United’s New ‘Basic Economy’ Fares Limit Passengers to 1 Carry-On Under Seat

United Airlines is trying to woo budget airline passengers with new "basic economy" fares that will go on sale early next year.

United Airlines passengers line up to rebook flights that were canceled due to weather on Feb. 8, 2013, in San Francisco. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

United Airlines passengers line up to rebook flights that were canceled due to weather on Feb. 8, 2013, in San Francisco. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The fare strategy, which United has worked on for months and detailed Tuesday, offers the cheapest seats on a plane in exchange for giving up the few perks that come with standard economy tickets.

The Chicago-based airline isn't alone in its quest to snare price price-conscious travelers who might otherwise choose low-cost carriers such as Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines. Delta Air Lines already offers basic economy fares in some markets, and American Airlines has announced plans for a similar program.

The basic economy fares are part of a group of initiatives expected to increase revenue and control costs to the tune of a combined $4.8 billion by 2020.

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