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Old Apr 10, 12, 11:58 am   #1
Formerly known as dzoellner
 
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HELP! Losing a Economy Plus seat due to loss of elite status?

I just had a very interesting conversation with United customer service. I am traveling tomorrow on OnePass/MileagePlus miles I booked in February before losing my Gold Elite status. I had booked a complimentary seat in Economy Plus (value $49). A bulkhead seat in Economy Plus opened up (same value), and I was NOT allowed to change my seat WITHOUT paying... since I no longer have any Elite status. (I redeemed a lot of miles last year so I did not requalify for any elite status this year.) Anyway, the CSR directed me to the United website that says:

All Premier® members have complimentary access to Economy Plus seating. Premier Gold members and above may select Economy Plus seats as early as time of booking, while Premier Silver members have complimentary access to Economy Plus at time of check-in. The member must also have Premier status at the time of travel to reserve Economy Plus seats.
https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...myseating.aspx

Read the last line again! The member must also have Premier status at the time of travel to reserve Economy Plus seats.

According to the CSR, I will be lucky tomorrow if that Economy Plus seat is not re-assigned since I no longer have elite status. I booked that ticket and assigned the seat when I was Gold Elite!!!

At the very least, the CSR left my seat assignment alone today, and did not put me in a middle seat in the back. But who knows tomorrow????

Any thoughts or help on this? I can't image all the elites that will book a ticket at the end of this year for travel sometime in 2013, don't requalify for their elite status, and then lose their seat assignment once the day of the flight arrives. That just does not sound right....

*** UPDATE ***

I just checked in for the flight tomorrow and it was still showing me as Gold Elite status (as it should be as I booked the ticket and spent the miles while I was still Gold Elite). I was able to change my seat as desired to the bulkhead row without any problems or charges. Now I am curious if I am still eligible for an upgrade to FC since the ticket has elite status AND I am a Presidential MC holder.

Last edited by cigaraddict; Apr 10, 12 at 2:36 pm.. Reason: UPDATE
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Old Apr 10, 12, 12:03 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzoellner View Post
I just had a very interesting conversation with United customer service. I am traveling tomorrow on OnePass/MileagePlus miles I booked in February before losing my Gold Elite status. I had booked a complimentary seat in Economy Plus (value $49). A bulkhead seat in Economy Plus opened up (same value), and I was NOT allowed to change my seat WITHOUT paying... since I no longer have any Elite status. (I redeemed a lot of miles last year so I did not requalify for any elite status this year.) Anyway, the CSR directed me to the United website that says:

All Premier® members have complimentary access to Economy Plus seating. Premier Gold members and above may select Economy Plus seats as early as time of booking, while Premier Silver members have complimentary access to Economy Plus at time of check-in. The member must also have Premier status at the time of travel to reserve Economy Plus seats.
https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...myseating.aspx

Read the last line again! The member must also have Premier status at the time of travel to reserve Economy Plus seats.

According to the CSR, I will be lucky tomorrow if that Economy Plus seat is not re-assigned since I no longer have elite status. I booked that ticket and assigned the seat when I was Gold Elite!!!

At the very least, the CSR left my seat assignment alone today, and did not put me in a middle seat in the back. But who knows tomorrow????

Any thoughts or help on this? I can't image all the elites that will book a ticket at the end of this year for travel sometime in 2013, don't requalify for their elite status, and then lose their seat assignment once the day of the flight arrives. That just does not sound right....
You will be able to keep your seat.. if it hasn't been lost by now you'll be fine. You should be able to do online checkin soon within 24 hours (if not already) and you'll have the boarding pass safely in hand with your E+ seat.

That's not to say that United would be wrong to take it away.... you're no longer entitled to those seats for free. But in practice, you'll be able to keep it. The agent apparently was just trying to scare you..
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Old Apr 10, 12, 12:22 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzoellner View Post


According to the CSR, I will be lucky tomorrow if that Economy Plus seat is not re-assigned since I no longer have elite status. I booked that ticket and assigned the seat when I was Gold Elite!!!
Don't believe ANYTHING that some of these people tell you --- EVER!!!
Print your b/p 24 hour out and you're good to go as "SEA1K4EVR" says, and don't worry!!!
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Old Apr 10, 12, 12:32 pm   #4
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While there is a chance that they may reassign the seat, there's a much greater chance that they will not.

Any changes though once you lose status to a seat you are no longer entitled to will be charged as you found out.

The last line is probably worded wrong, as obviously you can RESERVE any seat you want if you have status for that seat. But of course, if you lose your status, you also run the risk of losing your seat if they do a swap or something.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 2:37 pm   #5
Formerly known as dzoellner
 
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*** UPDATE ***

I just checked in for the flight tomorrow and it was still showing me as Gold Elite status (as it should be as I booked the ticket and spent the miles while I was still Gold Elite). I was able to change my seat as desired to the bulkhead row without any problems or charges. Now I am curious if I am still eligible for an upgrade to FC since the ticket has elite status AND I am a Presidential MC holder.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 3:03 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzoellner View Post
I just checked in for the flight tomorrow and it was still showing me as Gold Elite status (as it should be as I booked the ticket and spent the miles while I was still Gold Elite). I was able to change my seat as desired to the bulkhead row without any problems or charges. Now I am curious if I am still eligible for an upgrade to FC since the ticket has elite status AND I am a Presidential MC holder.
It's easy to find out..now that you've checked in, view the flight status on your mobile phone or at mobile.united.com and see if you're on the upgrade list. You probably are IF your booking code is X (not XN...there is apparently a glitch and flights booked in XN class aren't getting on the list).
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Old Apr 10, 12, 3:48 pm   #7
 
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Pardon me but I'm confused how you lost your gold status? Redeeming miles for awards (RDMs) does not cause you to loose PQMs, these are not the same thing. If you earned gold during 2011 you get to keep it for all of 2012.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 3:54 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by gradsflyer View Post
Pardon me but I'm confused how you lost your gold status? Redeeming miles for awards (RDMs) does not cause you to loose PQMs, these are not the same thing. If you earned gold during 2011 you get to keep it for all of 2012.
People who held 2011 status (earned in 2010) got to keep it up until the system migration on 3/3/12. The OP didn't qualify for 2012-2013 status.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 3:55 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by gradsflyer View Post
Pardon me but I'm confused how you lost your gold status? Redeeming miles for awards (RDMs) does not cause you to loose PQMs, these are not the same thing. If you earned gold during 2011 you get to keep it for all of 2012.
Ummm... yes, it totally does cause you to lose PQMs.

If you use cash to book (for example) a flight to HKG, you earn just shy of 20k EQMs (or PQM's or whatever else they're called now.)

If you use RDMs (or miles, or whatever else they're called) to fly to HKG, you earn zero PQMs.
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Old Apr 10, 12, 3:56 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA1K4EVR View Post
People who held 2011 status (earned in 2010) got to keep it up until the system migration on 3/3/12. The OP didn't qualify for 2012-2013 status.
Right, thanks. Forgot about the status extension.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogie711 View Post
Ummm... yes, it totally does cause you to lose PQMs.

If you use cash to book (for example) a flight to HKG, you earn just shy of 20k EQMs (or PQM's or whatever else they're called now.)

If you use RDMs (or miles, or whatever else they're called) to fly to HKG, you earn zero PQMs.
Yes, you won't earn EQMs on that flight you redeem with miles. What I meant in reference to the wording of the OP was that you don't get EQMs deducted from your account for using the same number of RQMs to reemed an award.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Apr 10, 12 at 4:31 pm.. Reason: merge
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Old Apr 10, 12, 5:28 pm   #11
Formerly known as dzoellner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradsflyer View Post
Right, thanks. Forgot about the status extension.



Yes, you won't earn EQMs on that flight you redeem with miles. What I meant in reference to the wording of the OP was that you don't get EQMs deducted from your account for using the same number of RQMs to reemed an award.

I did quite a bit of free flying in 2011 using up my miles since I was concerned about a potential mileage devaluation with the merger. I did not have enough EQMs to qualify for any elite status.

SIDE NOTE: My 2011 Gold Elite status was still showing valid though approx. March 10th. At first, I was hoping I got EQM credit for all the flying I did, even though it was using miles... but alas... I think the system was just late in downgrading my status.
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Old Jun 5, 12, 12:22 pm   #12
 
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Mad as hell, not gonna take it...

As a Premier "Silver" (lowest tier) who typically flies about 40K to 50K miles per year, and who has been loyal to this airline for 17 years I am so NOT HAPPY that they took away my Economy Plus Seating when booking. This was the #1 and really only, reason I stayed loyal.

Last year I exclusively UA so that I could have the Economy Plus Perk. Now, they bait and switch me and other Premiers?? (hmmm, isn't bait and switch illegal?)

UA's *new* policy of providing this perk ONLY 24 hours before the flight (if they haven't sold those seats to anyone else for profit), is just not good enough. Thank you, United Management for treating your lower tier, yet loyal, customers like dirt. Way to go.

I just booked my next 2 business trips on Virgin America. I'm taking my 40K-50K miles a year elsewhere. Good bye (not so) Golden handcuffs. I hope you loose "the little people" in droves and feel the affect.

PS: I don't need your long, not very convenient, Premier security line access "perk" either, as I can now buy an AllClear pass and use it at SFO, or take part in a promotion offered to Platinum SPG hotel members. See ya!
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Old Jun 5, 12, 12:33 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by QualMod View Post
As a Premier "Silver" (lowest tier) who typically flies about 40K to 50K miles per year, and who has been loyal to this airline for 17 years I am so NOT HAPPY that they took away my Economy Plus Seating when booking. This was the #1 and really only, reason I stayed loyal.

Last year I exclusively UA so that I could have the Economy Plus Perk. Now, they bait and switch me and other Premiers?? (hmmm, isn't bait and switch illegal?)

UA's *new* policy of providing this perk ONLY 24 hours before the flight (if they haven't sold those seats to anyone else for profit), is just not good enough. Thank you, United Management for treating your lower tier, yet loyal, customers like dirt. Way to go.

I just booked my next 2 business trips on Virgin America. I'm taking my 40K-50K miles a year elsewhere. Good bye (not so) Golden handcuffs. I hope you loose "the little people" in droves and feel the affect.

PS: I don't need your long, not very convenient, Premier security line access "perk" either, as I can now buy an AllClear pass and use it at SFO, or take part in a promotion offered to Platinum SPG hotel members. See ya!
Hmmm. If you 50K miles you should be Gold, not Silver.
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Old Jun 5, 12, 12:51 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QualMod View Post
As a Premier "Silver" (lowest tier) who typically flies about 40K to 50K miles per year, and who has been loyal to this airline for 17 years I am so NOT HAPPY that they took away my Economy Plus Seating when booking. This was the #1 and really only, reason I stayed loyal.

Last year I exclusively UA so that I could have the Economy Plus Perk. Now, they bait and switch me and other Premiers?? (hmmm, isn't bait and switch illegal?)

UA's *new* policy of providing this perk ONLY 24 hours before the flight (if they haven't sold those seats to anyone else for profit), is just not good enough. Thank you, United Management for treating your lower tier, yet loyal, customers like dirt. Way to go.

I just booked my next 2 business trips on Virgin America. I'm taking my 40K-50K miles a year elsewhere. Good bye (not so) Golden handcuffs. I hope you loose "the little people" in droves and feel the affect.

PS: I don't need your long, not very convenient, Premier security line access "perk" either, as I can now buy an AllClear pass and use it at SFO, or take part in a promotion offered to Platinum SPG hotel members. See ya!
Feel better?

FWIW, there is a thread that will allow you to vent with others in the same boat: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...-shaft-mp.html

Also, as mentioned if your flying 50K this shouldn't be a problem. Furthermore, this was announced quite some time ago... so I fail to see how you can view this as "bait and switch".

If Virgin suits your needs better, by all means use them.

And it may not be a deal killer, but IIRC Virgin does(?) charge for bags... right? You would still get one at no charge with UA.
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Old Jun 5, 12, 1:01 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by jhayes_1780 View Post
Furthermore, this was announced quite some time ago... so I fail to see how you can view this as "bait and switch".
Many of us re-qualified for silver before they announced the changes. (the announcement came late enough in the year that it did feel like they were changing the rules mid-stream to me as well).

I would have had less of an issue if they'd made the changes effective in 2013, or if they'd announced the changes early enough that we knew what we were going to be getting. However, I'm guessing they realized that such a substantial devaluation of silver would have resulted in a massive reduction in the number of people qualifying for silver (and so would have cost them money)

Also, to the OP -- the policy seems to be that if you had E+ seating reserved on 3/3, they will let you keep it, even in the event of an equipment change (I almost got burned by the 777 configuration change, where my window seats became middle seats 3 days before my flights, but a call to reservations along with a quick explanation was sufficient for them to waive the fees)

Last edited by danM; Jun 5, 12 at 1:23 pm..
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