United E+ access a thing of the past?

Old Sep 12, 06, 5:01 am
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United E+ access a thing of the past?

In case anyone has not looked at the UA board recently, there are mutterings that non-UA *S and *G will no longer automatically be able to book into Economy Plus on UA.

Full discussion at:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=599665
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Old Sep 12, 06, 5:17 am
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I booked a UA flight on Sunday using mileage plus miles (award ticket) but on the confirmation screen entered my bmi gold number - it automatically seated me in E+.

I was a bit concerned so called the ticketing desk and she confirmed that I was in E+, it is a benefit for *G and *S members. (I was impressed it recognised my bmi number as gold)
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Old Sep 12, 06, 5:23 am
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Originally Posted by MapleLeaf
I booked a UA flight on Sunday using mileage plus miles (award ticket) but on the confirmation screen entered my bmi gold number - it automatically seated me in E+.

I was a bit concerned so called the ticketing desk and she confirmed that I was in E+, it is a benefit for *G and *S members. (I was impressed it recognised my bmi number as gold)
I hope you're right, that there is nothing to worry about - this is just a heads up.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 5:58 am
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Discussion over here http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=599682

This, with the removal of the benefit from the UA websites suggests that the benefit is over. Together with my preference for flying UA in the US.

That said, there seemed to be no rationale for allowing *S and *G into E+, other than to drum up more business. None of the *A airlines have a comparable offering, other than BD Longhaul, and that's sold as a separate cabin. So, no chance to reciprocate through the alliance. Shame, as I'll miss it.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by MAN Pax
That said, there seemed to be no rationale for allowing *S and *G into E+, other than to drum up more business.
I would have thought that this would be good reason enough.
That said, for us, alternatives are pretty limited on the routes UA flies. For tatl, you fly with one of the European *A carriers, earnings will be slashed unless you are on full fare and the only other alternatives are US and, at a push, AC, neither of which is especially enthusing.
For intra-US, I don't think that US is that attractive, and for South America, RG still has to rebuild itself. It is really only on transpac that real alternatives exist, but transpac routes are of little significance for European-based pax.
It is therefore possible that the income stream from selling E+ would more than counterbalance the (moderate) loss of pax ex Europe, at least among the pax who definitely want to fly *A. It does contribute to decreasing the overall attractiveness of *A, though and those of us who maintain elite statuses in more than one alliance may be more inclined to fly outside *A.

None of the *A airlines have a comparable offering, other than BD Longhaul, and that's sold as a separate cabin. So, no chance to reciprocate through the alliance.
Several *A airlines have a premium economy product (TG, NZ) although, afaik, this is a genuine PE product rather just a little bit more legroom as UA and BD.
If UA now sells E+ internationally, this is going to create a problem for them ex-UK, as this will mean that this will have to be treated as a separate cabin and therefore attract the higher duty of tax. They will therefore have to charge the E+ premium +GBP20, which might make the product rather unattractive. For their own elites, they also face the prospect of having to ask them to go via the ticketing desk to cough up an extra GBP20 or absorb the cost themselves, neither of which is a terribly attractive proposition for UA.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 6:24 am
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I read on another thread that advice from a UA agent on a telephone was that 12th Sept was last day for *G and *S from other airlines to be able to reserve E+

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=599682
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Old Sep 12, 06, 7:20 am
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Originally Posted by treadsoftly
I read on another thread that advice from a UA agent on a telephone was that 12th Sept was last day for *G and *S from other airlines to be able to reserve E+

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=599682
I'll try and make a dummy booking tomorrow then to see how it goes.
A few people have mentioned that they are unable to get E+ seating without calling United but I always thought this essential anyway unless you do what MapleLeaf did and book online. Then if you don't select a seat it will automatically seat you in E+.
I'm still not sure whether this is a huge rumour started from someone forgetting to type information onto the web page in question, but I guess if UA agents are saying this is the case from tomorrow then we will find out then.

It will be interesting to see whether the "E+ sweep" will take out peoples seat assignments with future reservations.

As for myself, I only really fly United ORD-IND and rarely elsewhere. I have a trip coming up to SNA in January and without E+ I will probably just go with the best routing. I won't stop flying them in protest, but if the advantages of flying them decrease, I just won't go out of my way to book UA.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 7:37 am
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I've never been able to select E+ on line with my DC number. However, when I called the United Indian Call Centre he said, "no problem, I'll do that for you." This was on 5th September before the rumour started about the benefit being withdrawn. The flights are on October 22nd and November 4th. I'll post to say whether my E+ seats were withdrawn or not.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by jim739
I'm still not sure whether this is a huge rumour started from someone forgetting to type information onto the web page in question

It will be interesting to see whether the "E+ sweep" will take out peoples seat assignments with future reservations.
Well the .co.uk site has also now been changed to remove the reference to *A so I doubt someone has forgotten twice.

I was wondering about what they would do to existing seat reservations and I think and hope they will just leave them alone. It makes no sense to irritate customers by removing their seat assignments especially as near to the time there are usually only middle seats left in the ordinary cabin. Imagine if you booked 6 months ago, got your "dream" E+ seat than got it taken away from you 2 days before you travel and you have to fly in a crappy middle seat right at the back. Not a good idea.

If I know when I book I have a choice whether to fly UA or not. If I book thinking I will get a certain benefit (whilst not guaranteed) and it gets taken away that is another thing. We shall of course have to wait and see but I for one would see US Airways as a better choice for TA travel if E+ access is removed.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 9:38 am
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Perhaps if UA have plans to redesign their cabin layout e.g. produce a separate Premium cabin this would likely require a specific booking class for that cabin (or some other IT limiting requirement that differentiates it from economy)

*S/G may be prevented from acquiring (or at least pre-booking/reserving) the E+ seats that currently exist in the present, in an effort to free those seats for when such a change in cabin layout occurs in the future. If a *S/G member were to be located a E+ seat which later essentially doesn't exist it, the rectification would require more than just a change of seat number.

Following this assumption, I would have thought that those *S/G members already assigned an E+ seat would keep them until closer to any cabin redesign date.

This is speculation and I have nothing but some (speculative) FT posts to suggest a cabin layout may occur, but it is one possible explanation and possibly some hope that it isn't necessary a permanent change intended solely to degrade *A benefits but more to accommodate a transition. Then again such a change in cabin design wouldn't automatically mean the instigation of automatic upgrades to a Premium Economy cabin for *S and *Gs.

Last edited by jbfield; Sep 12, 06 at 9:48 am
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Old Sep 12, 06, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by jbfield
Perhaps if UA have plans to redesign their cabin layout e.g. produce a separate Premium cabin this would likely require a specific booking class for that cabin (or some other IT limiting requirement that differentiates it from economy)

*S/G may be prevented from acquiring (or at least pre-booking/reserving) the E+ seats that currently exist in the present, in an effort to free those seats for when such a change in cabin layout occurs in the future. If a *S/G member were to be located a E+ seat which later essentially doesn't exist it, the rectification would require more than just a change of seat number.
Except that E+ is still accessible to UA's own elites and also accessible to non elites who have subscribed to Economy Plus Access (in addition to purchase at check-in).
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Old Sep 12, 06, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Jetstreamer
I was wondering about what they would do to existing seat reservations and I think and hope they will just leave them alone. It makes no sense to irritate customers by removing their seat assignments especially as near to the time there are usually only middle seats left in the ordinary cabin. Imagine if you booked 6 months ago, got your "dream" E+ seat than got it taken away from you 2 days before you travel and you have to fly in a crappy middle seat right at the back. Not a good idea.
That's what I wonder as well, as apparently this is no longer a rumour.

I have five UA flights in the beginning of October, and I have E+ seating for all of them, I hope I will be able to keep them.
So far nothing has happened to my booking.

Anybody who travels on UA in the near future, please report back what happened and if the check-in agent let you keep the reserved E+ seat or not.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by jacob_m
I have five UA flights in the beginning of October, and I have E+ seating for all of them, I hope I will be able to keep them.
So far nothing has happened to my booking.

Anybody who travels on UA in the near future, please report back what happened and if the check-in agent let you keep the reserved E+ seat or not.
Same deal - I have 6 flights in October with UA in E+ as bmi*G - I had to call to get my seats assigned last month.

The first flight is on Oct 2nd from LAX - LAS. I have a return on Oct 9, and also flights from LAX - IAD - JAX - IAD -LAX in Mid-Oct. All of these were confirmed by phone as E+ last month. I hope they don't get turfed out in some E+ *G purge / sweep.

I'll post about the flight on Oct 2 as soon as I can.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 7:37 pm
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Although I suspect for some time UA check-in agents will assign *G/*S a seat in E+ for the not too distant future. After all I am pretty sure there are more E+ seats per flight (especially on longhaul) than there are *S, *G and E+Access members combined.
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Old Sep 13, 06, 3:53 am
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Y+ seats not available

Just checked the seat map for one of my upcoming flights next week on expert flyer and all seats in the Y+ section are showing as assigned for my flight (which yesterday was nowhere near being the case). I checked some random dates 3-4 months into the future and the same there. I checked some other flights next year and the same there. Could it be that UA has now just blocked this cabin off to pre-assignment and will deal with it at check-in? It seems that one would not now be able to choose seats in this cabin if they called today.
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