Lesson Learned - United Economy Plus

May 5th, 2011, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,578
>>>>a) I attempted to select seats when I purchased the tickets and at several later points in time - United didn't allow it.<<<

Online or on the phone?

>>>>While I am annoyed at United (why wouldn't it be obvious to the gate agent we wanted one of the seats on the aisle)- my main message (perhaps I should have been more explicit) is that people should really think twice about actually paying for Economy Plus. My impression was that a substantial share of the people in Economy Plus on my flight got bumped there for free. Why pay for something when there is a high probability you will get it for free if you wait.<<<<

All airlines operate this way so I don't know why you would think that would be some kind of lesson. If you hadn't paid to be moved to e+, you probably wouldn't have been moved and would have spent your flight scattered throughout the economy cabin. You either have elite status and get e+ for free, you pay for e+ or the cabin is oversold and they move a few people (based on the particular airlines rules). When airlines are looking to move someone up, they often look for 1-2 people that meet the guidelines as it's easier to move smaller groups.
kybourbon is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
After a certain percentage of seats have been assigned, many airlines will just block out the rest of the seatmap and only release them at check-in. Nothing that unusual.
rkkwan is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
I realize rholt is angry about his situation and nothing will change that but let me add just one more data point.

i learned NEVER to book a flight on UA where there are not seats available to choose at time of booking. If all the seats are to be assigned at checkin when I book, there is a decent chance the flight is oversold and there may be NO seats. If I was traveling with a family and could not select seats online, although it may be a waste of time without UA status, I would certainly call and explain that I had two small children traveling and see if seats could be assigned.
And no not everyone prefers aisle or window when they travel. For ex i HATE window seats and would rather be in a middle seat than a window.
mztery is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
PS and as others have mentioned why would you spend $450+ without knowing what seats you were getting?
mztery is offline  
May 6th, 2011, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
I actually use the "seat rule" for almost all my flights. I was booking a flight today from Atlanta to Los Angeles. First flight had only middle seats... took another one! Now you can get moved, but it's at least a start!
CarolA is offline  
May 7th, 2011, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,902
Sorry I didn't understand the point of your letter was. Maybe the airline didn't get it.

You say you shouldn't of paid to be upgraded when others did. What are the odds of being upgraded though? How many in economy actually moved up and if tht happens regularly what are the chances of it.

I pay for premium airfares to be guaranteed (as much as possible) my seat, rather than hoping for an upgrade which these days never happens.

Wasn't your complaint that you wanted to sit together and didn't you get that in the end. So I would say your goal was achieved.
MissGreen is offline  
May 7th, 2011, 04:47 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,902
Speaking of Economy Plus most airlines have a condition on this that says if that seating is now available on a plane you get relegated to ECONOMY and you won't be refunded. Being relegated is one thing but not getting the money difference between economy and economy plus is wrong. You don't guy biz or first class tickets with a condition that says you might have to go back to economy and not get reimbursed for the issue
MissGreen is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,535
How young are your "young children"?

If they are less than 5 (the minimum for UA unaccompanied minors), I would imagine UA would not allow them to be seated separately from you.
Cranachin is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 09:09 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 425
I also would not count on getting upgraded to E+ for free. I was recently on a UA int'l flight where there were a number of empty E+ seats and when it became clear those seats were empty some people started moving from economy into the E+ seats. The flight attendant told those people to move back to their seats and said she would sell 10 E+ upgrades to whoever wanted to pay, but that she wasn't allowed to let anyone else move into E+ due to weight and balance concerns.
Doh is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,350

Huh? Weight and balance concerns don't disappear for $100!
sf7307 is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,568
The only way that might make sense is if there were a lot more than 10 empty E+ seats, but filling more than 10 of them would upset the balance by leaving the rear of the plane empty.
kayd is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,997
This would not have been the first instance of a flight attendant having invented a "fact" or a "rule."
DonTopaz is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,908
Strangest thing I have ever heard!
yestravel is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,491
"The only way that might make sense is if there were a lot more than 10 empty E+ seats, but filling more than 10 of them would upset the balance by leaving the rear of the plane empty."

I'd guess that was the case. I have been on several flights, one just two weeks ago, where pax were requested to change seats due to weight and balance issues. Don't think it's that unusual.
julia1 is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 03:32 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,902
Just because there are free seats, you don't get them. You said in what you paid for. I'd be pissed off if I had paid for premium and the cabin was filled with everyone just walking in and sitting down because they felt like it.

I would not of thought that a flight attendant could take money once they were on the plane. Sounds dodgy.
MissGreen is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 05:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,568
FAs take money all the time, with their handheld credit/debit machines, for drinks and "food". I don't see any reason they couldn't also sell upgrades.
kayd is offline  

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