Economy lowest vs flexible united

Economy lowest vs flexible united DEFAULT

Last Updated on January 17, 2021

Imagine you visit a restaurant. The place looks inviting and there is a nice ambiance. You go in, choose something from the menu which all looks reasonably priced. You order something and sit back in anticipation.

When your food arrives the waiter informs you that the silverware wasn’t included in the price of your meal and it will cost you an extra $5 if you want a knife and fork and another $5 table-side processing fee for ordering your knife and fork at the last minute. To top it off you and your family won’t be sitting at the same table. They want extra money for that too!

You’d probably be pretty enraged if this happened to you and no restaurant would be so dumb to offer such abysmal service. 

Yet this isn’t far away from how some customers flying United feel when they choose basic economy but haven’t realized the difference between a basic economy ticket and an economy ticket.

United Airlines offer two suspiciously similarly-named tickets, “basic economy” and “economy”. You’d be forgiven for not realizing there was anything between the two but there are some quite significant differences that you need to be aware of before you book to fly with United.

The Difference Between 2 United Fare Classes: Basic Economy vs Standard Economy

Basic Economy FareEconomy Fare
Cheaper by $20 – $30 each wayMore expensive
Only a personal item allowed 17 x 10 x 9 “Personal Item that must fit under the seat and…
About 25 liters maximum hand luggage (1 bag)About 70 liters maximum hand luggage (2 bags)
No Carry On permittedIncludes a Carry On 22 x 14 x 9 “
Last boarding groupBoarding group 3-5
Choose your preferred seating costs extraChoose your preferred seat is included
No refunds or flight changesRefund available on qualifying tickets
No Economy Plus AvailableAbility to upgrade to Economy Plus seats with extra legroom
Unable to check in online or via the app unless you pay to bring a checked bagAble to check in online or via the app

The main difference is a basic economy ticket has a smaller United Airlines baggage allowance. You won’t be able to put a larger carry on in the overhead bin and will be limited to a small personal item.

This can be incredibly frustrating for passengers like Michelle that don’t realize it at the time of making their reservation:

Miranda’s sons hadn’t realized they couldn’t take carry on luggage and it hit them in the pocket:

And Brady tried to add on carry on luggage after he booked his flight but was shocked how much United wanted:

And if you change your mind and decide to fly with someone else they are keeping your money:

You’ll also only be able to check-in at the check-in counter. You can’t check-in using the United App or website unless you have paid extra to bring a checked bag. This confused Ryan E. a lot:

And he wasn’t happy with the response from United:

You can’t choose your preferred seat with a basic economy ticket unless you pay extra. Your seat will be allocated at the check-in counter. United do claim that they won’t separate parties deliberately and if they can keep your party together they will, but you might end up sitting alone in a middle seat.

United are strict about your personal item size when you have bought a basic economy ticket. Kimberly couldn’t carry on a travel pillow along with her personal item.

Having A United Branded Credit Card Can Help 

If you have a united credit card such as a United Explorer card you can bring a carry-on with United Airlines basic economy fare. You’ll also get priority boarding so you’ll be able to find a space for your carry-on in the overhead bins.

Your seat will still be assigned to you at the United Airlines check-in desk. Seat selection is not a perk for credit cardholders but you can pay extra for seat selection when you make your reservation.

But as Ryan B. discovered even with a United Explorer card you still won’t be able to check-in online or using the app unless you pay for checked luggage:

Basic economy tickets can lead to a lot of passenger rage. United seem to think it’s the customers fault when they haven’t understood the difference between their two similarly named tickets.

I’m just a mere blogger but wouldn’t it be simpler to call the basic ticket something entirely different to avoid confusion? Might I suggest “Ultra Low Cost”, that way passengers would know they need to check what perks have been removed to keep the price down?

Everland was triggered enough to go full CAPS LOCK:

Barbara has figured out United’s game. Their basic economy ticket is priced so they show up as cheapest on flight comparison sites.

When customers don’t realize their mistake United will recoup the money by reselling flights they passengers can’t cancel and sticking people with ridiculous fees like a $25 gate handling fee right before a flight is about to depart when passengers have no choice but to accept it.

And when customers become enraged they’ll just gaslight them and suggest that they made it clear all along.

But United? If your policies were clear these mixups wouldn’t happen at all!

Warren didn’t realize his error because according to United there was “some confusion”:

When Ron helpfully suggested that United should be more clear:

United responded by saying it’s “clearly laid out on our website”.

Instead of accepting responsibility for not getting the message through to Ron they blame him for not understanding or paying enough attention.

This video clearly demonstrates just how strict United can be about personal item size. Even when the lady’s personal item fits in the sizer a United employee removes the bag and tries to claim it doesn’t fit. Are these gate agents on commission or something?

FAQ’s

Is United Economy the same as Basic Economy?

No. They are different fare classes from United Airlines. United’s basic economy ticket has fewer perks compared to the standard economy fare.

Can I bring a carry on with United Basic Economy?

No, you cannot bring a carry on on the plane with United Basic Economy, this is one of the main differences between Basic Economy versus standard Economy. If you want to take a bag larger than a personal item you must check it. The exceptions are if it’s an international trans-Atlantic flight or if you are a  MileagePlus Premier member, you have a MileagePlus credit card or are a Star Alliance™ Gold member.

Can I pay for a carry on with United Basic Economy?

No, you can’t upgrade your basic economy tickets to include carry-on luggage. If you wish to take a larger bag you will need to check it. It is advisable to pay for your checked luggage either before your flight or at the check-in desk. If you mistakenly arrive at the boarding gate with an oversized carry-on suitcase it will be costly to check your bag at that point.

How strict is United Basic Economy?

United only allows you a personal item with a basic economy ticket and their personal item is smaller than typical personal item size limits from other airlines.

The size limit a United personal item is 17 x 10 x 9 inches. 

That’s 1530 cubic inches or around 25 liters assuming you can find a rectangular personal item bag that has those exact dimensions.

Other airlines usually have a larger idea of what a personal item is. For example, a Spirit personal item is 18 x 14 x 8 inches or 33 liters.

The narrow width of United’s personal item limits (the 10 inch part) means that many regular sized backpacks don’t qualify as United personal items.

What Is Economy Plus?

Economy Plus seats are seats near the front of the cabin that have 6 inches extra leg room. The Economy Plus option is not available to passengers who purchase basic economy tickets.

What is the fare code for basic economy on United?

A basic economy class ticket has is a fare code N.

What points do you receive with basic economy flights?

Premier qualifying miles (PQM) for basic economy are 50% and Premier qualifying segments (PQS) are 0.5. In comparison, PQM for united airlines economy tickets is 100% and the PQS is 1. So you do get points with basic economy flights but half what you would versus standard economy.

The Bottom Line

No matter what airline you are traveling with always pay attention to the conditions of your ticket class.

This is especially important with economy fares, don’t assume anything is included.

Charging separately for items and services is a trend that will likely continue in the airline industry. Basic economy fares are just one example of this unbundling in action.

It allows airlines to advertise cheap fares and then increase profits by upselling once they have you hooked on the line.

There is nothing wrong with unbundling services but what is wrong is designing systems to penalize passengers that make mistakes.

The basic economy fare seems to have been designed to do exactly that and once you have fallen into the trap you can’t change anything even if you realize before your flight.

If people choose the wrong ticket United ought to just let them upgrade for the price difference. Or would honest business practices hurt the profits too much?

Hopefully, now that you’ve read this article you’ll be wise to the traps United have laid for you.

People Also Ask

Sours: https://travelinglight.com/united-basic-economy-vs-economy/

These terms are not explained on the website anywhere I can see and I've just had phone calls to 3 diff. CS agents at United who said different things so I don't know what to believe. One said I could only find out the real terms if I tried to book a ticket. I hated to go through all that but did, and the terms were incomprehensible to me and very difficult to read due to no spacing. However, they still didn't say what the agent swore was the case that I could see.

Basically, I want to know difference in possible date change fees (changing them before the date of travel) as well as refund options/fees. I'm not interested in same date change of times, as I know those are more lenient. I also am talking about domestic tickets only, and I am not interested in the "Basic Economy" fares.

I think I have found out that Economy has a $200 change fee for dates (say if you wanted to rebook for a month later), and also has a $200 cancellation fee and what remains in your funds from cancelling is a travel credit you can use for a year from the original reservation date. It sounds like both date changes and cancelling just are considered "changes" so have the same change fee.

But the Economy Flexible is what I don't understand, as it costs about $150 more per trip on the tickets I'm considered. Two agents swore up and down that there were NO change or cancellation fees whatsoever for such a ticket and that I could get the refund in dollars, not just a credit, if I did cancel.

Another agent said she didn't know why they were saying that as the change fees are the same as for the economy tickets, $200 for changes and $200 to cancel, the only difference is you can get an actual refund for the remainder (on your credit card), not just get a United credit.

I even tried finding a ticket like I want and trying to read the fare terms (which show before you have to click on final purchase) and nowhere in the terms for the Flexible Economy could I find mention of a $200 change/cancel fee, actually.

Anyone know which is true? $150 seems a lot to pay if the only difference is you get cash versus a United travel credit for the remainder if you cancel. I am probably more likely to want to change the dates than fully cancel the ticket, and from 2 agents, both types of fares would incur the same $200 fee in that case.

But I don't know what to believe. Any insight or knowledge?

Sours: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i10702-k12052092-United_Economy_vs_Economy_Flexible_Fare_Rules-Air_Travel.html
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How to survive Basic Economy on United Airlines

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

Editor’s note:This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

So, you’re preparing for a trip and notice you’ve booked a basic economy fare on United Airlines. You may have a lot of questions about what this fare allows and how your experience may be different from any previous trips you’ve taken with United. This guide aims to answer all of your questions.

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In This Post

What is United basic economy?

United has two types of economy fares: economy and basic economy. Basic economy provides a lower-priced fare but may place restrictions on seat assignment, boarding, carry-on baggage, upgrades, changes, refunds, elite earning and elite benefits. This guide will answer common questions about these restrictions and the basic economy experience on United, but be sure to also check out Benji Stawski‘s review of United’s basic economy.

Related: Comparing basic economy fares across U.S. airlines

Note that some basic economy restrictions are waived for Star Alliance elites and cardholders of United cobranded credit cards, two of which currently offer increased bonuses. If you fall into either of these groups, see the specific section related to your group to see which restrictions are waived for you.

The United Explorer Card comes with a limited-time bonus of up to 65,000 miles (ends Jan. 22, 2020):

  • 40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • 25,000 miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases in the first six months of account opening

And the United Explorer Business Card comes with up to 100,000 miles:

  • 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • 50,000 miles after you spend $25,000 total on purchases in the first six months of account opening

Related: 4 reasons someone in your family needs a United credit card

Can I check a bag?

Yes. Baggage fees vary based on itinerary; you can calculate the fees for your flight here. If you don’t have elite status with United or carry one of their credit cards, here are some examples of baggage fees:

  • Within the U.S. and Canada: $30 for the first bag, $40 for the second bag, $150 for each additional bag
  • Between the U.S. and Europe: $60 for the first bag, $100 for the second bag, $200 for each additional bag
  • Between the U.S. and Mexico: $30 for the first bag, $55 for the second bag, $180 for each additional bag

Related: How to avoid checked baggage fees on major domestic airlines

Can I bring a carry-on?

Sometimes. For domestic flights, only one personal item such as a shoulder bag, purse, laptop bag or other item that is no larger than 9 x 10 x 17 inches is allowed. This item must go under the seat. Any additional items must be checked at ticket counters; if you take them to the gate you’ll pay a $25 gate service fee per item plus the applicable checked bag fee.

On trans-Atlantic flights operated by United and United Express, your carry-on baggage allowance is the same as for standard economy tickets. This means you can bring a carry on item that is no larger than 9 x 14 x 22 inches as well as a personal item that is no larger than 9 x 10 x 17 inches.

And, Premier members of the MileagePlus program, Star Alliance Gold members and the primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card, like the United Explorer Business Card, may bring a carry-on and a personal item on board.

Related: How to tell if your backpack counts as a personal or carry-on item

Can I select a seat?

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Yes, but it’ll cost you. Advance seat assignments may be available for purchase during booking and until check-in opens. Selecting a seat is oftentimes reasonably priced, but if you don’t opt to purchase a seat assignment, a seat will be automatically assigned prior to boarding, for free. You may not purchase Economy Plus seating.

United’s website states that travelers on the same reservation — including families with young children — may not be able to sit together unless advance seat assignments are purchased:

With Basic Economy, if you do not purchase advance seat assignments, we’re not able to guarantee that your family will be able to sit together. If it’s important for your family to sit together, please consider purchasing advance seat assignments, if available, or selecting another fare.

Related: Flying United? Don’t switch seats once you’re on board

Why can’t I check-in online?

You’ll only be able to check in for your flight online if you’re checking a bag or traveling on a trans-Atlantic flight. If you’re not checking a bag or traveling on a trans-Atlantic flight, you’ll need to finish checking in at the airport to prove that you don’t have more than one personal item.

Related: Yet another reason not to book United basic economy

When can I board?

You’ll board in the last boarding group, unless you have elite status or select credit cards. More on that in a bit.

Related: United Airlines updates its boarding process, creates new signage

Can I change my flight?

No, changes aren’t allowed with basic economy. This includes advance and same-day changes.

Related: The best ways to avoid airline change and cancellation fees on paid flights

Can I get a refund if I cancel my flight?

No, refunds are not allowed except as stated in the United 24-hour flexible booking policy.

Related: How to refund a nonrefundable airline ticket

Do I still earn miles?

Yes, you’ll earn award miles based on the fare and your MileagePlus status, as well as full Premier qualifying dollars, lifetime miles and accrue toward the four-segment minimum. However, you’ll only earn 50% Premier qualifying miles and 0.5 Premier qualifying segments.

For flights departing in 2020, members will earn full Premier qualifying points for basic economy tickets, inclusive of fare and surcharge if applicable, but will earn no Premier qualifying flights.

Related: United Airlines makes big changes to how we earn elite status, upgrades

Does having a cobranded credit card help?

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Yes, but only if you use a cobranded United credit card to purchase your ticket, are the primary cardholder of this card at the time of check-in and provide your United MileagePlus number when you purchase the flight.

If you manage to satisfy all these requirements, you’ll defeat basic economy by getting the following benefits even when flying on a basic economy fare:

  • One carry-on bag no larger than 9 x 14 x 22 inches for you and each of your travel companions traveling on the same reservation
  • Priority boarding for you and your travel companions traveling on the same reservation
  • First checked bag free for you and one travel companion traveling on the same reservation when you book your tickets using your United Explorer Card or United Explorer Business Card
  • First and second checked bags free for you and one travel companion traveling on the same reservation when you book your tickets using your United Club Card or United Club Business Card

The information for the United Club Business Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

If you’re looking for a card that provides these benefits, consider making sure you’re the primary cardholder on one of the following cards before you purchase your next United basic economy fare:

  • United Explorer Card ($95 annual fee that’s waived the first year, see full card review)
  • United Explorer Business Card ($95 annual fee, see full card review)
  • United Club Card ($450 annual fee, see full card review)
  • United Club Business Card ($450 annual fee)

Related: The 9 best credit cards for flying United

Does having elite status help?

Yes. When flying on a basic economy fare, Premier members and Star Alliance elites get the following benefits:

  • One carry-on bag no larger than 9 x 14 x 22 inches for you and each of your travel companions traveling on the same reservation
  • Your normal checked baggage allowance
  • Your normal boarding group for you and your travel companions traveling on the same reservation

However, elite status holders will not receive any of the the following when flying on a basic economy fare:

  • Complimentary Economy Plus seating
  • Complimentary upgrades
  • Paid upgrades
  • Mileage upgrades
  • Upgrades using Plus Points

Related: Last-minute strategies for United Premier elite status

Bottom line

United Airlines basic economy fares are more restrictive and punitive than any of the other U.S. carriers. However, the United basic economy experience can be made better with elite status or an eligible cobranded United Airlines credit card when the card is used to book the flight.

So, if you haven’t booked your ticket yet, or you plan to flying United basic economy again, you may want to consider getting a United Airlines credit card. Doing so now is particularly compelling due to the increased bonuses currently available:

  • The United Explorer Card, which comes with a limited-time offer of up to 65,000 miles after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements (ends Jan. 22, 2020), with the $95 annual fee waived the first year
  • The United Explorer Business Card comes with up to 100,000 miles after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements, $95 annual fee

Both cards provide a carry-on bag and priority boarding in Group 2 for you and each of your companions traveling on the same reservation. Plus, you and one travel companion traveling on the same reservation get your first checked bag free. These cards easily justify themselves if you use them to book United basic economy fares just a few times each year.

You can also check out our guides to basic economy on Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.

If you’re new to The Points Guy, check out our points and miles guide for beginners.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

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Sours: https://thepointsguy.com/guide/how-to-survive-basic-economy-on-united-airlines/
United Airlines Economy Class is better than you think!-FRANKFURT - NEWARK - Boeing 787-10 - REVIEW

United’s basic economy tickets are no longer ‘use it or lose it’

United just relaxed a major restriction with its basic economy fares.

Historically, when airlines introduced these fares, they stripped out many of the traditional inclusions with coach tickets, like advance seat assignments and carry-on bags, for a lower price than regular economy.

Another major restriction with these tickets was that they’re also “use it or lose it” — if you needed to move your flight by a day or switch your departure airport, you’d be forced to purchase a whole new ticket.

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Well, that’s no longer the case for United’s basic economy fares. The Chicago-based carrier just added a way for flyers locked into these restrictive fares to make itinerary modifications, as confirmed by a carrier spokesperson.

If you purchased a basic economy ticket and you need to make changes, you can purchase a “Switch to Economy” upgrade. Once you’ve upgraded, you’ll be able to make changes to your ticket.

After paying the non-refundable upgrade fee, you won’t pay any additional change fees or service charges to switch to a new flight of equal or lesser value. Note that if the new flight is more expensive than your current ticket, you’ll be charged the fare difference between the original fare and the new fare.

You’ll also receive a future travel credit if you switch to a cheaper flight, but note that the upgrade fee is not included in the calculation of your fare.

Also, once you’ve upgraded, you can cancel your flight and use the value of your fare towards future travel before your ticket’s expiration date. You won’t receive a refund back to your original form of payment unless the flight is canceled or significantly delayed by United.

Note that basic economy tickets are covered by United’s 24-hour flexible booking policy. If you notice you need to cancel your ticket within 24 hours of booking, you can request a refund, even for the most restrictive tickets. After the 24-hour window, you’ll need to purchase the “Switch to Economy” offer to make itinerary modifications.

More: Comparing basic economy fares across U.S. airlines

While the “Switch to Economy” upgrade offer now includes changes for United’s basic economy tickets, it also comes with some other valuable benefits that were first introduced when the program launched in February 2021.

In addition to including itinerary changes and modifications, switching to standard coach will allow you to:

  • Bring a full-sized carry-on item.
  • Receive a complimentary seat assignment prior to check-in, with the ability to further upgrade to an extra-legroom seat or first-class recliner.
  • Enjoy Premier elite benefits, like free extra-legroom seats and upgrades.
  • Earn Premier Qualifying Flight (PQF) credit.

For an upcoming flight from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Denver (DEN), United was charging $119 for basic economy and $159 for a standard coach ticket. The “Switch to Economy” upgrade offer was $45, a five-buck surcharge compared to the fare difference between the two tickets.

If you’re comfortable with all the other basic economy restrictions, it could definitely make sense to stick with basic economy, and only upgrade to standard coach if your plans ultimately change.

You’ll find the option to upgrade when managing your flight on the United website or mobile app. Note that you won’t earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) on the non-refundable upgrade service charge.

The option to upgrade to coach is limited to domestic tickets and short-haul international flights to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

While every major U.S. airline introduced a no-change-fee policy in late 2020, the major restriction to this unprecedented flexibility is that basic economy tickets are excluded. Though airlines had limited-time waivers during the height of the pandemic that covered basic economy ticket, those have since expired.

On American and Delta, basic economy tickets remain “use it or lose it.” Hopefully, they’ll follow United’s lead and offer ticket changes for a nominal upgrade fee.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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Sours: https://thepointsguy.com/news/united-change-basic-economy-tickets/

Lowest vs flexible united economy

She said there are two differences between "regular" economy and so-called "flexible" economy: First, in the case of the "flexible" fare you can get any difference refunded to you in the form of cash but in the case of the regular economy fare, the difference turns into a United credit that must be used within a year.


Click to see full answer.

Also know, what is the difference between economy and economy Flexi?

The Economy fare will always be our lowest fare, but there is an amendment fee and no refund upon changing and cancellation. That's possible with our Flexi fare. This means flexibility at its best: you have the certainty that you can change your booking at no cost. You only pay the difference in fare.

Similarly, are united economy tickets changeable? Basic Economy tickets are nonrefundable and non-changeable except as allowed by our 24-hour flexible booking policy — and they cannot be combined with any other fare type. They have no value if canceled or unused. Seat selection: Seats are automatically assigned prior to boarding and can't be changed.

Correspondingly, what is the difference between economy and basic economy on United Airlines?

Basic Economy faresWhile Basic Economy provides the same level of inflight service as standard Economy, this lower-priced option has some important restrictions on seating, carry-on baggage, MileagePlus member benefits – including Premier member benefits – and other aspects of your travel.

What does United Economy include?

United has two types of economy fares: economy and basic economy. Basic economy provides a lower-priced fare but may place restrictions on seat assignment, boarding, carry-on baggage, upgrades, changes, refunds, elite earning and elite benefits.

Sours: https://everythingwhat.com/what-is-the-difference-between-economy-and-economy-flexible-on-united-airlines
TRIP REPORT / United Airlines / Free \

These terms are not explained on the website anywhere I can see and I've just had phone calls to 3 diff. CS agents at United who said different things so I don't know what to believe. One said I could only find out the real terms if I tried to book a ticket. I hated to go through all that but did, and the terms were incomprehensible to me and very difficult to read due to no spacing. However, they still didn't say what the agent swore was the case that I could see.

Basically, I want to know difference in possible date change fees (changing them before the date of travel) as well as refund options/fees. I'm not interested in same date change of times, as I know those are more lenient. I also am talking about domestic tickets only, and I am not interested in the "Basic Economy" fares.

I think I have found out that Economy has a $200 change fee for dates (say if you wanted to rebook for a month later), and also has a $200 cancellation fee and what remains in your funds from cancelling is a travel credit you can use for a year from the original reservation date. It sounds like both date changes and cancelling just are considered "changes" so have the same change fee.

But the Economy Flexible is what I don't understand, as it costs about $150 more per trip on the tickets I'm considered. Two agents swore up and down that there were NO change or cancellation fees whatsoever for such a ticket and that I could get the refund in dollars, not just a credit, if I did cancel.

Another agent said she didn't know why they were saying that as the change fees are the same as for the economy tickets, $200 for changes and $200 to cancel, the only difference is you can get an actual refund for the remainder (on your credit card), not just get a United credit.

I even tried finding a ticket like I want and trying to read the fare terms (which show before you have to click on final purchase) and nowhere in the terms for the Flexible Economy could I find mention of a $200 change/cancel fee, actually.

Anyone know which is true? $150 seems a lot to pay if the only difference is you get cash versus a United travel credit for the remainder if you cancel. I am probably more likely to want to change the dates than fully cancel the ticket, and from 2 agents, both types of fares would incur the same $200 fee in that case.

But I don't know what to believe. Any insight or knowledge?

Sours: https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/ShowTopic-g1-i10702-k12052092-o10-United_Economy_vs_Economy_Flexible_Fare_Rules-Air_Travel.html

Now discussing:

Should You Buy a United Economy Flexible Fare?

Welcome to FlyerTalk 101, a guide to traveling like an expert from the experts. For more guides like this, check out our FlyerTalk 101 tag or head to the forum links in this article to have any of your questions answered.

Like most common carriers, United Airlines sells a variety of fares – from the bare-bones Basic Economy to the luxurious United Polaris. But the most ignored among the different offerings is the United Economy Flexible fare. It’s not quite as nice as United Polaris and premium economy, but the higher price is certainly more forgiving than basic economy fares.

Should you consider paying more for a United Economy Flexible fare or does your credit card travel insurance offer enough protection in case your plans change? We looked at all the differences and found what you need to know about United flexible economy.

What is Economy Flexible on United?

Nearly every airline sells some form of flexible economy seats, and United is no exception. United Economy Flexible is the lowest-priced available flexible ticket. These tickets cost more than regular economy tickets because they come with more overall benefits.

To find United flexible economy tickets, simply run a search for your flights on United.com. When searching for flights, you will usually see four ticket offers: Basic Economy, Economy, Economy (Flexible) and Business/First (Lowest).

 

United Economy vs. Economy Flexible: What’s the difference?

Both regular United Economy and United Economy Flexible tickets offer seating in the rear section of the aircraft unless you purchase an upgrade to United Economy Plus. However, the difference in the benefits of the two tickets is night and day.

On a regular United Economy ticket, you will only earn between 50 and 75 percent of your base fare as Premier Qualifying Points. This means if you purchase a one-way ticket for $200, you may only earn 150 Premier Qualifying Points for the flight. A United Flexible Economy ticket usually earns 100 percent of your base fare as Premier Qualifying Points. If earning extra points towards United Premier elite status is important to you, then the Economy Flexible ticket may be the better choice.

True to their name, United Economy Flexible tickets also come with more ability for changes. Unlike Basic Economy and regular Economy tickets, flexible fare tickets are refundable with no questions asked. However, if you decide to change flights instead of requesting a refund, you may be required to pay additional fees.

Does United Flexible Economy come with baggage?

Although United Flexible Economy comes with more liberties than a regular economy ticket, they do not come with any checked baggage allowance. All economy tickets aboard United are subject to the same rules: $30 for a first checked bag and $40 for a second checked bag. As always, you will be allowed two carry-on pieces: one carry-on bag and one personal item that can fit underneath the seat in front of you. Both of these pieces are subject to size restrictions.

If you have a United co-branded credit card, like the United Explorer Card or the United Club Card, you may get a checked bag free. United Explorer Cardmembers get their first checked bag free, while United Club Cardholders get their first and second checked bag free. Again, size and weight restrictions apply, and to qualify for free checked luggage you will need to pay for flights with the United-branded credit card.

Are United Economy Flexible Tickets refundable?

With their additional costs, United Economy Flexible tickets are refundable. If your ticket qualifies, you can request a refund by logging into your itinerary on United.com and requesting a refund on your ticket.

If your biggest concern is losing the value of a ticket due to unplanned circumstances, you may not need to purchase a United Economy Flexible ticket. On a case-by-case basis, United may issue refunds for different situations. This includes the death of a traveler or an immediate family member, active jury duty during the travel window, and certain illnesses. To see the entire list of qualifying situations where United may issue a ticket refund, visit their refund policy page at United.com.

If you simply decide against taking your trip for any reason, you can also cancel the entire trip within 24 hours of booking and get a full refund. This only applies if you book your trip more than one week ahead of your departure date.

Is there a United Economy Flexible Cancellation Fee?

If you decide to request a refund or change from your United Economy Flexible seat, your ticket may be subject to a cancellation or change fee, depending on the terms and conditions. With most United Economy Flexible seats, you can request a full refund for any reason so long as you cancel your ticket before travel. U.S. Department of Transportation regulations require an airline to process your refund within seven business days of the request.

If you decide you would rather fly on another day or aboard a different flight, you can cancel your original itinerary and apply it to a new itinerary. However, you may be charged up to $150 in change fees, as well as the higher difference between the two fares.

Depending on how you paid for your ticket, you may also have additional benefits as well. Most travel-focused credit cards come with travel insurance that can cover your full fare in the event of an emergency. If your United Economy Flexible ticket doesn’t offer a full refund, your travel insurance may be able to make up the difference. Be sure to check with your credit card provider to see if these valuable benefits apply to your itinerary.

Should I purchase a United Economy Flexible seat?

When deciding whether or not to purchase the more expensive ticket, it all depends on your overall goals. If you value earning United MileagePlus Premier elite status faster every year with the flexibility of having an easy-to-change ticket, it could make perfect sense to purchase United Economy Flexible tickets.

However, if you are less concerned with changing tickets and can live with the limitations of the ticketing terms and conditions, then you may not necessarily need to purchase flexible economy seats. Instead, you may be able to use travel insurance – either purchased third-party or from your credit card – to get the same flexibility in the event of an unplanned situation.

Have additional questions? As always, you can get your questions answered about United Economy Flexible seats in the FlyerTalk forums. Check out this post on Basic Economy Vs Economy Vs Flexible Economy.

For general questions on United, check out FlyerTalk’s United MileagePlus Master Wiki which contains most things that you’d want to know about United Airlines.

Still can’t find the answer to your question? Head to this United Airlines FlyerTalk thread: Have a Simple Question About United Airlines/MileagePlus? Ask Here [2020]

 

 

 

Sours: https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/should-you-buy-a-united-economy-flexible-fare.html


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