Air travel may not be as glamorous as it once was, but if you’re looking for something a touch more bare-bones, United has your back. Or your seat, we suppose.
Presented as a low-cost alternative to other ticket options, United has introduced their “Basic Economy” option for the more frugal and unfussy sort. (And maybe the type of customer that wouldn’t hold a grudge over the airline’s lawsuit versus Skiplagged.com.) Stripped-down services aren’t unusual for budget air transportation vendors, but this tweak to United’s formula may signal a growing shift among larger companies to provide tiered flight experiences.
The trade-off for customers is that while they get a low-cost alternative with “Basic Economy,” restrictions will be put in place as to what these passengers can do. The big loss? “Basic Economy” customers will no longer be able to have carry-on outside of a personal item. (Exceptions are made for members of certain programs.) Pre-selecting seats is also being taken off the table for these customers with automated seat assignments provided at check-in. Oh, also you’ll be asked not to make a big fuss if there’s a gremlin on the wing. Just a guess on that last one.
“Customers have told us that they want more choice and Basic Economy delivers just that,” shared United executive vice president and chief commercial officer Julia Haywood. “By offering low fares while also offering the experience of traveling on our outstanding network, with a variety of onboard amenities and great customer service, we are giving our customers an additional travel option from what United offers today.”
Does United’s approach make you more likely to buy a ticket or is this not the change you were looking for? Provide your verdict in the comments.