United Airlines has followed the example of its Atlantic Joint Venture partners Air Canada and Lufthansa Group by introducing a new, lower-priced hand baggage-only economy fare.
The carrier says the new ‘lower economy’ fare is “the first step towards a Basic Economy product” on transatlantic flights and offers a similar in-flight experience to standard tickets with certain restrictions.
The fare does not include a free checked bag (adding a bag will cost US$60) and tickets are non-refundable and non-changeable except as outlined in United’s 24-hour flexible booking policy. It cannot be combined with another fare type and passengers travelling on this type of ticket are not eligible for upgrades to a premium cabin.
However, passengers booking the new fare type on flights operated by United are still eligible for advanced seat assignments and can carry on one cabin bag and one personal item. Meals will continue to be complimentary and loyalty programme members can still earn points or mileage based on the ticket cost.
The new fare will be available from 5 June, and although United does not have a name for the ticket option, they can be identified by the fare basis code -LGT. The fare is currently planned for booking classes K, L, T, S and W, depending on the point of origin.