United Airlines rolled out a new class of airfare — Basic Economy – in February 2017. This is a class that is cheaper than the previous cheapest class — Standard Economy. Another two legacy airline companies also have a class similar to United’s Basic Economy. American Airlines have started selling Basic Economy about same time with United, and Delta Airlines started even earlier, which is serval years ago.
The Basic Economy of United is cheaper than the Standard Economy. However, it has some restrictions. Travelers holding Basic Economy ticket will not be eligible to select the seat before checking-in, carry a full size carry-on luggage, change or refund the flight, sit together by group, upgrade to a higher class, etc. Many people believe that the selling of Basic Economy by legacy airlines makes a price matching with budget airlines such as Spirit Airlines. It has been no since United rolled out Basic Economy. What are the features of basic economy fare? What are the advantages and disadvantages of United Airlines in the price matching? Has the revenue of United Airlines increased since Basic Economy was rolled out? Should United Airlines continue selling this class of airfare? These questions will be addressed in this report.
United Airlines’ Basic economy is a new class of airfare first introduced by UA in February 2017. It provides passengers with cheaper flight price along with restricted flight policy and abridged inflight services compared with Standard Economy.
The basic economy class is designed to make United Airlines better compete with “low-cost carriers” such as Frontier Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines. The target customers of Basic Economy are those who value price more than convenience, since the Basic Economy Class carries a few additional restrictions. The restrictions include seats selection, free onboard baggage, checked baggage, flight change policy, boarding groups and the right to purchase Economy Plus and upgrades, etc. The table below compares the features of Basic Economy and Standard Economy.