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unitedUnited Airlines is feeling pressure to maintain its position as “Worst Airline Ever.” With Frontier, Spirit and Allegiant competing for the title, United has taken a bold step to make air travel even more unpleasant for their customers.

Early in 2017, United will roll out its “basic economy” fare. In corporate-speak, they are doing this to become the “best airline for employees, customers, and investors.” Purchasers of this fare will not be able to choose seats in advance; they will board last and sit in whatever seats they are told. Want to sit together with your family? Too bad. Carry ons? Forget it. Only a shoulder bag, backpack, laptop bag or other small item, to be stowed under the seat will be allowed.

If you’re an optimist, here’s an ode to the joys of the middle seat.

Actual quote from United’s PR department:

“United’s customers have told us that they want more choice and Basic Economy delivers just that. 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.”

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