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Timing Of Premium Economy Purchases On UA, Etc  
User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1867 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 8 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4935 times:

Seeing how aggressively UA tries to get you to upgrade to premium economy when you check-in, I am wondering what % of people in premium economy actually reserved that class ahead of time, and how many upgraded at the last moment.

This goes for any airline, though perhaps it's more interesting on an airline where Premium Economy is nothing more than extra legroom in the same cabin. B6 also comes to mind.

If I had to guess, business travelers forced to go Y opt for the extra legroom when they book, or are Premiere anyway, but price-sensitive leisure types seek the cheapest thing when they book, but then don't mind paying to upgrade after the fact.

Any thoughts?

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineETA Unknown From Comoros, joined Jun 2001, 2089 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4716 times:

Last Nov. I flew SYD-SFO & LAX-SYD on UA. The outbound Y+ upgrade cost was $120. The return (which had a higher booked pax load) was $160. Declined both offers as I had an aisle "G" seat and gambled "F" would be empty- happily it paid off twice.

User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1526 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4609 times:

Quoting tharanga (Thread starter):
Seeing how aggressively UA tries to get you to upgrade to premium economy when you check-in, I am wondering what % of people in premium economy actually reserved that class ahead of time, and how many upgraded at the last moment.

As has been discussed on this site before, UA's product is not a separate class of travel so, as with KL's Economy Comfort product, it cannot be considered a true premium economy


User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1867 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4493 times:

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 2):

As has been discussed on this site before, UA's product is not a separate class of travel so, as with KL's Economy Comfort product, it cannot be considered a true premium economy

Well yes, I specifically say that in my second sentence. And since it isn't a true premium economy, I think it might be more likely that people just buy the extra legroom as a last minute impulse thing, when they arrive at the airport.


User currently offlineMudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1167 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4482 times:

Although I have never flown UA, as they do not fly into JAN, I have thought of flying into MEM from DXB via IAD. But, there are several people I know that have flown DXB-IAD on UA, and the ones that upgrade to economy plus, say they pay $168 each way, and they love it. They do however say, that surprisingly it is never full. I cannot understand why someone would not pay $168 to upgrade, on a 16hr flight?

User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1867 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4427 times:

Quoting Mudboy (Reply 4):
say they pay $168 each way, and they love it.

Do they do it when they arrive at the airport, or ahead of time? That's all I'm curious about.


User currently offlinesurfandsnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2908 posts, RR: 31
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4399 times:

Quoting Mudboy (Reply 4):
Although I have never flown UA, as they do not fly into JAN, I have thought of flying into MEM from DXB via IAD. But, there are several people I know that have flown DXB-IAD on UA,

If you are all from JAN, why aren't you guys taking DL through ATL?



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineplanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3541 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4380 times:

I was given Premier status in 2010 for some reason (the closest I've ever flown to the 25k/ year is 15k, and that was two years ago). But anywho, E+ is always open when I book, so if given the option, I'll always grab it.

Otherwise (in a typical year where I'm not Premier), I won't pay for it. But if I get to the airport early enough, I have pretty good luck standing by on an earlier flight and getting an exit row.



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineMudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1167 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4291 times:

Quoting tharanga (Reply 5):
Do they do it when they arrive at the airport, or ahead of time? That's all I'm curious about.

Yes, they arrive when the check-in opens, and request it. I have only heard of people upgrading with miles, doing so ahead of time.

Quoting surfandsnow (Reply 6):
If you are all from JAN, why aren't you guys taking DL through ATL?

That is all I fly, is Delta 7/8. I fly that route so much, that the FAs recognize me and say,"you are back again"!! And to all you FAs out there, that is a nice feeling. They know me because I have had to assist on a few Medical Emergencies before, one that now allows me to say I have been to Stockholm, Sweden, even if I never got off the plane 

I am a PM with Delta, so I like getting those double miles 36,000 R/T 

Anyway, I would however not mind takin a different route every now and then.


User currently offlineMudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1167 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4267 times:

Quoting planespotting (Reply 7):
I was given Premier status in 2010 for some reason (the closest I've ever flown to the 25k/ year is 15k, and that was two years ago). But anywho, E+ is always open when I book, so if given the option, I'll always grab it.

Otherwise (in a typical year where I'm not Premier), I won't pay for it. But if I get to the airport early enough, I have pretty good luck standing by on an earlier flight and getting an exit row.

I am curious as to which planes and routes have Economy Plus?

I wish Delta offered this, but since the loads are almost always full on DXB-ATL, I cannot see why they would on this route?


User currently offlineplanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3541 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4232 times:

Quoting Mudboy (Reply 9):
I am curious as to which planes and routes have Economy Plus?

All mainline routes/aircraft have it, along with some CR7s and all E-170s.



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineMudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1167 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4205 times:

[quote=planespotting,reply=10]All mainline routes/aircraft have it, along with some CR7s and all E-170s.


Nice, that would actually make me want to fly them over another airline.


User currently offlineplanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3541 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4165 times:

Quoting Mudboy (Reply 11):

Nice, that would actually make me want to fly them over another airline.

No kidding, especially with the amount of miles that you apparently acquire. They also have a new thing called something like "Automatic upgrades for Premier and above" ... allowed my fiancee and I a first class trip between ORD and DSM for $240 round trip total, haha.



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineUALFAson From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 741 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4072 times:

Quoting tharanga (Thread starter):
I am wondering what % of people in premium economy actually reserved that class ahead of time, and how many upgraded at the last moment.

To go back to the original question, I'm sure it varies from route to route.

Flights to business centers and/or in-between hubs are going to have a higher percentage of UA frequent fliers, including those with Premier status or higher, who are automatically eligible for Economy Plus. Flights to leisure and vacation markets are going to have fewer Premiers on average.

But that also means those leisure-market flights are likely to fill up regular Economy, so before the airline is forced to put non-elites in Economy Plus because they have no other choice, they'll give people the option at check-in to see if they can earn a few bucks from people willing to pay for the priviledge.

Although I have no statistical data, my guess is that more people would buy the upsell when checking in at the airport versus when originally buying their ticket. When buying the ticket initially, people are focused on getting the lowest price. But by the time they get to the airport, they've lost perspective and are more likely to make the impulse purchase.



"We hope you've enjoyed flying with us as much as we've enjoyed taking you for a ride."
User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1867 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4045 times:

Quoting UALFAson (Reply 13):
Although I have no statistical data, my guess is that more people would buy the upsell when checking in at the airport versus when originally buying their ticket. When buying the ticket initially, people are focused on getting the lowest price. But by the time they get to the airport, they've lost perspective and are more likely to make the impulse purchase.

This was exactly my logic in forming the question. Thank you for your thoughts. I guess the statistical data to demonstrate the point won't be available.

Quoting UALFAson (Reply 13):
But that also means those leisure-market flights are likely to fill up regular Economy, so before the airline is forced to put non-elites in Economy Plus because they have no other choice, they'll give people the option at check-in to see if they can earn a few bucks from people willing to pay for the priviledge.

I wonder how B6 handles the issue - B6 doesn't overbook, but what happens if you try to book a flight where all the normal seats are taken, but the extra legroom seats are available? Do they give the confirmation, without letting you choose a seat, and hope it works out on the day of flight, as above?


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