United to Offer Basic Economy Fares

By Paul Riegler on 15 November 2016
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DSC_0283 (1)United Airlines said Tuesday it will sell basic economy fares next year as part of a group of initiatives it announced that it hopes will increase revenues and control costs to the tune of a combined $4.8 billion in the next four years.

The new fares will come with significant limitations. Passengers without elite status won’t be able to bring a full-sized carry-on bag on board, just a small personal item that fits under a seat. Travelers will not be able to change travel dates, request a refund, or select a seat in advance of the flight.

While passengers will earn miles redeemable for future travel with the fares, they won’t earn miles that count towards elite status at the airline.

Unlike low-cost carriers, however, the in-flight experience on United will be the same with complimentary soft drinks.

“Customers have told us that they want more choice and Basic Economy delivers just that,” said Julia Haywood, the chief commercial officer, said in a statement. “By offering low fares while also offering the experience of traveling on our outstanding network, with a variety of onboard amenities and great customer service, we are giving our customers an additional travel option from what United offers today.”

Both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, United’s major competitors, offer basic-economy fares.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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