I’ve never really written a review on a specific airline.
Or for that matter ... a specific airline seat!
But, on one of my recent long-haul flights from the USA to the UK, we decided to “splash out” on an upgrade from economy seats, to United's Premium Plus seats.
Honestly, we really weren't sure whether the upgrade would be worth it ... and were apprehensive at first.
That's why I figured I’d share my experience with you.
So you can decide whether it’s worth paying for that upgrade.
P.S: It’s worth noting that I don’t have any airline points. We don’t really have perks like this in the UK, like you guys in the USA do), so there was no upgrading for free involved. Although I’m sure you could use your points, so this may help you decide whether it’s worth using your points for this United Premium Plus seat!
Let’s get to it ...
Premium Plus is United Airlines’ version of Premium Economy class which is a step up from regular economy but not quite United’s international Business Class.
You can find these seats installed on the airline’s Boeing 767, 777, and 787 widebody aircrafts.
As of this writing, Premium Plus is only available on the following routes:
This will depend on an absolute variety of factors, such as ...
So I cannot give you a definite answer, but I can tell you what I paid for the upgrade.
Drumroll please ...
For our United Premium Plus Seats, we paid $200 extra per seat.
For the 11 hour flight, I thought this was a great price, and that’s the reason why I took the plunge and paid for it!
We flew on a United 747 plane, and it’s laid out with basic economy seats with a seat pitch of 31”, economy plus with a seat pitch of 34” United Premium Plus with a seat pitch of 38” and then business class with a seat pitch of 6”6.
When you book a United Premium Plus Seat, you get a much wider seat than basic economy, leading to a much more comfortable long haul experience (Especially if you want to try and get some sleep!).
You also get a different section of the plane, it’s not boarded off with a door or curtain or anything, but the United Premium Plus seats are in there own little area together, just back from business class- oh and all the United Premium Plus seats are purple themed, whereas the rest of United is blue themed!
This will depend on the aircraft, but on the 777 (our plane) it was 2-4-2 and 3 rows
767: 2-2-2 and 4 rows and on the 787 it’s 2-3-2 across 3 rows.
We boarded the plane and were greeted by friendly air hostesses and took our seats, which was easy and quickly to find since it’s near the front of the plane.
Our flight was quite full and it had said online that all the Premium Plus seats were full, so we had gotten the last two seats in the 4 section of the plane so technically the middle row.- 21 F and GI would have preferred two seats on our own next to the window, but turns out two people didn’t show up, so the guests next to us, moved to the two remaining seats by the window and we had a full row of 4 to ourselves which actually gave us even more room!
The seats are comfortable and you really notice the extra space.
There’s more room for arm manoeuvring, i,e you don’t have to hit anyone when you’re attempting to put on, or take off a jacket, and there was a lot of legroom which was absolutely brilliant!
It is definitely possible to sleep on this flight with these seats.
Bradley spent quite a bit, whereas I was busy enjoying the inflight movies, but I did get around 2-3 hours which was nice and I actually got real sleep!
USB charging is very useful to have next to you.
There is a footrest, and two buttons which will recline your seat to a comfortable sleeping angle.
You’ve also got an adjustable headrest too which makes it even easier to find a position to sleep in.
So according to online, there is a different menu, dedicated to United Premium Plus, but I have no idea if this was the case because we weren’t given a menu on board (I have seen this on other reviews and flights with United).
Before we boarded we had requested “vegan” meals, there was no vegetarian option online to choose from, and we did NOT know that United offered a vegetarian option as standard on their flights, otherwise I would NOT have ordered the vegan option.
The vegan options were weak, and one of the muffins given to us actually said “not suitable for vegans” which didn’t bother me, as I’m not vegan, but would bother a vegan.
One of the vegan options had rice in it, which I can’t eat (and airlines don’t have an option to specify a non-rice meal- you can just ask when on board), so I asked if I could have the vegetarian opinion, which was actually vegetarian meatballs and really good!
The air hostess seemed initially a bit annoyed that I said I couldn’t eat the vegan option, but I wasn’t being fussy, I was simply asking if they had any vegetarian meals left, could I have one, but he came back with a smile and had an option for me!
I think I just caught him off guard in a busy service.
The breakfast vegan option was also porridge which was horrible, so if you’re a vegetarian, just know they will have a vegetarian option on board, i.e don’t pick the vegan menu.
The drinks options were great, and they did a drinks service shortly after take-off in which we got a celebratory drink to celebrate the end of our 1 year trip.
We opted for vodka and diet coke, and it wasn’t Smirnoff (which is a good thing), and if we wanted any more drinks throughout the flight we could request an air hostess via the screen monitor in front of us!
Pretzels are also served with your drink, which is always nice when an airline does that.
And all drinks both soft drinks, and alcohol are included with United Premium Plus, which is nice!
For the price I paid, it was absolutely worth it.
It was worth it for the extra leg room, extra space, and more comfortable seats.
It was also nice to have complimentary amenities and drinks, but that wouldn’t be a solo reason for the upgrade.
I don’t think it’s worth anything more than a $300 upgrade (though I guess this is up to you and the size of your bank/points balance!.
But what i will say is that if you want a better flight experience overall and to wake up feeling fresher at your destination, then if the option to upgrade to United Premium Plus is available at a great rate, then I would take it!
Now over to you ...
Have you ever taken the United Premium Plus upgrade?
Or perhaps you have a question you think I didn't cover above?
Just drop a comment below and let me know!
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