There’s more bad news for non-members and people without fancy credit cards, too: Basic Economy Customers can’t choose their own seats before a flight, or upgrade to a higher ticket class.
But rest assured, as the rank-and-file clientele who book layover flights through third party sites will still have access to food, drink and WiFi when it’s available.
Alas, there is a business motivation to all of this, and that ostensibly revolves around saving the airline money. This is part of a larger company strategy that's "expected to generate $4.8 billion in earnings improvement by 2020," which is money the airline needs. Nonetheless, Julia Haywood, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of United, offered a statement, which predictably talks up the company’s fantastic customer service.
“By offering low fares while also offering the experience of traveling on our outstanding network, with a variety of onboard amenities and great customer service, we are giving our customers an additional travel option from what United offers today,” she said.