Last month, we reported that United MileagePlus removed fare code information from its website, upsetting many members who used this feature to view award availability and to see how many first class seats were left on a flight. A few weeks after the change was announced, United restored the “expert mode” as an opt-in feature. Previously, the information was automatically available to all United passengers, whether they understood the fare codes or not, which caused some confusion for those unfamiliar with the codes. Now, members will need to select this setting to enable the feature. From your MileagePlus My Account page, click “Manage Profile” and “View All Flight Search Preferences” to enable the Expert Mode setting and have access to fare class availability.
In addition to returning the specific fare code information, United also introduced improved online visibility for upgrade status for all customers. The new feature will let elite members see the status of their complimentary upgrades when they make reservations. Before the feature launched, members could view the upgrade waitlist and their position on the list only 24 hours prior to departure.
Bottom line: It’s not unheard of for airlines to make changes in response to member feedback and this is one positive example of an airline listening to its members. United Airlines found a solution that allowed members who understood the information to continue to view fare codes while hiding the codes from those who might not understand or care about the information, creating a win-win situation for the airline and its FFP members.