Economy Plus is Here

 
Old Oct 1, 99, 12:03 pm
  #1  
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Economy Plus is Here

Just flew ORD-BWI in a 757 with the new Economy Plus seating configuration. I like it.

I was in 9D which I usually do not like as it feels very cramped for my 6ft body. With the increased seat pitch I was able to stretch my legs completely out underneath my seat and not reach the bar that is suppossed to keep items stored under seats from moving forward. While I did not pull my laptop out, I could have used it without contorting my self to work the keyboard and see the display at the same time.

The FA I spoke with says this is the first one she had seen and she thought it was nice too. I say way to go UA.

I also read in USA Today that AA and DL are looking at their own version of Economy Plus.
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Old Oct 1, 99, 3:34 pm
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Sound good! Was there anything else new about the seat? Or was it exactly the same seat as the other economy seats?
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Old Oct 1, 99, 4:04 pm
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Sounds great! Maybe I'll just fly Coach from now on and gift all my Upgrade Certificates to my good FlyerTalk friends.

NOT!



Also JeffS, could you give me your flight number of that equipment? I'd like to see how it shows up on the United Connection seatmapper (if they are using the same plane type).

[This message has been edited by PremEx (edited 10-01-1999).]
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Old Oct 2, 99, 10:03 am
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I believe that the press releases indicate that the first 11 rows in coach will be this seating, can anyone confirm ?

Also, when will the seats be totally in-service, and are they a different color, or just known to those "in the know ?"
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Old Oct 2, 99, 12:15 pm
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The number of rows converted will depend on the type of plane ...
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Old Oct 2, 99, 12:36 pm
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I hope NO OTHER CARRIER even THINKS about their own version of Economy Plus. It's just another excuse for UA o justify its high fares. Personally, I'd rather see other improvements, such as improved meal service, better customer service, and better baggage handling. CO CEO Gordon Bethune says it best: " Few customers are going to pay the additional cost just for a few additional inches of room, without any improvements in the other aspects of airline travel."
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Old Oct 2, 99, 1:16 pm
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I'm eager to try out this new configuration too. Sounds like a super move on United's part, especially for Prem's like me who might have little shot at an upgrade. I'll take more leg room over "better" meals any day.
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Old Oct 2, 99, 1:18 pm
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avek00, I would just like to point out that these particular seats are not available for sale, so you couldn't "pay more" to get one. They will just be preassigned to the premier folks and if there are leftovers, will go for general assignment. I do not think they are going to affect the fare structures at all.
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Old Oct 2, 99, 3:23 pm
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Premex: The seats were the newer coach types with the adjustable headrest; like (the same?) the Airbus seats. On this 757 (Flt # 1460 on 10/1) the first 10 rows in coach were Economy Plus. I make that to be rows 8-17 where rows 15 & 17 are the exit rows. Unless they are not counting poor little row 8 with all of it's 2 seats. And as has already been reported the number of rows varies per the equipment. They have been flying a 757 on this flight for a while now. The difference is 6 fewer coach seats on the new configuration

As Eastbay1K says, you don't pay extra for EP and, I'm sure some non-Premiers benefitted since this particular flight was pretty full .

[This message has been edited by JeffS (edited 10-02-1999).]
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Old Oct 2, 99, 3:50 pm
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Well, I think that we all "pay more" to enjoy the benefits of Economy Plus, even if the seats are not for sale. If it is correct that the flight referenced lost 6 available seats, that means that in order for revenue to remain static, the cost of those 6 seats will need to be spread onto all other passengers on the flight. What does a 757 hold? 185 people or something like that? Figure the average fare for that route is $500. If six seats are lost, that is $3000 that must be spread over the 179 remaining passengers, or about $17.00 per passenger. I'm not saying that it good or bad, or that my assumptions of calculations are correct. I'm simply trying to add context to what Avek00 may have been saying.
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Old Oct 2, 99, 4:51 pm
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Eastbay, JeffS - It is my recollection that Economy Plus seats are available to both elites and passengers who have purchased full fare coach tickets. at least that was the position when UA announced the new scheme - they may have refined it since.
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Old Oct 2, 99, 5:02 pm
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It's not just about the lost revenue by losing a few seats. You also have to add in the cost of ADDING the new seats, especially when many of their jets had just been refurbished. Furthermore, it is a justification for the airlines to continue their monopolistically high fares. I'd rather see the money spent on improviing some of the other aspects of air travel, like better in-flight entertainment, or improved meal service on longer flights.

Besides, Economy PLUS is not of much good when traveling on vacation anyway.
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Old Oct 2, 99, 6:31 pm
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Well, I have a lot of complaints about United's coach service, and have voiced it in the past. I do, however, think that the new Economy Plus seating ~appears~ to be a good move.

I think it is good for frequent flyers (at least Premiums and above) and I think it is good for UA. Anytime an airline makes an improvement in service or perception of service to its loyal customers, the ff are likely to choose that carrier over another alternative.

And more business ff's on the plane, Benjamin, probably results in HIGHER revenue, since the business ff pays more -- often times 2x or 3x the fare of the vacation traveler.


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Old Oct 2, 99, 8:40 pm
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For a change, I'll base my opinion solely on the anticipated effect on ME. Since I'm a Premier, & unlikely to reach PE in the next year or two, my upgrade potential is fairly limited. Economy Plus will probably prevent my having to go to the hospital with blood clots for a while. Anybody under 6 feet probably can't fully understand what agony sitting in normal coach seat pitch can be for more than a very short flight.
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Old Oct 2, 99, 10:13 pm
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I'm not too concerned about United having to "make up" for the lost revenue of the removed seats. Unless the flight leaves completely full, there's no lost revenue at all since the (missing) seats would have been empty as well. And even today, the percentage of flights leaving 100% full is relatively low. In fact, on those that are so full, I'll be especially glad for the comfort of Economy Plus!
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