United Increasing The Value Proposition for Higher Tier Elites?

As reported by 744 on Milepoint, United is doing away with the annual purchase option for Economy Plus seats.

744 is also the author of Lufthansa Flyer, an informative travel blog.

I wrote recently how I felt about United’s changes to it’s elite program.

One of the pluses for United was the ability to get Economy Plus seats for my family when traveling domestically.  Don’t get me wrong, I hate coach.  But, sometimes finding 3 (or 4 now) First class seats just isn’t an option.  Having extra legroom for transcons is better than sitting in normal coach.

Additionally, as I book a lot of my tickets fairly close to my travel date, I generally have a hard time getting E+ seating.  United already announced it plans to take E+ away from bottom-tier elites (Premier Silver) starting this year.  Now, they’ve gone ahead and eliminated the annual purchase option for unlimited E+ seating.  One of my fears with removing the E+ benefit was a decent chunk of those losing the benefit would buy the annual option.  United has just made it more expensive for them to purchase it, which can’t be a downside for me.

I still think there’s a lengthy hangover period before I see the benefit to me of these changes, since people tend to book flights a decent amount of weeks before travel.  And, United still has to hit their target of early March for changes to take effect.  But, I suspect by April or May, I should have a much better idea of whether my United experience will improve or not.

It’s unlikely I continue flying United 100K miles every year unless things get better.  So, no question I’m eagerly anticipating the changes to evaluate the ramifications for myself.

About the Author

My goal in life is to fill my family’s passports with stamps, creating buckets of memories along the way. You’ll find me writing about realistic ways for normal people to travel the world, whether you’re on a budget or enjoy luxury. I also enjoy taking us on the occasional detour to explore the inner workings of the travel industry.

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