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United’s new ‘basic economy’ fare — what do budget fliers give up?


NEW YORK — United Airlines is making a pitch to passengers at both ends of the plane — budget fliers and luxury passengers — as it attempts to boost profits.

United announced Tuesday that it will sell lower “Basic Economy” fares that don’t let buyers pick seats ahead of time and limit them to a single carry-on bag that fits under the seat. They’ll be the last to board.

The new fares will go on sale in January for flights starting after March.

United hopes the lower fares lure passengers who pick carriers like Spirit and Frontier on price. Delta Air Lines already sells a similar, stripped-down ticket, and Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines plans to follow.

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