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You’re welcome to bring snacks and soft drinks to enjoy during your flight. United’s Polaris business class now uses the same fare codes as domestic first class. Don’t switch seats once you’re on board. Even at that price, it could pay for itself after checking bags on just two round-trip flights a year. But holding the United Explorer card changes that. For this reason, we don’t suggest Basic Economy for families who want to … Basic economy fares have reshaped travel, as airlines charge travelers more for what they once got for free. United Airlines basic economy fares are more restrictive and punitive than any of the other U.S. carriers. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Basic Economy is a new tier of plane ticket United started offering late last year. Required fields are marked *. It’s quite interesting to see how United has modified their basic economy concept since introducing it early last year. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. 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. United’s Basic Economy is bar none the most restrictive and customer unfriendly basic economy out there. 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. 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. But the ability to pay for a seat from day one is unrivaled. 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. Your email address will not be published. Related: How to tell if your backpack counts as a personal or carry-on item. Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. Use our Mileage Plus Rewards Calculator. Related: United Airlines updates its boarding process, creates new signage. This means you can bring a carry on item that is no larger than 9 x 14 x 22 inches as well as a personal item that is no larger than 9 x 10 x 17 inches. 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. 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. How strict is United Basic Economy? 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. While United Premier elites can typically assign Economy Plus seating for free, those who purchase basic economy fares can’t partake in that benefit. 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. 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. And no one wants to be separated from their travel companion – or jammed between two strangers in the middle seat. Photo by Zach Honig/TPG. The card’s annual fee of $95 doesn’t kick in until the second year. Instead, this budget ticket only permits … An official website of the United States government Here is how you know . 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. United has two types of economy fares: economy and basic economy. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter. It is a ripoff. While United Basic Economy has its restrictions, this cost savings can help people travel or travel more frequently. You’ll board in the last boarding group, unless you have elite status or select credit cards. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. ... Economic Releases . 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. This card gets you a free checked bag on every United flight – along with a bag for one companion booked on the same reservation. 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. Unfortunately, … For the outbound, I booked the cheapest flight between the two cities, whi… 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. Certainly, it’s fine for individuals who travel lightly and don’t care where they sit. My husband and I plan to travel this summer with our 7-year-old daughter between San Francisco and Austin (3-and-a-half hours each way). 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. He loves to help others understand the confusing world of travel, airlines, and points and miles. 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. If you don’t have elite status with United or carry one of their credit cards, here are some examples of baggage fees: Related: How to avoid checked baggage fees on major domestic airlines. 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. Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. Customers traveling together, including families, will not be able to sit together. I would like to subscribe to The Points Guy newsletters and special email promotions. Sometimes. According to United, for Basic Economy fares: Seats will be assigned prior to boarding. Get our daily email for the latest in travel, flight deals, and how to save on your next trip. However, you’ll only earn 50% Premier qualifying miles and 0.5 Premier qualifying segments. Seats: Basic economy does not include a seat assignment, though a preferred seat can be booked up to 48 hours before departure for a fee of $12 to $40, depending on the leg. 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. The United Basic Economy carry-on luggage allowance is not very generous, and United Airlines are pretty strict at enforcing their rules. By the books, you don’t get to pick your seat when flying basic economy. 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. United's new basic economy fare is awful. 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. But it’s not all bad news. 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. Sure you 're traveling on a United Airlines are pretty strict at enforcing their rules Associated! Pick your seat when flying basic economy is a new tier of plane ticket United started late. All of your questions of $ 95 doesn ’ t switch Seats once ’... Flip side, United ’ s no doubt about it: United basic economy fares have travel! 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