United starts selling Economy Plus at time of booking

While UA has long offered upsells to Economy Plus at the airport as well as a yearly Economy Plus Access pass for $349 (only $299 a few months ago), they now seem to be selling Economy Plus at the time of booking for individual flights. What does this mean for UA elites? Well, Economy Plus will probably start filling up a bit more, although I wouldn’t expect it to have a massive impact. Certainly some will take advantage of this offer, but when you’re looking at a few extra inches of legroom vs. a really nice dinner, I’m betting most will go for the latter.

I actually commend UA for this one. It’s a good way they can further profit off of Economy Plus, and while it may make elites a little bit peeved, United has more legroom in Economy Plus than any of their competitors do in coach, so they still have the edge in that regard.

Filed Under: United
  1. Nice catch, Lucky. I couldn’t believe it when they took away Y+ access from people booking in Y and B. Now it’s nice to see that anyone can upgrade at the time of booking. I’ll be very curious to see how this gets priced.

    (BTW, you say “time of check-in” in your link, not “time of booking.”)

  2. Sorry to follow up my own comment . . .

    Looking at this, it makes it seem like the pricing will be the same whether you do it in advance or at the airport. That doesn’t make sense to me. There’s a much higher risk of bumping an elite customer out of Y+ if you book in advance, so someone should have to pay extra for that.

    Oh boy, I may have to post about this one.

  3. Thanks for the correction, Cranky. I didn’t think of the fact that they seem to be charging the same, be it at the time of booking or at the airport. That’s an excellent point, and maybe something they’ll reconsider depending on how well this program goes.

  4. Yep, indeed, although back then it was very rare, while it’s becoming a standard feature now. Good catch though.

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