Come on United, Economy Plus for *Golds

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Saracen, May 9, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Saracen
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    Saracen Silver Member

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    I flew United for the first time since 2009 and my move to Asia that saw me flying SQ mostly. I am glad to see the economy offering has improved substantially since the days of the 8 video channels on repeat. (Still a long way to go though!) At that time, I was able to get UA3P Premier Associate status which got me E+, but I do remember *Gs were often given E+ too. On this recent trip, there was no such courtesy. In fact on a SEA-NRT with a packed Economy cabin and only half full E+, they still wouldn't just give E+ to a *G.

    I realise they need to differentiate their own premium status, but why not give *Gs the same benefit as their Silvers and E+ at check in? Is it really so necessary to be picky that it's worth flying the cabin half full? Doesn't really encourage me to fly UA…
     
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  2. downhillcrasher

    downhillcrasher Gold Member

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    To answer your questions:
    1. Because you aren't their elite and they only care about what you do for their bottom line. I'm not aware of an airline that allows partner's elites into their premium economy product for free.
    2. Yes, they will fill the E+ section if they run out of seats in E-, so its not as if they are passing up selling tickets to preserve the E+ cabin. They aren't losing any money by protecting the cabin, in fact, its all upside.

    All that being said, after several years as 1K I have stopped flying United. Their 'bottom line before all else attitude' has turned the employees sour and made the airline an unpleasant one to fly.
     
  3. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    Why should United give other Star Golds free E+?

    I was on SQ-Y as recently as last week. As a UA Star Gold, I got put in to the middle seats ...even though better Economy seats were available.
     
  4. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    It may be just me, but out of all *A airlines, I have the least sympathy for SQ elites. SQ intentionally "bans" us from accessing their lounges at some airports; they don't release award space in the premium cabin on the vast majority of their flights, do not let us use miles to upgrade from full fare Y tickets [as you need saver biz award space], etc. SQ feels like an affiliate *A airline of some sort, not an actual one to me.

    P.S. It is not directed at you, but towards SQ itself. Partnership is a two-way street if you know what I mean.
     
  5. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    You're not the only one who feels this way. :-:
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    With joint ventures it's not necessarily clear that the OP doesn't contribute to UA's bottom line. Or who about the folks who flew United all year long but credited to BD for easier *G?

    Not that I think *G should necessary be treated any better than UA Silver or even like UA Silvers. If there were equivalent improved economy offerings all all major *A carriers and as a UA *G I had access to it, I would be okay with it.
     
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  7. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    I agree with others that a SQ flyer in particular shouldn't be too shocked considering how SQ treats UA flyers.

    But I've found that as a UA *G I've been treated well by Air Canada (regularly able to get row 12 on their E90/E95s with the excellent leg room and even bumped to Executive First once). And on Lufthansa and SWISS been able to board with the first boarding group which includes their top level Senators.

    However I don't see United treating LH or LX *G as well on United flights.
     
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  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I don't believe that UA and SQ have any JV markets. NH is the only TPAC partner with a JV that I'm aware of.
     
  9. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    I sat next to Dan O'Halloran on PIT-ORD last weekend as he headed up to Ottawa to ref the playoff game against Montreal (the game where everybody was practically penalized or ejected) in E+. He got E+ by virtue of his AC Super Elite Status (he is also a DL Diamond), so I guess it depends on the agent at the airport.

    Anyway, despite being in a middle seat, chatting with Mr. O'Halloran sure made the time fly.
     
  10. avflyer
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    avflyer Silver Member

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    Clearly the fix was in here. Mrs. Flyer has been an AC SE for many o' year and she has NEVER (let me repeat) NEVER been placed in E+ as a consequence of her status. The reverse way around is that every time I book an AC flight (code-share or otherwise) it seems that AC is determined to put me in the highest numbered row middle seat that they can. That is when I can actually reserve a seat on an AC code-share.
     
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  11. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    KLM Economy Comfort is accessible to DL elites.
     
  12. Saracen
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    Saracen Silver Member

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    I'm not an SQ Elite in any case (except by virtue of spill-over miles); they don't really treat their golds any better than others. In fact even their own Gold couldn't prebook seats unless they booked their flights on the SQ website (till recently). What benefits they do provide to their own Golds I seem to get as an OZ*G too. As for upgrading on lower fare classes and separate inventory, isn't that common across programs?
     
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  13. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    No surprise here. Even US doesn't allow premium seating for UA elites.
     
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  14. wombat18
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    wombat18 Silver Member

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    You know, at some point in time one of the alliances is going to make a move in this direction. It will distinguish them in the market, and could bring frequent international travelers ($$) into their fold. Many of us chase status so we can travel long-haul with a bit more comfort, and it makes sense that with joint ventures/code sharing/route integration becoming more and more common that many of us end up on partner airlines.

    Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I feel so deflated when my shiny *A Gold only gets me middle seat, back of the bus.
     
  15. Saracen
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    Saracen Silver Member

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    Flying United has reminded me just how many Elites their are that side of the world. Perhaps that's also part of the issue. In Asia, status in general seems to rarer, and hence more respected.
     
  16. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    May be there was something else causing it, but I've been upgraded on US and Austrian Airlines before, despite being all UA all the time.
     
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  17. Phudnik
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    Phudnik Gold Member

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    US charges its own elites for some "premium" seats!

    That being said, in the past, I have gotten into the front of the Y cabin on US (as a UA 1P/Plat/1K) by letting the computer auto-assign me seats. My travel agent can also get me seats in the front of the US Y cabin for some reason.

    ETA until about six or seven years ago, UA offered E+ without charge to Star Golds (and to people on full fare tickets). They changed the policy about the same time that they realized that they could generate income by selling access to E+.
     
  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    And that change might very well have saved E+ since reportedly the CO folks weren't convinced that E+ was a product worth having until the saw the $$ numbers it contributed.
     
  19. secretsea18
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    secretsea18 Gold Member

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    DL and AF/KLM have a JV (legacy from the NWA/KLM days).
     
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  20. G_G
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    G_G Gold Member

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    SQ is charging its PPS for preferred seats in Y :eek: Why should UA give E+ to SQ elites ? ;)
     
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  21. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    This is weird, because it happens to me too if I fly US via a ticket booked by corporate travel agent. She is simply able to assign one of their premium seats!!
     
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  22. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Yep ours can do that as well. It's really the only thing they do that is of value.
     
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  23. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    Wow, TIL. I always book my tickets via a TA, so I'll be sure to have them assign US seats for me. Thanks!
     
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  24. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    1. There's no reciprocity factor, as SQ lacks an Economy Plus section on its aircraft to offer United Premiers;

    2. SQ frequent flyers will typically have few occasions where true encouragement to fly United is ever needed. For the most part, SQ FFers (or those of any other Star member carrier, except the A++ JV partners and US) find themselves on a United flight only out of some form of necessity, and the Star Alliance Silver/Gold benefits are the incentive to choose United over someone else for that incidental/peripheral flying (and ditto for UA FFers vis-a-vis other Star carriers).
     
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  25. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    This is very misleading..

    US has two types of seats - the first are "preferred" which are exits, bulkheads, and other seats in the front which elites get for free, but you can't buy or get access. The second are "choice" seats, which are windows and aisle in the front of the cabin for those that really don't want to sit in the back. I really don't get the value prop here for the choice seats, if I was an infrequent flyer, i'd buy a silver trial, take the preferred seats with more room (and likely an upgrade) and come out ahead.

    As a *Gold on United, i've been op'uped once on a full flight, and given E+ several times when there are no E- seats available. Although I wish there was a premium seating benefit for being *Gold, but unfortunately there isn't.

    My favorite is Air Canada which gives * Golds access to bulkheads if you book directly with them.
     
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