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United Economy Plus

New Brunswick
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236 posts
11 reviews
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United Economy Plus

I purchased economy plus upgrades on an upcoming flight. United changed the aircraft on this flight and when I checked the seating chart I found our assigned seats were no longer in economy plus. I received no notification from United regarding this change so called and was told that they could not change our seats to economy plus as the cost for economy plus was greater on this aircraft than our original reservation. Should I want economy plus I would need to pay an additional $60. I would have thought once a reservation was made and paid for United could not change the price due to an equipment change on their end. Is this normal?

Palmetto, Florida
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1. Re: United Economy Plus

United can refund your E+ fee, but not to let you keep the equivalent seats would (to me) appear less than stellar customer service. I doubt there are many customers in same position as you are, and the "loss" in revenue is minuscule compared to potential ill will, forever grudge on your part- (not that you would do that, :-0).

You did make your purchase in good faith.

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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2. Re: United Economy Plus

This is one of those things where I would politely thank the person for their time, hang up, and dial back again and see what the next agent says.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: United Economy Plus

They're not honouring E+ because it's more expensive on the new aircraft! That's frankly ridiculous, E+ seating is the same across the entire fleet (it's not akin to business or first class which does vary significantly). I'd echo the others and call back and speak to someone else.

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: United Economy Plus

What are your flight details (date, flight number in question) and what was the original and current aircraft? And what costs are we talking about?

It does seem strange. As I see it, the very least they should do is give you an E+ seat of equivalent value. For example if you booked a regular aisle E+ seat that on the new equipment becomes an exit or bulkhead, they should reassign you to a new regular E+ aisle seat.

Although that said United is trying to move to "dynamic pricing" for its ancillary fees, where the fee changes based on demand, date and time. So for example an E+ seat may cost more on a Friday than the exact same seat on a Tuesday. I wouldn't put it beyond them to mess up the implementation and cause headaches for existing passengers. Hence the questions above.

ps - OP2002, the E+ fees vary per seat. Aisles cost more than middles and exits/bulkheads cost more than regular seats. That's been like that since the 3/3/12 reservations switch. Although it's been static (same fees for same flights regardless of when) they're looking to switch to even more dynamic as per above.

Edited: 2:15 pm, January 14, 2014
Seattle, Washington
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10,857 posts
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5. Re: United Economy Plus

I hate it when this happens, and this is how it works. First, unless you find a sympathetic agent who will simply move you to the new seat of your choice (which is doubtful), they must refund your money for your original E+ purchase. Then, they will "allow" you to purchase it again, but you will have to pay the price on this new flight.

Totally ridiculous and annoying, especially when you are on your third equipment swap, as I am. I'm kind of done with it.

New Brunswick
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236 posts
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6. Re: United Economy Plus

Flight in question is LAX-OGG. Original equipment was 737-800 with economy plus section. Changed to 737=800 without economy plus section and therefore economy plus only available in exit rows and bulkhead.

Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: United Economy Plus

Ahh, well that's a different and well known issue. Equally annoying I agree.

There are still 39 of United's 130 737-800s that haven't been refitted with E+. Eight of those are ex-Guam and won't be refitted, but that still leaves 31.

So in this case I can see that there's no equivalent to a regular E+ seat, just (the more expensive) aisles and bulkheads. I can see why they want to charge you the fee for the more valuable E+ seats, but then I can also see your side too.

Note that we've had complaints on here from pax who paid for E+ but were not informed of a switch to a non E+ plane (and complained thinking that it provided no value). We had to tell them that they hadn't got what they paid for and arm them with the information to complain and demand a refund.

Edited: 2:44 pm, January 14, 2014
New York City, New...
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8. Re: United Economy Plus

ps - OP2002, the E+ fees vary per seat. Aisles cost more than middles and exits/bulkheads cost more than regular seats. That's been like that since the 3/3/12 reservations switch

_____________

Ah, makes sense, thanks for the info. Not flown United in E-/E+ since then.

You'd hope an agent would see sense and allow the customer to take an E+ seat at no extra cost!

Palmetto, Florida
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9. Re: United Economy Plus

USB and or United personnel,

If you are reading this, do not go down that path of dynamic pricing! It would like totally turn me into your b!tchy ex. Just seems so so wrong. That seat does not become anymore comfortable on a Friday than an Tuesday. You already charge more for the Friday flight, and does the airport charge you more on a Friday than a Tuesday? Do workers or pilots make more on Friday than Tuesday? Ridiculous.

Hmmpf.

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: United Economy Plus

"USB and or United personnel,"

Amatrip, I do NOT work for United, nor any airline. I am a UA passenger, a very frequent one, but still just a passenger.

As regards my post about dynamic pricing of the ancillaries, I just went onto the company website and looked at the presentation where they announced this. Good news is that they don't actually include E+ in the list of those to be dynamically priced (although as I mentioned they do already price middles higher than aisles and bulkhead/exits higher than regulars). The ones they list are Premier Access (priority boarding/check in), United Club, Farelock and "Premium cabin upsell" which to me means upgrades. In fact it looks as though they regard the current E+ pricing as already dynamic, just that they're going to find more opportunities to sell it rather than just as part of the seat reservation bit on their website. Sorry if I misled or unduly worried anyone. It's all here starting on page 47 - phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File…

Edited: 3:59 pm, January 14, 2014