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United's EconPlus Upgrade Rip Off  
User currently offlineBahadir From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1834 posts, RR: 10
Posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 11621 times:

I purchased a round trip travel from United and had to change the return portion due to illness in family. Before departure I upgraded (if you can say that) the return portion as well as the departure leg. Now they are telling me the upgrade money I paid for return portion is gone and I will have to pay for the EconPlus once again.
The problem is, there is nothing that states this when they are soliciting you for the EconPlus.
I am ok with ancillary revenue concept and it doesn't bother me much, but at least in this case I feel like I should not pay for something that I already paid for.
Ok, done venting..


Earthbound misfit I
58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline787KQ From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 11379 times:

Seems like a totally legit complaint.

Either you get your money back or its applied to the new flight if they did not clearly disclose this.


User currently offlineExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 11252 times:

Is it possible that they applied the upgrade fee against any additional fare or change fees when you changed the return ticket? If so, they they're right - the money was used. If not, then they owe you the money back or the upgrade.

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 10824 times:

Sorry to hear, however but in all fairness its published in their terms and conditions.
Matter of fact its the #1 item.

Quote:
Customer-requested changes to the dates, board on, or board off points will result in loss of Economy Plus seats for the modified flight segments.

Link

Off course a way around this is either the E+ annual pass ($349) or if you fly enough its free and part of Mileage Plus elite perks.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 10696 times:

Odd policy. JetBlue will refund EML fees if someone refunds their ticket, or carry the service over to their new flight.

-A



What now?
User currently offlineExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10162 times:

If I look in the Econ Plus FAQ, I get this:

"Your Economy Plus purchase is nonrefundable unless Economy Plus is not available for the flight itinerary on which you are traveling or an upgrade to a Premium Cabin is purchased. You may submit an online refund request. Any requested changes to any portion of your itinerary may result in loss of Economy Plus seats for the entire itinerary."

The word "may" is bolded in the original.

So it isn't definite. Could UA just say "well, you changed your ticket, we're charging you for the fare difference and a change fee and we're just stuffing the Economy Plus upgrade fee you paid in our pocket because we feel like it"? At the very least, I'd think the law would require that to be disclosed as an additional fee, and the OP gives no indication that that was the case, or that the upgrade fee was treated as part of the total purchase price and was applied to the new fare.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 9937 times:



Quoting ExFATboy (Reply 5):
So it isn't definite.

Sure it is.

Terms and Conditions:
Customer-requested changes to the dates, board on, or board off points will result in loss of Economy Plus seats for the modified flight segments.

OP'er by changing his travel itinerary for which the upgrade was applicable voids things.

Basically the way E+ is handled is as an add&colllect transaction. E+ is not a separate booking class, so when the reservation is tinkered with previous add& collect transactions do not carry forward to the refare as further stated in the T&C;

For ticket changes/exchanges, only the full value of the original itinerary (excluding this additional Economy Plus charge) is applicable to new tickets (less any applicable change fees).

Basically the OP'er purchase one very specific upgrade. E+ upgrade pricing can be dynamic so just because it cost $1 or $100 on the previous legs, does not mean it is applicable for the newly revised legs.
For people checking in at the airport, this can be very apparent where the same flight might cost $100 today, but $30 tomorrow, or even differnet pricing offered to different clients.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineJerseyguy From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2087 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 9649 times:
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Even if they are legally right, they are wrong as far as I'm concerned. Whats the big deal with giving him a econ plus seat on the other flight. If Econ Plus costs more than ok he should only have to pay the difference. I can understand not wanting to refund the fee but I think it should be able to be used on the same reservation with different flights. We pay this big change fee $150 and they can't do this?


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User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21582 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 9599 times:

I guess the lesson is learned: don't upgrade unless you are sure you can fly. Unfortunately, you can't know when someone is getting sick.

My advice would be to keep it as is and when you get to the airport go to check-in in person (not via machine), act confused as to why you aren't in Y+, explain what happened to the CSR in the nicest way possible, including the reason for the change, and see what happens.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAirbuske From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 466 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 9511 times:

As harsh as it may sound, I think the policy is fair.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
E+ upgrade pricing can be dynamic so just because it cost $1 or $100 on the previous legs, does not mean it is applicable for the newly revised legs.
For people checking in at the airport, this can be very apparent where the same flight might cost $100 today, but $30 tomorrow, or even differnet pricing offered to different clients.

 checkmark 

Airlines charge you the difference in flight costs (if any) if you change your flight on Day X to Day Y. In the same fashion, you can't expect the cost of upgrading a flight on Day X and Day Y to be the same.

Why then don't they refund you your upgrade free for the return portion of the leg? It might have to do with the algorithms they use to calculate your upgrade fee.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21582 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 9466 times:



Quoting Airbuske (Reply 9):
Why then don't they refund you your upgrade free for the return portion of the leg? It might have to do with the algorithms they use to calculate your upgrade fee.

That's an interesting point.

People forget this about "no refund" pricing. You are paying less than if a refund were part of the deal. Refunds cost money to a company. Processing, charge back (which can cost them if they do it too much). So you would inherently pay more for a "refundable" upgrade, basically buying an insurance policy built into the price.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineRscaife1682 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 332 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 9259 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 8):
My advice would be to keep it as is and when you get to the airport go to check-in in person (not via machine), act confused as to why you aren't in Y+, explain what happened to the CSR in the nicest way possible, including the reason for the change, and see what happens.

Nice thought but I am sure this will not work. I work ticket counter for 3 years for an LLC we are smarter than you think. Any United emps can probably agree with me here

RYAN
FLTOPS


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21582 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 9054 times:



Quoting Rscaife1682 (Reply 11):
Nice thought but I am sure this will not work. I work ticket counter for 3 years for an LLC we are smarter than you think. Any United emps can probably agree with me here

Smarter than what?

I recommended that he explain what happened, why he had to change and see what they could do. Are you saying that CSRs have no empathy? Because I've seen them show a lot of empathy. My hunch is, if there is still a Y+ seat available, he'll be able to get it. After all, it's in the record that he paid for it once.

I've been upgraded ahead of the line before due to itinerary changes and asking the CSR nicely if they could do anything. It can't hurt to try.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6826 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 8751 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 8):
I guess the lesson is learned: don't upgrade unless you are sure you can fly. Unfortunately, you can't know when someone is getting sick.

The other part of the lesson learned is to change carriers if you think the policy is unfair.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
For people checking in at the airport, this can be very apparent where the same flight might cost $100 today, but $30 tomorrow, or even differnet pricing offered to different clients.

But nothing about the possible changes in pricing of the E+ upgrade makes it impossible for them to allow the passenger to apply funds used for a previously purchased upgrade to an upgrade on a different flight. I can certainly see requiring the customer to pay a difference in fee, and even a charge for making the change with a human.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
Sorry to hear, however but in all fairness its published in their terms and conditions.

The fact that it's in the terms and conditions doesn't mean that it's not a customer-unfriendly policy. Most of the things which airlines do to rip off their customers are in their respective contracts of carriage.


User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 8750 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 12):
I recommended that he explain what happened, why he had to change and see what they could do.

Yes, a valid enough point but it's also clearly suggested that cheating is acceptable when it suits a purpose......by "act confused" when that is clearly not the situation at all.

In general I have sympathy with the OP, but must fully agree with LAXintl in that it is clear in the airline's T&C and which far too many people like to overlook when it suits any given situation, yet are very quick to jump on quoting those same T&C's when it is thought that the airline is at 'fault'.


User currently offlineMd94 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 149 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 8661 times:

I have spent many hours on the phone with United's customer service and usually end up with some type of acceptable resolution for most problems. I have had issues with Economy Plus seating and discovered there is a separate number to call for them to try and get a refund. I would strongly suggest calling them and seeing if they will refund the cost of the E+ seat of your original flight home. I would think after hearing you are going home for an illness they would do so.

Here is the phone #: 1-866-950-8707

Good luck!



72?, 732/3/7/8, 763/4, 773, 744, MD88/90, F100, 319/20/21, E145/135/175/195, CRJ200/700, B206, 152/72/82, CH47, F16D,
User currently offlineTxAgKuwait From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1803 posts, RR: 42
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week ago) and read 8217 times:



Quote:
I guess the lesson is learned: don't upgrade unless you are sure you can fly. Unfortunately, you can't know when someone is getting sick.

Someone beat me to the punch but let me chime in, too.

The real solution is to quit flying with carriers who treat their passengers this way. Not all of them do.

If a pre assigned seat and the status of flying a legacy carruer is important enough to someone wo put up with this sort of stuff, then more power to them. To me, the flexibility of no change fee and being able to reuse the full value of my ticket for up to a year on another flight trumps all.

BTW I think what UA did to you, and does to other psgrs, really stinks and it makes no sense from a business point of view. It brings in revenue, yes, but at what cost? At some point in time you make your passengers mad enough to quit you and start flying someone else....and in the long run it is detrimental to your business.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week ago) and read 8197 times:



Quoting Bahadir (Thread starter):
United's EconPlus Upgrade Rip Off

The whole E+ is a rip-off, period! All you get is extra leg room and that is pretty much it. You should have saved your money!



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week ago) and read 8030 times:



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 17):
The whole E+ is a rip-off, period! All you get is extra leg room and that is pretty much it.

People know that going in and yet spend money on it anyway. Clearly, some consumers don't feel ripped off.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineDLDTW1962 From United States of America, joined May 2009, 393 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 7849 times:

They extra leg room is a good thing for me with my back and leg problems. However, I agree the price is up there. But, in some cases it is better to fly business class for the price. Not
only do I get the leg room, but, I get better service. This is even more so on the international
flights I fly on.

Chuck


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 7806 times:



Quoting DLDTW1962 (Reply 19):
Not only do I get the leg room, but, I get better service.

I've done E+ twice. The service is the same as in the back of the aircraft. Didn't see anything different at all.

E+ never again! Sticking to F9 and LiveTV!



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineGlobaldreams From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 7365 times:

Can't you just apply for a refund via united.com: http://www.united.com/page/genericpa...wn07&linkTitle=seatupgraderefunds.

User currently offlineSlcdeltarumd11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 7301 times:

If i were you i would fight the charge with my credit card company. I bet you united wont even try to fight it

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 7052 times:

Quoting ScottB (Reply 13):
But nothing about the possible changes in pricing of the E upgrade makes it impossible for them to allow the passenger to apply funds used for a previously purchased upgrade to an upgrade on a different flight

Without getting into deep technical discussions, the manner which such add & collect fees are created (by IATA decades ago), make them impossible to be recalculated and not part of any re-ticket or refare exercises. (remember E+ is not a separate fare class or anything that has a monetary value)

They are use it or loose it, just like other charges such as baggage fees, day passes etc..
And UA is hardly the only major that treats them as such.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 17):
The whole E+ is a rip-off, period! All you get is extra leg room and that is pretty much it.

The added 3-4 inches is a God send to many, and far from a rip-off. As they say YMMV and to many its a very worthwile exercise.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 18):
Clearly, some consumers don't feel ripped off.

Indeed to a tune of some $200mil added revenue according to an earnings call.

[Edited 2009-05-18 16:47:28]


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineBoston92 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6805 times:



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 20):
I've done E+ twice. The service is the same as in the back of the aircraft. Didn't see anything different at all.

E+ never again! Sticking to F9 and LiveTV!

That is why the poster said business class.

Also, I don't see how E+ is a rip-off. It isn't like UA is being greedy with the seats. The majority of them go out free to elites, and the remaining they sell for a reasonable price.



"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
25 FrmrCAPCADET : Of course, the customer is the enemy, *crew them anyway you can. Note this is NOT aimed at those working on the front lines - they do not set policy.
26 ScottB : Amazing, then, that United seems to be able to refund the fee if they change the itinerary or if the E+ seat is unavailable. The amount charged clear
27 LAXintl : Its not amazing at all. If for some reason the seat was not available as booked the day of departure, the purchase is clearly in the record as the fl
28 Dlphoenix : There is nothing smart about alienating a paying customer (in particular one that is willing to pay for a premium service). UA would have been much w
29 Ikramerica : Yes, he is confused. If he wasn't confused by why this happened, he wouldn't have asked. But I guess you are right, I said to act as if you expect to
30 SirSheldon : funny story about UA econo upgrade... i was flying YYC-DEN and the agent asked me if I wanted to upgrade and I said no, but when I boarded I realised
31 Boston92 : Haha... No you aren't.
32 MarcoPoloWorld : Exactly. Its name implies that it's a Premium Economy service, when it isn't. And while it's a nice little extra to give out free to their frequent f
33 Cubsrule : What do you suggest that they call it?
34 AirframeAS : Its already called Economy Plus.... and Marco is spot on.
35 Live2fly83 : yeah sorry to bear the bad news- 'officially' that seat is gone, it wouldnt hurt to write in though ps- as well as being published its something that
36 BHMNONREV : Try flying R/T 3-4 times a year between the US and the Middle East, and you will find the $349.00 annual fee to be a bargain for the 4-5 inches of ad
37 AirframeAS : I see your logic, but remember, most of us on this site don't make those types of hops that much at all.
38 LAXintl : So what should they call it? Its definitely more then regular coach. The added 3-4 inches can be a day-night difference for many folks particularly t
39 Cubsrule : But it can be well worth the money on other trips, too. A few years ago, I spent $35 to upgrade to E+ on a CR7 flight CLT-ORD. The return the next da
40 AirframeAS : They already have a name for it, right? Easy, look on the side of their CRJ's.
41 United1 : So UA marketing the larger RJs that have F/Y+/Y on board as ExPlus is wrong how? I'm sorry but I'm not following what issue you have with UA marketin
42 Ikramerica : And early boarding. For a tall person, to know you can get the legroom and have overhead space for you hand luggage instead of under your seat, it's
43 Ikramerica : Exactly. It's not like they call it PREMIUM economy. That would be a lie. It's just economy, plus a little bonus.
44 AirframeAS : For the record, I never said I had a problem with UA marketing E+. I said I just don't see how it is even worth the money at all based on my two expe
45 United1 : Fundamentally Y+ is simply extra legroom that helps keep UAs most frequent fliers happy. It was never designed or meant to be a class by itself where
46 MarcoPoloWorld : Now, that's a statement that makes sense, and basically confirms what I had assumed earlier in the thread. As long as customers don't confuse it with
47 Pellegrine : I don't know if anyone said this yet but if you don't get what you paid for call your credit card company and have them chargeback what you paid. Tell
48 AirframeAS : That makes much more sense now. Oh, no problem, Mr.Marco!
49 Ikramerica : Correct. That's what I consider early boarding. If they went by the location of your seat in the aircraft in the Y section, since all Y+ seats are th
50 HAMAD : i truly don't understand this attitude that i see with a lot of fellow airline employees in the frontline. the customer is not the enemy (this is wha
51 Ikramerica : Much respect.
52 Dallasnewark : With all due respect, you are not Einsteins back there. Working the ticket counter doesn't require a great deal of education or a high IQ, so I would
53 ADent : Plus the OP paid a change fee. For this fee ($100 typically IIRC) UA can't (we already had explanations from above on why it is impossible) move the E
54 Ikramerica : They can do whatever they want to. Change fees are waived and refunded all the time, upgrades are given at no cost all the time. All this "can't" tal
55 Manu : What I don't understand is how United completely alienates me as a *A Gold client. They give me no seat assignments and demand upgrades to Economy Pl
56 HAMAD : i recall a while back at least in the period of either 2006, or 2007 united used to reward *A elite members starting from silver status to be seated
57 Ikramerica : Exactly. It is for UA customers. It is only recently that it was sold as a class of service at all, and it's only sold AFTER you book, if there's roo
58 Manu : Agreed. My challenge is for the majority of my flights there are NO SEATS available for assigning, because they're locked as E+. As I said, simply pu
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