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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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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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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 Jun 21, 19, 7:34 am
  #586  
 
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Originally Posted by Presguy View Post
I seems like, for a fraction of the price of Delta One or AA Flagship, you can still get most of the hard product (a lay flat seat), and a decent expereince for a redeye.
As EWR764 mentioned, the pricing of the majors on LAX-NYC is identical, and AA/DL/B6 also offer lie-flat seats. If you see UA as a "fraction of the price" that's a quirk of the inventory (number of seats left) on your particular date, and feel free to pick UA for the savings

Originally Posted by Presguy View Post
Is my assessment right? I could book a redeye in a true,international first class cabin - even absent frist class amenities, at a signifact savings, just to get the better seat?
Yes, you get a true international first business class cabin, although note that the UA 772s on the route are usually the 77G which has the last-generation 2-4-2 IPTE seat in Business, plus lounge access at both sides (United Club, not Polaris).
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Old Jun 21, 19, 7:40 am
  #587  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
plus lounge access at both sides (United Club, not Polaris).
AA probably offers the best lounge experience on the premium t-cons, then DL, then UA. Though you could argue that DL and UA are currently the same (totally sucky at one end), pending DL's refurb of T2 LAX.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 7:57 am
  #588  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Fares are indeed the same across the board. IME, UA offers more of the discount inventory than AA or (especially) DL, so it may be easier to find a cheap seat on UA.
Possibly a function of having the most capacity in the market, and generally, the largest premium cabins.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 8:00 am
  #589  
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
Possibly a function of having the most capacity in the market, and generally, the largest premium cabins.
Yes I think that's right. There is likely also a factor of DL being able to extract a premium from its customers.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 8:02 am
  #590  
 
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RPU priority

I upgraded using an RPU. It did not clear. On the day of the flight, I was number 21 on the upgrade list. Does that mean that the other 20 people all were using upgrade instruments (as opposed to complimentary upgrade)? I find it a bit hard to believe that there would be so many, although it was EWR-SFO on a 787-10.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 8:05 am
  #591  
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Originally Posted by hooterbif View Post
Does that mean that the other 20 people all were using upgrade instruments (as opposed to complimentary upgrade)?
Yes, that that is an instrument only route.
Originally Posted by hooterbif View Post
I find it a bit hard to believe that there would be so many
I don't find that hard to believe at all. SFO is extremely elite heavy. You will see upgrade lists over 100 on certain flights (particularly SFO-ORD).
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Old Jun 21, 19, 8:06 am
  #592  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Yes I think that's right. There is likely also a factor of DL being able to extract a premium from its customers.
Slightly OT, but I would be interested to see if DL actually generates a premium in the TCON markets versus its competition. It’s no secret that Delta’s systemwide revenue premium is buoyed by a concentration of shorthaul, high-RASM flying, and IME the D1 transcon experience has declined significantly over the past two years.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 8:21 am
  #593  
 
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Originally Posted by hooterbif View Post
I find it a bit hard to believe that there would be so many, although it was EWR-SFO on a 787-10.
Why is that surprising? There are 274 Y seats on a UA 781, so that means about 8% of the pax were Plat/1K/GS, had a friend with a certificate, or applied their miles for an upgrade (and were higher status than you). Certainly any elite with an RPU handy is probably going to apply it to EWR-SFO.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 8:29 am
  #594  
 
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Originally Posted by hooterbif View Post
I upgraded using an RPU. It did not clear. On the day of the flight, I was number 21 on the upgrade list. Does that mean that the other 20 people all were using upgrade instruments (as opposed to complimentary upgrade)? I find it a bit hard to believe that there would be so many, although it was EWR-SFO on a 787-10.

Just to clarify what @Kacee said - they ONLY way to get on the upgrade list from EWR-SFO is by using a RPU/GPU as that is not a normal CPU route and no one would be automatically put on the upgrade list. So EVERYONE on the upgrade list used an instrument. Yes, there are still 30+ names on that list some days.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 8:31 am
  #595  
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OP is a general member. They probably don't know the ins and outs of the legendary difficult EWR-SFO route, the insane number of seats on a 787-10, etc.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 21, 19 at 11:17 am Reason: discuss the issue, not the poster
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:03 am
  #596  
 
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
OP is a general member. They probably don't know the ins and outs of the legendary difficult EWR-SFO route, the insane number of seats on a 787-10, etc.
I have been on a bit of a travel hiatus, and things do evolve over the years.

That transcon hub-hub has a lot of elites is not surprising. I just was not sure how deep this queue gets. (The fact that I have low status on United certainly would not help.....)

Thank you all for the responses.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 21, 19 at 11:18 am Reason: quote updated to refect Moderator edit
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:11 am
  #597  
 
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Originally Posted by hooterbif View Post
I have been on a bit of a travel hiatus, and things do evolve over the years.

That transcon hub-hub has a lot of elites is not surprising. I just was not sure how deep this queue gets. (The fact that I have low status on United certainly would not help.....)

Thank you all for the responses.
Even 1K's struggle to use RPU's/GPU's on some flights. United has decided that selling First as an upgrade to pretty much anyone is priority 1. I don't agree with it, but financially for UA it's apparently working.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:16 am
  #598  
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
Even 1K's struggle to use RPU's/GPU's on some flights.
Understatement, even. I think the reported 1K success rate for waitlisting SFO-EWR is in the 10% range.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:20 am
  #599  
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
Slightly OT, but I would be interested to see if DL actually generates a premium in the TCON markets versus its competition. It’s no secret that Delta’s systemwide revenue premium is buoyed by a concentration of shorthaul, high-RASM flying, and IME the D1 transcon experience has declined significantly over the past two years.
My anecdotal experience is that DL's fares are considerably higher. That's the only reason I've flown UA into EWR the past three or four times.

The DL in-air experience is no better than UA's, but the lounges at both ends (SFO & JFK) are better and both offer showers. All else equal, I will fly DL.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:31 am
  #600  
 
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Originally Posted by Presguy View Post

Was looking at at couple of redeyes from LAX to the NYC area, and noticed many UA flights, for instance, 1165 LAX>EWR seem to represent a very strong value in first class relative to competition.
Only if you don't want (or, more important, need) a shower on either end. If a shower is important to you, fly DL or AA.
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