atcsundevil From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 1235 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1881 times:
If I remember correctly (and if my memory serves me wrong, please don't hold it against me), it was rolled out over time and was available if the aircraft was equipped. Removing a couple rows of seats isn't exactly a major operation, but certainly took a while for the entire fleet to have it.
I think that it has, in general, been reasonably successful for UA. I don't know if it has made them money, particularly because I used to buy their $200 pass for automatic upgrades to E+ for the full year...which pays for itself with one RT to Europe. Booking a flight in E+ can sometimes be significantly more expensive, which really doesn't pay off when the only benefit is added legroom and, on long-haul flights, a toiletry/sleep pack. At least on BA or other airlines offering a similar Premium Economy product, there are added benefits offered aside from more legroom.
My most recent flight on UA was in January from FRA-IAD on a 772 booked in Economy. However, the PTVs for my girlfriend and my row were inop, and with economy nearly fully booked, the FA gladly seated us in E+ when we requested to move because it was almost completely empty (fewer than 10 pax).
So as for its actual success, whether it be monetary return or passenger satisfaction, I know someone else has a better answer than I do, but from my personal experiences, it's nice, but not nice enough to actually pay more than a few bucks extra. My guess is that if it stays with the new UA/CO, the CO management should look to create a new, upgraded E+ product to better distinguish itself from economy...which I think they'll have to do because CO's economy product on their 737 fleet is already better than UA's long-haul E+ product! The domestic E+ is satisfactory and comparable to seats with added legroom on other carriers, but if they want to continue it on their long-haul fleet (much less devote entire cabins to it), they need to re-vamp it to truly make it a distinguishable class, because it is simply not comparable to other carrier offerings.
I would like to see it stick around, but as a better product to make it a better value for the increased fare.