Jul202019

Flying United Basic Economy transatlantic as Star Alliance Gold

This last week was my first transatlantic flight on United Basic Economy as a Star Alliance Gold member through Aegean Miles+Bonus frequent flyer program. I purchased my United Airlines Stockholm-San Francisco Basic Economy S booking code round trip ticket through Expedia at a price $100 lower than I found through United Airlines. Once I had my United Record Locator, I never dealt with Expedia again after the initial ticket purchase.

The good points of flying United Basic Economy were the ability to check-in both Kelley and me online in Stockholm and do a passport check with my iPhone, change seats from middle seats to window seats the night before the flight for both of us with Boarding Group 1 on both our boarding passes and each fly with a full size carry-on and a personal bag on the trans-Atlantic flight from Stockholm and two domestic flights to San Francisco.

Additionally, I had Aegean ‘A3 *gold’ status code printed on my mobile UA boarding pass. Kelley’s boarding pass was also on my phone. She has no elite status. She credited United flights to her Aegean Miles+Bonus account, which move automatically into our Aegean joint mileage account.

My A3 *gold boarding pass bar code opened access to United Club lounges at Newark EWR and Washington Dulles IAD.

However, Stockholm Arlanda Terminal 2 Aurora Executive lounge near the United flight gate 86 told me lounge access was restricted only to United Airlines Business and First Class ticket holders. I have used the lounge before when I was American Airlines Executive Platinum flying British Airways in 2015-17.

Ben at One Mile at a Time has an extensive set of photos from his 2015 review of the Aurora Executive Lounge that shows the place as I remember it. Lounge might have been remodeled since. I don’t know.

Stockholm Arlanda ARN Terminal 2 Aurora Executive Lounge 

Seats on United Basic Economy Ticket

United Basic Economy rules state you will be assigned a seat prior to boarding and you cannot make changes. We had three flight segments Stockholm ARN- Newark EWR – Washington Dulles IAD – San Francisco SFO. I was able to change our seats during online check-in from middle seats to window seats on one or two of the flights.

Q: Will I be able to choose a seat when I purchase a Basic Economy ticket?
A:
 When purchasing a Basic Economy ticket, you will not receive a complimentary seat assignment but may be able to purchase advance seat assignments during booking and up until check-in opens. If you don’t purchase an advance seat assignment, your seat will be automatically assigned to you prior to boarding, and you won’t be able to change your seat once it’s been assigned.

United Basic Economy FAQ

Baggage on United Basic Economy Ticket

United Airlines trans-Atlantic flights have the same carry-on bag rules as Standard Economy allowing one carry-on for the overhead bin and a personal bag underseat.

A checked bag is a $60 one way fee on a trans-Atlantic ticket. Checked bag fee is waived for Star Alliance Gold members. We traveled only with a carry-on and personal bag each.

Domestic flights in United Basic Economy only allow a personal bag. As Star Alliance Gold I can fly Basic Economy with a full-size carry-on and Kelley can too as long as we are on the same United ticketing reservation.

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. 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.

United Basic Economy FAQ

Good Tip Before Your Flight: Download United Airlines app to your mobile devices for flight updates and inflight entertainment. For the first time this 23-day trip I watched several movies on my iPhone . I always thought it strange to see people watching movies on small phone screens until I found myself on flights and buses for many hours with easy access to streaming movies as a way to pass the time. I logged into about 15 to 20 hours of movie viewing this month while riding Flixbus across Poland and flying United Airlines from Stockholm to San Francisco.

California dreaming

 

 

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 »

Comments

  1. Can you please be more specific on how you changed your seats during online check-in?

  2. Why would you try the Aurora lounge in ARN? It’s a contract lounge mostly used by oneworld airlines.

    You would have had access to the SAS lounges, which are *A lounges and obv used by UA.

    Aurora only with Priority Pass or the like.

  3. @Flying Machine – When I checked in for flight on my phone using United app I had the option to change seats and I did.

    @John – No SAS lounge in ARN Terminal 2. They are located in Terminals 4 and 5.

  4. There is an airside transit bus between all the Arlanda terminals. You can go in any direction airside between the terminals using the airside transfer bus, with the exception of one. You can only do the airside transfer bus out of the Swedish domestic-only terminal but not back to it. For all other terminals, the transfer bus airside will take you where you need to go. But given the timing of the UA flight out of ARN is c 9am, I would usually prefer to sleep in a bit more rather than even plan to use the lounges.

  5. Why do you keep on re-posting the same article on Twitter? This appeared 2 days ago with no new content..

  6. Been 5 days since I personally last posted something on Twitter about the red shouldered hawk outside my door.

    Loyalty Traveler blog tweets post automatically through my account and BoardingArea account when I publish a new article.

    I don’t know why some tweets like this one automatically posted again two days later.

Comments are closed.