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Premium Plus (Premium Economy) seats and Experience

Premium Plus (Premium Economy) seats and Experience

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Old Aug 9, 22, 9:30 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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Start of formal service 30 March 2019
I
Most widebodies now have PremPlus seats except
- a few 789s
- 764s (perhaps in the future)
- 777HD
- 30J 763s

Domestically PremPlus if aircraft is so equip'ed is only sold on
EWR<>SFO/LAX
HNL<>ORD/EWR/IAH

if a PremPlus aircraft is used but PremPlus is not marketed, the seats are sold as E+ and elites have free access


Premium Plus package
  • Wider seats (than Economy), more leg space (than E+), more recline (than E+), leg rest
  • Saks Fifth Ave bedding
  • Larger entertainment screens and noise reduction headset
  • Customers seated in United® Premium Plus will receive an elevated dining experience with Complimentary alcoholic beverages as well as custom dinnerware with flatware and a cloth napkin.
  • Premier Access® to help you get on your way faster"
  • Two free standard checked bags so you can pack more
  • Discounted United Club access for a better travel experience
  • Reserved overhead bin space for your carry-on bag
  • Earn 150% Premier qualifying miles and 1.5 Premier qualifying segments when you purchase a fare in United® Premium Plus. In 2020 UA switched to PQP/PQF qualiflying metrics
  • Free E+ access on connecting flights without PP seating (and booked in B fare class) (true for paid tickets (as recent as june 2022) but not available on awards)

Originally Posted by under2100 View Post
The Points Guy -- United Details Menu, Service Ahead of Premium Plus Launch

Extracted from the above article:
"... United’s providing our first glimpse ... in the form of an email to in-flight crew members......United also provided some instructions to flight attendants, along with tips from crew members who participated in a test flight. Some notable details include:
  • Menus (like the one above) will be placed at each seat
  • Pre-departure water may be served in a blue cup, time permitting
  • Almonds will be served alongside a choice of beverage after takeoff
  • The main meal will include a choice of two entrees, plus a salad, bread, ice cream and a cookie
  • Beer, wine (187ml bottles — about two glasses) and spirits will be available free of charge
  • Entrees and salads may arrive with a lid (it may not be removed, as it is in business class)
  • Meal orders will not be prioritized based on status
  • A customer may choose a standard economy meal instead, if they prefer
  • The pre-arrival meal will include a choice of two entrees as well, plus various side dishes, a biscotti and croissant
...
How is the PremuimPlus section treated on domestic flights or routes not offering PP fares?
If the route is not a formal PP route (with PP fares), the PP section is treated as additional E+ seats. The service levels / amenities will be standard E+ service. There is no access priority based on status, anyone with E+ access can select the PP seats for no additional costs.

Related threads: How does GPU/ Mileage Upgrade waitlist for business work with PremiumPlus?

Premium Plus Fare in GDS (for sale starting 3 Dec 2018, travel after 30 March 2019)

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Old Sep 21, 19, 12:58 pm
  #811  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 8,487
Originally Posted by iluv2fly View Post
A soda (Coke, Sprite, etc.) can be considered a "mixer".
True, although that is not what I would call it.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 9:57 pm
  #812  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Posts: 9,252
Originally Posted by fumje View Post
True, although that is not what I would call it.
Soda is a mixer IMO. It was ginger ale in this case. The FA had no problem giving out full cans of whatever "mixer" was requested.

BTW, I wrote the 1K line about this. I first got told to read the website. Gee, helpful. I re-sent my request and the second response was "they are complimentary" with absolutely no direct answer to my question of "how many?" So my reading of the website and the 1K email is it should all be free for the whole flight.

I'm booked in PP again this week on an ultra long haul. I think my GPU will clear though so I may not get to test this out again but will definitely try if I'm stuck in PP.

-RM
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Old Sep 22, 19, 10:54 am
  #813  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 8,487
Originally Posted by RobOnLI View Post
Soda is a mixer IMO. It was ginger ale in this case. The FA had no problem giving out full cans of whatever "mixer" was requested.

BTW, I wrote the 1K line about this. I first got told to read the website. Gee, helpful. I re-sent my request and the second response was "they are complimentary" with absolutely no direct answer to my question of "how many?" So my reading of the website and the 1K email is it should all be free for the whole flight.

I'm booked in PP again this week on an ultra long haul. I think my GPU will clear though so I may not get to test this out again but will definitely try if I'm stuck in PP.

-RM
I suspect your FA & team were confused — or 'MOLFA' — but I also can't imagine that anyone at United is too interested in spelling out a lengthy policy. For whatever little it's worth, there doesn't seem to be a lot of consistency in the way Economy liquor is rationed.

I'd also be willing to bet that if you just assent to charge for a second drink, and then write in later to say you think that was wrong, that they will refund you at the least. However, in fairness, that would be me betting with your money.
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Old Sep 22, 19, 11:56 am
  #814  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,962
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
737s of all variations have 5 inch recline in domestic F and the new F seat for A3xx is 6 inches

The PP seats are listed as 6 inch recline

Note on aircraft with PP, E+ is 4 inch recline.
E+ is 5 inch recline of the A3xx and just 3 inches on the 737
Is there a source where I can find seat recline information, for UA as well as other airlines? (seatguru used to show some recline info, but I haven't been able to find that anymore.)

Also, does anyone know how these recline inches are measured? To me, degree of recline is easy to visualize: 0 = no recline, 90 = full horizontal (flat). Recline expressed in "inches" has always baffled me a bit...
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Old Sep 22, 19, 12:16 pm
  #815  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 60,080
Originally Posted by sfvoyage View Post
Is there a source where I can find seat recline information, for UA .....
For UA, see specific aircraft details @ https://www.united.com/web/en-us/con...t/default.aspx

Originally Posted by sfvoyage View Post
Also, does anyone know how these recline inches are measured? To me, degree of recline is easy to visualize: 0 = no recline, 90 = full horizontal (flat). Recline expressed in "inches" has always baffled me a bit...
With conventional economy seats, the seatback is 30-ish inches tall, you are generally on the 5- to 10-degree additional recline (roughly double the inches to get degrees for small angles in this case - interesting trig prob, hopefully I got the trig right)
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Old Sep 22, 19, 1:24 pm
  #816  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,962
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
For UA, see specific aircraft details @ https://www.united.com/web/en-us/con...t/default.aspx

With conventional economy seats, the seatback is 30-ish inches tall, you are generally on the 5- to 10-degree additional recline (roughly double the inches to get degrees for small angles in this case...
Thank you for this. I found the following via google:

https://keisan.casio.com/exec/system/1273850202

Using hypotenuse of 30 and various base values (from 5 to 10), I solved for the angle:

5 inches = 9.6 degrees
6 inches = 11.3 degrees
7 inches = 13.4 degrees
8 inches = 15.3 degrees
10 inches = 19.2 degrees

So your "double the inches to get the degrees" rule works! (Hope I get the calculations right as well.)

On the UA specs page, it's interesting to note that for Polaris, seat recline is listed at 180 degrees, whereas for PEY, E+ and E, they are listed in terms of inches and not degrees.
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Old Sep 22, 19, 6:25 pm
  #817  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Floating around
Programs: UA 1K (1MM), DL Silver (1MM), Marriott Amb (LT Titanium)
Posts: 9,252
Originally Posted by fumje View Post
I suspect your FA & team were confused — or 'MOLFA' — but I also can't imagine that anyone at United is too interested in spelling out a lengthy policy. For whatever little it's worth, there doesn't seem to be a lot of consistency in the way Economy liquor is rationed.

I'd also be willing to bet that if you just assent to charge for a second drink, and then write in later to say you think that was wrong, that they will refund you at the least. However, in fairness, that would be me betting with your money.
Hahaha. Well, at $8 or whatever they charge a pop I don't mind taking the gamble. The refund will come in the form of an ETC I'm sure. Maybe they'd throw in an extra $100. A gamble I'm willing to take? Thanks for gambling with my money though.

As for "too interest in spelling out a lengthy policy". 1) It isn't lengthy. Either spell out "all drinks for the flight are complimentary" or "you are limited to one complimentary adult beverage for the flight with others being chargeable". 2) Remember, we're talking about PP, not Economy or Economy Plus. Does PP qualify as "economy"? Maybe in this case it does since the drink service was done from the same carts for PP, E+ and E- as far as I could tell.

-RM
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Old Sep 23, 19, 4:28 pm
  #818  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New York, N.Y.
Posts: 289
For what it's worth, FAs weren't limiting drinks on LHR-EWR on Friday. The crew was surprisingly delightful, particularly since they struck me as bunch with relative seniority.

As for the PP experience itself, it was nice enough, but I can't say that I was wowed. The meal service was definitely improved over economy (and the meal was served unwrapped and nicely plated), and the TV screen was large and crisp. The seat, however, didn't seem dramatically more spacious than the economy exit row I had on the outbound, the footrest was basically useless, and I *hated* the placement of the support bar for the seat in front of me -- by placing the support bar directly in the middle of the seat, it essentially made it impossible to have any floor storage during the flight.

I'd fly PP again if it's a modest premium from the equivalent economy fare, but if the premium is too high, I'd be nearly as happy buying economy and paying extra for an exit row if one is available at booking.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 5:26 pm
  #819  
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Posts: 60,080
Originally Posted by DCAview View Post
,,, The seat, however, didn't seem dramatically more spacious than the economy exit row I had on the outbound, ....
Width-wise probably 2-3" (plus wider armrest) but pitch-wise not compared to an exit row.
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Old Sep 24, 19, 12:04 pm
  #820  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: BOS (South End)
Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP, TrueBlue, IHG Plat Amb, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, Accor Platinum, National Exec Elite
Posts: 903
Flew EWR-LHR this past Thursday at 7pm. Service was outstanding - attentive crew and exceptionally pleasant throughout the flight. Needless to say rather impressed there.



Upon arriving at seat - blankets, pillow, headphones, amenity kit, bottle of water and menu.

Sat Bulkhead/Exit row 20A (window). The Good: No one in front of you; extra couple of inches because of the bulkhead cutout; leg rest worked well along with seat width and decent armrests. I'm 5'8 155 lbs but by the end of the flight started to get a little uncomfortable. The bad: There is a J lavatory across from the row so can get annoying even with the "curtain" in place. TV screen smaller than seat back ones. When the screen is folded down your right leg is impeded and width becomes snug. USB/Power is crammed way into side of the seat and difficult to see. No storage space.


Window bulkhead/exit row seats have a couple extra inches of space. Aisles not so much.


J lavatory across from you. Best seat is 20L since no lav on that side and extra legroom. Middle PP section (can't see in pic) also has a bulkhead in front of pass-through and offers more privacy.


Screen "resting" position is annoying as feel cramped.

Meal service: Drink selection pre-dinner and during were asked ahead of time and had no issues ordering a G&T with two Bombay bottles. I ordered white wine for the start of dinner and it arrived in the "economy-style" bottle with pre-dinner drink. During dinner, wine was poured from 750ml bottles and they may have been from J since of somewhat better quality (bar is still very low here). My seat mate and I both had a Glenfarclas for a "nite cap" before watching some flicks. Water glasses were passed out a couple times during flight.


Initially presented - better than economy.

Overall I was pleased but would not pay more than $299 (depending on timing of flight, etc.) above a regular economy ticket for a 6-8hr flight if you have a good E+ seat even with the bonus PQMs. Even with a B fare on the BOS-EWR segment I was #24 on the waitlist haha. On the return I was in 31A bulkhead E+ window which was fine for an 8hr flight and had plenty of legroom. The cushion did become uncomfortable after awhile but made sure to get up and stretch a couple of times. At check-in, was offered $459 to upgrade to PP and $499 to Polaris. Biggest variable will be the crew which can make or break the experience. The high density 763 is well...definitely tight. Biz looks crazy cramped upfront too. The middle two PP seats also have a bulkhead are not aligned with the two window-aisle sections and offer more privacy since the lav is blocked but legroom looked a bit less.

Hope this helps a bit for real life experience seat selection on the 763.

Last edited by Sterndogg; Sep 24, 19 at 12:40 pm
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Old Sep 25, 19, 12:08 am
  #821  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Francisco/Sydney
Programs: UA 1K/MM, TK Elite, DL Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum, IHG Gold, Hertz PC, Avis First
Posts: 7,549
Looks like UA isn't doing a great job of inventory management on the pricing for Economy v's Premium Plus.

For the past few days, the options on CDG-SFO on October 9th (as a part of a round trip) were either Economy with V-class for a base fare of $1,140.50, or Premium Plus in R-class for a base fare of $488.00 (Other charges/etc basically the same for both). When R ran out, it jumped to ~$800 for A. That's now sold out too, so Economy is back to being cheaper than PP.

Worth keeping an eye out for this, especially as our corporate booking software (Concur) does NOT pick up on it - if you select Economy, it'll give you economy - even if "Premium Economy" is several hundred dollars cheaper!
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Old Sep 25, 19, 8:05 am
  #822  
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Looks like UA isn't doing a great job of inventory management on the pricing for Economy v's Premium Plus.
I think they are very deliberating trying to hook a new set of leisure travelers on PE with the fire-sale pricing, so they can gradually reel them in back to break-even and profitable fare levels.

Uncertain how well it works, although I think FT has a selection bias that makes sampling here useless - many regular Y flyers here saying "this product was okay for $99 more but no way would I ever pay real money for it".
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Old Oct 1, 19, 9:41 pm
  #823  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: san jose, CA
Posts: 2,990
Originally Posted by DCAview View Post
For what it's worth, FAs weren't limiting drinks on LHR-EWR on Friday. The crew was surprisingly delightful, particularly since they struck me as bunch with relative seniority.

As for the PP experience itself, it was nice enough, but I can't say that I was wowed. The meal service was definitely improved over economy (and the meal was served unwrapped and nicely plated), and the TV screen was large and crisp. The seat, however, didn't seem dramatically more spacious than the economy exit row I had on the outbound, the footrest was basically useless, and I *hated* the placement of the support bar for the seat in front of me -- by placing the support bar directly in the middle of the seat, it essentially made it impossible to have any floor storage during the flight.

I'd fly PP again if it's a modest premium from the equivalent economy fare, but if the premium is too high, I'd be nearly as happy buying economy and paying extra for an exit row if one is available at booking.
This photo shows the referenced problem with the support bar blocking underseat storage in aisle seats, when I flew SFO-FRA and SFO- LHR and back. So if all you have is a normal sized backpack you still need to get on early to get overhead space as it is not reserved.



But I likes the foot rest and the seat reclines more and is wider than in E+ so despite the mediocre food it is worth it to me.

Three times during the flight I asked for a full can of coke and had no argument.
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Old Oct 5, 19, 1:59 pm
  #824  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Programs: UA 1P, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy Silver
Posts: 25
Thanks for the great review and info as it helps a ton.

A follow-up for you. Based on your photo, would the two middle bulkhead seats (21D/F) have that bathroom directly in front of them if that on the other 1st class side?
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Old Oct 5, 19, 2:02 pm
  #825  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Programs: UA 1P, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy Silver
Posts: 25
Bulkhead EWR-LHR

Originally Posted by Sterndogg View Post
Flew EWR-LHR this past Thursday at 7pm. Service was outstanding - attentive crew and exceptionally pleasant throughout the flight. Needless to say rather impressed there.



Upon arriving at seat - blankets, pillow, headphones, amenity kit, bottle of water and menu.

Sat Bulkhead/Exit row 20A (window). The Good: No one in front of you; extra couple of inches because of the bulkhead cutout; leg rest worked well along with seat width and decent armrests. I'm 5'8 155 lbs but by the end of the flight started to get a little uncomfortable. The bad: There is a J lavatory across from the row so can get annoying even with the "curtain" in place. TV screen smaller than seat back ones. When the screen is folded down your right leg is impeded and width becomes snug. USB/Power is crammed way into side of the seat and difficult to see. No storage space.


Window bulkhead/exit row seats have a couple extra inches of space. Aisles not so much.


J lavatory across from you. Best seat is 20L since no lav on that side and extra legroom. Middle PP section (can't see in pic) also has a bulkhead in front of pass-through and offers more privacy.


Screen "resting" position is annoying as feel cramped.

Meal service: Drink selection pre-dinner and during were asked ahead of time and had no issues ordering a G&T with two Bombay bottles. I ordered white wine for the start of dinner and it arrived in the "economy-style" bottle with pre-dinner drink. During dinner, wine was poured from 750ml bottles and they may have been from J since of somewhat better quality (bar is still very low here). My seat mate and I both had a Glenfarclas for a "nite cap" before watching some flicks. Water glasses were passed out a couple times during flight.


Initially presented - better than economy.

Overall I was pleased but would not pay more than $299 (depending on timing of flight, etc.) above a regular economy ticket for a 6-8hr flight if you have a good E+ seat even with the bonus PQMs. Even with a B fare on the BOS-EWR segment I was #24 on the waitlist haha. On the return I was in 31A bulkhead E+ window which was fine for an 8hr flight and had plenty of legroom. The cushion did become uncomfortable after awhile but made sure to get up and stretch a couple of times. At check-in, was offered $459 to upgrade to PP and $499 to Polaris. Biggest variable will be the crew which can make or break the experience. The high density 763 is well...definitely tight. Biz looks crazy cramped upfront too. The middle two PP seats also have a bulkhead are not aligned with the two window-aisle sections and offer more privacy since the lav is blocked but legroom looked a bit less.

Hope this helps a bit for real life experience seat selection on the 763.

Thanks for the great review and info as it helps a ton.

A follow-up for you. Based on your photo, would the two middle bulkhead seats (21D/F) have that bathroom directly in front of them if that on the other 1st class side?
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