See a Replay of Today’s Live Chat About United’s New Basic Economy

Thanks for tuning in to today’s Busker live chat where I talked about United’s new Basic Economy product. The replay of the 19 minute talk is now available for viewing any time at this link. Here’s a summary of my thoughts, but you’ll have to watch the chat to get full details.

  • I like Basic Economy in theory, far better than previous, awful airline-within-an-airline strategies (I’m talking to you, Ted)
  • I’m not happy that United, like Delta, is banning changes and seat assignments (It should be allowed for a high fee.)
  • Charging for carry-ons may actually make United’s boarding process better.
  • The jury will remain out until we actually see how it prices and how it’s displayed when it goes up for sale in January.

I have no use for corporate bullcrap-speak, but you can wade through it in the press release here if you’d like. And again, watch the live chat replay here.

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15 Comments on "See a Replay of Today’s Live Chat About United’s New Basic Economy"

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Sorry, but if UA actually bothers charging for a full size carry-on, I’m out. I don’t do a lot of domestic flying, but when I do, it’s usually short enough trips where I can avoid checking bags. Convenience rules, and the ability to take a mobile boarding pass through TSA Precheck and skip the wait at the baggage claim is king. (Making me take a bag to the ticket counter is the only way carry-on bag fees can speed up the boarding the process.) There becomes a point where if I want the Spirit experience, I’ll fly Spirit. I don’t… Read more »

You aren’t required to buy this fare… you can purchase the one that fits your needs

Dianne W

Driving me to Southwest for all possible travel. UA = money-grubbing vampires.


Doesn’t look like I can play the chat on my phone without downloading the Busker app. Not going to do that.

Zack Rules

I agree, I think you should be able to add those extras for an additional high cost. Otherwise, that is just money left on the table. A few years ago, I fly United to Ghana and tried to change my flight but they refused to for any amount of money. So I booked KLM with Delta miles and United left money on the table.

I can understand not allowing the carry-on luggage at any cost. The seat thing, not so much. If all of the Basic Economy passengers board last (except elites) – boarding group 6? — there will be little room for overhead to begin with. Then the gate agents will need to sort out which Basic Economy passengers can bring luggage and which cannot. Which will slow the boarding process even further. It is not a type of fare that I purchase, but I am sure the restrictions will be adjusted once the concept has some real world numbers to back it… Read more »

No desire to fly UA, if I want crap, I’ll fly Allegiant.


I don’t know why they even bother, if I’m going to have to pay for a checked bag which has the potential of increasing the fare over what the next tier with hand carry privileges it would be stupid to even try.


No podcast? Don’t need another app. But I do think your web site is the best for aviation travel information


It’s not an airline within an airline; it’s an airline within an airliner… if you fly UAL Basic Economy, with only a ‘personal item’ carryon, and sitting wherever they put you, you could say “I’m in a “Spirit seat.” The terms of Basic Economy look pretty similar to what Spirit does.


This is a race to the bottom.


Congrats. Here’s feedback: Great Busker monologue. High credibility. Your personal and professional aesthetics are natural and very appealing. Over the years, you have become more and more reliable as a spokesman for your