How to survive basic economy on United Airlines

Katie Genter

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. Don't worry — this guide aims to answer all of your questions.

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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 US 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.

  • United Explorer Card : Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.
  • United Quest Card : Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.
  • United Club Infinite Card : Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • United Business Card : Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.

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: $35 for the first bag ($30 if prepaid), $45 ($40 if prepaid) for the second bag, $150 for each additional bag. Between the U.S. and Europe: $75 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 another item that is no larger than 9 by 10 by 17 inches is allowed. Mobility aids and other assistive devices are also permitted. This item must go under the seat in front of you. 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 transatlantic 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 by 14 by 22 inches as well as a personal item that is no larger than 9 by 10 by 17 inches.

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

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

Can I select a seat?

united airlines basic economy seat assignment

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, usually $10 on short-haul flights. However, if you don't opt to purchase a seat assignment, a seat will be automatically assigned prior to boarding, for free. You can only purchase Economy Plus seats at check-in.

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 transatlantic flight. (Note: After checking in online, go to a check-in counter or designated kiosk in the airport lobby to check your bags.) If you're not checking a bag or traveling on a transatlantic flight, you'll need to finish checking in at the airport to prove that you don't have more than one personal item.

When can I board?

united airlines basic economy seat assignment

You'll board in the last boarding group, unless you have elite status or select credit cards. More on that in a bit. Note: Basic Economy customers with disabilities or who need assistance are allowed to pre-board.

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?

Refunds are not usually 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 points and lifetime miles, and accrue toward the four-segment minimum. However, your flights will not count as Premier qualifying flights toward elite status.

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

Does having a cobranded credit card help?

united airlines basic economy seat assignment

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 by 14 by 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, United Club Infinite, United Quest, United Business or United Club Business Card.
  • First and second checked bags are free for you and one travel companion traveling on the same reservation when you book your tickets using one of the above cards.

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.

Related: The 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:

  • 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 following when flying on a basic economy fare:

  • Complimentary Economy Plus seating.
  • Complimentary upgrades.
  • Paid upgrades.
  • Mileage upgrades.
  • Upgrades using PlusPoints .

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 fly 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:

These 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 benefits of these cards easily outweigh the fees 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 .

Additional reporting by Johnny Motley.

Simple Flying

United airlines basic economy: 5 things to be aware of when booking.

United’s Basic Economy fare may end up costing more if you're unaware of certain fees.

  • Strict carry-on rules: Carry-ons are not included, except for international flights.
  • Random seat allocation: Seats are assigned randomly.
  • Board last: Basic Economy customers typically board in Group 6.

United Airlines offers three primary seating classes, each divided into two subclasses. United's Basic Economy class represents the airline's most economical ticket booking option. While the cheapest among all classes, the carrier's Basic Economy ticket can end up costing more if passengers are unaware of certain charges. This article discusses essential considerations to be aware of.

1 Strict carry-on rules

Carry-on bags are not included unless you're flying internationally.

Dimensions of carry-on items allowed with the basic economy fare:

United's Basic Economy fare is known for its strict rules. When traveling with this ticket type, passengers can travel with one personal item. United's website states that a personal item can be a shoulder bag, backpack, or laptop bag that fits under the seat in front of you. Extra items must be checked at the ticket counters. Bringing them to the gate incurs a $25 gate service fee per item and the applicable checked bag fee.

Meanwhile, typical carry-on bags are not complimentary in Basic Economy unless you fly to international destinations such as Canada, South America, across the pond, or over the Pacific.

Regarding checked baggage, Basic Economy passengers only receive a free checked baggage allowance when flying internationally across the Pacific. Checked baggage fees vary based on itinerary. You can calculate the costs for your flight on the airline's website. .

2 Random seat allocation

Seats can only be upgraded at the check-in counter.

With a Basic Economy fare, United passengers can expect seats with standard legroom and space. The one disadvantage is that the carrier will always assign a random seat to the passenger automatically before boarding. It is worth noting that United's Basic Economy fare seats are typically located at the back of the aircraft or in the middle of the plane, and the in-seat power is not always available.

According to ch-aviation , United's Basic Economy and Economy seats are 6 inches abreast with a pitch of 30 inches on its typical Boeing 737-800 aircraft fleet. This is less compared to seats in the airline's Economy Plus and Economy Comfort. Meanwhile, its Airbus A320-200s have the exact seat dimensions in Basic Economy and Economy class. Below, find the table showcasing United's narrowbody aircraft seat dimensions.

United Economy Vs Basic Economy: What You Need To Know

United's website states that travelers on the same reservation, including families with children under 12, may not be able to sit together unless:

"If you're traveling with a child under 12, we have new tools that make it easier for them to sit next to a family member for free. Otherwise, we can't guarantee your family or group will all sit together, so consider buying a seat assignment in advance."

3 Board last

Basic economy passengers board in group 6.

Boarding a plane first offers several advantages, including securing overhead cabin space near your assigned seat and the opportunity to disembark earlier, saving time. However, it's not surprising that United Airlines ' most economical fare doesn't provide this perk. Travelers with a Basic Economy ticket will typically board in the final boarding group, often in Group 6.

However, there are certain exceptions. This exception applies to:

  • Passengers with disabilities or all who need assistance
  • MileagePlus Premier members
  • Companions on the same reservation
  • Primary cardholders of eligible MileagePlus credit cards
  • Star Alliance Gold members

4 No online check-in

In most cases, passengers can only check-in at the airport.

How to check in for a flight:

  • Arrive at the check-in desk or kiosk at the airport's departure terminal.
  • Bring your checked luggage to the airport to confirm weight and size.
  • Ensure your personal item meets airport requirements if traveling with only one item.

There are certain things to know about the check-in process when booking Basic Economy with United. Online check-in is restricted to passengers who are either checking a bag or flying on a transoceanic route. However, upon online check-in, proceed to a check-in counter or designated kiosk in the airport lobby to drop off your bags.

If not checking a bag or flying over an ocean, checking in must be completed at the airport to confirm the size of personal items and ensure the absence of additional personal items if not eligible.

5 Perks for elite status

Basic economy still offers perks for elite status holders.

United MileagePlus Premier benefits for Basic Economy travelers:

  • Priority boarding
  • Free checked bag
  • Free carry-on bag

Carrying one of United's co-branded credit cards waives certain restrictions associated with United's Basic Economy fares. This includes priority boarding and free checked bag allowances, according to a report by Nerd Wallet .

If you already possess one of these cards, ensure to include your MileagePlus number in your United Basic Economy reservation to access the priority boarding benefit. Your ticket must be purchased with an eligible credit card to use these advantages. In addition, United MileagePlus Premier members receive similar benefits in Basic Economy. The number of free checked bags varies according to the Premier status level.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever flown with United's Basic Economy fare? Let us know about your experiences in the comments section below.

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United Airlines Basic Economy Tickets: What You Need to Know

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For budget-conscious travelers, United Airlines offers a Basic Economy fare option that comes with a lower price tag than regular economy tickets. However, there are some trade-offs to consider when choosing this fare class. From restricted seat selection to potential charges for carry-on bags and checked luggage, travelers must weigh the pros and cons of Basic Economy. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the features and benefits of United’s Basic Economy fare and help you determine if it’s worth the savings.

Table of contents

What are basic economy fares, what you’ll lose by booking basic economy, what you’ll gain by booking basic economy, what is the impact on award miles, is basic economy worth it, united basic economy vs american & delta.

Basic Economy is the most affordable fare class offered by United Airlines . It is designed for travellers who are willing to give up some of the benefits of standard economy tickets in exchange for a lower fare. Basic Economy fares are available on most United Airlines flights and have several restrictions.

When you book a Basic Economy ticket with United Airlines, you’ll save money, but you’ll also lose some important benefits that come with standard Economy fares. Here are the main things you’ll miss out on:

  • Boarding: Basic Economy passengers will be the last group to board the plane, after all, other passengers, including those with elite status and those in higher fare classes. If the overhead bin space is full, you may have to check your carry-on bag at the gate.
  • Seat selection: United Airlines will assign you a seat for free at check-in, but you won’t be able to choose your seat in advance. If you want to select a specific seat, you must pay an additional fee.
  • Economy Plus seat: Basic Economy passengers are not eligible to purchase Economy Plus seats, which offer more legroom and other perks like priority boarding. If you want more space, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher fare class.
  • Personal item: You’re allowed to bring one personal item on board, like a backpack or a purse, but you won’t be allowed to bring a full-sized carry-on bag.
  • Carry-on bag fee: If you want to bring a full-sized carry-on bag, you’ll need to pay an additional fee. This fee varies depending on your destination and whether you pay in advance or at the airport.
  • Checked bag fee: You’ll also need to pay a fee if you want to check a bag. Again, the fee varies depending on your destination and whether you pay in advance or at the airport.
  • Ticket changes: Basic Economy tickets are non-refundable and non-changeable, meaning you can’t make any changes to your travel dates or destination. If you need to make a change, you’ll need to purchase a new ticket.
  • Refund: Basic Economy tickets are also non-refundable, so if you need to cancel your trip, you won’t be able to get a refund.
  • Mileage earning: Basic Economy tickets earn fewer miles than standard Economy tickets, so if you’re a frequent flyer looking to earn elite status, this may not be the best option for you.
  • Status earning: Finally, Basic Economy tickets also earn fewer Premier qualifying miles and Premier qualifying segments than higher fare classes, which means you may not be able to achieve or maintain elite status with United Airlines if you fly in Basic Economy too often.

united airlines basic economy seat assignment

While Basic Economy may not be the best option for everyone, there are some advantages to booking this fare class with United Airlines. Here are a few things you’ll gain:

  • Price: The biggest advantage of the Basic Economy is the price. These fares are often significantly cheaper than standard Economy fares, making them a great option for budget-conscious travellers.
  • Personal item: You’re allowed to bring one personal item on board for free, which is more than some airlines allow for their lowest fare class.
  • Carry-on bag fee: While you’ll need to pay a fee to bring a full-sized carry-on bag, this fee is often still cheaper than upgrading to a higher fare class.
  • Checked bag fee: Similarly, the fee for checking a bag is often still cheaper than upgrading to a higher fare class.
  • In-flight experience: Once you’re on board the plane, there’s no difference between Basic Economy and standard Economy. You’ll still receive the same snacks and drinks, and have access to the same in-flight entertainment.
  • Point earning: While Basic Economy tickets earn fewer miles and status credits than higher fare classes, you’ll still earn some points. This is especially useful

Basic Economy fares on United Airlines earn award miles based on the ticket price and fare class purchased. This means that Basic Economy fares earn the least amount of award miles compared to other fare classes. Specifically, Basic Economy fares earn 5 award miles per dollar spent, whereas regular Economy fares earn 7 award miles per dollar spent.

Furthermore, Basic Economy fares are not eligible for any Premier Qualifying Miles (PQM) or Premier Qualifying Segments (PQS) which are necessary to achieve elite status with United Airlines. This means that if you book a Basic Economy fare, you will not earn any PQMs or PQSs, which can impact your ability to achieve higher status with the airline.

It’s important to note that while Basic Economy fares do earn award miles, they do not earn any Premier Qualifying Dollars (PQDs) which are also necessary to achieve elite status with United Airlines. PQDs are based on the dollar amount spent on United Airlines tickets and are a requirement for achieving higher elite status levels with the airline.

united airlines basic economy seat assignment

Whether United Airlines Basic Economy is worth it depends on your travel preferences and needs. Basic Economy can be a good choice for budget-conscious travelers who are willing to sacrifice some amenities and flexibility in exchange for a lower fare. However, for travelers who prioritize amenities such as seat selection, overhead bin space, and the ability to make changes to their ticket, Basic Economy may not be the best option.

It’s also important to consider the additional fees that may come with Basic Economy, such as checked baggage fees and seat selection fees. If a traveler is planning to check a bag or wants to choose their seat in advance, the extra fees can add up and make Basic Economy less cost-effective.

Additionally, the impact on award miles is another factor to consider. Basic Economy fares typically earn fewer award miles than standard Economy fares, which may be a drawback for frequent flyers who prioritize earning miles for elite status or future travel.

United Basic Economy fares are similar to American and Delta’s basic economy fares in that they offer a lower price point for air travel with fewer amenities and fewer options for customization. However, there are some differences in the details of each airline’s basic economy offering.

For example, American Basic Economy and Delta Basic Economy fares include seat selection at the time of booking for a fee, whereas United Basic Economy fares do not include seat selection until check-in, and it is only for a random seat assignment.

Additionally, American and Delta Basic Economy fares allow passengers to bring a personal item and a carry-on bag for free, whereas United Basic Economy fares only allow for a personal item that must fit under the seat in front of you.

Overall, United’s Basic Economy fare can be a good deal for travelers who don’t mind sacrificing some of the perks that come with a standard economy ticket. The savings can be significant, especially if you’re flying on a budget. However, if you value flexibility and the ability to select your own seat or bring along more than just a personal item, you may be better off opting for a standard economy ticket or even an upgrade to Economy Plus. Consider your travel needs and budget carefully before booking your next flight on United Airlines.

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united airlines basic economy seat assignment

United Economy Vs Basic Economy: What You Need To Know

E ver since EVA Air offered its upgraded Evergreen class of premium economy seats in 1991, other airlines have jumped on the wagon, hoping that passengers will pay extra for a slightly better experience. The experience can vary greatly depending on the airline, with some offering an increased baggage allowance, better in-flight meals, and improved entertainment. One thing they all have in common is increased legroom and a more expensive purchase price.

Chicago-headquartered United Airlines has taken the concept a bit further, offering three classes of economy tickets, which are:

  • Basic economy
  • Economy plus

With this in mind, we will compare United Airlines' basic economy and see how it compares to the carrier's regular economy offering. United Airlines economy class is comparable to other American carriers like Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. Still, its basic economy only offers some of the perks of a regular economy class ticket.

Basic Economy Class

What you get with a United Airlines basic economy ticket :

  • Checked luggage and carry-ons: If you are flying within the lower 48 states, you can bring one personal item like a shoulder or laptop bag aboard, so long as it can be stowed on the floor of the seat in front of you. No full-size carry-on bags are permitted. If you have another bag, you must pay $35 and have it checked in. Checked luggage on international flights costs $60, but you can bring a carry-on.
  • Seat assignment: United Airlines will assign you a seat. However, some flights allow you to select your seat for a fee starting from $10.
  • Boarding: As a basic economy passenger, you will be in the last group to board the aircraft.
  • Cancelations and refunds: United Airlines basic economy tickets cannot be changed, but you can get a refund if you cancel your flight at least 24 hours after booking for a full refund. If you cancel your flight later than 24 hours before departure, you will pay $99 for a domestic flight and $199 for an international flight. You will also not be reimbursed in cash but will receive a voucher that you can use for a future flight.
  • Miles and upgrades: With a basic economy fare, you will not receive a complimentary upgrade to economy plus. You will earn half the air miles you would typically be entitled to with a regular economy ticket.

Basic Economy Tickets Revenue Increased 20% At United Airlines In Q4 2023

Economy class.

What you get with a United Airlines economy class ticket:

  • Checked luggage and carry-ons: United Airlines economy seating has the same fees as basic economy, but it does allow you one piece of carry-on luggage.
  • Seat assignment: With regular economy, you can select where you want to sit, which is a big plus when traveling with friends or family.
  • Boarding: Just like with basic economy, standard economy is one of the last groups to board, but you do get called for boarding ahead of people with basic economy tickets.
  • Cancelations and refunds: United Airlines, like other mainstream American carriers, has gotten rid of ticket change fees > If you cancel your booking within 24 hours of making it, you will be entitled to a full refund. You can still cancel later, but your refund will be in the form of a voucher for a future flight.
  • Miles and upgrades: If you are a member of the United Airlines MileagePlus program, you may be offered a free upgrade to economy plus

Is it worth paying the extra money rather than flying basic economy?

Looking at flying with United Airlines round trip from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA), a basic economy ticket at this time of year is available for $116. The same flight when flying regular economy is $186, which is $70 more expensive than the basic fare.

Seeing how it is only a two-hour ten-minute flight and the fact both seats are the same width and legroom, it makes sense to fly basic economy. Having said that, if you dread getting assigned a middle seat, need a carry-on, and want to sit with family and friends, it makes sense to pay the extra $70.

United Economy Vs Basic Economy: What You Need To Know

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How to Add United Economy Benefits to a Basic Economy Ticket

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Basic economy fares on United Airlines are a great way to save money if you don’t mind giving up the perks that you get with main cabin economy fares, like free seat selection, a carry-on bag and no-fee flight changes.

But what if you book a basic economy fare, then later realize you made a mistake and that you should have paid more for a main cabin fare so you could carry on a bag, sit with your family, change your travel dates or enjoy some of the benefits of your United elite status.

Historically, you’ve had the option of paying separate fees for a few of these perks, like seat selection. But now, you have another option: For flights within the U.S. and short-haul flights to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America, you can pay a single fee, which varies based on the flight details, to switch a basic economy ticket to regular economy.

Here’s how to add United economy benefits to upgrade and switch your basic economy fare.

» Learn more: United Airlines MileagePlus program: The complete guide

First, know what you're getting in basic economy

If you’re thinking of converting your basic economy ticket to regular economy, start by reviewing the terms of your current booking. Here’s what you get with a basic economy fare on United:

One personal item: Passengers flying a United basic economy fare can carry onboard one item, like a purse or laptop case, that’s no bigger than 9 inches by 10 inches by 17 inches and that fits under the seat in front of you.

No full-size carry-on for flights within the U.S.: For domestic flights, you can’t bring a full-size carry-on bag on your basic economy trip unless you’re a MileagePlus Premier member, a companion traveling on the same reservation with a MileagePlus Premier member, the primary cardmember of a qualifying United Airlines credit card or a Star Alliance Gold member. (Transatlantic, transpacific and passengers to El Salvador, Panama and South America with basic economy tickets get one carry-on bag).

No seat selection: You don’t get to choose your seat on most routes; instead, the airline assigns you a seat before boarding. You have the option of paying extra to choose your seat before it’s assigned, or you can purchase Economy Plus seating at check-in. Prices vary.

No group or family seating: You can’t book seats together unless you purchase seat selection in advance.

No flight changes or refunds: Ticket changes aren’t allowed, except in the case of same-day standby, nor are refunds (except within United’s 24-hour flexible booking policy).

Restrictions to MileagePlus and Premier member benefits: Basic economy flights don’t count toward elite members’ Premier qualifying flights.

Last to board: Unless you’re a MileagePlus Premier member or a companion traveling on the same reservation with a Premier member, the primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or a Star Alliance Gold member, basic economy fares are the last to board.

» Learn more: What you need to know about United Airlines baggage and other fees

Know what you could get by adding economy benefits

If the terms of basic economy no longer work well for your trip, consider whether it would be worthwhile to pay to add United economy benefits on qualifying flights. Here are the bundled benefits you get with the United switch to economy feature.

The option to change or cancel your flight without paying an additional fee.

The ability to bring a full-size carry-on.

Complimentary seat assignment before check-in.

The ability to upgrade further to Economy Plus or a premium cabin seat.

Certain perks  associated with  your Premier status, like complimentary access to Economy Plus and preferred seating, complimentary Premier upgrades, and the option to upgrade using PlusPoints.

Compare the cost of bundling vs. adding perks a la carte

Ask yourself which main cabin economy perks you need and consider whether you should buy them a la carte.

For example, if all that you want is the chance to choose your seat, you may be able to buy that separately. Log in to the United website and go to the “Trip details” page, or log in to the app and select “Reservation details.” Look at the seating chart for your flight to see if you’re offered the option to pick your seat in main cabin for an added fee. Compare that with the offered price for changing your basic economy ticket to main cabin economy with the United switch to economy option.

If the a la carte option can meet your needs more cheaply, that’s the way to go.

For example, adding the option to choose your seat on your basic economy trip may cost $30 or more per direction of travel depending on your flight, as you can see in this recently searched flight from Houston to Atlanta.

united airlines basic economy seat assignment

If seat selection is all you need, then compare the cost with upgrading to economy price (remember to double the seat selection fee if it’s round trip) and go with whichever is cheaper.

The exact price of these upgrades depends on your route, and the cost will be charged per passenger per direction of travel. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see the price until after booking a basic economy fare.

How to make the switch

The option to add United economy benefits, if available, will show up after you’ve booked your basic economy flight. You can find it either on the “Trip details” page at united.com or under “Reservation details” in the United mobile app.

You’ll be able to upgrade for one or both directions of travel, but you must add United economy benefits for every person on the reservation.

Why switching to economy could make sense

If you bought a basic economy ticket, switching to economy could make sense for a number of reasons.

More flexibility

If you need to reschedule or cancel your flight, you can purchase the economy upgrade instead of buying a whole new ticket as you’d have to with a basic economy fare.

Better perks for MileagePlus Premier members

If you have Premier status in the United MileagePlus loyalty program, switching to economy means you can enjoy status perks like seat upgrades and the ability to earn premier qualifying points — neither of which are an option when you fly basic economy. But the number of miles and Premier qualifying points you earn will be based on your original basic economy fare.

» Learn more: Guide to United Airlines Premier elite status

Bundled cost

Switching to economy might also save you some cash compared with adding on a la carte upgrades individually.

» Learn more: Valuable benefits of United Airlines credit cards

Final thoughts on adding benefits to a Basic Economy ticket

Upgrading to United Economy will likely be most beneficial for travelers who need to cancel or change a flight because it will likely be much cheaper than purchasing a whole new flight (thus bearing the cost of the original). This new option is also a plus for anyone who books basic economy, then later realizes they need some of the perks of main cabin economy — like the option to sit with family members or earn Premier qualifying flights.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-2x Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays and United® purchases. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

50,000 Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Chase United Mileage Plus Explorer Business Credit Card

1x-2x Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, dining, at gas stations, office supply stores and on local transit and commuting. Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.

75000 Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Chase United Quest Credit Card

1x-3x Earn 3x miles on United® purchases, 2x miles on dining, select streaming services & all other travel, 1x on all other purchases

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

united airlines basic economy seat assignment

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United Airlines Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees, & More

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United Airlines Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees, & More

Table of Contents

United ticketing options, united frequent flyer program, united airlines baggage fees & other fees/add-ons, how to avoid paying excess fees & travel expenses, united seat specs & inflight amenities, united customer satisfaction, charity partnership, final thoughts.

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There’s no doubt you know United Airlines (and may have even flown with them before), but are you aware of their different fare types, the ins and outs of their baggage allowances, and all of their extra fees/add-ons? What about their seat specs and their consumer satisfaction ratings?

This helpful guide covers all you need to know about this large U.S. carrier so you hopefully won’t be caught unaware on your next flight.

In this post you’ll find a general company overview, ticketing/fare options, extra fees/add-ons (including baggage allowances ), cabin class amenities, seat specs, and more.

Airline: United Airlines

Alliance:  Star Alliance

Category:  Legacy domestic and international airline

Frequent Flyer Program: MileagePlus

Tag Line:  “Fly the Friendly Skies”

About/Mission Statement: “We are committed to providing a level of service to our customers that makes us a leader in the airline industry. We understand that to do this we need to have a product we are proud of and employees who like coming to work every day….” (source)

Daily Flights:  4,700

Main Hub:  Chicago-O’Hare International Airport ( ORD )

Destinations:  356 (including 125 international)

United Airlines Route Map

United’s fare types are pretty standard for a large U.S. carrier. But with stiff competition from lots of low-cost airlines, United recently introduced a Basic Economy fare — which pretty much just gets you a seat on the plane.

Handy for those traveling light, this reduced and restricted fare does not include any standard carry-on or checked luggage.

And for anyone part of United’s frequent flyer program (covered later on in this article), you won’t be eligible for premier qualifying miles that go toward your elite status when flying in this class.

Below are the additional differences in fare types and cabin classes, with inflight amenities covered later on in this article:

Basic Economy (most restrictive fare): 

  • Pre-assigned seat before boarding
  • Family or group seating not possible
  • First checked bag costs an additional $120 (round-trip)
  • Upgrades not available
  • Changes or refunds not permitted

Economy (standard): 

  • Seat selection at time of booking (if available)
  • Customize your booking with other options

Economy (flexible):

  • Refundable ticket (subject to cancellation fees)

Premium Plus:

  • Spacious, larger seating with extra legroom
  • Complimentary food and beverage
  • Enhanced dining with complimentary food and beverage

The availability of certain cabin classes is dependent on the route and plane type. We’ve also covered how you can upgrade to business or first class on United Airlines .

Economy Plus

If you’re looking for a little extra legroom, you can upgrade your booking to Economy Plus. This will also seat you closer to the front of the aircraft so you can disembark quicker.

You can upgrade as a one-off, or subscribe to yearly upgrades when booking a regular economy ticket (where Economy Plus is available).

United Airlines MileagePlus

MileagePlus is United’s frequent flyer loyalty program where you can earn miles to redeem against reward flights and work your way up membership tiers to gain elite benefits, such as priority check-in and additional luggage.

These reward miles can also be used against flights with other Star Alliance members. You can earn miles through flying, shopping, dining out, and spending on certain credit cards.

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our article on United’s MileagePlus frequent flyer program .

Baggage Fees

United Airlines Carry-On Allowance:

1 personal item: FREE 1 standard carry-on bag: FREE (including Basic Economy Transatlantic flights but excluding all other routes for basic economy)

United  Airlines Checked Allowance:

Max weight: 50lb (23kg) for all economy and premium plus fares and 70lbs (32kg) for business and first class fares.

Max size: 62 inches (158cm) linear

United recommends that passengers check their official baggage fee calculator tool to view baggage costs associated with their specific fare type.

We ran some basic route searches, and the fees appeared as the following (do a check on your specific fare before booking to confirm):

Domestic U.S. & Canada

  • Economy (Basic, plus and standard): 1st bag $30, 2nd bag $40, 3rd+ bag $150
  • Business and first: 1st and 2nd bags free, 3rd+ bag $150

U.S. to/from Mexico

  • Economy (Basic, plus and standard): 1st bag $30, 2nd bag $55, 3rd+ bag $180
  • Business and first: 1st and 2nd bags free, 3rd+ bag $180

U.S. to/from Europe

  • Economy: 1st bag $0 (£60 for Basic Economy), 2nd bag $100, 3rd+ bag $200
  • Premium Plus: 1st and 2nd bags free, 3rd+ bag $200
  • Business: 1st and 2nd bags free, 3rd+ bag $200
  • First: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bags free; 4th+ bag $200

Additional and Excess Baggage Fees:

Oversized Fee: $200 per bag (up to 115in/292cm)

Overweight Fee (route dependent):

  • Bags 51-70lb: $100-$200 per bag
  • Bags 71-100lb: $200-$400 per bag

MileagePlus Status weight allowance:

  • Silver, Gold, Platinum, 1K: 70lb
  • Star Alliance Gold (traveling in first, business or  United Polaris Business ): 70lb

Hot Tip: See our post on United Airlines baggage policy  which details specific baggage allowances for all types of cabin class, status and personnel such as the military. 

United’s Other Fees & Add-Ons

Service Fees

All reservations on United.com can be made without incurring a service fee. For other methods of booking made within the U.S. or Canada, the service fees are as follows:

By Phone: $25

City Ticket Office:  $30

At the Airport: $50

Reservations Made Outside of the U.S.: Fees vary according to country

Cancellation and Change Fees: (Cash Tickets)

  • Domestic Cancellation Fee: $200
  • International Cancellation Fee: Up to $400
  • Waived for Gold, Platinum, and 1k members
  • Cancellation : If you cancel a non-refundable ticket, no refund will be issued – but you can use the cost of the flight against a new ticket within 12 months.
  • If your departure or arrival time changes by more than 30 minutes (due to a schedule change), you can change your flight at no extra cost or request a refund.

We’ve also gone into detail on United’s  award flight change & cancellation fees .

Seat Selection Fees

There is no charge to select a seat with United (where available), but you can opt for “Preferred seating” (closer to the front of the economy section) from $9 each way.

Economy Plus Upgrade: $16-$169 each way

Unaccompanied Minor Fee: $150 each way

Pet in Cabin Fee: $125 each way

Fare Holding Fees

If you’re not ready to book at the time of searching, then you can pay to reserve your fare using “Farelock.”

The fee varies by destination, but ranges from $5-$20 with the ability to hold a fare for either 3 or 7 days.

United Airlines Annual Subscription Fees

Economy Plus: From $499

Benefit from additional leg room and being closer to the front of the plane for quicker exiting when you reach your destination.

United Bundle Options

Bundles are offered during the reservation process combining different options, such as an Economy Plus upgrade and United Club trip pass. Prices vary per route, but United states that savings can be had by buying these bundles.

Wi-Fi: From $49

United Club Membership: From $550

Get access to all of the  United Club locations and select partner lounges.

United Airlines Bistro Onboard

Onboard Refreshments

For flights over 3 hours (within the U.S. and to/from Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America) customers can order from the “Bistro on Board” menu serving items such as a chorizo breakfast sandwich, pepperoni deep dish pizza, or a mezze sampler with prices ranging from $6.99-$9.99 . Menu choices depend on the flight route.

On flights over 1.5 hours (within North America, including select Latin American destinations and the Caribbean, in addition to Singapore , Australia , and New Zealand ) customers can order from the “Snack Shop” serving sweet and savory nibbles and snack boxes. Prices range from $3.99-$9.59 .

Beer and wine are $8, while premium spirits range from $8-$9 and specialty cocktails will run you $10.

Onboard entertainment

Available on select Boeing 737 and 757-300 aircraft, customers can purchase access to DIRECTV with more than 100 TV channels plus movies.

This is complimentary for United first passengers, and $5.99 for United economy passengers on flights less than 2 hours ($7.99 for flights more than 2 hours).

Many travel rewards cards come with an annual airline credit and can be used to offset fees such as baggage fees, such as The Platinum Card ® from American Express.

Cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve ®  come with an annual $300 travel credit that can be used to offset almost  any  travel expense.

The cards below allow you to redeem Capital One miles for 1 cent each as a statement credit for previous travel purchases (within 90 days):

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.

Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.

Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.

  • 10x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 5x miles per $1 on flights purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
  • $395 annual fee ( rates & fees )
  • Does not offer bonus categories for flights or hotel purchases made directly with the airline or hotel group, the preferred booking method for those looking to earn elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck ®
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Capital One Miles

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card   is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.

Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.

  • 5x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • $95 annual fee ( rates & fees )
  • Limited elite benefits
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.

Interested in a travel rewards credit card without one of those pesky annual fees? Then say hello to the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.

In addition to no annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne card offers no foreign transaction fees.

But is this card worth its salt, or is it merely a shell of the more popular Capital One Venture card?

  • No annual fee ( rates & fees )
  • No foreign transaction fees ( rates & fees )
  • Ability to use transfer partners
  • Weak earn rate at 1.25x miles per $1 spent on all purchases
  • No luxury travel or elite benefits
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months

In addition, if you have the United Explorer℠ Card  you can get 1 free checked bag for you and a companion on your itinerary.

United Airlines Fleet Seat Specs

United Airlines has 14 different types of aircraft with varying cabin classes and seat specs.

United Express operates a further 5 aircraft through its partner airlines. You can view the aircraft and seat specs here .

United Inflight Amenities

United Airlines Business Class

United Business & First

  • Premium leather seat with extra space and comfort, featuring a headrest that adjusts 6 ways
  • Storage space for personal items
  • Universal AC power plug
  • Mobile device holder
  • United Wi-Fi (fee applies)
  • Complimentary inflight beverages including beer, wine, spirits, and illy coffee
  • DIRECTV with more than 100 TV channels plus movies
  • Dining options in partnership with The Trotter Project

United Airlines Polaris Business Class

Polaris Business & First

  • Saks Fifth Avenue bedding
  • Sleep-inspired amenities (cotton pajamas on flights over 10 hours)
  • Soho House’s Cowshed Spa skincare items
  • Lie-flat beds
  • 16″ HD monitor

Premium Plus

  • Larger seat with more legroom, leg and footrests
  • Complimentary beverages
  • 13″ monitor
  • Power and USB sockets
  • Noise-reducing headphones

United Airlines Economy Plus

  • Extra legroom
  • Situated nearer the front of the plane for quicker disembarkation
  • Eligible to earn Premier qualifying dollars
  • All standard economy benefits

United Airlines Economy

Economy (Basic and Standard)

  • On domestic flights and to/from the Caribbean and Latin America, customers receive complimentary soft drinks (including illy coffee) and can purchase snacks/meals and alcohol.
  • On international flights, customers receive complimentary food and beverages including house beer and wine
  • Entertainment varies by aircraft (details can be found on the Inflight Amenities tab on United’s Flight Status page )

Hot Tip: Check out our post on United Airlines’ boarding policy so you’ll know what to expect from the boarding process as almost all airlines have a different procedure!

Customer satisfaction is a real mixed bag with United Airlines. Their social media channels and Tripadvisor reviews seem to attract many compliments from loyal customers, which is unusual as these outlets are often utilized to rant and rave about poor service!

Additionally, their PR team is pretty genius, sponsoring a number of great causes and shouting about their good deeds on social media — so even if the service was only mediocre for a customer, their philanthropic ways may improve consumer brand impression.

Lost baggage is a real gripe for United customers, being one of the most prominent issues on review sites. Also, inconsistencies of aircraft age can lead to disappointment in inflight amenities.

One customer complaint we found said they had experienced a seat-back entertainment system on once international flight and not on another. That’s going to disappoint any traveler.

United prides itself on their personal device entertainment, but this does rely on the customer having a smartphone/tablet at their disposal.

Most Common Complaints

United Airlines had 1,169 complaints lodged against them from January-September 2018 according to the  September 2018 Air Travel Consumer Report . The chart below represents the complaints by category.

  • Flight problems (cancellation, delay, or misconnection): 292
  • Baggage: 185
  • Customer service: 174
  • Reservation, ticketing, boarding: 110
  • Disability : 86
  • Refunds: 45
  • Oversales: 34
  • Discrimination: 8
  • Advertising: 5

Consumer Rankings, Ratings, Etc. 

There are a number of different review websites out there when it comes to airline ratings. Here are a few of the most popular so you can see the general consumer opinion for United Airlines.

Skytrax Ranking: 3 Star Airline (out of 5)

Skytrax Customer Rating:  3/10 (average from 2,594 reviews)

United Airlines Skytrax

TripAdvisor Airline Review Rating:  3/5 (average from 36,791 reviews)

Kayak Customer Rating: 7/10 (average from 61,414 reviews)

AirHelp.com Overall Rating: 7.59/10 (departure/arrival performance, service, and satisfaction of claims processing)

Safety and Performance

Airlineratings.com Safety Rating :  7/7 (takes into consideration whether the airline has an IATA Operational Safety Audit Certification, government and crash records, plus information from the World’s Aviation Governing Body).

United Airlines Charities

United Airlines supports numerous charities across their main hub locations and across the globe. It strives to be a more sustainable airline supporting environmental charities and operations such as Clean the World and Conservation International.

United also supports many youth projects, including Youth Guidance with the goal of inspiring future leaders.

Overall, customer satisfaction seems to be somewhere in the middle for United — and as with other legacy U.S. carriers, there will always be a place for the airline with reasonable fares and route availability.

United will never have the sass and style of Virgin Atlantic or the service and luxury of the Middle Eastern airlines, but it serves its purpose and does have a loyal customer base (although this may be dwindling slightly, with many referencing the “good old days” when United was great).

Their current focus seems to be on revamping their premium cabins, with their Polaris offering in business and first — but we’re hoping they don’t neglect economy for too much longer either.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card ® from American Express, click here .

Frequently Asked Questions

What alliance is united apart of.

United is apart of Star Alliance partnership.

What is the United carry-on baggage allowance?

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What are the indicators of a basic economy ticket purchase for United Airlines?

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Indicators of a basic economy ticket purchase for United Airlines include:

Baggage Restrictions:

  • Basic economy passengers are typically allowed only a personal item for free. Checked bags may require an additional fee, and carry-on bags may not be allowed unless flying to Europe [1] .

Seat Selection:

  • Basic economy passengers may have limited or no seat selection options. Seats are often automatically assigned, and if passengers want to choose their seats, they may need to pay a fee [1] .

Boarding Group:

  • Basic economy passengers usually board the plane last, in the final boarding group [1] .

Mileage and Status Earning:

  • Basic economy passengers can still earn United MileagePlus miles, but they may not earn Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs) towards elite status with United [1] .
  • Basic economy passengers are generally not eligible for complimentary upgrades with United status. They also cannot pay for extra legroom Economy Plus seats [1] .

Ticket Changes and Cancellation:

  • Basic economy tickets typically have limited or no flexibility for changes or cancellations. Free changes or cancellations may only be allowed within 24 hours of booking, and after that, there may be fees associated with changes or cancellations [1] .

Learn more:

  • Everything to Know About United Basic Economy
  • The Complete Guide to Basic Economy on International Flights from the US
  • Understanding UA's different economy classes - FlyerTalk Forums

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united airlines basic economy seat assignment

IMAGES

  1. Basic Economy

    united airlines basic economy seat assignment

  2. United Basic Economy Explained

    united airlines basic economy seat assignment

  3. Flight Review: United (737-900) Basic Economy, LAS to LAX

    united airlines basic economy seat assignment

  4. Basic Economy

    united airlines basic economy seat assignment

  5. United Basic Economy Passengers Can Now Pay To Assign Seats In Advance

    united airlines basic economy seat assignment

  6. United improves basic economy with extra-legroom seat selection

    united airlines basic economy seat assignment

VIDEO

  1. UNITED AIRLINES Economy Seat 22F Group 5 Houston IAH 🇺🇲 to Tegucigalpa TGU 🇭🇳 UA 518 737-700

  2. United airlines basic economy review #travelhacks #plane #unitedairlines

  3. Slumming it in Economy on American Airlines 787

  4. United Airlines trying out new boarding process to alleviate boarding bottlenecks

  5. Basic economy class In United Airlines, Indianapolis to Washington D.C, వాషింగ్టన్ డి . సి

  6. Are you guaranteed a seat in Basic Economy?

COMMENTS

  1. Basic Economy

    For all other Basic Economy tickets, you're allowed one small personal item that fits under the seat in front of you, such as a shoulder bag, purse, laptop bag or other small item that is 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm) or less. Mobility aids and other assistive devices are also permitted.

  2. United Seating Options

    Extra legroom and space. Even more legroom and space, fully reclining seats United Polaris®. Location on plane. Back of the plane (Basic Economy/Economy), middle of the plane (preferred seating) Front of Economy cabin. Front of plane. Seat map color. White (Basic Economy/Economy), white with a black triangle (Preferred seating)

  3. How to survive basic economy on United Airlines

    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 ...

  4. United Basic Economy Passengers Can Now Pay To Assign Seats In Advance

    One of the main restrictions on basic economy tickets has been that you can't select a seat assignment in advance. As of February 1, 2018, United is letting basic economy passengers pay to assign their seats up until 24 hours before departure (at that point seat assignments become free). As you'll see during the booking process, the page ...

  5. United Airlines Seat Selection: What to Know

    United provides a seat map that you can find when booking your flight. Before selecting a flight, you can view the seat map by selecting "Seats" on the search result page. This will open a ...

  6. United Airlines Basic Economy: What Are The Restrictions?

    Basic economy fares have seat assignment restrictions United basic economy fares have major restrictions when it comes to assigning seats, regardless of whether or not you have elite status: On basic economy fares, you'll automatically be assigned a seat at check-in (24 hours out), and you can't change it for free, even if there are other ...

  7. United Airlines Basic Economy: 5 Things To Be Aware Of When Booking

    Dimensions. 9x10x17 inches. 9x14x22 inches. United's Basic Economy fare is known for its strict rules. When traveling with this ticket type, passengers can travel with one personal item. United's website states that a personal item can be a shoulder bag, backpack, or laptop bag that fits under the seat in front of you.

  8. United Airlines: Basic Economy vs. Economy vs. Economy Plus

    United restricts full-sized carry-ons for its basic economy tickets. Basic economy tickets are ineligible for refunds and don't include seat selection. Economy Plus features standard economy seats ...

  9. United Airlines Basic Economy Tickets: What You Need to Know

    Seat selection: United Airlines will assign you a seat for free at check-in, but you won't be able to choose your seat in advance. If you want to select a specific seat, you must pay an additional fee. ... Basic Economy fares on United Airlines earn award miles based on the ticket price and fare class purchased. This means that Basic Economy ...

  10. United Basic Economy: What You Need to Know

    Basic economy is United's least-expensive economy fare class. Unlike some of the other perks (i.e. free checked bag, seat selection) included on a regular economy ticket, basic economy offers ...

  11. When Does It Make Sense For A United Premier To Book A Basic Economy

    Our Basic Economy fares for our Trans/Atlantic routes allows PQM, PQD, PQS and Lifetime miles earnings. Permitted or included: Advance seat assignments Economy Plus seat assignments Carry-on bag PQM, PQD, PQS and Lifetime miles earnings Packages and Premier Access . Thank you again for contacting United Airlines. Regards, xxxx United Airlines

  12. Everything to Know About United Basic Economy

    On paper, you don't get to select your seat with a United basic economy fare. But in practice, that's not quite true. United sells seat selection to basic economy flyers for an additional fee. The window to pay up for a seat assignment is open from the moment you buy your ticket. Better yet, the fees are typically quite reasonable.

  13. United Economy Vs Basic Economy: What You Need To Know

    Checked luggage and carry-ons: United Airlines economy seating has the same fees as basic economy, but it does allow you one piece of carry-on luggage. Seat assignment: With regular economy, you ...

  14. United Airlines introduces a new family seating policy

    United Airlines has a new seat map feature that will help families with children under 12 find seats together free of charge, the airline announced on Monday. The feature will include Basic ...

  15. Better to choose a seat or let my seat be assigned automatically

    "For all fare classes, except Basic Economy, you will be able to pick your seat or change your seat assignment. If you have a Basic Economy ticket, you're able to purchase a seat assignment during booking and up until check-in opens" So sounds like you should be able to pick a seat. They tell you like 500 times when you choose Basic Economy ...

  16. How to Add United Economy Benefits to a Basic Economy Ticket

    Basic economy fares on United Airlines are a great way to save money if you don't mind giving up the perks that you get with main cabin economy fares, like free seat selection, a carry-on bag ...

  17. Can I get two Basic Economy seats together? : r/unitedairlines

    I'd recommend not flying basic economy if you want to sit next to someone. Basic Econ tickets typically receive a seat assignment at the gate but sometimes at checkin. You can Ask the gate agent nicely to assign seats together, but it's unlikely that there will be 2 seats next to each other at that point. 10. Reply.

  18. United Airlines Review

    Economy (standard): Seat selection at time of booking (if available) ... FREE 1 standard carry-on bag: FREE (including Basic Economy Transatlantic flights but excluding all other routes for basic economy) United Airlines Checked Allowance: Max weight: 50lb (23kg) for all economy and premium plus fares and 70lbs (32kg) for business and first ...

  19. Basic Economy Seat Assignments : r/unitedairlines

    I'm far from an expert on this but I think they are normally assigned behind the scenes using an internal algorithm whether you check in or not. Others probably have more detailed knowledge. 2. Reply. michaelhawk696969. • 1 yr. ago. When I fly BE, I check in at the earliest possible time and even if it gives you a crappy middle seat in the ...

  20. Fly

    Fly - United Airlines. About United. Products and services. Popular destinations. Careers Important notices.

  21. What are the indicators of a basic economy ticket purchase for United

    Indicators of a basic economy ticket purchase for United Airlines include: Baggage Restrictions: Basic economy passengers are typically allowed only a personal item for free. Checked bags may require an additional fee, and carry-on bags may not be allowed unless flying to Europe [1]. Seat Selection:

  22. United Airlines

    With most airlines, you are guaranteed a seat at check-in, although it does not have to be a good seat. If a flight is over sold, usually the airlines will ask for volunteers to give up their seats for a later flight and usually for a voucher for a future flight. I love giving up my seat, if possible. When I know a flight is over booked, I try ...

  23. RT Chicago to Tulum Mexico $233 Nonstop Airfares on United Airlines BE

    United Airlines have round trip airfares during the peak summer months travelling from Chicago (ORD) to Tulum Mexico (TQO) for $233, nonstop. These are basic economy fares, a restricted-type fare that will only allow a personal item. There is no seat selection, no carry-on bag and no change.