How does UAL's E+ seating work?

Apr 1st, 2013, 09:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
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How does UAL's E+ seating work?

When a friend of mine recently purchased an economy class ticket (about a month in advance) on the UAL website, the website did not let him choose a seat and did not assign him a seat at that time. He checked back a few times after that to get a seat assignment, but was unable to do so. Finally, when he checked in over the internet the day before his flight, he discovered that he had been assigned a seat in economy plus, even though he had not requested that class.

That got me to wondering. What does UAL do if I go into their website to purchase an economy class ticket, but all the seats in that class are sold out, even though there are some seats left in E+? Will they refuse to sell me a ticket? Will they seat me (or re-seat someone else who has previously purchased an economy ticket) in E+? How does that work? And is there any trick to being able to guarantee yourself an E+ seat for an economy price?

Thanks in advance.
tom18 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 07:57 PM
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There is no guarantee as E+ is not a separate travel class. Only priority seating. They will sell as many economy seats as there are on the plane,, and probably overbook a few, regardless of proportion or number of E+ and E seats. Those who qualify or pay extra can get assignment in E+, those who don't won't unless E is all filled. Then at check-in, they'll assign those into E+.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 08:16 PM
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You didn't say when/where you wanted to book this mythical trip.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 08:59 PM
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To echo the earlier post, Economy plus is the front few rows of the economy cabin where the seats have a couple extra inches of leg room, not a separate cabin.

I just flew UA from ORD to AMS and back. On the outbound flight, almost all of E+ was empty and the FAs told people who moved into those seats they would be charged the difference.

On the return, about a dozen people moved forward and it didn't seem to be much of an issue, so I also wouldn't plan on just buying a regular seat and hope I can just move to an empty E+ space. I guess it depends on the crew.
Citylghts is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2013, 08:23 PM
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Sorry, no such tricks to be had. If you buy a standard coach ticket and there are no seats available to assign you will just not get assigned a seat until you do online check-in or in some cases not until you actually get to the airport. If E- is oversold you could luck out and be assigned an E+ seat without additional cost.
Seamus is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 08:59 AM
Original Poster
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Thanks everybody for clarifying this for me.
tom18 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 01:53 PM
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I had this happen, it would be like what would happen if you wanted economy but only first class was available, would you get it at the same rate as economy? ha ha ha, no

I was forced to buy economy plus when I didn't want it as it was all that was available (short flight, Chicago to Aspen), and then at check-in they gave me a regular seat!! It took me a couple months to get them to refund the money I had paid for something I didn't get and hadn't even wanted. And on that small plane, I couldn't even tell the difference in the seats.
Christina is online now  
Apr 4th, 2013, 02:16 PM
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And sometimes the only E-Plus seats available are middle seats. Give me an aisle or a window in regular coach over middle E-Plus
gail is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 07:56 PM
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Christina - what do you mean by "forced to buy E+ seats"? Never heard of such thing.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 09:01 AM
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I think Christina means regular economy was sold out, so she purchased an E+ seat, and then was "downgraded".
sf7307 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 06:26 PM
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There is so such thing as economy sold out and you buy a E+ ticket on UA. There is no "E+ Ticket" on UA. Maybe she OPTED to pay for E+ SEATING when all E seats were assigned. But that was her choice, if that's what she meant, but I am not sure.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 6th, 2013, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Often the source of confusion around this is the expectation that purchasing a ticket always includes a seat assignment, which it does not. (And even when seat selection is done, it is not guaranteed and can be changed for a number of reasons.)

The seat maps displayed at the time of online purchase do not necessarily reflect the actual inventory available as airlines routinely block some seats for assignment at the airport. If one purchases a standard ("E-minus") coach ticket and there are no seats to select, one may but is not required to choose to buy up to E+ seats. Instead, one just gets a seat assigned at the time of check-in.
Seamus is offline  

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