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Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Old May 28th 2012, 6:09 am
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Default Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

I heard on the news the other day that United will no longer allow families with young children to board the plane before general boarding unless they pay a $9 per person fee!

My youngest is now 6 so it is not really a factor for us anymore, if they where younger there is no way I would pay the $9 fee.
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Old May 28th 2012, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

I'm not sure it's a huge benefit to board early anyway, assuming assigned seats. About the only advantage I can think of is hand carry baggage stowage. The less time cooped up in a confined space with a baby/toddler, the better!

Now, if there was a way of bypassing lines for security (outbound) and immigration (inbound) for a fee, then I'm interested!
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Old May 28th 2012, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
I'm not sure it's a huge benefit to board early anyway, assuming assigned seats. About the only advantage I can think of is hand carry baggage stowage. The less time cooped up in a confined space with a baby/toddler, the better!

Now, if there was a way of bypassing lines for security (outbound) and immigration (inbound) for a fee, then I'm interested!
I guess each parent opinion might differ but after the first time we flew with my daughter when she was 2 month old and saw the lack of safety for lap kids we have always bought tickets/seats for our girls and taken along our car seats to use on the plane. It is a lot easier to fit a car seat without a 100 people behind you and just having a little extra time to get down the breezeway with people pushing and shoving helps too. I have flown several times alone with one on my little ones, when you have a toddler, hand luggage, a stroller etc to deal with I thought the preboard made it easier.
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Old May 28th 2012, 5:37 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Yeah, I guess it depends on the person. When we had our 18 month old on a transatlantic trip and on domestic US flights we often boarded last as there was usually less of a crush. Even with a more recent trans-Pacific flight we ended up causing a traffic jam at the doorway as we had a toddler and a baby, both asleep, a stroller, and our handbaggage to get onboard, which we had to do by going backwards and forwards inside the plane to get everything on. No help from FAs, especially when the booked bassinet row turned out not to be.
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Old May 28th 2012, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Yeah, I guess it depends on the person. When we had our 18 month old on a transatlantic trip and on domestic US flights we often boarded last as there was usually less of a crush. Even with a more recent trans-Pacific flight we ended up causing a traffic jam at the doorway as we had a toddler and a baby, both asleep, a stroller, and our handbaggage to get onboard, which we had to do by going backwards and forwards inside the plane to get everything on. No help from FAs, especially when the booked bassinet row turned out not to be.
There is absolutely no help from Flight Attendants these days. It must be a "health and safety" issue !

On my last flight an elderly lady was having a problem putting her hand luggage into the overhead locker. It was not that it was oversized or heavy, the lady was just too short to get it in. The Flight attendant just stood and stared at her and let her struggle.

I assisted her (as said the bag was not heavy).

Flight attendants these days are only there for safety purposes - oh, and serving snacks.
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Old May 28th 2012, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
...... and immigration (inbound) for a fee, then I'm interested!
That's what Global Entry is all about

http://www.globalentry.gov/
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Old May 28th 2012, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Originally Posted by Sheepdip View Post
That's what Global Entry is all about

http://www.globalentry.gov/
Not much good for flights out of the US.
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Old May 29th 2012, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

On my flight from Iceland to the US, there was an American couple who clearly didn't understand the concept of assigned seating. They were sitting in the first row of economy when the people in front informed them they were in their seats, so they moved to the very back of the plane. After I had settled in my seat, they were then escorted by a stewardess to somewhere nearer the front after someone else kicked them out of their seats.
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Old May 29th 2012, 6:51 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

They've also just taken the ability to book premium economy for free away from sliver members. If you want to pre-book in premium economy, you have to pay the fee. I believe it's still free on check-in if seats are available though. I'll be honest, I'm about done with United. I've spent the last 7 years flying Continental as their FF programme was still reasonable. I don't travel as much as I used to (used to be Platinum, now struggle to maintain Silver) so I'm thinking of jumping ship to BA. Better flight times to the UK too (IMO at least)
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Old May 29th 2012, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Sadly this is a growing trend among airlines over here, even more firmly than ever cementing US-based airlines as the festering sore on the anus of the aviation world.
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Old May 29th 2012, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Originally Posted by Sheepdip View Post
That's what Global Entry is all about

http://www.globalentry.gov/
I made the mistake of not doing it for my wife and child. Think that's going to change...
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Old May 29th 2012, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Originally Posted by Bink View Post
They've also just taken the ability to book premium economy for free away from sliver members. If you want to pre-book in premium economy, you have to pay the fee. I believe it's still free on check-in if seats are available though. I'll be honest, I'm about done with United. I've spent the last 7 years flying Continental as their FF programme was still reasonable. I don't travel as much as I used to (used to be Platinum, now struggle to maintain Silver) so I'm thinking of jumping ship to BA. Better flight times to the UK too (IMO at least)
When you've accumulated the miles the bar stewards make it even harder to us them.
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Old May 29th 2012, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

I always thought of the families with small children going first was more of a way to keep everyone else happy, I would not want to pay multiple $9.00 so that I am not in the away of the horde.
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 2:11 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Don't know if anyone else saw this but United have now also implemented a policy that to achieve Silver status, you have to pay for at least 4 flights a year, thus taking silver status away from people that only do 3 trips a year to the UK and no other flights with United...

Fom United's web site:

Also, beginning January 1, 2012, to qualify for any Premier level, members must fly at least four paid flights on United or Copa during a calendar year.*

I'm done with United. I'm going to use the rest of my miles up then switch to BA. I've found United's staff increasingly rude too, of late. They used to be a cheery bunch on the whole although you inevitably end up with a sour faced grunt at some point no matter who you fly with.

Last edited by Bink; Jul 6th 2012 at 2:13 pm.
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: Another way for United to 'nickel & dime' you.

Originally Posted by Bink View Post
Don't know if anyone else saw this but United have now also implemented a policy that to achieve Silver status, you have to pay for at least 4 flights a year, thus taking silver status away from people that only do 3 trips a year to the UK and no other flights with United...
If you do three trips a year to the UK that is six paid flights at least. Assuming you come back each time, and don't have to change planes in the US like I do.
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