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United Airlines Eliminated First Class Perk for Premier 1K Members

United Airlines Eliminated First Class Perk for Premier 1K Members
Jeff Edwards

As United Airlines phases out international first class cabins on much of its fleet, some Premier 1K members have lost the ability to assign seats in the international first class cabin in advance of departure. On the remaining United aircraft that are still equipped with international first class seats, Premier 1K members will still be eligible for the upgrades at the gate. 

According to a new report from One Mile at a Time, United Airlines (UA) has quietly eliminated the ability for Premier 1K members to upgrade to first class seats in advance of departure on most international flights. The new restrictions appear to apply to flights on aircraft in which a dedicated first class cabin is not available, but which are still equipped with first class seats. Global Service members are, however, still entitled to reserve the former first class seats at check-in.

“To provide the best experience for all our customers, a dedicated team will monitor flights and may assign former Polaris first class seats to Premier 1K and other high value customers closer to departure when the actual aircraft is assigned and most accurate seatmap is confirmed,” the airline told One Mile at a Time, explaining that the move was made, in part, because of high demand from Global Services members.

According to recent posts in the FlyerTalk United Airlines MileagePlus forum, Premier 1K members who have already been assigned a seat in the former-Polaris First Class cabin will be able to keep those assignments barring a change of equipment. Going forward, however, it appears that only passengers with Global Services status will have the option of reserving the remaining Polaris First Class seats in the fleet ahead of departure.

[Source: United]

View Comments (4)

4 Comments

  1. Icecat

    February 20, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    The way I see it, if the passengers didn’t pay for first class tickets, then they should’t be offended that they weren’t assigned f/c seats.

  2. CO FF

    February 21, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Maybe you should read more closely? United no longer sells first class tickets. On the aircraft that have F seats, they are sold as J (Polaris). Until now, 1K members could reserve seats in that mini-cabin – which was blocked for all pax other than GS and 1K until day of departure. Now, UA is only allowing GS to reserve those seats – and giving them to the people who UA wants to recognize.

    Many long-time UA flyers remember the days when F was reserved for pass-riding crew; a move like this makes many people think that UA is looking to do the same here. In any event, 1Ks (who just had the $$ requirement increased 25% – at a time when *A awards are less available, and Polaris service/amenities are being cut) are not a happy group, and many are not making the effort to requalify (after 5 years, I gave up in 2018 – and just saved $2300/ticket booking 2 J tix LA-MidEast on TK).

  3. chavala

    February 21, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    And now there are reports of DYKWIA GS’s getting 1Ks thrown out of their seats at the gate, and sent to whatever last-minute seat is available.
    It’s not bad enough we have to watch our seats like hawks already, because of constant equipment changes and seat maps disappearing for no reason.
    Things ain’t good at all at UA right now, and this 1K is seriously rethinking whether or not my status is worth it.

    https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-airlines-mileageplus/1936905-3-class-first-seats-now-deemed-domestic-f-polaris-bus-only-gs-may-choose-them.html

  4. jtet

    February 22, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Will there be a similar “outrage” when this perk is eliminated for GS as well? It inevitably will when the last aircraft gets the “true” Polaris upgrade. As for 1k’s losing the privilege: Seems logical to me. When the quantity of available seats gets decreased, it seems logical to me that the pool of people who can grab those seats would be decreased as well. Keep in mind that I’m referring to new bookings… Once confirmed into F, I agree that a 1k should not be booted.

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