United Releases Next Batch of Basic Economy Routes
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Update 4/19/17 3:22pm: United has confirmed that Basic Economy is now on sale in more than 100 domestic markets. So if you haven’t spotted this fare yet, there’s a very good chance you’ll see it pop up soon.
When the Chicago-based carrier announced the first flights that would feature Basic Economy fares, they were all on nonstop routes between Minneapolis (MSP) and some United hubs, such as Denver (DEN). Now, there’s a new slew of United Basic Economy routes.
The new BE fares appear on many leisure routes between United hubs and other cities for travel dates beginning May 9, 2017. We’ve reached out to United to clarify which routes now feature a Basic Economy option, but we have yet to hear back. For all of the new routes we’ve found, the maximum savings you’ll get on every ticket from the next-lowest economy fare is exactly $15 (with the exception of one — $28 on EWR-MIA).
Here are some examples of where we’ve found the BE fare now being offered. Note that this isn’t an exhaustive list — we’ll update this post with additional routes once we hear back from United:
Newark (EWR) to Orlando (MCO)
Chicago (ORD) to Denver (DEN)
Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Orlando (MCO)
Denver (DEN) to Houston (IAH)
San Francisco (SFO) to Orlando (MCO)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Chicago (ORD)
Newark (EWR) to Miami (MIA)
Whether or not saving $15 (or a little more) for booking one of these BE tickets is worth it is up for debate and could entirely depend on the traveler and your preferences.
As a reminder, a United Basic Economy ticket doesn’t allow you to get an advance seat assignment and offers no ticket changes, no refunds (except for the Department of Transportation-mandated 24-hour refund rule), no elite mileage earning, elite segment earning or elite dollar earning and no eligibility for upgrades. In addition, BE fares get Group 5 boarding and only one carry-on item that fits the size requirements of a personal item (no roller bags). However, those last two rules are waived for elite flyers and those with the United MileagePlus Explorer Card or the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card.
As a reminder, Google Flights will tell you if you’re selecting a Basic Economy fare. When you search for and select a fare, you’ll see a notification from Google Flights that carry-on baggage is limited:
These Basic Economy fares, which are now offered on all three of the domestic legacy carriers, are meant to compete with low-cost carriers such as Spirit and Frontier. Be sure to check your options, as even though these are labeled BE fares, they may not be less expensive than the low-cost carrier options. And with the added charges that can come with a BE fare, you might not be better off booking one of these tickets. Only time will tell if the legacy carriers will lower their pricing enough to be comparable with low-cost-carrier options, but customers should be aware of what they’re getting for the price they pay.
Have you purchased a United Basic Economy fare?
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees