United: No Full-Size Carry-on Bags in New Basic Economy Class

United plane

United Airlines' new basic economy will not allow passengers to bring full-sized carry-on bags on planes when it rolls out this new cheapest class of service in select markets next year. UPDATE Jan. 2017: American airlines announced similar rules for its upcoming basic economy class.

What does this mean for fliers?

No Full-Size Carry-on Bags in Basic Economy

According to its press release, the new Basic Economy class of fares is being introduced to “provide more options to price-sensitive travelers” so expect cheaper fares (compared to regular economy) and some restrictions. As for the 'no carry-on rule,' that's expected to make the overall boarding process faster since fewer passengers will be doing the time-consuming work of finding open overhead bins to stuff bags into.

More information can be found in United’s explanation of Basic Economy but here are some basics:

  1. Basic economy allowance: Basic Economy passengers will be limited to a single personal item only such as a purse or laptop or backpack or a very small bag that must fit under the seat (this is similar to Spirit’s policy).
  2. Size guidelines: Any under-the-seat bag is limited to 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches.
  3. Exceptions: Basic Economy passengers are exempt from the one personal item rule if they are a “MileagePlus Premier member, a primary card member of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card, or Star Alliance Gold member.”

A United Airlines spokesman told FareCompare that these restrictions will be made very clear as shoppers book Basic Economy fares, and it's important to note that you can still pack a full-size carry-on as long as you're willing to check it and pay the fee. But is a cheaper fare worth the price of not having a bag travel by your side? Only you know the answer.


Share
Want to Learn How to Save More Money on Travel?
Start Here

We are updating our Cookie Policy. FareCompare will use cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and product selection, analyze your use of our services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide deals content from third parties.