May152019

Four benefits flying United Basic Economy domestic as Aegean Gold elite

This week I had my first United Airlines Basic Economy domestic flights as an Aegean Miles+Bonus Gold/Star Alliance Gold elite member. There were four benefits of my flight as an Aegean Star Alliance Gold member.

Loyalty Traveler – How I earned Star Alliance Gold elite for $1,400 in 15 flight segments (April 4, 2019).

Benefit #1: Free Full-Size Carry-on Bag ($25 saved).

Q: What is my carry-on baggage allowance when I buy a Basic Economy ticket?
A:
On trans-Atlantic flights operated by United and United Express®, your carry-on baggage allowance is the same as for standard Economy tickets. For all other Basic Economy tickets, you’ll be allowed to bring on board one personal item that fits under the seat in front of you, such as a shoulder bag, purse, laptop bag or other small item that is 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm) or less. Mobility aids and other assistive devices are also permitted. If you have a compact folding stroller, you can bring it on board in addition to your personal item. These strollers can be stored either in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you, and you’ll need to collapse it before boarding the aircraft. You will not be allowed a full-sized carry-on bag unless you’re a MileagePlus Premier member, a primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or a Star Alliance™ Gold member. If you’re traveling on a Basic Economy ticket and bring a carry-on bag to the gate, your bag will need to be checked and you’ll be required to pay the applicable checked bag fee plus a $25 gate handling charge (payment by credit card only).

Star Alliance Gold member allowed free full-size carry-on flying United Basic Economy domestic flight.

Benefit #2: Boarding Group 1

United Aegean A3 *gold boarding pass Group 1

I was assigned a window seat free of charge at check-in.

Benefit #3: United Club Lounge Access

As an Aegean Miles+Bonus Star Alliance Gold elite I can access domestic United Club lounges. United Mileage Plus Star Alliance Gold elite members can only access a domestic United Club Lounge when departing from a U.S. airport on an international flight.

United Club Las Vegas Terminal 3

United Club LAS sweets

A pre-flight salad and brownie hit the spot.

United Club LAX

United Club LAX was even more impressive and I had three hours to hang out before my flight to Monterey.

United Club LAX

Last time I was in a United airport lounge they were still called Red Carpet Club.

United Club LAX

United Club LAX salad

United Club LAX more food

United Club LAX Korean BBQ beef and tortillas

I did not mind a 3-hour layover in LAX with lounge wifi, toilets, food and drink.

United Club Lounge LAX view

Benefit #4: Aegean Miles+Bonus 251 Elite and Redeemable Miles

My $91 one-way United Airlines ticket in Basic Economy N class earned 251 Elite Tier and redeemable miles in my Aegean Miles+Bonus account. Those miles are more useful to me than the 316 Mileage Plus miles I would have earned on the $63.26 base fare as a United Mileage Plus member with no elite status.

P.S. My Aegean Miles+Bonus Gold card arrived today in the mail. I only needed my boarding pass for admission to United Club lounges in LAS and LAX.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. @jon: No, you won’t be able to. You have to pay for a seat even when being United 1K on a basic economy ticket, although the fees are usually pretty affordable ($5 to $10).

    Regarding this article, you could also make the same case for having a foreign OneWorld Sapphire or Emerald status and flying domestic AA basic eco. I am OneWorld Emerald through British Airways and I get 3 checked bags per person that are on my itinerary (I asked and was told up to 5 people including me can check 3 bags if they are under the same record locator = 15 free checked bags), boarding group 1, access to all AA Clubs and Flagship Lounges and can even use the Flagship First Check-In facilities. And all that on a $49 basic eco ticket from O’Hare to Tampa.

  2. Good reasons for U.S. residents to earn elite status through an alliance foreign airline.

    I had considered British Airways in 2016 flying Premium Economy fares.

    As long as I can get Choice Privileges reward nights at the current 10K rates in Stockholm, SAS flights with low cost carrier connections around Europe works out well for my travels between California and Europe.

  3. Good to see that your enjoying the perquisites of your travel of late. Perhaps you will appreciate the value of status and get away from the LCC that you frequent.

  4. Value of status has improved now that major carriers have implemented competitive no frills pricing to low cost carrier ticket pricing.

    Just like hotels, I don’t overpay to take advantage of elite status perks.

    Hyatt has great elite benefits, but I can stay get a room for far less spend sticking with IHG and Choice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *