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united gets into a twitter dispute over passenger seeking free upgrade to E+

united gets into a twitter dispute over passenger seeking free upgrade to E+

Old Sep 19, 19, 3:16 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by atomicfront View Post
United's analogy is terrible. I had a rental car reserved for cheapest model when my car was in the body shop. Enterprise upgraded me to a BMW X3 rental because extra cars available. After 3 weeks they called me and said I would have to bring the car back in or pay the higher rate.

I pay for Main Cabin extra on American flights all the time. I see people ask and get moved up to MCE all the time. It doesn't bother me. Why should it.
Actually, their analogy never refers to renting a car. It's more like purchasing a car. Different scenario entirely.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 3:26 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
No particular offense to you, but this is exactly what the problem is. For whatever reason, people just think they shouldn't have to pay for a better product when it comes to airlines. Indeed, there are pages and pages of instructions on the Internet as to how to ask for free upgrades from gate agents and FA's. And airline employees have to deal with all of these people when they have other things to do.
Challenge flag. I fly routinely, perhaps 25x/year. I'm in hearing range of the gate agents constantly as I wait in line (thanks for the cattle chutes, United).

In 20 years I have heard perhaps two instances of jerks trying to schmooze their way into an upgrade.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 19, 19 at 9:08 pm Reason: discuss the issue, not the poster(s)
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Old Sep 19, 19, 3:27 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
No particular offense to you, but this is exactly what the problem is. For whatever reason, people just think they shouldn't have to pay for a better product when it comes to airlines. Indeed, there are pages and pages of instructions on the Internet as to how to ask for free upgrades from gate agents and FA's. And airline employees have to deal with all of these people when they have other things to do.

Your seat assignment on a plane is not an opening bid. It's what you paid for. If you are entitled to a space available upgrade due to status, that's one thing. But if not I think it's shameful to be pestering airline personnel for upgrades. People would never do this to other businesses. Nobody walks up to a supermarket employee and says "I know I only paid for chuck, but can you upgrade me to tenderloin". Nobody, as mentioned, goes to a department store and says "I paid for the store brand jeans but can you upgrade me to designer jeans".

It's just amazing the sense of entitlement that leads to these situations.
I used to ask UC agents if they had any seats closer to the front, and there was a very good chance I'd be given E+ as AC*G. But I never pushed back if they said no (or told me I'd have to pay), and I certainly never Tweeted about it after.

I have no issue with asking the question, but you need to be willing to accept "no" as an answer.

I think the difference between the supermarket example and E+ is that if the supermarket has 100 pounds of chuck and 50 pounds of tenderloin, they only sell 100 pounds of chuck.

If UA has 100 E- seats and 50 E+ seats, they're quite happy to sell 150 E- seats, meaning people regularly pay for E- and sit in E+.

Also, once the door closes, United can't make more money on E+ for that flight. No one else is buying a ticket. Someone could show up to the supermarket 5 minutes later and want to pay for the tenderloin.

I stand by UA's decision, but I haven't seen a good analogy yet, not that I think one should be necessary.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 3:58 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by atomicfront View Post
You can get free drinks at bars by flirting with the bartender, let into concerts for free. Upgrades to suites at hotels. Lots of stuff you can get for free by being nice. If it is discretionary for them to let someone have something for free than some people will get it for free and some won't. It is the way of the world. The flight attendants decided the guy on the United flight didn't deserve a free upgrade for whatever reason. He shouldn't whine about it on twitter.
I will leave aside flirting with bartenders (which is probably more dictated by a marketing strategy), but I don't even think this sort of thing should be categorized as "being nice". If a person is taking up an employee's time, that is not "nice". It's actually inconsiderate, to the employee, his or her employer, and the other customers.

Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
I used to ask UC agents if they had any seats closer to the front, and there was a very good chance I'd be given E+ as AC*G. But I never pushed back if they said no (or told me I'd have to pay), and I certainly never Tweeted about it after.

I have no issue with asking the question, but you need to be willing to accept "no" as an answer.

I think the difference between the supermarket example and E+ is that if the supermarket has 100 pounds of chuck and 50 pounds of tenderloin, they only sell 100 pounds of chuck.

If UA has 100 E- seats and 50 E+ seats, they're quite happy to sell 150 E- seats, meaning people regularly pay for E- and sit in E+.

Also, once the door closes, United can't make more money on E+ for that flight. No one else is buying a ticket. Someone could show up to the supermarket 5 minutes later and want to pay for the tenderloin.

I stand by UA's decision, but I haven't seen a good analogy yet, not that I think one should be necessary.
How about all the gate agent and flight attendant time that is taken up dealing with all these requests?

To me, this is ex post facto rationalization. "I want something I refuse to pay for, so I will tell myself the airline doesn't lose anything." Well, here you have THE AIRLINE telling you "no, that isn't how it works". I would personally be a little chastened by this, but the people who want free stuff never are.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 19, 19 at 9:10 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Sep 19, 19, 4:37 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
How about all the gate agent and flight attendant time that is taken up dealing with all these requests?

To me, this is ex post facto rationalization. "I want something I refuse to pay for, so I will tell myself the airline doesn't lose anything." Well, here you have THE AIRLINE telling you "no, that isn't how it works". I would personally be a little chastened by this, but the people who want free stuff never are.
But it IS how it works.

Or are people routinely IDB'd from flights because they're over by 40, E- is full, and E+ has 40 seats open?
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Old Sep 19, 19, 6:38 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
But it IS how it works.

Or are people routinely IDB'd from flights because they're over by 40, E- is full, and E+ has 40 seats open?
The airline can operationally upgrade anyone it wishes to.

But passengers should never ask unless their status entitles them to priority.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 7:43 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
The airline can operationally upgrade anyone it wishes to.

But passengers should never ask unless their status entitles them to priority.
Some passengers don't ask. On a EDI-EWR flight, a passenger came from E- three hours into the flight and sat in Row 20 on the side that was totally empty. It took the FA more than an hour to notice it and ask that passenger to get back to his seat.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 8:31 pm
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by atomicfront View Post
United's analogy is terrible. I had a rental car reserved for cheapest model when my car was in the body shop. Enterprise upgraded me to a BMW X3 rental because extra cars available.
Had they given you the basic model, would you have tweeted at Enterprise? If you had, would you expect them to upgrade you because of your tweet?

If not, I think that's why this thread exists. Theres rules, tweeting shouldn't bypass those rules at risk of decreasing paid upgrades and or creating an upgrade pandemonium to E+, PP, F, Polaris...
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Old Sep 19, 19, 11:42 pm
  #54  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
The airline can operationally upgrade anyone it wishes to.

But passengers should never ask unless their status entitles them to priority.
Again, I'm on United's side here.

But can you really blame pax for having different expectations?

There's the appearance that it's "the same cabin", but there's also the fact that people who haven't paid for E+ regularly get to sit in E+.

If I was given an "operational upgrade" every other time I flew UA, I'd probably start asking at the airport before every flight.

If they want people to see E+ as "more comfort for more money", then they need to stop giving it away for free all the time.

And maybe put up a curtain
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Old Sep 19, 19, 11:50 pm
  #55  
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post

Also, once the door closes, United can't make more money on E+ for that flight. No one else is buying a ticket. Someone could show up to the supermarket 5 minutes later and want to pay for the tenderloin.

I stand by UA's decision, but I haven't seen a good analogy yet, not that I think one should be necessary.
A few years ago when AF started 380 service out of IAD, I booked a flight with them because I was going to Africa, and it was a better connection. After ticketing, I decided to purchase an economy seat with better leg room on the upper deck. I boarded, found my seat, and all was well. That is, until a passenger and his child who were sitting in a different - and standard - row, decided he didn't like his seat. He asked a passing FA if he could move to my row, and the FA said sure. So I got up, found a supervisor and explained what happened. I told him I wasn't asking him to make the poacher move, but I wanted to know how I could secure a refund since AF was apparently giving away for free the seat I paid extra for. He asked me where I was sitting, and asked me to return to my seat and that he would have the information I requested. 5 minutes later he returned and asked me to collect my belongings and follow him. I did, to my first experience in a premium economy seat. and yes, I thanked him.

UA was right, and the Twitter whiner was wrong. You want more leg room, pay for it. If you don't want to pay for it, don't expect to get it for free.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 1:24 am
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
UA was right, and the Twitter whiner was wrong. You want more leg room, pay for it. If you don't want to pay for it, don't expect to get it for free.
Agree 100% ^
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Old Sep 20, 19, 4:11 am
  #57  
 
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Can i just clarify- are we talking about premier plus seats or economy plus seats? I am looking at a flight from LHR to EWR and the economy plus seats are basically the two seats by the window and all of them are free. What most of you are saying is that if i bought a normal economy ticket and chose an aisle seat and the doors closed and i moved across the aisle to the two spare seats by the window, it would be ghastly and terrible because i dont have status?

Im not moving up to premier plus. They are the same seats as far as i can see from the seating plan just two instead of three.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 5:11 am
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Originally Posted by MiraculousM View Post
Can i just clarify- are we talking about premier plus seats or economy plus seats? I am looking at a flight from LHR to EWR and the economy plus seats are basically the two seats by the window and all of them are free. What most of you are saying is that if i bought a normal economy ticket and chose an aisle seat and the doors closed and i moved across the aisle to the two spare seats by the window, it would be ghastly and terrible because i dont have status?

Im not moving up to premier plus. They are the same seats as far as i can see from the seating plan just two instead of three.
(bolding mine)


Yes, Economy Plus.
Sounds like a 767-300 version 3. One of the few (only?) configuration where you can go sideways (not fore or aft) to get to an Economy Plus seat. If you look closely at the seatmap you'll see that the Economy Plus seats don't quite line up with the middle Economy seat rows. That is because the Economy Plus seats are slightly further apart, i.e. they have MORE legroom. United only allows their premium status members to book those free-of-charge, and allows non-status members to book them at a small extra cost.

United makes this all pretty clear when you book a flight (on their site):



and:




I think what many are saying is that if you want a seat that costs more, why not simply pay for the seat that costs more?




BTW:
The bolded part of the included quote above may be not the best choice of words in this context! Should probably read: "the economy plus seats are basically the two seats by the window and all of them currently display as being unoccupied"
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Last edited by narvik; Sep 20, 19 at 5:50 am Reason: added pics and more information
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Old Sep 20, 19, 6:37 am
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Ok thanks. I was unaware that they actually have more legroom as the seatmap in normal shows them to be aligned with my row so i just assumed they were just charging more because they were two seats by the window or something. I am not a regular flier of united (in fact, other than a flight last year i had not flown them since 2012 - and that was continental).

I shall remain in my aisle seat.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 8:46 am
  #60  
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Originally Posted by MiraculousM View Post
Ok thanks. I was unaware that they actually have more legroom as the seatmap in normal shows them to be aligned with my row
It's a very unusual setup.
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