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United: Economy Plus Staying Put

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United announced today it will retain its Economy Plus seating product, and expand Economy Plus to Continental aircraft beginning in 2012.

In a release, United said, “Today, United offers Economy Plus on all 359 mainline aircraft and more than 150 larger regional jets operated by United Express(R) carriers. When the multi-year conversion process is complete, the company plans to offer Economy Plus on more than 700 mainline aircraft, including all Continental mainline aircraft, as well as larger regional aircraft. When fully deployed, the new United’s fleet will include more than 40,000 Economy Plus seats.”

This is good news for frequent fliers and regular customers alike, but Continental OnePass members should be especially happy. They’re picking up a new perk that wasn’t previously available, which increases the value and usability of their miles.

The one downside, if it’s even fair to use that characterization, is that there will be an extended period of uneven service: Some United flights will have Economy Plus, some won’t. But better to put up with this while United is expanding the product rather than removing it, right?

Readers, does United’s decision to keep Economy Plus make you more likely to consider the airline next time you fly?

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