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Premium Transcon Service SFO-EWR/BOS, LAX-EWR flights - Questions and Experiences

Premium Transcon Service SFO-EWR/BOS, LAX-EWR flights - Questions and Experiences

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Old Jul 6, 19, 1:29 pm   -   Wikipost
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Update 2017: United p.s. is now called Transcontinental Service. This service is available on flights between EWR<>LAX, EWR<>SFO, and BOS<>SFO.
Cross Country Comfort: Introducing United Airlines’ New Transcontinental Service

Originally Posted by United POLARIS FAQ
How does the switch to United Polaris affect United p.s.® Premium Service transcontinental flights?
On December 1, 2016, BusinessFirst service on p.s. transcontinental routes became United Business®, and now features our custom Saks Fifth Avenue pillow and duvet. Previous p.s. features did not change other than the new bedding.
The first PS flights to/from EWR started 25 Oct 2015
United offers transcontinental travelers the features and comfort of long-haul international flights. Customers enjoy modern aircraft interiors with all-new seats, inflight Wi-Fi, free personal on-demand entertainment at every seat, in-seat power and USB ports.

United also provides:
* Premier Access check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage handling;
* United Club access;
* up to 6 feet, 4 inches of sleeping space in a 180-degree flat-bed seat; and
* pre-departure beverages, hot towel service, multi-course meals and a pre-arrival snack.
E+ passengers -- hot meals and drinks included
Travelers in Economy Plus on our premium transcontinental flights now enjoy more than just extra legroom — they’ll also receive a complimentary hot entrée, fruit and dessert, as well as their choice of free alcoholic beverages, including our featured cocktail and more.
Aircraft 757-200
Original config 28 lieflat BF / 42 E+ / 72 E-
Everything You Want to Know About Where to Sit on a 757-200 (pmUA Domestic and p.s.)

Re-purposed TATL config 16 lieflat BF / 45 E+ / 108 E-
Consolidated "Seats on International 757"

other lie-flat aircraft will be used on the route, such as
Everything You Wanted to Know About Where to Sit on 777-200 HD (28BF,102E+,234E-)
Everything you want to know about where to sit on the 787-10

FAQs
Are all flights on these routes lie-flat, etc?
Yes -- all non-stop flights from SFO/LAX to/from EWR and SFO<>BOS are configured as such regardless of aircraft used. All scheduled aircraft have a lie-flat premium cabin.

Are these CPU-eligible flights?
No -- no CPU on these flights. It will take RPU/GPU/mileage+copays to upgrade. Generally, these are "hard" upgrades.

Are TODs / Cash upgrades offered?
Yes, $298 cash OW upgrades are regularly offered.

Archive: Premium Transcon Service SFO-EWR/BOS, LAX-EWR flights-Questions&Experiences {Archive}
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Old Jul 21, 18, 6:38 am
  #331  
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Originally Posted by flyguy6 View Post
Can anyone confirm if this true? After reading my voucher terms I do not see anything the prohibits using for buy ups as long as it is on a United or United Express flight.
you can use it to buy-up into a higher cabin over the phone.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 5:18 pm
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Is RPU close to impossible on Sunday late night SFO/LAX departure and Monday early morning EWR arrival flights?
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Old Aug 5, 18, 8:14 pm
  #333  
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Originally Posted by tetrahydrofuran View Post
Is RPU close to impossible on Sunday late night SFO/LAX departure and Monday early morning EWR arrival flights?
ps redeyes are virtually impossible to upgrade. LAX may be a little better than SFO.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 7:44 am
  #334  
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When did they miniaturize the pillows on ps?

Made me think back wistfully to when these were three class flights and they gave you so many pillows in F that everyone could play Mr. Pillows.

Not very premium these days.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 8:57 am
  #335  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
When did they miniaturize the pillows on ps?

Made me think back wistfully to when these were three class flights and they gave you so many pillows in F that everyone could play Mr. Pillows.

Not very premium these days.
Maybe "p.s." stands for "pillow shrinkage"?
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Old Aug 17, 18, 3:28 pm
  #336  
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Sorry if this has been addressed elsewhere in the thread, but there's quite a lot to read through.

Anyway, maybe I'm just unlucky, but it seems like a decent percentage of the crews on these routes don't know about the free alcohol in E+ policy on these flights:
https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...-services.aspx

I flew EWR->SFO recently and when the first drink service came around the flight attendant wanted to charge me for a beer (I'm PM, not 1K). I mentioned that it was supposed to be free in E+ on these flights and after a little bit of back and forth where she claimed how that was only for 1Ks (the policy for most domestic flights) I finally got her to go ask the purser who confirmed alcohol was free.

Then though, when the second drink service came around I again order a beer, this time from a different flight attendant. She also didn't know this was the policy, so I start explaining again, but the flight attendant from the first service overhears us and claims that it's a one drink per flight policy. At that point I was tired of quibbling, so I just gave up and gave the beer back, but does anyone know if there really is a "one-free-drink" policy for these flights? That's obviously the usual policy for 1Ks on regular domestic flights, but the website I linked above says "free alcoholic beverages" (as in plural), whereas the page that lists the 1K benefit clearly says one-drink per flight.

I've only flown these premium transcon routes a handful of times since status matching from DL earlier this year, but this is already the second flight I've been on where the flight crew didn't know this policy. Does this happen to others, or did I just get unlucky?
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Old Aug 17, 18, 7:49 pm
  #337  
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Originally Posted by bdh View Post
Sorry if this has been addressed elsewhere in the thread, but there's quite a lot to read through.

Anyway, maybe I'm just unlucky, but it seems like a decent percentage of the crews on these routes don't know about the free alcohol in E+ policy on these flights:
https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...-services.aspx

I flew EWR->SFO recently and when the first drink service came around the flight attendant wanted to charge me for a beer (I'm PM, not 1K). I mentioned that it was supposed to be free in E+ on these flights and after a little bit of back and forth where she claimed how that was only for 1Ks (the policy for most domestic flights) I finally got her to go ask the purser who confirmed alcohol was free.

Then though, when the second drink service came around I again order a beer, this time from a different flight attendant. She also didn't know this was the policy, so I start explaining again, but the flight attendant from the first service overhears us and claims that it's a one drink per flight policy. At that point I was tired of quibbling, so I just gave up and gave the beer back, but does anyone know if there really is a "one-free-drink" policy for these flights? That's obviously the usual policy for 1Ks on regular domestic flights, but the website I linked above says "free alcoholic beverages" (as in plural), whereas the page that lists the 1K benefit clearly says one-drink per flight.

I've only flown these premium transcon routes a handful of times since status matching from DL earlier this year, but this is already the second flight I've been on where the flight crew didn't know this policy. Does this happen to others, or did I just get unlucky?
On the website, it says beverages, not beverage. It doesn't appear it is meant to be a single choice of the options offered.

Our premium transcontinental routes now offer seasonal menus crafted by renowned chefs and distinctive amenities inspired by these four iconic cities, so you can get a taste of your destination before you arrive. This includes both travelers in United Business® and everyone in sitting in the Economy Plus® section — Economy Plus travelers now enjoy a complimentary hot entrée, fruit and dessert, as well as complimentary alcoholic beverages


Travelers in Economy Plus on our premium transcontinental flights now enjoy more than just extra legroom — they’ll also receive a complimentary hot entrée, fruit and dessert, as well as their choice of free alcoholic beverages, including our featured cocktail, champagne and more.

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...-services.aspx
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Old Aug 17, 18, 8:05 pm
  #338  
 
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Originally Posted by sb3 View Post
...Travelers in Economy Plus on our premium transcontinental flights now enjoy more than just extra legroom — they’ll also receive a complimentary hot entrée, fruit and dessert, as well as their choice of free alcoholic beverages, including our featured cocktail, champagne and more....
This is why writing agreements is so difficult.

If the FAs give each E+ passenger one alcoholic beverage, they will have served “beverages” to “travelers”. The language actually does not explicitly promise “beverages” to each passenger (although that is what UA intends).

Not only that, but language states UA will provide their E+ travelers a “choice” of “beverages”. Again, “choice” does not explicitly imply more than one.

UA needs some nit-pickers to help them with their language/phrasing. Be interesting to see how the FA policy manual is written.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Aug 17, 18 at 8:20 pm
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Old Aug 17, 18, 8:16 pm
  #339  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
When did they miniaturize the pillows on ps?

Made me think back wistfully to when these were three class flights and they gave you so many pillows in F that everyone could play Mr. Pillows.

Not very premium these days.
Flew on Tuesday and don't remember anything changed, though I kept my pillow off to the side so don't remember exactly the size.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 8:19 pm
  #340  
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post

UA needs some nit-pickers to help them with their language/phrasing.
While I agree the language in the abstract could be deemed ambiguous, I really don't think it is in this context. Airlines have traditionally offered free alcoholic beverages (plural) in long-haul Y. I understand the ps E+ service to basically mimic that traditional practice. If they want to say "one drink" they need to say "one drink." Which is exactly what they've done when they intend to so limit it:
One way that we're enhancing the inflight experience for our most frequent flyers is by offering MileagePlus members with Premier® 1K® status free alcoholic beverages and snacks in United Economy®. If you’re a member with Premier 1K status, you'll receive one free alcoholic beverage and one free Choice Menu food item when traveling in United Economy on any United- or United Express®-operated flight system-wide, subject to availability on your flight.
Complimentary Food & Beverage for Global Services & 1K Members when Seated in Economy

And on the webpage discussing the ps E+ benefit, they describe it as equivalent to the premium cabin benefit:

Alcoholic beverages are complimentary in premium cabins on all flights and in Economy Plus® on premium transcontinental flights.
Inflight Beverages

Obviously premium cabin passengers are not limited to a single drink.

Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
Flew on Tuesday and don't remember anything changed, though I kept my pillow off to the side so don't remember exactly the size.
Today mine was small and lumpy. Like those horrible old ones under Smisek, only smaller. Nothing like what you get in international Polaris.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 17, 18 at 8:39 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Aug 17, 18, 9:54 pm
  #341  
 
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Originally Posted by bdh View Post

I've only flown these premium transcon routes a handful of times since status matching from DL earlier this year, but this is already the second flight I've been on where the flight crew didn't know this policy. Does this happen to others, or did I just get unlucky?
You will find that United crew tend to make up rules based on their whim and the only consistency is that there is a lot of inconsistency. The fault lies with management providing poor training and communication, particularly when it comes to "new" benefits prescribed for passengers. It often takes quite awhile before such benefits make their way through the system and are uniformly applied.

The consensus in this thread has been that E+ passengers on premium transcons are entitled to more than one alcoholic beverage. But one could see why flight attendants might confuse that with the one drink restriction for 1Ks. In theory it is not confusing as it is two different situations. But again, bad training and communication by management.

If a benefit is announced but nobody on staff provides it then does it really exist?
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Old Aug 20, 18, 12:28 pm
  #342  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
ps redeyes are virtually impossible to upgrade. LAX may be a little better than SFO.
unbelievably, my RPU was clearly at about t-50 hours for my Sunday red eye SFO-EWR . now i have another red eye LAX-EWR coming, this time I paid MUA as a part of an international itinerary, fingers crossed.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 4:28 pm
  #343  
 
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Originally Posted by tetrahydrofuran View Post
unbelievably, my RPU was clearly at about t-50 hours for my Sunday red eye SFO-EWR . now i have another red eye LAX-EWR coming, this time I paid MUA as a part of an international itinerary, fingers crossed.
This post brings to mind the classic Robin Williams skit on Golf...
UA clears just enough RPUs on SFO/LAX-EWR "To give you (expletive deleted) hope!"

Last edited by Phil Level; Aug 21, 18 at 11:53 am
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Old Aug 20, 18, 8:05 pm
  #344  
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Because the policy is unique to these specific routes, I've found some crew confused the premium transcon E+ alcohol rule with international flights' rule (beer and wine only) or GS/1K rule (1 drink only). Perhaps they need to add the expectation as part of the meal print out add it to the pre-flight briefing.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 9:48 pm
  #345  
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I hadn't flown UA premium t-con in over a year, but DL flights were all at least $1k more, so did UA SFO-EWR this weekend. Not a great experience in either direction. The four hour delay last night, resulting in a 2:25 a.m. SFO arrival didn't help (on the plus side, the drive home to Oakland at 3 a.m. took a record 24 minutes ).

Service wasn't very good either direction . . . FA last night tried, but didn't seem to understand that with an 11:40 p.m. Sunday night departure, we all pretty much just wanted to be left alone. I didn't eat, but last night's menu was certainly not inspiring - short rib, grilled chicken breast, lasagna. How many times have we seen all that before? UA of course loses big to DL at both ends on the lounge front. And EWR - with the exception of Classified - was its usual pit of unpleasantness (not that JFK is so much better). Oh, and my seat didn't fully recline . . . stopped about 2-3 inches short, which meant two big seams in the cushions then a gap between the leg and foot rests.

Based on this experience, for future flights, I'd be willing to pay up to about $300 extra to fly DL. So UA was still the right call at $1k savings, but it's pretty sad how far the ps experience has fallen.
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