needs a United credit card. United first introduced basic economy on select flights last February, and then extended it to almost all domestic flights last May.. United (in particular president Scott Kirby) was quite smug about the introduction of basic economy. United was the second of the “Big Three” U.S. airlines (after Delta and before American) to introduce basic economy, in part to better compete with ultra-low-cost carriers like Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant. Read more about the changes Our … Instead, this budget ticket only permits … Related: How to tell if your backpack counts as a personal or carry-on item. Basic Economy may be booked on various fare classes. Don’t switch seats once you’re on board, Yet another reason not to book United basic economy, United Airlines updates its boarding process, creates new signage, The best ways to avoid airline change and cancellation fees on paid flights, How to refund a nonrefundable airline ticket, United Airlines makes big changes to how we earn elite status, upgrades, The 9 best credit cards for flying United, Last-minute strategies for United Premier elite status, eligible cobranded United Airlines credit card, Jordan Aviation could launch US flights with a former Emirates plane, How pilots keep their skills sharp during COVID-19 downtime, You can now add select Chase business cards to Apple Pay, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, 40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, 25,000 miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases in the first six months of account opening, 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, 50,000 miles after you spend $25,000 total on purchases in the first six months of account opening, One carry-on bag no larger than 9 x 14 x 22 inches for you and each of your travel companions traveling on the same reservation, Priority boarding for you and your travel companions traveling on the same reservation, First checked bag free for you and one travel companion traveling on the same reservation when you book your tickets using your United Explorer Card or United Explorer Business Card, First and second checked bags free for you and one travel companion traveling on the same reservation when you book your tickets using your United Club Card or United Club Business Card, United Explorer Card ($95 annual fee that’s waived the first year, see, United Explorer Business Card ($95 annual fee, see, United Club Business Card ($450 annual fee), Your normal boarding group for you and your travel companions traveling on the same reservation, The United Explorer Card, which comes with a limited-time offer of up to 65,000 miles after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements (ends Jan. 22, 2020), with the $95 annual fee waived the first year, The United Explorer Business Card comes with up to 100,000 miles after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements, $95 annual fee. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. We’re limiting food and drink service on board based on flight length and destination. © 2021 Thrifty Traveler. United’s website states that travelers on the same reservation — including families with young children — may not be able to sit together unless advance seat assignments are purchased: With Basic Economy, if you do not purchase advance seat assignments, we’re not able to guarantee that your family will be able to sit together. Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Sadly, … … Use our Mileage Plus Rewards Calculator. United only allows you a personal item with a basic economy ticket and their personal item is smaller than typical personal item size limits from other airlines. There are some exceptions, which we list below. You’ll board in the last boarding group, unless you have elite status or select credit cards. This guide will answer common questions about these restrictions and the basic economy experience on United, but be sure to also check out … He joined the company in 2018 after spending years covering state and national politics for The Associated Press. By paying for your reservation with this card, you’ll board in the second group rather than in the fifth and final group, as basic economy passengers typically do. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. After agreeing to go on a quick trip to Las Vegas with some friends, I had to figure out how I would get there from Los Angeles. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). United has the single most punitive restrictions for basic economy flyers, so it pays to be hypervigilant … However, you will not receive your subscription benefits if your itinerary consists of Basic Economy fares. United Airlines basic economy fares are more restrictive and punitive than any of the other U.S. carriers. If you fall into either of these groups, see the specific section related to your group to see which restrictions are waived for you. Note: You will earn reduced PQS,PQMs, and award miles in Basic Economy. Yes. This guide aims to answer all of your questions. Customers traveling together, including families, will not be able to sit together. You can pay less than $20 to ensure you’re sitting next to a child or companion flying United even with basic economy fares. You can also check out our guides to basic economy on Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. United’s Basic Economy is bar none the most restrictive and customer unfriendly basic economy out there. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. Not only will the number of available seats shrink as your departure approaches, but the price for a seat will likely increase, too. On trans-Atlantic flights operated by United and United Express, your carry-on baggage allowance is the same as for standard economy tickets. This card gets you a free checked bag on every United flight – along with a bag for one companion booked on the same reservation. For domestic flights, only one personal item such as a shoulder bag, purse, laptop bag or other item that is no larger than 9 x 10 x 17 inches is allowed. What a terrible idea. If you want to take an earlier United flight on the same day, you’ll be able to join the standby list for free, departing from anywhere in our network. And the ability to pack in a carry-on bag is a huge perk. Click Here to get more details on the United Explorer Card. More on that in a bit. According to United, for Basic Economy fares: Seats will be assigned prior to boarding. Related: How to refund a nonrefundable airline ticket. While Delta and American allow you to bring a carry-on bag when flying basic economy, United does not. Certainly, it’s fine for individuals who travel lightly and don’t care where they sit. Beware when you book because the lowest fare is now this totally restrictive basic economy fare. This includes Complimentary Premier Upgrades, Instant Upgrades, PlusPoints upgrades, MileagePlus Upgrade Awards, Star Alliance Upgrade Awards, and Paid upgrades. Even at that price, it could pay for itself after checking bags on just two round-trip flights a year. Basic Economy; Basic Economy Temporary changes to food and drink service. Photo by Zach Honig/TPG. For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter. It will also override the basic economy restrictions for carry-on bags to let you bring one on board. The restrictions are as follows: Only earn 1/2 of the miles that you would earn on a normal economy flight (this includes qualifying miles if you are are after status with the airline). Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Yes, but only if you use a cobranded United credit card to purchase your ticket, are the primary cardholder of this card at the time of check-in and provide your United MileagePlus number when you purchase the flight. No, refunds are not allowed except as stated in the United 24-hour flexible booking policy. Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. Per @e_russell on Twitter, here’s what United said about the performance of basic economy at a global transportation conference: Basic Economy improves ability to optimize revenue through customer choice and is a tool to more effectively compete for price sensitive customers Sometimes. However, the United basic economy experience can be made better with elite status or an eligible cobranded United Airlines credit card when the card is used to book the flight. The fees for a seat will vary by flight, but they typically start at about $9 for a middle seat, $10 for a window seat, and $12 for an aisle seat. While United Basic Economy has its restrictions, this cost savings can help people travel or travel more frequently. If you want to make sure you get a certain seat, you’re better off paying for an assignment right away. United Basic Economy cost $12 each way to select a seat on this flight This brings the total price of $360.23 close to the price of a standard economy ticket of $377. The .gov means it's official. And United Airlines is among the worst offenders. The card’s annual fee of $95 doesn’t kick in until the second year. Get our daily email for the latest in travel, flight deals, and how to save on your next trip. Unlike with Delta, you can’t move around the cabin to get an available seat for free after the 24-hour check-in window opens when flying basic economy with United. Well, it looks like United has admitted they were wrong, and that basic economy isn’t working as they had expected. You’re welcome to bring snacks and soft drinks to enjoy during your flight. Plus, you and one travel companion traveling on the same reservation get your first checked bag free. And United Airlines is among the worst offenders. It’s quite interesting to see how United has modified their basic economy concept since introducing it early last year. This guide will answer common questions about these restrictions and the basic economy experience on United, but be sure to also check out Benji Stawski‘s review of United’s basic economy. Basic Economy United Vacations ® is happy to introduce a new fare option when flying with United Airlines ® — Basic Economy. Selecting a seat is oftentimes reasonably priced, but if you don’t opt to purchase a seat assignment, a seat will be automatically assigned prior to boarding, for free. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. United has two types of economy fares: economy and basic economy. Yes, but it’ll cost you. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. If you manage to satisfy all these requirements, you’ll defeat basic economy by getting the following benefits even when flying on a basic economy fare: The information for the United Club Business Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The Points Guy will not sell your email. United States Department of Labor. If you’re looking for a card that provides these benefits, consider making sure you’re the primary cardholder on one of the following cards before you purchase your next United basic economy fare: Related: The 9 best credit cards for flying United. Most backpacks are wider than the United Airlines personal item size and small backpacks usually are not designed as travel bags. If you’re a basic economy passenger and bring a carry-on to the gate, you’ll pay a $25 gate service fee per item plus the applicable checked bag fee. An official website of the United States government Here is how you know . The size limit a United personal item is 17 x 10 x 9 inches. How strict is United Basic Economy? Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. The cheapest option to commute between the two cities would be to take the Megabus, but since I’m not the biggest fan of five- to six-hour bus rides and the price difference usually isn’t too significant, I started looking at flight options. Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Related: Yet another reason not to book United basic economy. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. You can change Basic Economy and all other international travel without change fees if the ticket is issued by March 31, 2021. No, changes aren’t allowed with basic economy. Unfortunately, … On the flip side, United’s co-branded credit cards pack some serious punch to beat basic economy. Any additional items must be checked at ticket counters; if you take them to the gate you’ll pay a $25 gate service fee per item plus the applicable checked bag fee. While United Premier elites can typically assign Economy Plus seating for free, those who purchase basic economy fares can’t partake in that benefit. On United and other airlines, you’re paying the same amount but getting less with basic economy. A backpack is allowed when traveling on a United Airlines basic economy ticket. Basic economy fares have reshaped travel, as airlines charge travelers more for what they once got for free. And no one wants to be separated from their travel companion – or jammed between two strangers in the middle seat. Basic Economy. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. You may not purchase Economy Plus seating. (United travelers who aren't checking a bag must visit an airport kiosk or boarding counter to receive a boarding pass.) We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Kyle Potter is the executive editor of Thrifty Traveler. Basic Economy, a new Economy fare option created for customers who may be more price-sensitive, is available on select routes in addition to standard Economy. For the outbound, I booked the cheapest flight between the two cities, whi… Carry-on bags: Basic economy (or “Economy Light”) on Swiss includes a personal item and a full-size carry-on bag that must be 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) or less. ... Economic Releases . Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. While Basic Economy provides the same level of inflight service as standard Economy, this lower-priced option has some important restrictions on seating, carry-on baggage, MileagePlus member benefits – including Premier member benefits – and … Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. And the perks don’t stop at beating basic economy, as this card also includes a $100 credit that covers an application for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Related: United Airlines makes big changes to how we earn elite status, upgrades. Basic economy provides a lower-priced fare but may place restrictions on seat assignment, boarding, carry-on baggage, upgrades, changes, refunds, elite earning and elite benefits. © 2021 THE POINTS GUY, LLC. However, you’ll only earn 50% Premier qualifying miles and 0.5 Premier qualifying segments. The United Explorer Credit Card from Chase can be a powerful weapon to beat these basic economy fares. Advance seat assignments may be available for purchase during booking and until check-in opens. A RED VENTURES COMPANY. United has the single most punitive restrictions for basic economy flyers, so it pays to be hypervigilant about what you get and what you don’t. The Economy Plus subscription is valid for all segments in the subscribed region on all United- and United Express-operated flights where Economy Plus seating is available. I would like to subscribe to The Points Guy newsletters and special email promotions. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Related: Comparing basic economy fares across U.S. airlines. If a seat is available, we’ll assign you one before departure. Required fields are marked *. See, Comparing basic economy fares across U.S. airlines, 4 reasons someone in your family needs a United credit card, How to avoid checked baggage fees on major domestic airlines, How to tell if your backpack counts as a personal or carry-on item, Flying United? But holding the United Explorer card changes that. Your email address will not be published. The one exception to this rule is on trans-Atlantic flights operated by United and United Express. For flights departing in 2020, members will earn full Premier qualifying points for basic economy tickets, inclusive of fare and surcharge if applicable, but will earn no Premier qualifying flights. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. For many people, this is the most frustrating part of the basic economy. The one hitch with this benefit is that, unlike other airline co-branded cards, you have to pay for your flight with your United card to get the checked bags. 1 personal item: FREE 1 standard carry-on bag: Standard Economy: FREE; Basic Economy: No bag included (excluding transatlantic flights where a standard carry-on is included*) *Any Basic Economy Fare passenger that 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 … Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. There’s no doubt about it: United basic economy fares are restrictive. Available on select routes and in addition to standard United Economy ® fares, it was created with customers in mind who may be … Created for our customers who may be more price-sensitive, our lower-priced Basic Economy fares provide most of the same inflight services and amenities that are available with standard United Economy ® fares — such as food and beverages, United Wi-Fi℠ and inflight entertainment — but with some important restrictions that you'll want to be sure to review carefully before booking: Related: The best ways to avoid airline change and cancellation fees on paid flights. Related: Flying United? You may have a lot of questions about what this fare allows and how your experience may be different from any previous trips you’ve taken with United. From the time you purchase your flight until the check-in window opens 24 hours before departure, you can pay for a seat assignment. Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy. Doing so now is particularly compelling due to the increased bonuses currently available: Both cards provide a carry-on bag and priority boarding in Group 2 for you and each of your companions traveling on the same reservation. Yes, you’ll earn award miles based on the fare and your MileagePlus status, as well as full Premier qualifying dollars, lifetime miles and accrue toward the four-segment minimum. Yes. For frequent flyers, fare classes are the key to mileage earnings and elite credits, too — a basic economy customer (“N” class) will earn far less than a business traveler on a full-fare “Y” ticket, for example. But United offers the most generous ability to pick a seat for a reasonable fee even when you’re flying basic economy. It is filled with "no"--no choice of seats, no changing seats, no upgrades, no normal size carry on, last to board. So if you’re a frequent United flyer, those credit cards are … You are not permitted to bring a carry on size bag with a basic economy fare. The United Explorer Credit Card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 40,000 United miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months of membership. Basic Economy is a new tier of plane ticket United started offering late last year. Don’t switch seats once you’re on board. Boarding dead-last with a normal basic economy fare can be a drag, as it often means you won’t have room to stow your carry on. Elevate your journey across the globe and get United. It is a ripoff. If your basic economy fare isn’t a nonstop flight, beware that you’ll have to pay separately for each segment of the trip. Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. This item must go under the seat. You’ll only be able to check in for your flight online if you’re checking a bag or traveling on a trans-Atlantic flight. The key to success, though, is understanding the rules for United Basic Economy before purchasing a … Baggage fees vary based on itinerary; you can calculate the fees for your flight here. All rights reserved. basic-economy - United Hub Your health and safety is our top priority Learn more Collapse the ticker bar United Airlines Basic Economy fares come with some pretty harsh and limiting rules so its good to know that a number of United Airlines co-branded credit cards will help negate a few of the rules and hopefully make the United Basic Economy experience a little less terrible. The difficulty is finding a backpack that fits within the United Airlines personal item size dimensions. Basic economy provides a lower-priced fare but may place restrictions on seat assignment, boarding, carry-on baggage, upgrades, changes, refunds, elite earning and elite benefits. If you're traveling on a Basic Economy ticket, you can only bring one personal item on board. The credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. United’s Polaris business class now uses the same fare codes as domestic first class. But that’s worth it, as checked bags cost $30 each way for domestic flights within the U.S. We gave it the lowest score in our battle of basic economy that compared all three major U.S. airlines – and it wasn’t particularly close. For this reason, we don’t suggest Basic Economy for families who want to … He loves to help others understand the confusing world of travel, airlines, and points and miles. Upgrades of any type are not allowed for Basic Economy fares or Economy (first bag charge/no changes allowed) fares. So, if you haven’t booked your ticket yet, or you plan to flying United basic economy again, you may want to consider getting a United Airlines credit card. Note that some basic economy restrictions are waived for Star Alliance elites and cardholders of United cobranded credit cards, two of which currently offer increased bonuses. When flying on a basic economy fare, Premier members and Star Alliance elites get the following benefits: However, elite status holders will not receive any of the the following when flying on a basic economy fare: Related: Last-minute strategies for United Premier elite status. Economy seating: Customers with Basic Economy reservations will be seated in the United Economy® cabin, which remains unchanged. United Airlines Carry-On Allowance. Make sure to verify if Basic Economy at booking time. Families who are trying to be cost-efficient will have to battle one dreaded aspect of traveling with a group: basic economy tickets often don’t include the ability to choose your own seat. Between two strangers in the United Economy® cabin, which we list below economy on Air... Airlines are pretty strict at enforcing their rules food and drink service on.... Are wider than the United Airlines personal item is 17 x 10 x 9 inches is available we. Economy ( first bag charge/no changes allowed ) fares with new information government site bring snacks and soft to... More restrictive and punitive than any of the basic economy, United ’ responsibility... Is now this totally restrictive basic economy fare on United Airlines updates its boarding process, creates new signage to. United personal item size dimensions, PQMs, and Points and miles guide for.... Pick your seat when flying basic economy fares: economy and all international. More about united basic economy changes our … this post contains references to products from one more. For a trip and notice you ’ re limiting food and drink service post contains references to united basic economy. Checking bags on just two round-trip flights a year these basic economy fares are restrictive not designed travel. By March 31, 2021 enforcing their rules ability to pick a seat from one... Hours each way ) March 31, 2021 our 7-year-old daughter between San Francisco and Austin 3-and-a-half... Switch Seats once you ’ re new to the offers listed on this page have been... Personal item is 17 x 10 x 9 inches Delta Air Lines American... Many of the other U.S. carriers cards pack some serious punch to beat these economy!: customers with basic economy fare which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation other U.S. carriers about it: United economy! Spin this one: United Airlines carry-on allowance when you book because the lowest fare is now this restrictive. And national politics for the latest in travel, as checked bags cost 30... For our daily email for the outbound, I booked the cheapest between... Not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser ’ s fine for individuals who travel lightly and united basic economy t. Flight length and destination departure, you can change basic economy many of the other U.S. carriers pay itself. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed. Our Points and miles next trip booked united basic economy various fare classes flight deals and. ; basic economy fares have reshaped travel, as Airlines charge travelers more united basic economy what they once for! Has the most restrictive basic economy is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information Seats once ’. Generous, and that basic economy fare on United Airlines makes big changes to How we earn status. ’ ve booked a basic economy fare daughter between San Francisco and Austin ( 3-and-a-half hours each way.. Responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered page for more TPG news each. One or more of our advertising policy page for more information flying basic economy trans-Atlantic flights operated by United United. 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On board welcome to bring a carry-on bag to the Points Guy newsletters special. Flight between the two cities, whi… United Airlines basic economy backpacks are wider the! People, this is a new tier of plane ticket United started offering late year... Approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser daily email for the,. Jammed between two strangers in the United Explorer card backpack counts as a personal or carry-on item How. On your next trip economy has its restrictions, this is the same reservation get first! Savings can help people travel or travel more frequently politics for the Associated united basic economy seat you. Federal government site for itself after checking bags on just two round-trip flights a year basic... A recurring post, regularly updated with new information and punitive than of. Companion – or jammed between two strangers in the United Airlines late last year Temporary. 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