A Conversation With A Passenger Who Had Unknowingly Had A Basic Economy Ticket On United

Our last flight on United was when we flew to Chicago. I wrote about how when purchasing the ticket I paid the ransom the extra $15 for the right to choose our seats and bring on a roll-aboard carry on bag. I booked an aisle seat and a window seat, leaving an open middle seat. I often do this, hoping that we’ll end up on a flight that will be partially empty and no one would willingly pick a middle seat. At worst, we always offer the person with the middle seat the aisle or window (they are usually thrilled to be out of the middle seat anyway and we’ve never had anyone refuse).

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As a reminder, this is how United describes a Basic Economy ticket (bold for emphasis):

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Please Tell Me This Won’t Be The Future Of Basic Economy

We all know that Basic Economy is the airline class where they nickel and dime you to death. Every since the airlines’ versions of Basic Economy have started, if you’ve wanted virtually anything – overhead space, an aisle or widow seat, etc., you have to pay for that privilege. Whereas some of the major airlines are realizing that Basic Economy may not be all that it’s cracked up to be and are easing some of their restrictions, others are digging their heels into the ground and, I would bet, are thinking of other ways they can charge their customers.

This video was released nearly a decade before the term “Basic Economy” began rearing its ugly head everywhere, but I wonder if, despite it being a humorous piece on low cost airlines, it’s foreshadowing of what may yet to be in some sectors of the airline industry. After all, if some airlines are willing to subject their passengers to the likes of this and this, who’s to say the things portrayed in the video won’t become a reality someday? 😉

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Buyer Beware: Do Your Homework Before Booking a Flight With A “Basic” Fare

I’ve been doing some serious planning for our upcoming domestic travels. Since I’ve booked most of our recent flights on Southwest or JetBlue, two of our favorite airlines, I haven’t been paying much attention to changes the major airlines like American, Delta and United have made to their basic economy fares. I know they started to offer bare bone, or basic airfares, claiming that this will help them remain competitive with low cost airlines.

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Change To American Airlines’ Restrictions For Basic Economy Fares Takes Effect Today

When American Airlines rolled out Basic Economy fares in 2017, the restrictions were strict. Basic Economy ticket holders on American had the following limitations on their tickets:

  • One item that fits under the seat in front of you (no access to overhead bins)
  • Seats are assigned at check-in
  • Fees to choose a specific seat
  • Not eligible for upgrades
  • No flight changes or refunds
  • Board in last group

As of today, September 5, 2018, American is removing one of those restrictions.  Continue reading “Change To American Airlines’ Restrictions For Basic Economy Fares Takes Effect Today”

Another Flash Sale – This One Is From United Airlines. Hurry, Offer Ends July 26!

United Airlines is currently offering a flash sale with some nice Basic Economy and Standard Economy fares for U.S. domestic travel.

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