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Tag: united premier

United is now charging for exit row seats

by on Dec.22, 2011, under Airlines

As you all know, United has been charging non-Premier customers to sit in Economy Plus seats with extra legroom. United has now considered exit row seats as a part of Economy Plus even thought larger planes’ exit rows are not in the Economy Plus seating area. I was recently on a United flight from Newark to San Francisco and was seated in the exit row aisle seat after Economy Plus. The entire exit row was empty by the time the plane cabin doors were closed. Soon after take off, two passengers moved to the exit row aisle and middle seats adjacent to my seat. The flight attendant went to the couple told the couple to return to their seats as the exit row seats require additional payment.

Caveat Emptor!  If you are planning to pay for an exit row seat, you should be aware that some of the exit row window seats on larger planes has a limited legroom because the emergency exit slide protrudes into the leg space. An example is United’s Boeing 747-400 planes’ seat numbers 33A and 33K. Everyone should check with Seat Guru before purchasing an exit row seat or you’ll end up paying extra for a seat like the picture below.

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Our point of view on the United-Continental merger

by on May.03, 2010, under Airlines

United is merging with Continental to form the largest airline in the world (see news). United will carry the name, and probably its poor customer service, to the newly merged airline. I’m not sure how combining two non-profitable airlines will make the company profitable; the merger will create more United 1K and Global Service members. The merger will further dilute and devalue airline miles and making redemption of airline miles harder. This is why hotel points are much more valuable than airline miles.

Furthermore, I wouldn’t be shocked if United will follow Spirit Airlines’ lead and begin charging for carry on baggage for non-Premier members. You heard the prediction here first! Vacationers and casual flyers are going to get squeezed either way, whether they pay for carry on or get the Premier Baggage membership for $250.00.

The good news here is it will take these two inefficient airlines another 18 months to 2 years to merge their internal systems. It is definitely time to burn your airline miles and consider switching to the SkyTeam or OneWorld alliances, or JetBlue or Southwest if they’re available in your market.

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Better use your United 500-mile upgrades in light of 2010 Mileage Plus program changes

by on Dec.02, 2009, under Airlines

United Airlines (UAL) has announced 2010 Mileage Plus program changes that will end of 500 mile certificates a few weeks ago. Starting in the second quarter (probably July) of 2010, United Premier members would get upgrades to first or business class based on availability – similar to Continental, Delta and USAir. This leaves American Airlines to be the only major carrier still requiring certificates for upgrades.

This is a positive move by UAL. However they didn’t tell you the following:

1.  United complimentary upgrades are not available for P.S. (Premium Service) flights. United P.S. are flights between New York and San Francisco and Los Angeles. This means your coast-to-coast travel cost would go up as economy seats generally fills up the fastest (see previous post regarding best coast-to-coast travel option). This forces united customers to buy business class tickets.  You can however use redeem miles to upgrade on these flights, and if you are 1K you will still receive Confirmed Regional and Systemwide Upgrades and may use them on these flights as well.

2.  Your United 500-mile certificates would be useless if you don’t use them. UAL used to convert the 500-mile certificates into miles and put them in your Mileage Plus account. With the devaluation of airline miles and airline cut backs, UAL does not endorse expiring 500 mile certificates nor do they convert the miles for flight redemption.

3.  Complimentary upgrades are limited to flights within Region 1 only, which includes the continental United States, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. Also, award flights are not eligible for the complimentary upgrades. Not much different than the 500-mile certificate model.

United Premier and Premier Executive statuses become absolutely worthless.  Good luck trying to get upgraded with all the people that made Premier Exec and 1K (us included) in 2009 for 2010 thanks to the 2 double EQM (and one EQS) promotions.

Another collaboration post from Statusmonger & Captain G

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