Consumer Catch-up: United Airlines bidding war, IRS filing begins Monday, Intel security patch warning

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Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side have consumer stories you should know about for Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

United upping flights, competition

United Airlines announced it's adding more flights and larger aircraft to its network. The company also plans to expand its "Basic Economy" fare to more routes.

Those passengers are not given seat assignments until check-in, and may not be allowed access to the plane's overhead bins.

Starting this year, United will allow Basic Economy customers to pay extra to pre-select a seat.

United suggests the moves are to compete with low-cost carriers like Spirit. Those changes could also mean other large U.S. carriers may be forced to follow suit with lower fares.

United's CEO Oscar Munoz, addressing investor concerns, said the plans don't necessarily mean lower fares and falling profit margins.

IRS begins accepting returns Monday

January is not often thought of as the beginning of tax season, however the Internal Revenue Service will start accepting returns Monday, Jan. 29. Both electronic and mailed returns will be accepted.

USA Today points out there are some big benefits if you file early.

First, filing early means if you are due a refund, you will get that money sooner. It is also an advantage to file before the IRS is swamped with millions of other returns closer to the deadline.

That deadline this year is Tuesday, April 17. Filers get a little extra time because the normal deadline, April 15, falls on a Sunday. April 16, the next working day, is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in Washington D.C.

If you owe money back to the government, filing early also gives a little more time to come up with the difference.

Also, acting early means you are more likely to file your returns before any scammers try to file under your name.

Intel warns against downloading security patch

In another security snag for Intel, the tech company is now warning its users to stop installing a security flaw patch.

The patch could cause problems with excessive rebooting, and "other unpredictable system behavior," said Navin Shenoy, general manager for Intel's Data Center Group.

The security flaw, announced earlier this month, leave nearly all computing devices in the world vulnerable to hackers.

Shenoy said Intel is working toward another security patch for users.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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business7 On Your Sideu.s. & worldconsumer concernsconsumerUnited AirlinesIRStaxesintelsecuritycomputersSan Francisco
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