If I have Turkish Airlines Gold Status (Star Alliance Gold), do I qualify for Economy Plus seating on United? Uniteds website won’t allow me to change seats without a fee even if I have my Turkish Airlines gold number in my profile.
When United first introduced Economy Plus — 3 to 4 extra inches of legroom in the coach cabin — they made it available to their own elite members as well as Star Alliance gold members and passengers traveling on full fare tickets.
They found some success in selling the seats at a premium and stopped allowing free access to Star Alliance Golds such as Turkish Elite members. They even stopped allowing free economy plus seats to full fare passengers — which led to some really absurd results.
For a time a passenger might book a full fare first class ticket, London Heathrow – Washington Dulles – Las Vegas. Since Washington Dulles – Las Vegas was served by United’s low(er) cost subsidiary TED with no first class, that passenger would of course be seated in coach for DC-Las Vegas. And if they were not an elite, they would be offered the opportunity to buy up on their full fare first class ticket to economy plus seating for the domestic flight. Brilliant, right?
Economy Plus seating is available at booking, complimentary, to United’s Gold elites and higher and passengers on full fare tickets (Platinums and higher for everyone on the reservation, Golds for up to one companion). It is available for their Silver members (including one companion) at check-in. For everyone else, unless you get bumped up there because of lack of seats that don’t have extra legroom, you pay.
There’s no free economy plus for partner elites, and first-tier elites who fly 25,000 miles a year no longer get the perk for free.
Your Turkish Airlines elite status won’t get you extra legroom on United, sorry!