United Discounting Economy Plus Seats

United is offering 35% off economy plus (extra legroom) seat assignments for June travel if you pay by May 27. Not valid for basic economy tickets.

They actually ran 50% off for travel during the second half of March. United, it seems, upsells to economy plus seats the same way that American Airlines sells miles. They maintain a high regular price so they can frequently offer seats at a discount.

United Gold elites and higher can confirm extra legroom seats at booking, Silvers at check-in if still available. Economy Plus seats generally mean the ability to open a laptop inflight.

Unlike at American and Delta, United’s Economy Plus doesn’t offer free drinks (on longer flights Delta’s ‘Comfort+’ also includes snacks).

Don’t try to just grab an open economy plus seat on the plane. When passengers try to change seats on United, the airline’s flight attendants stand on the bridge between seats declaring “none shall pass.” It used to be that passengers could change to any empty seat in the cabin, but now the airline charges extra for some seats in economy and flight attendants are the airline’s revenue protection force.

I was on a flight that delayed because the last passenger to board wanted to change seats from 24D to the empty 7C in coach. A flight attendant quoted him $63. He initially said he’d pay but then changed his mind.

One flight attendant said to another, “When I go to the car lot to buy and buy a Honda I don’t drive off in a Mercedes just because it was there.” She congratulated herself to her colleague on the analogy, although she may have been the first person ever to compare United Economy Plus to a Mercedes.

About Gary Leff

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. She is also comparing United exconomy to a Honda. Accords, Claritys and SUVs have so much more legroom…

  2. I suppose I have a strong sense of justice. I like it when FAs deny opportunistic seat moves that passengers didn’t pay for. And I go out of my way to compliment FAs for their policing efforts.

    I get peeved when people try to take a seat they didn’t pay for. If I’m in the higher class of service seat, that person got something free that I had to pay for. And if I’m in the lower class of service seat, it seems like the scofflaw has been awarded for bad behavior, and I’m stuck with less legroom because I follow the rules.

  3. This is frustrating for silver members. E+ is the biggest perk, and the availability is being reduced by a poor man’s tens of dollars upgrade.

  4. Small positive note (unlike HenryLAX, I can be fair and balanced about UA) – if in E+ on EWR-LAX/SFO and vv, you get a small food plate (hot entree, side of fruit, small dessert). May be the same for the BOS transcon routes too if flatbed, not sure.

    Drawing a blank if a free drink is part of the equation.

  5. @UA-NYC – thanks for self revealing for watching FoxNews, but I guess your income band and level of intelligence definitely fit in with the “working class” folks on that channel.

  6. HenryLAX you are a little snot nosed punk who can’t even understand when I’m saying something actually nice about your paid sponsor United.

    What a troll..

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