United Restricts Access to Economy Plus

I’ve been meaning to blog this but Upgrade Travel beats me to the punch: United is no longer allowing its partner Star Alliance Gold members to access economy plus seating (they’re not allowing full fare passengers access to these seats either, which is bizarre). Now economy plus is available only to United elites and those who ‘buy up’ at the airport.

Economy plus is the same seat as coach with no additional services, just a few extra inches of legroom. It isn’t “premium economy” as the rest of the world understands it. But United sees the ability, presumably, to upcharge. Doesn’t make me happy one bit, even though it’s a seemingly small change.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This is atrocious. The ONLY reason I was flying United from London to Raleigh via Washington despite there being a direct flight to Raleigh was solely because of the Upgrade to Economy Plus. I am glad I spotted this bias to US Elite memebers compared to predominantly European Star Alliance members because that is the end of my travelling with United until they rescind this. I am SURE many other Star Alliance members will do the same. Not only that I will bad mouth this new policy to as many fellow travellers as I can top spread the bad news… What else can I do to vent my disappointment at their customer unfriendly attitude.

  2. Since United ended its SFO-CDG nonstop in 2005, I’ve switched my Paris flights to Air France, and this will cause me to lose Premier status next year. Can a non-elite United flyer book a p.s. flight, where all the coach seats are Economy Plus?

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