How United Squeezes Every Dollar: $135 for a Seat Assignment, Now Adds 99 Cents To The End [Roundup]

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. When doing your taxes, even the IRS will round up amounts to a whole dollar to keep things simpler.
    For once, the government is smarter than the airlines!!

  2. How the heck did someone run the distance in 13 seconds when a motorized suitcase took longer?
    If this guy want’s the record, he will have to go when the the course is clear like after the last flight.

  3. Scotch Kirby is so tightfisted that he would squeeze a silver dollar until the eagle screamed.

  4. @Christian … Except , he isn’t Scottish . ( His actual first name is John , Scott is a middle name . )

    The idea of charging for a seat assignment would be opposed by all of the actual Scottish people .

  5. Good call @Paper Boarding Pass! Thought of that too. The optimist could say the airlines are doing us a favor and giving back 1¢ on each seat assignment 🙂 If only. I am also surprised airlines haven’t been doing this, I learned this trick as a little kid getting gas with my parents.

    I buy a lot of basic economy and purchase seats afterwards, but the cost savings appear to be getting less and less

  6. @jns physically impossible for someone to have done it in 13 seconds. It’s 160 meters or so, even Usain Bolt wouldn’t make it that fast. Probably just a GPS glitch

  7. @Alert – Scott. Dammed autocorrect.

    And he’s still a soulless bean counter.

  8. Adam Kennedy,
    the article is about United.
    Don’t draw conclusions about airlines as a whole based on the performance of one.

  9. I have a work around the United scam seat assignment fees
    Just don’t fly them! Problem solved

  10. United has certainly learned how to maximize the fare income. And they have every incentive because, ever since covid, the planes to almost anyplace are full every day, every flight.
    It’s all about supply and demand, and for now, demand has surged and price increases successfully stick every time they’re put forward.
    People really want to fly, and that’s advantage United

  11. Charging every passenger requesting a seat assignment an additional 99 cents may keep United Airlines out of bankruptcy for another month.

  12. I must be the only one who think these fees are reasonable since it’s for economy plus seats, not just for seat assignments. Silver or above can get it for free as well.

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