United Airlines recently announced it would be extending its new premium economy cabin range, Premium Plus, to select domestic flights, as of Oct. 2.
Previously, the Premium Plus class was only available for long-haul international flights when it was launched earlier last year, but it will now be available on selected domestic flights, as well as for transcontinental flights, using the Boeing 787-10 aircraft.
The Premium Plus seats offer passengers additional leg and elbow room, free upgraded meals on real plates, an upgraded amenities kit including Saks Fifth Avenue blankets, extra storage, and a larger screen for in-flight entertainment with noise-reducing headphones and extra power outlets.
Currently, Premium Plus seating is only available domestically on the two daily flights between Newark and Los Angeles and one daily flight between Newark and San Francisco, and costs just over $400.
United is also making it easier to upgrade with the introduction of PlusPoints, a new upgrade benefit for Premier Platinum and 1K members that creates more opportunities for members to be upgraded on flights.
Top-tier members will receive a bank of points that they can use to upgrade all flights across United's global network, where they previously would have used Regional Premier Upgrades (RPU) or Global Premier Upgrades (GPU).
"We're making it even easier for our Premier members to use upgrades when and how they want," said Luc Bondar, United Airline’s vice president of loyalty and president of MileagePlus. "The new PlusPoints program increases the overall number of upgrade opportunities for top-tier Premier members, expands the fare classes where they can be used, and lets members request upgrades on multiple flights all at once.”
On Dec. 4, United will replace Regional Premier Upgrades and Global Premier Upgrades with PlusPoints. Each RPU will be worth 20 PlusPoints and each GPU will be worth 40 PlusPoints.
PlusPoints will make upgrading to and from Premium Economy more flexible. Upgrading from Economy to United Premium Plus and from United Premium Plus to United Polaris business class will be possible for less than the value of one GPU.
“We already make it easy for members to manage all of their upgrades online, and the move to PlusPoints is yet another way we are making MileagePlus the best loyalty program in the industry," said Bondar.