United Airlines to Allow Basic-Economy Passengers to ‘Upgrade’ to Standard Coach
June 23, 2021
By Paul Riegler, Frequent Business Traveler
United Airlines said it would allow passengers to upgrade and makes changes to their basic-economy tickets, something that no airline has previously permitted.
Basic-economy tickets are generally non-refundable and unchangeable.
The tickets have multiple other restrictions. Full-size carry-on bags such as a roll aboard are not allowed on domestic flights, the passenger does not have the option to select a desired seat, and family and group seating is not available. In addition, United MileagePlus Premier elite benefits such as seat upgrades and the ability to earn Premier Qualifying Flight credit are not available.
A United spokesman said that the current rate to upgrade a basic-economy ticket to a standard economy fare is $45 each way with the new “Switch to Economy.”
Once a ticket has been “upgraded from basic economy to a standard coach fare, a traveler can be able to make changes to the itinerary and will no longer be subject to any of the basic-economy limitations.