Airlines are in the business of profiting from ancillary fees and both Delta and American have already introduced bundled packages for economy class passengers that include perks like extra legroom, lounge access, checked baggage, and priority security and boarding. United has now debuted its own enhanced packages for United economy class customers called Economy Plus Essentials and Economy Plus Enhanced.
I stumbled upon these by accident, booking a ticket for a client this morning on united.com that included exclusively United metal. The client (party of two) was traveling in economy class and the following options occurred after selecting the desired award flights–
Clicking through for details, the following package details were displayed–
Rumors of these new bundled packages have been floating around since November, but they have officially rolled out and united.com even details them:
Economy Plus Essentials
This package offers Economy Plus seating and an extra standard checked bag. You’ll save up to 20% on these travel perks by purchasing this package.
Economy Plus Enhanced
With this package, you’ll receive the Essentials (Economy Plus seating and an extra standard checked bag) plus Premier Access®, a United Club℠ trip pass and extra award miles for each passenger on the reservation, at up to 25% off the cost of adding these features individually
Here are several key things to know about the new program–
- United Travel Options packages are only available on trips with all flights marketed and operated by United or United Express
- Packages are not available on codeshare and mixed-airline trips, premium cabin and mixed-cabin itineraries and select itineraries to international destinations.
- As a general rule, United Travel Options packages on their own are nonrefundable in whole or part unless the ticket is refundable
- If a Complimentary Premier Upgrade is issued, then the Economy Plus portion of the package is not eligible for a refund
- If a mileage or instrument-supported upgrade is used, the Travel Options package will be automatically refunded
- If you pay for a package and there are no seats available in EconomyPlus, you are not eligible for a refund (presumably because you can choose a seat before paying for the package)
- but if you end up flying in regular economy, you will get a refund
- If baggage is damaged, you will receive a refund of any ancillary baggage fee
- Priority baggage handling is not included with Premier Access purchase
- Travelers under 18 cannot use a United Club trip pass unless they’re accompanied by a traveler over 18 on the same reservation
This may be valuable option to some non-elite travelers who are not willing to pay the sufficient up-charge to book into first class. There is nothing revolutionary here, but I am sure it will bring more revenue to United.