Free Drinks in United’s Economy Plus

On the Economy Plus One-time Option Page, United details a short-term promotion where customers traveling in economy plus from August 6 – August 16 can request a complimentary drink.

Complimentary alcoholic beverage offer for Economy Plus customers is available during first beverage service only on flights departing August 6 through August 16, 2010. Upon request, each customer seated in the Economy Plus section during the promotion period is eligible for one (1) complimentary alcoholic beverage.

That’s great for elites sitting in coach, of course. And it might just get some more people to buy up to Economy Plus. More importantly I’d love to see it as a test of developing a real premium economy product, beyond just 3 to 4 inches of legroom. When United was unloading excess amenity kits they were giving old ones away to folks sitting in Economy Plus on international flights.

To date United hasn’t really figured out what it wants Economy Plus to be, they talk about it as a true premium economy and they market the dickens out of it, but it’s been legroom-only. Sure would be interesting if they decided to get serious about it.

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, 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. I was on a flight from Chicago to Frankfurt earlier this month and they gave away free wine with the meal service in Economy Plus.

  2. So, ONE drink? Does anyone think someone will actually BUY up to E+ for ONE drink? Nice little perk I guess, but just a little gimme to E+ eligible passengers anyway. All the 1K and GS have 100’s of drink chits as it is.

  3. In an age of unruly passengers all alcohol should be outlawed on all flights. It’s incredible to assume that passengers will remain in control of themselves if they’re served alcohol.

  4. Not too sure where you’ve been flying lately but I can’t remember the last time I saw an “unruly” passenger. I usually fly up front with unlimited drinks and have never acted in a manner that would appear unseemly. I think it is a nice idea to serve the econo plus a free drink;The little perks go a long way to making the tedious task of frequent travel a touch more pleasant.

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