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  1. #1
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Basic basic economy

    Yikes. Has anyone seen this?

    Since federal grants mandate that we choose the lowest-priced economy fare, it's kind of awful that the major airlines are now adopting these "no-frills" fares as the lowest tier. I've gotten used to boarding last, not being able to pick a seat until check-in, and other indignities, but not being allowed a carry-on would cause a serious problem for me. Under the new rules, a personal bag is allowed if it fits under the seat in front of me, which is fine unless there is an A/V box or something blocking the space.

    Guess it's a good thing I don't travel for work too much any more.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
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  2. #2
    Forum Member sose's Avatar
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    Oh snap.

    I'm on my way out of traveling myself. This wouldn't be good unless employers were willing to pick up the bill for the carry on fees.


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    Virtus junxit, mors non separabit.

  3. #3
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    With this particular United fare class, there are no carry-on fees. You just aren't allowed to use the overhead bins. You CAN pay to check a bag.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  4. #4
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    There is already a thread here about this and I agree,What are they thinking?!?!

    I already hate Flying more than almost anything and I have never been able to stick anything under the seat in front of me and survive the flight.
    What I don't grasp is why they don't try the obvious step before this and actually enforce the Carry-On rules as they are already and maybe there will be room for everyones stuff?

  5. #5
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    Nobody is forcing anyone to buy this kind of ticket. Nobody is forcing everyone on the entire plane to not bring carryon bags. The airlines are just offering a new kind of ticket, and whether they'll keep offering it will depend on how well it sells. Vote with your wallet. If you don't want that kind of service, buy a different ticket.

    There are some people who really and truly want the cheapest ticket they can get, and they need to abide by the rules that go along with it. I don't happen to be one of them. I'd rather splurge on business or first class, but I've finally saved up enough to afford that type of ticket, and I want the amenities that come with it.

    I personally find the whole airline ticket purchase experience to be up there with buying a car. I hate it. Every airline, and every seat has different rules. I especially hate the idea that you buy a ticket, but that doesn't mean you get a seat. Which genius thought that up?
    Last edited by BWeaves; 11-17-2016 at 07:56 AM.

  6. #6
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    I recently bought the low fare on Frontier (partly because it was the only direct flight) with no carry-on included. But then was looking at getting a new Bihn bag to meet that personal item requirement.... so there goes any ticket savings! I decided to go with a bag I already have since it's such a short trip.

    People are upset because some workplaces DO require you buy the cheapest ticket available for business travel, meaning they are forced to buy this kind of ticket.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah_atx View Post
    I recently bought the low fare on Frontier (partly because it was the only direct flight) with no carry-on included. But then was looking at getting a new Bihn bag to meet that personal item requirement.... so there goes any ticket savings! I decided to go with a bag I already have since it's such a short trip.

    People are upset because some workplaces DO require you buy the cheapest ticket available for business travel, meaning they are forced to buy this kind of ticket.
    Maybe but don't most businesses usually reimburse for expenses too?
    If so then the ticket price needs to be examined to decide if it really is cheaper once you add in any needed bag fees.
    At a minimum you will need a briefcase of some kind to do the work for the business.

  8. #8
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    Nobody is forcing anyone to buy this kind of ticket.
    Well, unless you travel for work and your company mandates the "lowest available economy fare" full stop. Luckily, my company still allows us to purchase "regular" economy, rather than "basic" but it took a bit of finagling in our in-house booking engine back when Delta rolled out their similar product to allow this. I am expecting the same for this United roll out. And, I acknowledge we're lucky: some companies won't be allowing people to book the higher priced fares.

    Personally, I would never, ever book a basic economy ticket on any airline on my own dime. I also will never, ever fly Spirit, et. al.--I gave them a shot, and it's just not worth the cost savings to me. Again, I'm lucky enough to be able to afford to fly the legacy carriers in regular economy, or better. I do feel a bit bad for those who aren't, and slightly less bad for those who just don't pay attention to any of the rules when booking, but just look at price. If the last time you flew was 10 or 15 years ago (and this is definitely the case with some of my relatives), then all of this is a shock, and certainly not something you'd think of when booking.

    The mergers of the last decade or so have left people traveling domestically in the US with fewer options than we used to have. Lower competition means that we get stuck with the remaining carriers doing things like checked bag charges, and basic economy fares. Europe has both ULCCs and legacies, and my experience there with both types there has been better than what I experience here at home.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares. ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  9. #9
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    Maybe but don't most businesses usually reimburse for expenses too?
    If so then the ticket price needs to be examined to decide if it really is cheaper once you add in any needed bag fees.
    At a minimum you will need a briefcase of some kind to do the work for the business.
    You're right, they do. Most people I travel with for work check a bag, and that $50 (R/T) is reimbursed to the traveler. That said, if I somehow miraculously found a first class fare that was the economy price plus $49.99, they wouldn't let me book it. That's just how the rule works for us: lowest econ fare booking class is required. The argument that I'd get to check my bags for free, and save the company a penny wouldn't work.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares. ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  10. #10
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    I can't remember which airline, maybe the old AirTran, where the fare was just a ticket. The seat actually cost extra. I'm not even talking about bags here.

  11. #11
    Forum Member Duggy'sMom's Avatar
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    How are they going to police/enforce this? The overhead bins are everywhere and are open. If the flight attendants have to check each passenger's ticket before they are allowed to put something in the overhead area this will slow down the boarding process by ALOT. (which will add additional time at the gate, which will add costs to the airline)

    Things are really going to get really really unfriendly....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duggy'sMom View Post
    How are they going to police/enforce this? ....
    I think people with these tickets will board last. So the airline folks may know "Group Z is all people who can't have bags."


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    Yikes. Has anyone seen this?

    Since federal grants mandate that we choose the lowest-priced economy fare, it's kind of awful that the major airlines are now adopting these "no-frills" fares as the lowest tier. I've gotten used to boarding last, not being able to pick a seat until check-in, and other indignities, but not being allowed a carry-on would cause a serious problem for me. Under the new rules, a personal bag is allowed if it fits under the seat in front of me, which is fine unless there is an A/V box or something blocking the space.

    Guess it's a good thing I don't travel for work too much any more.
    Hi @bchaplin,
    Yes, this is really a bad fare for any kind of business travel. I am talking with a client about this on Monday morning. We will most likely remove basic economy fares on United from being visible in the booking process. That is already what we do with Spirit Airlines and Delta's Basic Economy fares. By doing that, this will not flag the booking for being out of policy since the lowest fare would be a non-basic fare class.

  14. #14
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    Hi everyone,
    This thread seemed like the best for adding this information. American just announced the details of its Basic Economy fares, and as expected, they've basically copied United and Delta. Like the others, these fares do not include a larger carry-on bag and don't allow for use of the overhead.

    The interesting tidbit is that the size of the allowed 'personal item' on AA will be 18 x 14 x 8 in., and new sizers are apparently coming to the gate to check that size. The Western Flyer should fit easily. The Yeoman Mini Duffel just fits. But the Night Flight-- the cutest, most diminutive underseat bag that ever was!-- is technically too big. Seriously, AA?!? (I mean, I don't ever plan on buying these fares, but the idea that the Night Flight is too big is just crazy.)

  15. #15
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    dang, even the S25, my one-bag superlight travel mainstay, these days (since it fits easily under ERJ underseat and overhead spaces) is slightly too big for the new AA sizers on all dimensions. it probably would still be passable enough by underpacking a bit if they were being super strict and making everyone pass their personal item through the sizer, but WOOF.

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