United Releases Next Batch of Basic Economy Routes

Apr 19, 2017

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: United Explorer Card


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 United Airlines first detailed its new Basic Economy fares in November 2016, travelers prepared to trade amenities and mileage earning for lower fares — that hasn’t exactly panned out.

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)

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 2.19.15 PM

Chicago (ORD) to Denver (DEN)

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 2.21.45 PM

Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Orlando (MCO)

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 2.24.48 PM

Denver (DEN) to Houston (IAH)

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 2.26.46 PM

San Francisco (SFO) to Orlando (MCO) 

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 2.30.49 PM

Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Chicago (ORD) 

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 2.32.13 PM

Newark (EWR) to Miami (MIA)

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 2.38.29 PM

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:

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 2.41.05 PM

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?

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: 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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.