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United B777 to Europe: worth $99 to upgrade to Economy Plus ?

United B777 to Europe: worth $99 to upgrade to Economy Plus ?

Apr 25th, 2011, 02:21 PM
  #1  
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United B777 to Europe: worth $99 to upgrade to Economy Plus ?

We're leaving Friday ORD to FRA on a UA, B-777.

Since our tickets are with Continental we got seats in the back of the plane (at least that's what my agent explained to me): 38J, and 39H & J... Not the very last raw (43), but still not something to be too excited about... Especially me, being claustrophobic...

The UA agent tells me today that the flight is quite full, but we could upgrade to Economy Plus for $99 a ticket, doing it online, 24 hrs prior to flight, or at the airport.

Needs your advice, for a trans-Atlantic flight, is there a significant enough difference in comfort for us to pay that money? And is there any chance we get it for free at the counter?

Thanks...
mamamia2 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2011, 03:05 PM
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39 H/J are window & aisle, 38J is window. If you pay the money for econ+, you will not get a window/aisle combo; they're all taken (both the 2:24pm flight and the 6:15pm flight).

The extra leg room is definitely a benefit and welcome in the e+ seats. But the width is still the same, and you get the same meals, [surly] flight attendants, and other features of economy travel on UA. Lots of open e+ seats on the late (6:15) flight at the moment, which is why they're trying to push them.
DonTopaz is offline  
Apr 25th, 2011, 04:15 PM
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Doubt you would get it for free at the counter, unless you have status. If you're claustrophobic, you won't like 39H because the curvature of the plane steals some of its space. With E+ you get more legroom, between rows, but not more width. And you're further forward, which may feel less claustrophobic. $99 sounds pretty reasonable, as long as you don't get stuck in a middle seat in the center section.
julia1 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2011, 07:48 PM
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Yes, our flight is at 2:24, so yes, I see only seats available are in the middle raws...

Maybe we'll get a bit earlier to the airport and see if there are any window seats. From what I learned, the map online is not always telling the full truth.... Unless passengers don't show up to their flights, not sure....
mamamia2 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2011, 07:54 PM
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Irrelevant now, but even though you booked with Continental, you could have gotten the UA PNR for your reservations and change your seats on united.com. Or by calling United.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 25th, 2011, 10:27 PM
  #6  
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I actually talked to an agent who was very helpful with some other issues.... He claimed that as of now, their system still looks at Continental as a separate airline, thus the seating map I see on my screen shows the plane as being fully booked, while he can see lots of vacant seats....

He suggested we get it done at the airport. I say if the plane has lots of vacant seats when we arrive at the airport, than why pay $99, if we can switch soon after take off?
mamamia2 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 03:02 AM
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I'm looking at United.com for UA944 on Friday. It shows Y5, which means that economy is pretty close to being full. All regular economy seats are showing as occupied, while a little over half the E+ seats are available. Together, those points tell me that there are a lot of confirmed passengers who don't yet have seat assignments (not eligible for E+ but nothing available in regular E). There will be a little shuffling between now and Friday, maybe, as upgrades get processed, but most of those currently without seat assignments will end up getting E+ seats at the gate, shortly before boarding. Chance of getting E+ for free when you already have seat assignments is slim.

I say if the plane has lots of vacant seats when we arrive at the airport, than why pay $99, if we can switch soon after take off?

In my experience, most United flight attendants are pretty good about not allowing this. And I've even seen other passengers notify flight attendants when people have tried to "upgrade" themselves.
ms_go is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 03:05 AM
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The regular economy section is either booked full, or they've stopped letting people switch seats until at the airport. So there's nothing you can do.

However, economy plus section is wide open. Plenty of 5-across rows in the middle totally open.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 03:07 AM
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But anyways, that wasn't what I was talking about. I meant, earlier, soon after you booked your tickets, you could have changed your seats, regardless of whether you book it through UA or CO.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 04:35 AM
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I am over 6 feet need all the legroom/width I can get

though I just flew back on the 2 seats in the back

enjoyed not sitting with another person just my wife.

still quite cramped though and seats did not recline fully

the upgrade for a low price is always worth it for me

for seat width and legroom

seatguru.com seatexpert.com

good article on this and new designs in the most recent

cntraveler.com
qwovadis is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 04:38 AM
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also the back of the plane has a lot more

"sway" to and fro with turbulence not wise

if seasickness prone.
qwovadis is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 08:46 AM
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rkkwan, believe me, I tried changing it from day one, first asking the travel agent and then trying doing it online by myself, I couldn't. That's when the agent was telling me CO tickets are treated differently than "real" UA tickets.... Maybe she meant "passengers" instead of "tickets"?
mamamia2 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 05:13 PM
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Oh well, that has not been my experience, but like people say, YMMV.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 11:35 PM
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30 HJ and 30B are open. So is 30B. Lots of legroom.

Do you have status on Continental? If you do then you can get a status match online. It took a week or more for Continental to match my UA status. But you might be able to get a status match to UA for your return.

If I had 39H I would definitely pay for E+ if I didn't have status.

Counting on moving up to E+ after takeoff is not a very good idea.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Apr 27th, 2011, 07:26 AM
  #15  
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No status at either of them.... I guess we'll have a little business to do at the airport.....

Thanks.....
mamamia2 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2011, 09:02 AM
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I've also seen the flight attendants move people out of e+ seats they didn't pay for. No different than moving into an empty business or first class seat really.
sf7307 is online now  
Apr 27th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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We just flew home on E+ on SAS (free upgrade). For $99, I would do it in a heartbeat! The extra space was wonderful and while E was pretty full, E+ was not, so my kids were able to move around into empty seats as they needed. After takeoff, they drew the curtain, so no one could move up there even if they tried. I don't think the FA's would have allowed it.
surfmom is offline  
Apr 27th, 2011, 11:28 AM
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Since we're talking.... Are they still using the traditional headphones to give us passengers on those flights, or are they now giving us those tiny earbuds that keep falling and do little to reduce the outside noise?

A friend of mine gave me a pair of those "noise canceling" headphones which must be doing a great job but are quite bulky and heavy. The plug looks just like any regular headphone plug, so if United is gonna give me small earbuds, I'd rather bring my own cheap headphones.

Right?
mamamia2 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2011, 12:04 PM
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surfmom - SAS has real premium economy. UA only has economy plus which is some as economy with just extra legroom. Same seat, same food, etc.

And to the OP, no, you cannot just move into E+ on UA. If you must have them, then pay for them.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 27th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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I flew to Hawaii twice with United this year.,once in Economy Plus and once in economy. When I sat in Economy, I had the isle seat and someone had the window seat. The middle seat was empty. When I sat in Economy Plus, I had the isle seat and both the middle and window seat were occupied.

I would take economy over economy plus only if I knew there was an empty seat next to me.
wally34949 is offline  

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