United executives on Tuesday framed the new type of fare as a way for target customers “whose ideal flight means greater choice and lower price.”
“There’s no one-size fits all passenger. There shouldn’t be a one-size fits all flight,” United’s CEO Oscar Munoz said in a video officially announcing the new offering.
But while airline executives tout the flexibility and customization offered by these no-frills fares, for customers it might feel like a continued erosion of the minimum standard for air travel.
United’s basic economy product guarantees customers a seat on the plane and little else.
Seats are assigned at check-in, meaning those traveling in groups might not be next to each other. The fares include no ticket changes, no upgrade eligibility and basic economy passengers will board the plane last.