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WebFlyer Home > News & Advice > NotiFlyer

NotiFlyer :: Late-Breaking News
Late-Breaking Program News United Mileage Plus ends seating privilege for 'Outsiders.'
(Posted: Sep 13, 2006)

Effective Sept. 12, passengers on United Airlines who purchase full-fare tickets (Y, B, M, E and U classes) are no longer eligible for Economy Plus seating. This important change begins to free up seating that was formerlly available only to elite members of the United Mileage Plus frequent flyer program.

This is seen as an important change because all too often in the past few years, airlines have opened up desirable benefits of an airlines frequent flyer program to "outsiders" who were paying for access, not a reward for loyalty. Because of full flights this year, many members of the Mileage Plus Premier levels were being forced to sit elsewhere on their flights, rather than in the more legroom area designed as a program benefit. This change also reflects just how much airfares have changed in that many Y, B, M, E and U classes are among the least expensive now and thus not demanding of the extra privilege.

Previous comments:

David Holmes
posted: Sep 14, 2006 at 4:20am (MT)

The poster needs to check their facts. E+ Access is being sold for $299 PER YEAR. So this is nothing to do with rewarding UA elites - all it does is change the way in which "outsiders" pay for access.

This is a stupid move on United's part because it aggravates the people who actually spend serious $$$$ on travel. What sense is there in allowing a non-elite vacation fare traveller to buy E+ access for $299 PER YEAR, and deny E+ to someone who pays hundreds of dollars more PER FLIGHT.

How can a full-fare ticket be "the least expensive now"? That makes no sense.

posted: Sep 14, 2006 at 7:05pm (MT)

I disagree. United offers premium seats for their valued customers. As a United customer, I am not offered "premium" seating with extra legroom on partner airlines, so why should United simply give these away?

posted: Sep 15, 2006 at 1:26am (MT)

So I guess the non-American Star Alliance carriers should take away the free booze they give UA Star golds using their lounges.

John Tuttle
posted: Sep 15, 2006 at 10:26am (MT)

Thanks for the news. I agree that this is great for us P1 members since most of the guys taking up the seats that i've met in the E+ area are on the fare upgrades. Actually I've never met anyone who paid the $299.

Great news and thanks for the heads up.

Noble Manley
posted: Sep 16, 2006 at 11:22pm (MT)

I feel all airlines should get rid of advance seat assignments. Because this causes more time wasted and money to the airline. Especially when passenger begging for a seat when it is already airport check-in.

That is why there are so few complaints from Southwest Airlines. Open seating boarding by first come first served at the airport.

Alan E
posted: Sep 17, 2006 at 5:31pm (MT)

what are these post trying to say....is United discontinuing the sale of the $299 access to Economy plus? By the way, I have used it and find it to be very beneficial.

Barb L.
posted: Sep 20, 2006 at 4:16am (MT)

I usually give United 40,000 frequent miles in order to get Economy Plus seating. Will this still be available?

David B
posted: Sep 30, 2006 at 6:50pm (MT)

Barb L,

I just used 40,000 miles to buy Economy Plus to travel OAK-ORD-OAK this last week. I made the reservation about two weeks priot to departure. The agent said she couldn't make seat assignments but I could keep calling back as it got closer to the flight time. When the ticket confirmation was e-mailed to me, however, it showed Economy. I called back but couldn't get a straight answer. The agent would not respond to my question about why the e-ticket didn't say Economy Plus.

I called several more times in the next two weeks but kept being told that they couldn't make seat assignments. Finally, a day before the flight, they said I could make a seat reservation but there were few Economy Plus seats left, and only middle ones at that.

At the airport, I asked again and got an Economy Plus aisle seat for two out of my three flight segments. I could have had Economy Plus for all three of them if I had been willing to accept a middle seat, but I figured I was better off with an aisle near the front of Economy than gambling with being put in a middle seat between two possibly inconsiderate and/or supersized seatmates.

posted: Oct 6, 2006 at 5:12pm (MT)

I just found out this week that Star Alliance Silver and Gold are no longer eligible for E+ seating. As a Star Alliance Silver with Air Canada's Aeroplan, I was always entitled to seating in the forward cabin on UA flights. No longer. Instead, I was offered an "upsell" of $39 to access E+. Lousy.

posted: Oct 18, 2006 at 3:35pm (MT)

What is really needed is a class between the sometimes extremly expensive business class and the regular ecconomy with no extra thrills but more space especially space to rest only your arms without always interfering with your neighbours arms!

posted: Oct 22, 2006 at 12:40am (MT)

I just was informed that, as a Air Canada Elite (Star Alliance Gold status) I no longer have access to E+. E+ was critical for my being able to use my laptop during a flight and, when I had a choice of airlines, I used to fly United for just that reason. No longer. So, this translates into more lost revenue for United.

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