32 Responses

  1. Karen Johnson
    Karen Johnson at |

    A race to the bottom…

  2. Glen Towler
    Glen Towler at |

    I do prefer to fly some like spirit and then upgrade to the best seat on the plane it worked for me this year. I just buy my coffee and food before boarding or even before I get to the airport. This looks awful and some people of course will buy a seat and then complain there getting so very little. I think there better off with a LCC but of course lots of people out just don’t know the difference they just look at the price.

  3. AnonCHI
    AnonCHI at |

    @Glen – I think you’re making a very valid point. Unbundling is not going to end up working out in AA, DL, and UA’s favor.

    DL has already said they can only attribute $20MM in incremental revenue to Basic Economy per quarter and they have no attribution of what business they have lost due to it.

    Airline revenues are remaining flat and low oil prices are what are saving them. I don’t think we’ll return to the chronic bankruptcies of the past due to lowered competitive pressures but I also think the airlines might end up depressing travel demand or losing a lot of passengers to LCCs.

  4. ken
    ken at |

    Completely agree with you. What is the point of offering such a rigid fare when the most profitable part is the ancillary fees. One has to question their ability to run a successful company…

  5. Joshua Sauberman
    Joshua Sauberman at |

    I didn’t think this could be worse than BA’s HBO fares. Then, I was proven wrong. Wonder how long before AA adopts this.

    1. Seth Miller
      Seth Miller at |

      More or less the same thing, though. Not much in the way of substantive differences between them.

  6. David Conklin
    David Conklin at |

    I pity the gate agents who have to deal with this.

    1. Seth Miller
      Seth Miller at |

      I think it will mostly make the GAs’ lives easier. Much more clear what is and is not allowed.

    2. David Huberman
      David Huberman at |

      Seth Miller Perhaps it’s not what’s allowed, so much as it is unreasonableness from pax. It only takes one BE customer who doesnt realize [or doesnt care that] she isnt entitled to her “crucial” carry-on to make a GA’s life un-fun.

    3. Seth Miller
      Seth Miller at |

      Sure, David, but that already happens today when the bins are full and you’re last to board. At least in this scenario the passenger buying the ticket most likely has been warned.

      Don’t get me wrong – I’ve seen the Spirit GAs dealing with pax swearing up and down that they didn’t know they had to pay for a carry-on – but I think that well defined rules are easier to work with than not.

    4. Connor Carson Heim
      Connor Carson Heim at |

      Agree David. Gives the GA a new level of stress during boarding process. And then pax saying “what do you mean???? I never bought a fare that doesn’t allow carry ons”

    5. David Huberman
      David Huberman at |

      Not that Seth’s wrong, but United also does a very consistent job of making pre-boarding announcements about “check your bags now if you’re in 4 or 5 because you likely won’t have room for them” on full flights. That properly sets expectations for late boarders, and avoids people making a scene when their bag gets gate checked. Not always, of course, but more so than if they weren’t consistent.

    6. David Huberman
      David Huberman at |

      Connor Carson Heim Which leads to an interesting scenario. If a pax refuses to check the bag (or implores the GA) and is on a BE fare, will GAs let is pass, or will they deny boarding?

    7. Brian Lin
      Brian Lin at |

      My vote is for deny boarding. You get what you paid for.

    8. David Huberman
      David Huberman at |

      Brian Lin Absolutely! That requires full support from station and corporate management, however. Not normal in average corporation 🙂

      1. legalalien
        legalalien at |

        I expect something to be printed on BP to that effect, e.g., NO CARRY-ON; NO SEAT CHG.

  7. Tony
    Tony at |

    Blocking E+ is not surprising. Delta doesn’t let you buy up to their comfort extra when booking a basic economy fare.

  8. Golfingboy
    Golfingboy at |

    I think they missed the mark by restricting ability to buy up to Economy Plus or pay for advance seat assignments as well as taking away practically all bundling options except for luggage fees.

    Ideal solution will be simply offer the same bundling options but build in an algorithm to charge a larger premium to customers booked on basic economy fares. Easy Peasy and ensures they can double dip revenue opportunities.

    This is why ULCC succeeds. Charge rock bottom fares and charge for everything (the real profit center) – not charge rock bottom fares and “take away options”. I am not an United CH shareholder, but I would not be very happy with this strategy if I held shares in UAL.

    1. Glen Towler
      Glen Towler at |

      I agree with you this idea will not make much money for United at all.

  9. A
    A at |

    How will UA enforce the carry-on bag restriction in practice? They won’t prevent you from bringing 1+1 at security, since they won’t check everyone’s fare class. And I read somewhere else that Basic Economy boards with group 5, and some of group 5 can bring a carry on…unless they’re changing who is allowed in with group 5? Or will they charge some kind of fee at the time of gate-check if you’re a Basic Economy passenger?

  10. Jessica Coane
    Jessica Coane at |

    Bruce Coane FYI – more incentive to keep the SWCP

    1. Seth Miller
      Seth Miller at |

      For your short hops around the east coast and Texas Southwest and the companion pass are a spectacular option. I’d definitely be trying to keep those.

    2. Jessica Coane
      Jessica Coane at |

      Seth Miller Agreed 🙂 United’s value is for our typical longer-haul/international needs.

    3. Benjamin Black Perley
      Benjamin Black Perley at |

      You have to buy two tickets for a party of 2 on united? I’m outraged 🙂

    4. Jessica Coane
      Jessica Coane at |

      Benjamin Black Perley ? so passé

  11. Chris Rauschnot
    Chris Rauschnot at |

    If United oversells the class above basic and cannot accommodate a basic economy customer on that flight, will the airline offer them a voucher?

    1. Michael J. Graven
      Michael J. Graven at |

      It’s just a cheap economy fare. Standard vdb/idb.

  12. legalalien
    legalalien at |

    I do hope these can be blocked in GDS. Any guess as to the fare bucket? 🙂

  13. Joelfreak
    Joelfreak at |

    Will we see an abundance of abandoned bags at airports when passengers can’t even pay to take them? What happens when someone just can’t take their bag? Do they leave it at the gate? Seems like a huge security issue.

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