New Carry-On Restrictions Bypassed with United Credit Card
Starting early next year, United Airlines will launch new Basic Economy fares for budget-conscious passengers. While the tickets will be more affordable, they come with a big catch: travelers can no longer bring full-size carry-on bags on the plane.
In order to bypass this restriction, you must be an “elite traveler”–someone with a MileagePlus Premier membership or a Star Alliance Gold membership. You may also avoid it by paying for the tickets with a United co-branded credit card. This will give fans of the airline more incentive to apply for one of these cards, including the United MileagePlus Explorer Card, the United MileagePlus Club Card, and the United Presidential Plus Card.
Basic Economy travelers who do not fit one of those categories can still bring a carry-on bag with them, but it has to be small enough to fit under the seat in front of them. The only people who can use the overhead storage are those who pay with a card, have an elite membership, or pay for a higher fare on their tickets.
With a Basic Economy ticket, flyers will not be able to choose which seat they want in advance. They will be assigned one of the open seats remaining on the plane on the day of departure. The airline says they will make an effort to seat people together who have purchased multiple tickets, but there is no guarantee.
In related news, United MileagePlus Cardmembers receive some special perks if they visit the VIP Lounges in Westfield San Francisco Centre in San Francisco or The Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, New Jersey. From November 25 through December 24, cardholders and up to three guests can enjoy complimentary amenities including refreshments, gift wrapping, bag and coat check, Wi-Fi, and TVs, plus weekly events exclusively for Cardmembers.