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What Was Initiation Of UAL E+ Like?  
User currently offlinesldispatcher From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 498 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2689 times:

With the pending merger of UAL and CAL, there is definitely speculation about the ultimate decision regarding E+.

If one were to assume, for the sake of this discussion, that the new United had decided to roll out E+ on the Continental fleet.

I'm curious, for those who can turn the clock back, how did UAL roll out E+.

Obviously every aircraft was not changed at RON stations in 1 night.

Did it roll out city pair by city pair?
Was it unknown until the day of or day prior to departure if you were going to be on an E+ flight?
Was it met with skepticism or open arms?

Thanks for your replies, information and input.

1 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineatcsundevil From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 1497 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2434 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.

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