Wait? You’re actually flying United?

Well yes. United had the cheapest flight when I was booking it (It was even cheaper than Spirit!).


I was looking for flights from the LA area to Denver in June to attend the mini-BAcon conference. The cheapest and the time that fit my schedule the best was on United. It was a nice $56. Score!

I was on Google Flights, and then this dreaded sight appeared under my flight details.

Basic economy

Nooooo why! Image: Google Flights

Why do I hate Basic Economy?

Noooo! Why was this a Basic Economy flight. Arrgh.

Well there are many reasons to why I hate Basic Economy. The first is that you don’t get to choose your seats in advance. You will be assigned a seat PRIOR to boarding, which sucks if you are traveling with friends or family, and you will be among the last to board. Additionally, you can’t purchase Economy Plus seating. Also, you can’t bring a full sized carry on bag (but you can still check it in like normal).

And, for MileagePlus members, you will earn award miles but not Premier qualifying dollars, miles and segments (PQD’s, PQM’s and PQS’s). Additionally, you can’t use paid, mileage, or premier upgrades. You also won’t be earning lifetime miles.


Well how much did I pay to get out of it?

Once I got to the booking screen on United, this popped up.

basic economy 1

So, after thinking about it for about 5 seconds, I decided to pay $15 per ticket to “upgrade” my tickets to economy. At this point, my ticket price matched Spirit, but at least I could choose my seat for free now and bring a full sized carry on bag (unlike on Spirit). And, I’m traveling with my friends, so I value sitting with them quite highly.

It’s quite sad to see Basic Economy more and more now.

Would you pay $15 to “upgrade” your Basic Economy seat? Comment below!

I always use TripAdvisor to check hotel reviews. They even have airline reviews! If you just click on flights, then scroll down and click on “more flight reviews”, there’s a list of airlines and passenger reviews.


Happy travels,



Featured Image: United Airlines


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