Is this the future of United "E+"?

Old May 30, 13, 6:36 pm
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Post Is this the future of United "E+"?

The concept is to build Economy Plus into a full "Premium Economy" product -- room, food, pre-flight services, onboard amenities...

http://www.flyertalk.com/the-gate/bl...l#comment-8494

Know an airline that's near and dear to this board whose prevalent top class now is Business? Feel a knock-on effect coming from the new normal? I suggest that it is. Is it a good thing? I suggest that this is still an open question -- about the concept, about it vis a vis United, and vis a vis customers. Know any near and dear ones who might be thus eased into not being as near and dear to United?
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Old May 30, 13, 7:24 pm
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E+ is the principal reason I fly UA. Without it, UA's only advantage to me would be redemption of miles for Awards. But it would remain with its big disadvantages: poor and uncomfortable fleet, surly FAs (not all, but a large proportion), charging for drinks and I could go on.

But then, for me, the competition is BA or VS, both of which take some pride in their hard and soft products, even in Y.

Last edited by iluv2fly; May 30, 13 at 7:59 pm Reason: unnecessary
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Old May 30, 13, 7:57 pm
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I doubt it. Premium Economy is a tough product to make work, especially for multi-hub carriers.
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Old May 30, 13, 8:41 pm
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Future of E+ -- our upgrades

IMO, in a few years, status will determine your upgrade chances to E+.
Why else would Jeff$ buy into E+?
FC will only be available via TOD or HOD.
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Old May 30, 13, 8:49 pm
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I must add that J class and F class have been blurred for years on US carriers even some foreign carriers. Also US, DL don't have F class. So the case of J being the top class as a bad thing is not so clear cut. Frankly call it whatever you want, but as long as the seats keep getting better, service improves and innovation on the aircraft no matter what class be it a true premium economy class is all welcome.
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Old May 30, 13, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Zip View Post
IMO, in a few years, status will determine your upgrade chances to E+.
Why else would Jeff$ buy into E+?
FC will only be available via TOD or HOD.
I'll bet UA lets you burn 22,500 miles for FC or J too!
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Old May 31, 13, 2:04 pm
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AC appears to be trying to ape more dedicated international carriers like VS and BA (and others, but those are the only two I have experience with); it'll be interesting to see how the idea of Premium Economy plays on intra-Canada routes, where there's pretty fierce competition from WestJet and Porter (again, among others).

UA might be convinced to take E+ upmarket if they see there's a domestic market for it, but I don't see them adding it fleetwide otherwise. (Or unless DL beefs up their YComfort offering.)
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Old May 31, 13, 4:07 pm
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I think complimentary liquor in E+ (at least on intl) would be a welcome and relatively inexpensive addition to the UA product.
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Old May 31, 13, 4:11 pm
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Air France has a real premium economy, especially on long haul flights. Looks really good with hard shell seats, etc.
http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common...ur_confort.htm
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Old May 31, 13, 4:42 pm
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New-style Premium Economy is beginning to look suspiciously like old-style Business Class (or better). This little ruse should work for awhile until road warriors' accounting departments catch up.
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Old May 31, 13, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by JetAway View Post
New-style Premium Economy is beginning to look suspiciously like old-style Business Class (or better). This little ruse should work for awhile until road warriors' accounting departments catch up.
I agree. I recently read a blog post where the author was analyzing each seat in the CX fleet and when I saw him sitting in their Premium Economy section I thought it seemed nearly identical to the Barcalounger, which used to be our J/F ten years ago - except with less recline.

I think that E+ as it stands today cannot justify more than a tiny price premium but a true Premium Economy (which certain carriers do have) makes sense.

The overall trend for a lot of airlines seems to be getting rid of the "luxurious" experience in F, and pushing that down to a fairly utilitarian but comfortable J experience. It makes perfect sense, to me, to offer something between the comfort of J and the hell of Y (especially E- style).

There's got to be a market for people willing to spend more than Y fare but can't spend J fare.

I think the value of this is a direct function of flight distance. Who cares about a 1-2 hour flight. But, if you're flying 6 hours for work, then Premium Economy will let you be more productive than being crushed into an unbearable position. And, if you're flying 20 hours, then there's a tangible reduction in pain and suffering, which has value.
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Old May 31, 13, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by hughw View Post
Air France has a real premium economy, especially on long haul flights. Looks really good with hard shell seats, etc.
http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common...ur_confort.htm
It is a good product but pales in comparison to NZ's new product... http://www.airnewzealand.com.au/new-premium-economy
It has become my new favorite from LAX-LHR without any of the upgrade drama on UA...often for less than an upgradeable fare on UA!!...and don't forget the New Zealand wines and beer!
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Old May 31, 13, 6:21 pm
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Wait, don't retire those Barcaloungers yet...we have an idea...
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Old May 31, 13, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by mitchmu View Post
I agree. I recently read a blog post where the author was analyzing each seat in the CX fleet and when I saw him sitting in their Premium Economy section I thought it seemed nearly identical to the Barcalounger, which used to be our J/F ten years ago - except with less
I was more than happy to stretch out in the BarcaLounger, especially for 80k RDMs to Europe. Y as it currently exists is miserable, and I just hate to start or end any trip that way, whether it is business or pleasure.
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Old May 31, 13, 6:57 pm
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Originally Posted by jschrag View Post
I was more than happy to stretch out in the BarcaLounger, especially for 80k RDMs to Europe. Y as it currently exists is miserable, and I just hate to start or end any trip that way, whether it is business or pleasure.
I never knew it was possible to complain about BarcaLoungers until after I experienced lay flat. These are first world problems.
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