United Economy Plus - worth it?

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Oct 21st, 2010, 06:58 AM
  #41
 
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LMGSONIC, Did you puchase the EP annual option? And if so, were you able to move to EP seats for your already booked flights?
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Nov 19th, 2010, 12:45 PM
  #42
 
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The United annual Economy Plus option is a total fraud. You will only get an upgrade after all elites have been served and can be bumped from your seat just before your flight. My company purchased this option for me as a disability accommodation and I have been put in coach twice this year when I thought my Economy Plus ticket was guaranteed. (I did not find out about the change until I got to the airport.) I was even prevented from moving up into a free EP seat because the stewardesses claimed they were not told about the existence of the EP annual pass several months after the program was initiated. I fly over 100,000 miles a year and I still can't guarantee a decent seat with this option. It's a gamble and it's false advertising. The company admitted fault on the empty seat incident and gave me $150 credit I can't use because I don't travel for pleasure due to my condition. The airlines also code all seats as coach, so it throws off the database logic in our company system. If I am booked in an economy plus window seat, it will boot me back to a crappy coach aisle seat because the DB can't tell the difference in class. This does NOT happen on airlines that consider this a different class of service, which it is. My company would have likely paid more for this option if it was legit, but I will now need to ask for a new accommodation and may lose my job over my inability to travel comfortably. Purchase at your own risk. I expect a lawsuit.
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Nov 19th, 2010, 02:01 PM
  #43
 
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Note: I have filed a complain with the Better Business Bureau and kindly sent United a link to this page to let them know I am making other customers aware of what I believe to be fraudulent advertising with its Econony Plus Annual Option. If you see a bunch of "United! Woo hoo!" posts after this one, be suspicious. If I get a resolution on this, I will post an update here.
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Nov 19th, 2010, 03:19 PM
  #44
 
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Wormhog -

I'm sorry to hear you've had problems. Your post sent me directly to United's terms and conditions for the annual Economy Plus option, where it clearly states that "Seating in Economy Plus is not guaranteed, but may be requested and confirmed any time prior to the flight".

I guess the only sure fire way for you to get Economy Plus seats is to purchase them on an individual flight basis. Perhaps your company will consider doing that?



I fail to see how this is a United issue.
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Nov 19th, 2010, 04:48 PM
  #45
 
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Dear Melnq8/United,

At the time when I purchased the option, the text on the site said even less than it does today. Even today, I don't think the terms of this arrangement are clear at all. Who would purchase this scam if they knew that every frequent flyer qualified for the seat ahead of them? Clearly both my company and myself were fooled by the text. It's billed as an annual upgrade option and one would assume that once confirmed, you would get the seat. As the airline has stated, "its first priority is to elite flyers" so that means confirmed flyers can be bumped. The flight where I was denied an EMPTY Economy Plus seat was confirmed. Our company system uses the standard travel data services everyone else uses. United's tricky way of coding these flights makes it impossible for any such data service to "see" when the passenger is being downgraded and I'm sure they/you are aware of this. The text you quote says nothing about every elite flyer being ahead of you in line when you have PAID for this upgrade. I believe this to be deceptive and fraudulent, and was even more so at the time I purchased this option. Thank you for responding. It keeps this concern at the top of the posts on this site.
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Nov 19th, 2010, 05:03 PM
  #46
 
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Also, where's the text on your, er ... United's site that indicates that buying the Economy Plus annual option is less of a sure thing than an individual flight upgrade? This is a total scam. You *might* get your money's worth depending on where you go. I have unfortunately already written my company to see if I can switch my accommodation to AA business class, but this is regrettable as I do not wish to raise awareness of my weaknesses any more than I have to. I also note that there was a response to my public posting before my personal e-mail, which may be an indication of where United's priorities are.
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Nov 19th, 2010, 06:09 PM
  #47
 
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Dear Wormhog,

Your statements are idiotic. Melnq8 has been a member here for years, and you accuse him/her of being a shill for UA.

You dn't like United - fine. But when someone points out that your statements are utterly ridiculous, you decide that they must be working for United. You are dead wrong about other airlines considering extra-legroom rows as another class of service -- the airlines that designate a different class of service (BA or Eva, for example) have more leg room AND wider seats. Airlines like United that offer more leg room rows for an additional fee (JetBlue, for example) call both offerings economy.

Or do you think that I'm a shill for United, too?
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Nov 19th, 2010, 07:27 PM
  #48
 
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Wormhog -

Interesting assumption on your part.

I have no affiliation with United. I merely read their terms and conditions regarding the annual Economy Plus option before I responded to your post because I was curious...and I like to make informed responses.

There's a lot to be said for reading the fine print.
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Nov 19th, 2010, 07:35 PM
  #49
 
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AA took out "more room through coach" Americans SAID "we want more room and will pay for it" However, when it came time to BUY, we then said "well Delta's $20 cheaper" and booked that I have a friend who always upgrades to E+ on UA. She says it's often very empty while everyone sits behind her and "complains"

The truth is most Americans are only looking at ONE thing when they book air travel, the cost. (which explains why SPIRIT is even in business)
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Nov 20th, 2010, 10:45 AM
  #50
 
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troll. If you fly over 100K miles for work or even work/leisure, and don;t fly enough on one ALLIANCE (Star or oneworld etc) to qualify for elite status you are an idiot pure and simple., With elite status on UA the poster would get E+ free on all UA flights.
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Nov 24th, 2010, 11:01 PM
  #51
 
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Mztery, I'm a Premier Executive Level United flyer and that wasn't enough to hold a seat in Economy Plus for a LAX to Narita flight. I get it E+ free on two counts, as you note, but I still have a hard time holding on to an Economy Plus reservation.
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Nov 24th, 2010, 11:02 PM
  #52
 
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And I apologize to Mel.
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Nov 24th, 2010, 11:17 PM
  #53
 
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Rizzuto, I gave United this direct URL after I posted and shortly after Mel responded, so I wasn't being all that paranoid....

I don't think there was anything utterly ridiculous about my claim. Nor do I think anything Mel said proved me wrong. I note that United already paid $150 for my "utterly ridiculous" claim. I still think the option is being misrepresented and it affected a disability arrangement with my employer. If I only need this option a couple times a year, and I pay $425 for that option and get bumped two out of three times, it's just not what I thought I purchased. It's really $425 to get at the end of a long line for sloppy seconds. Mel seems to think an individual flight ticket would be more secure -- where's the text that says that? If what the customer service agent told me in explaining the option was what they had on their web site at the time it was purchased (not the text there today), no one would pay money for the annual option and I would have made an alternate arrangement with my employer.
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Nov 24th, 2010, 11:41 PM
  #54
 
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Apology accepted.



I recently purchased tickets for my brother, who flew from COS-SFO-NRT-SIN and return on United. When I booked, I purchased Economy Plus seats for him on the two longer flights, at an additional cost above the coach fare of ~$200 per leg. I then went into his UA account and selected seats for him, all of which he got when he made the flights some four months after the tickets were purchased. It was a paid upgrade made at the time of booking, and therefore his seats were guaranteed.

Had he waited until he reached the airport and then attempted a last minute upgrade, he might have paid less, but he would have taken a big risk, as seats might not have been available at that point.
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Nov 25th, 2010, 12:12 AM
  #55
 
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From the UA website:

Economy Plus® one-time option details:

...Economy Plus purchase reserves a seat within the Economy Plus seating area. Specific seat assignments are not guaranteed...
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Nov 25th, 2010, 06:59 AM
  #56
 
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I'm a Premier Executive Level United flyer and that wasn't enough to hold a seat in Economy Plus for a LAX to Narita flight. I get it E+ free on two counts, as you note, but I still have a hard time holding on to an Economy Plus reservation.

Sorry, but this isn't really adding up for me. I'm not even sure that United would sell E+ Access to anyone who is Premier Exec or other elite. The terms/conditions and FAQs say it is open to "Mileage Plus general members." I purchased an E+ subscription for my daughter the year it was introduced, and it terminated when she hit Premier later in the year. I don't think you're covered on "two counts." Your status trumps the E+ Access and provides more benefits all around. And, of course, that certainly doesn't support your claim that United bumps others from E+ seating to accommodate its elites, since you are one.

I've had some level of elite status every year since United introduced Economy Plus, and the only times I've ever been "kicked out of" my E+ seat was in the event of a schedule change/change of gauge when I was on a multi-person PNR with one person who was not eligible. The system does some funny things in those cases. If you are traveling on a PNR with other people and not all are E+ eligible, then that could be causing a problem.

When are you being "downgraded"? At the airport? Before the flight? And how long before? Do you watch your seat assignments after you've booked? There are some well-documented problems with some seat assignments changing during schedule changes (usually at least a couple months out), but again, the only time I've lost E+ altogether in these situations was when I was part of a multi-passenger PNR.

If you're having trouble holding an E+ seat assignment as a Premier Exec (or on E+ Access, whichever it is), then something is wrong in the reservation. Is your company travel agent properly entering your MP number?
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Nov 29th, 2010, 09:38 AM
  #57
 
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I took a trip on United in September that I booked through our corporate travel agent. I have 1K status and my MP number is in my profile with the travel agent.

You might think that I would get E+ seats automatically, but no, the "seats requested" by my TA for all four segments were in E- (regular economy).

Of course, I knew this within 5 minutes of booking the ticket because I checked on my itinerary at united dot com and saw my seat reservations. At that point I was able to choose E+ seats.

But I didn't choose E+ because I knew, before I booked the ticket, that upgrade seats were immediately available on all segments, so I applied two upgrade certificate and flew in F for $256, SNA-DEN-IAD, roundtrip. I will miss being 1K next year.

I find it very hard to believe that a Premier Exec got downgraded from E+ That never happened to me as a 1K, 1P, or 2P.

Whatever the lack of upgrades or E+ seats was this year, it will change next year. There were a lot of premier fliers this year because of the TWO double-EQM offers last year. There was do d-EQM offer this year, so there will be much less competition for upgrades and E+
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Nov 29th, 2010, 11:30 AM
  #58
 
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now I know he is a troll or at least an idiot on how to work reservations.

1) if you are a Premex you don't NEED to buy E+. You get it automatically. BUT If you didn't choose e+ seats when you booked, you won't get it changed to E+ automatically. Perhaps you were not clear w/ your Travel Agent what your status was?


2) If you didn't get E+ to Narita, again, was it available when you booked. You should be able to see available E+ seats when you book if you are a Premex.

3) one exception to this - IF you were originally booked on an old-configuration &&& or 747, and it switches to a new config, your seats will NOT be changed to E+ automatically. THAT'S why you have to keep on top of your bookings on UAL.com

4) If you
are a biz traveler and don't know these basics you need to pay more attention to what you are entitled to and what you can do to help yourself.
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Dec 2nd, 2010, 09:37 PM
  #59
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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call UA
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Dec 3rd, 2010, 06:38 PM
  #60
 
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"rober" typed: call UA

Oh, now there's a course of action that's certain to result in a satisfied consumer.
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