To pay or not to pay? Upgrade question.

Old Jul 29, 18, 1:03 pm
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To pay or not to pay? Upgrade question.

I am flying MXP-EWR-MEX in January, with an overnight layover at EWR and a 10:00am connection to MEX.

The EWR-MEX sector is UA2251 on an Airbus 319 and is upgradeable to Business for $219. My question is what I am likely to get for that money.

I realise the seat is likely to be a domestic first style recliner, rather than a proper international lie-flat. But will I get security fast track, lounge access, free booze, etc.?

I realise that "worth it" is a subjective concept - i.e. a merchant banker and a college student would think differently about the importance of $219. I am somewhere in the middle of this spectrum - a 40yo semi-retiree with reasonable, but not unlimited means. A one-off expense of a couple of hundred bucks is not going to unbalance me, but I want to know if I'm getting something worthwhile for it.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
I realise the seat is likely to be a domestic first style recliner, rather than a proper international lie-flat. But will I get security fast track, lounge access, free booze, etc.?

I realise that "worth it" is a subjective concept - i.e. a merchant banker and a college student would think differently about the importance of $219. I am somewhere in the middle of this spectrum - a 40yo semi-retiree with reasonable, but not unlimited means. A one-off expense of a couple of hundred bucks is not going to unbalance me, but I want to know if I'm getting something worthwhile for it.
Yes to lounge access and free alcohol -- however, your access is to the United Club, not the Polaris Lounge. You should get access to a shorter security line, but there are a lot of Premier flyers at EWR, so I don't know how short. And, definitely yes to a domestic first style recliner.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
But will I get security fast track
Sort of, you'll get premier access, but I wouldn't call it fast at Newark.

Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
lounge access
Yes, but only to the mediocre United Club, not the Polaris lounge.

Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
free booze
Yes, in both the lounge (although it's pretty bad wells) and onboard (normal mid-range options).
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Old Jul 29, 18, 1:13 pm
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"But will I get security fast track, lounge access, free booze, etc.?"

Yes - United Club access, Premier access security, boarding group 1, free booze.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 2:08 pm
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I would go for the upgrade. The slimlined economy seats on UA's 319/320s are very uncomfortable. I dislike them for a 1 hour flight and actively book away from this aircraft unless I can confirm in F.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 2:21 pm
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$219 for a 2,000+ mi flight seems easily worth it in my mind for the seat alone.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
$219 for a 2,000+ mi flight seems easily worth it in my mind for the seat alone.
$50/hour is well below my "always take it" threshold.

Especially if you don't have status and are otherwise not entitled to things like priority lines, lounge access, etc.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
$50/hour is well below my "always take it" threshold.

Especially if you don't have status and are otherwise not entitled to things like priority lines, lounge access, etc.
And at MEX, you can be first off the plane and sprint to immigration in order to save 5 or 10 minutes off the 60 minute wait
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Old Jul 29, 18, 3:06 pm
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You may also earn your MileagePlus points at a hirer rate for J (depending on how the upgrade is processed). For the comfort, club access, ease of boading/off loading/customs and free additional baggage allowance, I would take the upgrade.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 3:10 pm
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219. Easy decision
upgrade
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Old Jul 29, 18, 3:31 pm
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I couldn't see what your status was for star alliance, and whether you already have precheck or not (which this wouldn't help), but my thoughts are as follows:

- if you have an econ plus seat on window or aisle, keep the money in your pocket... the $200 plus will get you lubricated perfectly fine before you get on the plane. There is absolutely no worthwhile breakfast option at the United Club, nor even on plane do I generally bother with the mess that is served.

- the difference in seats: if its the plane I' remembering, then "1st" in the upright position is miserable, in the "reclined" position is tolerable, so who cares. A vodka or three fixes the problem in econ +.

I'm not semi-retired unfortunately, but am in the same age bracket and could pay if I wanted, but I'm generally not worthy... my view would be keep your $$, and enjoy the $50 an hour you pay yourself to sit in the back.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 3:42 pm
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You have largely left off the most important factor: comfort. F will be 2-2 while Y will be 3-3 and cramped at that. This alone makes the $219 good value value.

The rest is all largely fluff. Don't forget that there is no Fast Track in the US. For those without Pre-Check all you get is access to a slightly shorter line, but all of the standard security. Possibly a short timie savings, possibly not.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 4:34 pm
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Ok, you've convinced me (as if I hadn't already convinced myself).

All fixed. Decision made. $219 successfully Amex-ed. Thanks guys!
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Old Jul 29, 18, 9:38 pm
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Don't forget 2 bags x 70 lbs now versus 1 x 50 lbs.
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Old Jul 30, 18, 3:00 am
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
Don't forget 2 bags x 70 lbs now versus 1 x 50 lbs.
Thanks but I'm a light traveller and I have a leg in Y the day before.
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