February 2, 2018
United now lets Basic Economy Flyers Pay to Pick Seats

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United first rolled out Basic Economy fares in February 2017. Basic Economy tickets are Economy Class seats with several important restrictions. Passengers are assigned a seat at check-in, only a personal carry-on item is allowed, tickets changes are not allowed, passengers aren’t eligible for upgrades, passengers earn no PQM, PQD, or PQS, and are the last to board.

The airline is making these tickets slightly less painful. Customers with a Basic Economy ticket can now pay to select a seat up to 24 prior to departure. The price to pick your seat varies between $5-$15 depending on your route and whether you want a window, middle, or aisle seat.

Of course it’s good that United is giving passengers the option to pay for a seat assignment, even if it costs a nominal fee. But given the fact that Basic Economy fares are typically about $20 cheaper than regular Economy…is it really worth the hassle and the extra restrictions that come with Basic Economy? I’d say no.