United’s new HORRENDOUS basic fare class rules make Delta basic look fantastic in comparison!

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Even MORE reasons to AVOID United!

Oh United – I am so happy I never ever started a blog called United Points. Just the other day I clearly showed that of the big 3 legacy airlines that United is the worst of the bunch when it comes to driving spending toward their co-branded credit card. In effect they are asking customers to spend on other cards. Crazy. But now we have the new BASIC fare class rules that have come out bookable after the 1st of the year. Take a look:


OUCH and double OUCH!

Mind completely blown. There is a lot of stupidity included above, but none farther reaching than excluding these fares from elite earnings. United, in addition to not wanting you to use your co-branded card for big spending, now wants those who are stuck flying the lowest cost United fare for their company not to earn elite points. If you are an elite traveling with family and want to save a few bucks you can, but no extra points for you (Oscar forgot to mention that in the video below btw)!

United brags that the flyer will still earn redeemable points but we all know that earning frequent flyer miles from flying on revenue based airline programs is all but “pointless” and even more so on ultra low cost tickets.

I have never personally purchased or flown a Delta BASIC fare as what you give up, even at Delta, is not worth it to me most times. However, that is not to say I would not buy one or fly one if the flight is short enough that sitting in coach would not bother me. Delta still rewards me with full elite points no matter where I sit on the jet and anyone who remotely comprehends the industry nowadays gets that how far you fly still is only rewarding due to the shot at a few extra elite points.

Most of the major media is focusing on the no big carry-on bag restrictions and Delta again here is so much better for both on-time departure and by affording a tiny workaround as you can always ask to have your bag checked for free if you can manage (no matter the size) to get it to the gate.

So think about these facts now:

And I would argue the award program is worse than Delta, but others may not agree on this one point. Now, with BASIC fares not earning elite points the Delta Medallion Elite program clearly is the winner over the two and getting better day by day. I am often asked why there is no United focused blog like RenésPoints focused on Delta. To me, the constant bad choices they make is one of the reasons why.

What do you think? Has the new United BASIC fare class rules made you rethink your loyalty to United? Does it make you consider a status match/challenge with Delta? – René


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  1. I’ve read about this silly new fare class at UAL on a few blogs this am. It seems that the carry-on issue in boarding group 5 might be a giant MESS. Might some who don’t simply do not know any better be forced to pay right at boarding pass scan?? If so, that should be lovely trying to get out on time. How about bumped pax or irrops? This new class will be ugly to implement. Don’t the gate agents have enough to do now?

  2. @Ray – Actually Delta has, slowly, been making real improvements to the elite program. I give them credit where credit is due!

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