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New Corporate Preferred (upgrade tiebreaker) / new 'preferred' seating section

New Corporate Preferred (upgrade tiebreaker) / new 'preferred' seating section

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Old Feb 9, 19, 7:36 am   -   Wikipost
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United Airlines Strengthens Commitment to Top Corporate Customers with Launch of United Corporate Preferred

New exclusive program provides multi-level benefits to airline's top business travelers

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today debuted United Corporate Preferred, the industry's newest corporate travel program designed to offer top travel benefits to the airline's most loyal business customers. United announced the new program this morning at the Global Business Traveler Association (GBTA) Convention in San Diego.

United Corporate Preferred is a new and exclusive benefits program that provides added perks for the airline's top corporate customers. A multi-level program, United Corporate Preferred offers escalating benefits at three levels, including United Corporate Preferred, United Corporate Preferred Plus and United Corporate Preferred Elite. Eligibility for the new program is determined by a corporation's contract status, revenue contribution and loyalty with United. Eligible corporate agreements include United corporate share agreements, United PassPlus and United Meetings.

"Every day thousands of road warriors are jetting off on United to work events and business meetings all over the world," said Jake Cefolia, United's senior vice president of Worldwide Sales. "We designed our United Corporate Preferred program with the customer's entire travel experience in mind, from booking to landing, to identify opportunities to show our appreciation to our loyal business customers with a program that offers extra perks and travel benefits."

Benefits offered to all United Corporate Preferred customers include:
Preferred upgrades tie-breaker preferences for upgrades.
Preferred standby prioritization when traveling on standby for a different flight and when waitlisting for a seat in a different cabin or booking class.
Operational adjustment protection protection during travel interruptions, as well as seat protection to retain the same or similar seat in the event of an aircraft swap.
Preferred discounts and offers eligibility to receive exclusive promotions offered by both United and its partners in the near future.

Customers in the airline's new United Corporate Preferred Elite level will also receive the following:
Additional travel waiver flexibility when United has a travel waiver in place, customers will receive additional flexibility to adjust their travel beyond restrictions in place on the standard waiver.
Preferred boarding later this year, customers will receive priority boarding in group two.
Preferred seating later this year, customers will have access to book designated standard economy seats closer to the front of the plane.

To receive these benefits, tickets must be flown on United or United Express flights, reservations must include the customer's corporate account number at the time of booking, and the travel must be for the corporate customer's business. Companies invited to participate in United Corporate Preferred will receive a tailored webpage with information on benefits eligible to their employees. For more information on the program, visit unitedcorporatepreferred.com.
What benefits do United Corporate Preferred travelers receive?
Specific benefits are listed below. Being a multi-level program, within each benefit in tie-breaker scenarios, United Corporate Preferred Elite travelers receive the highest priority, followed by United Corporate Preferred Plus and then United Corporate Preferred.
Originally Posted by alanstar View Post
, the $9 "preferred seating" are available for free at T-24 check-in.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 10:04 am
  #1  
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New Corporate Preferred (upgrade tiebreaker) / new 'preferred' seating section

Upgrade tie breaker for corporate accounts (interesting, it uses 'does not have a United credit card' in the tie breaker example - which might imply higher priority for credit card holders - not sure if this is new or already incorporated)

Priority for avoiding seat swaps (interesting they store seat 'attributes')

New preferred seating section behind economy plus rolls out 4Q 2018 - presumably also for MP Elite

United Corporate Preferred

FAQ | United Corporate Preferred
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Old Aug 13, 18, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
Priority for avoiding seat swaps (interesting they store seat 'attributes')
Storing seat attributes is nothing new. There's been a spot for "window or aisle" in the PNR for years, if not decades.

Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
New preferred seating section behind economy plus rolls out 4Q 2018 - presumably also for MP Elite
I noticed a message in my corporate travel portal a couple of weeks ago that AA customers could be moved to Preferred seating (not MCE) after ticketing. I'm guessing AA launched a similar program and this is UA's response.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 10:20 am
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Looks like the credit card priority is for Club cardholders - like the Delta reserve - wonder if it's in place yet

"Corporate travelers receive tie-breaker preference for upgrades after MileagePlus Premier status, booking class, and MileagePlus Chase Club cardholder status. "
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Old Aug 13, 18, 10:21 am
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The example also says that Customer A and B are both "tied" at the top of the upgrade list, because they are both the same status with the same fare class. AFAIK, there are no ties on the upgrade list, and check-in order matters at that point (if all else is the same). Is that no longer going to be the case?
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Old Aug 13, 18, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by mechteach View Post
The example also says that Customer A and B are both "tied" at the top of the upgrade list, because they are both the same status with the same fare class. AFAIK, there are no ties on the upgrade list, and check-in order matters at that point (if all else is the same). Is that no longer going to be the case?
UCP is now a new, additional tie-breaker that adds in before check-in (or ticketing, if outside the gate-processing) window.

The real news IMO is the Preferred Seating situation. That is almost certainly going to be a paid situation similar to what AA does for non-elites. And it is only free for the Elite (top) tier of the new UCP program.

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Old Aug 13, 18, 10:25 am
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Enhanced monetization, here we come...

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Old Aug 13, 18, 10:35 am
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Looks like the BG2 line will be even longer....


Preferred Boarding
United Corporate Preferred Elite Customers Only


Customers will enjoy Group 2 priority boarding starting in Q4 2018.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 10:44 am
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None of this means anything if UA continues to dump standby pax into seats based n the same algorithm that uses "front->back" as part of its algorithm That's been a problem for years..
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Old Aug 13, 18, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
New preferred seating section behind economy plus rolls out 4Q 2018 - presumably also for MP Elite
I really don't see how this helps United to compete vs Foreign/discount carriers (or DL for that matter). There are lots of non-corporate account business travelers and also non-business travelers who are booking in advance and want a seat reservation. That is frankly the ONLY thing that the network carriers- - or at least UA - have over WN. AA went down this road, and the result is that its now hard/impossible to get a seat assignment unless you have status. The illustration UA provided shows that at this point only 1/3 of a A319 would really available for seat assignment. This means no seat assignments for non-status business travelers (i.e. those paying more $$$ closer in) who are not part of some corporate deal. Not exactly the group you want to be proving the worst service too IMHO.

Given that UA has larger E+ cabins, blocking off another 1/3 of the plane from seat assignments is going to have knock on impacts. I know that I have balked at flying AA (where I have no status) a few times on SFO-PHX when confronted with a demand that I pay more for the same crappy E- seat, or play seat selection roulette. Sorry, as a matter of principle I am NOT paying extra for a regular seat to seat towards the front of the plane...

Just because AA - with much smaller E+ cabins - does something does not automatically mean UA has to copy it.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 11:17 am
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Isn't this just another way for UA to get someone to pay for a seat?

When I didn't have status on AA, I know I ponied up $$$ to guarantee an aisle seat. I suppose others will do the same.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
Isn't this just another way for UA to get someone to pay for a seat?

When I didn't have status on AA, I know I ponied up $$$ to guarantee an aisle seat. I suppose others will do the same.
I think that this is exactly what this is. AA has to a great extent taken away the ability to select a regular E- seat, unless you pay extra $$$$$. This is what ULCC's do. E.g. I just flew "peach" (ANA discount carrier) with the family on KIX-HKG. the bulkhead row (extra leg room) was another $25 or so - well worth it - but they were trying to charge an extra $15 for the "up front" seats. Seats that had the same sucky 28-29" pitch.

If UA wants to be a ULCC then do that, but the ability to select a seat is one of the few things UA still has as an advantage over its rivals. People might as well just take DL or AS or B6 (which don't play this game now, or to the same extent blocking off 2/3 of the cabin) or WN
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Old Aug 13, 18, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
I think that this is exactly what this is. AA has to a great extent taken away the ability to select a regular E- seat, unless you pay extra $$$$$. This is what ULCC's do. E.g. I just flew "peach" (ANA discount carrier) with the family on KIX-HKG. the bulkhead row (extra leg room) was another $25 or so - well worth it - but they were trying to charge an extra $15 for the "up front" seats. Seats that had the same sucky 28-29" pitch.

If UA wants to be a ULCC then do that, but the ability to select a seat is one of the few things UA still has as an advantage over its rivals. People might as well just take DL or AS or B6 (which don't play this game now, or to the same extent blocking off 2/3 of the cabin) or WN
So you're saying AA is an ULCC? At least they're revoking their horrible Basic Economy and allowing passengers on BE to bring a full-size carry on. UA on the other hand...hasn't reversed its decision yet.
I also wonder if this will encourage companies to 'attempt' a corporate contract with UA so that it's employees aren't screwed thus giving UA some revenue. On the other hand, I also wonder how many other companies will solicit bids from DL/AA in response.
I suppose it all comes down to the question "Does the corporation / passenger have a choice?" Are they flying in/out of IAD? Does the passenger want to risk a middle seat?
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Old Aug 13, 18, 11:45 am
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another good reason added to UA being on my "do not use" list! Really screws the small business owner!
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Old Aug 13, 18, 11:47 am
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Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
On the other hand, I also wonder how many other companies will solicit bids from DL/AA in response.
Likely, none -- at least, not because of this.

This is a good move by UA for the same reason that it was a good move by AA. The people who arrange corporate travel contracts often don't travel and don't really understand what benefits are important to travelers. This is going to look like a way to sign up to get better treatment. The idea that this better treatment should be obligatory (and complimentary) will never occur to them.

If DL hasn't already followed suit, they will, as this is mainly a way for UA to make sure AA can't poach customers.

Originally Posted by boss315 View Post
another good reason added to UA being on my "do not use" list! Really screws the small business owner!
Really? In what way?

A few seats toward the front will be blocked off -- the exact same seats that already would have been blocked off unless you were buying your tickets 2+ months in advance, because they're the very same seats that everybody chose first.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 11:48 am
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and what about a companion on the same reservation....
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