Basic Economy

Created for our customers who may be more price-sensitive, our lower-priced Basic Economy fares provide most of the same inflight services and amenities that are available with standard United Economy® fares — such as food and beverages, United Wi-Fi℠ and inflight entertainment — but with some important restrictions that you'll want to be sure to review carefully before booking:

 One personal item is allowed

You are allowed one small personal item that fits under the seat in front of you, such as a shoulder bag, purse, laptop bag or other item that is 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm) or less. Mobility aids, assistive devices and medical devices including breast pumps are also permitted.

With Basic Economy, you'll only be able to check in for your flight through united.com or the United app if you indicate that you're checking a bag. To check your bag, you'll go to a check-in counter or designated kiosk in the airport lobby. If you begin check-in and do not indicate that you're checking a bag, you'll need to finish checking in for your flight at the airport.

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 Full-sized carry-on bags are not permitted on select routes

Your carry-on baggage allowance is the same as for standard Economy tickets if you’re traveling on trans-Pacific flights to and from the U.S., or trans-Atlantic flights (flights to Europe, Africa and the Middle East) to and from the U.S., Mexico and Central America, as well as to and from El Salvador, Panama and South America.

For all other Basic Economy tickets, you're not allowed a full-sized carry-on bag unless you're a MileagePlus Premier member or companion traveling on the same reservation, the primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or a Star Alliance™ Gold member. Everyone else who brings a full-sized carry-on bag to the gate will be required to check their bag and pay the applicable checked bag fee plus a $25 gate handling charge.

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  Complimentary seat selection is not available

When you choose a Basic Economy ticket, your complimentary seat will be automatically assigned prior to boarding, and you won't be able to change your seat once it's been assigned. Advance seat assignments may be available for purchase during booking and up until check-in opens. You’ll be eligible to purchase Economy Plus® seating at check-in only. MileagePlus members, including Premier® members, cannot use complimentary, earned or mileage upgrades, or Economy Plus subscription benefits.

 Group and family seating is not available

Please note that customers traveling in a group, including families, will not be able to sit together unless advance seat assignments are purchased and seats are available.

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 Refunds are not allowed

Refunds are not allowed except as stated in the United 24-hour flexible booking policy. Basic Economy tickets can only be changed if they’re issued by December 31, 2021, for travel commencing by December 31, 2021.

 Certain MileagePlus and Premier member benefits are not available

If you're a MileagePlus member, you will still earn award miles based on the fare and your MileagePlus status, as well as full Premier qualifying points, lifetime miles and credit toward the four-segment minimum. However, Basic Economy flights do not count as Premier qualifying flights. See more details below.

 Last boarding group

With Basic Economy, you'll also be in the last boarding group unless you're a MileagePlus Premier member or companion traveling on the same reservation, the primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or a Star Alliance Gold member.

Checked baggage policies

Basic Economy fares have the same checked baggage policies as standard Economy tickets. You can still check your bags and pay the applicable service charge in the airport lobby when you're picking up your boarding pass. For Basic Economy fares on trans-Atlantic flights, you'll be required to pay for your first checked bag.

MileagePlus and Premier member details

MileagePlus members, including Premier members, will earn:

  • Award miles based on the fare and MileagePlus status
  • Full Premier qualifying points (PQP)
  • No Premier qualifying flights
  • Lifetime miles
  • Toward the four-segment minimum

MileagePlus members, including Premier members, will not receive:

  • Complimentary Economy Plus seating
  • Paid upgrades
  • Mileage upgrades
  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades
  • PlusPoints upgrades

Add United Economy benefits

If you’ve already purchased a Basic Economy ticket but find it too restrictive, you may have the option to add the benefits of a United Economy® fare for a service charge. This will allow you to enjoy many of the features of United Economy, including:

  • The option to change or cancel your flight without paying a change fee
  • The option to bring one full-size carry-on on board
  • Complimentary seat assignment before check-in
  • The ability to upgrade to Economy Plus or a premium cabin seat

The option to add United Economy benefits to Basic Economy tickets is only available for domestic U.S. flights and short-haul flights to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. To add Economy benefits to your trip, visit the Trip Details page on united.com or Reservation Details in the United mobile app. Read the terms and conditions on this page or visit the Basic Economy frequently asked questions page to learn more.

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United Travel Options

If you purchased a Basic Economy fare, you can still personalize your trip by adding certain United Travel Options products. Enjoy added convenience when you purchase Baggage Delivery and access to United Club locations — and you have the option of protecting your booking with FareLock or trip insurance. If you have an eligible itinerary, you can also buy more miles with the Award Accelerator® program. The option to add United Economy benefits to your Basic Economy ticket may also be available.

View frequently asked questions about Basic Economy

    • 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. Customers traveling together, including families, will not be able to sit together. Advance seat assignments may be available for purchase during booking and up until check-in opens.
    • Carry-on bags: On trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights, your carry-on baggage allowance is the same as for standard Economy tickets. 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. View our baggage policies. You're not allowed a full-sized carry-on bag unless you're a MileagePlus Premier member or companion traveling on the same reservation, primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or Star Alliance Gold member. Everyone else who brings a full-sized carry-on bag to the gate will be required to check their bag and pay the applicable checked bag fee plus a $25 gate handling charge.
    • Changing a flight: Ticket changes are not allowed. This includes advance changes and same-day changes, even for Premier members. Basic Economy tickets can only be changed if they’re issued between March 3, 2020, and April 30, 2021; or between May 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021, for travel commencing between August 11 and December 31, 2021.
    • Premier qualifying credits: MileagePlus members will earn full Premier qualifying points and no Premier qualifying flights. They will still earn award miles based on the fare and their MileagePlus status, lifetime miles and toward the four-segment minimum.
    • Economy Plus and upgrades: Travelers with Basic Economy fares are not eligible to purchase Economy Plus seating or premium cabin upgrades, use their Economy Plus subscription benefits or purchase United Travel Options packages.
    • MileagePlus and Premier member seating benefits: Travelers with Basic Economy fares who are MileagePlus members, including Premier members, will not be eligible to use paid upgrades, mileage upgrades, Complimentary Premier Upgrades, PlusPoints upgrades or any other upgrade types. Complimentary Economy Plus seating will not be available for MileagePlus Premier members.
    • Boarding groups: Travelers with Basic Economy fares will be assigned to the last boarding group, with the exception of MileagePlus Premier members and their companions on the same reservation, primary cardmembers of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card and Star Alliance Gold members. Passengers requiring special assistance will be able to pre-board the aircraft.
    • If you are planning to check bags: Please review our baggage policies to determine if any service charges apply.
    • Your travel is subject to United's Contract of Carriage.

    Add United Economy® Benefits: Terms and Conditions

    • Adding United Economy benefits to a Basic Economy ticket permits a customer to
      • Bring one full-sized carry-on item on board
      • Select an available seat in Economy cabin prior to check-in
      • Change their seat by selecting a seat in Economy cabin or purchase an Economy Plus® or premium cabin seat
      • Change or cancel their flight without paying a change fee (for Basic Economy tickets purchased after April 30, 2021)
      • Customers who add United Economy benefits won’t pay a change fee to change to a new flight of equal or lesser value. If the new flight is a higher fare, customers will be charged the difference between the original fare and the new fare.
    • On itineraries with more than one passenger, all passengers on the reservation must add United Economy benefits. Benefits will be added to all portions of the reservation that have not yet been flown (outbound and return if travel has not started, or all segments of the return trip if outbound travel has commenced).
    • This option is available on United® and United Express® flights only.
    • MileagePlus® Premier® members who add United Economy benefits will be eligible for select benefits associated with their Premier status, including complimentary access to Economy Plus and preferred seating, Complimentary Premier Upgrades, and the option to upgrade using PlusPoints, as applicable.
    • Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF) will be earned only for flight segments where United Economy benefits are added, upon completion of travel.
    • Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) will be based on the original Basic Economy fare. No PQP will be earned for the service charge to add United Economy benefits.
    • The service charge to add United Economy benefits is nonrefundable.
    • Electronic travel certificates (ETC) may not be used towards this service charge.
    • Add-ons to Basic Economy tickets such as pre-paid baggage or seat assignments will not be refunded when a customer adds United Economy benefits.
    • United Economy benefits cannot be added to award tickets, deeply discounted promotional tickets, or bulk tickets.
    • This offer is subject to change without notice.