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I’m off to the airport shortly (yay!), so will keep this short for now, but I wanted to pass on the news that United shared today on Flyertalk that they will be re-introducing subscriptions for United Club, Economy Plus seating, and checked bags. Here is what United posted on Flyertalk:
I wanted to give you a heads up on several full-year subscription products we’re getting ready to launch over the next few weeks:
United Club: We’re re-introducing the option to purchase a full-year United Club membership with award miles. P
ricing starts at 40,000 miles (or $400), depending on Premier status.Update: United now posted new pricing info as follows: Starts at 65,000 miles or $500 for a General member, and will further vary depending on Premier status. There will also continue to be an initiation fee of $50 or 7,000 miles for new members, as well as separate pricing for the the addition of a spouse.
Economy Plus: We’re also re-introducing the option to purchase Economy Plus for a full year, with the notable difference that we’ll have different pricing and eligibility by region (domestic 48, North America, intra-Asia, etc.).
Checked baggage: Customers will have the new option to purchase 1 or 2 checked bags for an entire year. Pricing will vary based on number of bags and region.
As of today, we’re soft-launching these products on the Preview site, with rollout to the public version of united.com over the next couple of weeks. All of the above products, as well as paid United Club memberships, will include the ability to self-serve via a “Manage Subscriptions” portal in the My Account section of united.com. Within this portal, you can also take advantage of several new features, including auto-renewal and gifting options.
If you’re a member of the Preview site, be sure to share your feedback via the comments section on the top-right of preview.united.com. Finally, please note that as we’re still in Preview phase, any subscriptions purchased through the Preview site can only be fulfilled through the Preview site until we move to full united.com launch. That means seat selections for Economy Plus, bags at check-in, etc., as well as functionality for giftees (they will need access to the Preview site as well).
I would much rather get the co-branded United MileagePlus Explorer card that comes with a free checked bag plus additional benefits than pay for an annual membership for only a free checked bag, but that is just me. I also value miles higher than 1 cent per mile, so could not spend 40,000 miles for a $400 club membership, but that might make sense for someone that has more miles than they know what to do with. I am interested in seeing the Economy Plus details as that is one of the big reasons to push for elite status with United. I’ll keep you posted as I learn more, but in the meantime you can see some comments on the linked FT thread or I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Have a great weekend!