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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flying the Friendly Skies

100_0755 I think that most people who have been traveling for more than 20 years would agree with me that flying is just not what it used to be.  What was once a special, comfortable event with complimentary chocolates and pillows has, over the years, been turned into a mass cattle call fraught with anxiety while being herded from point a to point b.  Americans have demanded cheap flights to commute across the country on a whim, and with that they have encouraged the airlines to create an atmosphere where flying is no longer special, and passengers are treated in mass instead of by person.

It may sound odd, but I'm actually really looking forward to my flights for this trip.  I was spoiled with a complimentary upgrade from United to Economy Plus on my last flight. At first I didn't think that an extra 5 inches of leg room would make a real difference, but it really was a huge change in comfort.  As someone who suffers with chronic pain, having that extra room to stretch out a bit while in the seat eased the discomfort and created a much more enjoyable ride.  Between that and the premier line line I had added, it made the March trip so much more enjoyable I decided I may never fly just straight economy again.

For next week's flights I decided to get even fancier (though still not first class) and I upgraded to Premier Travel.  I know that we'll have room in our seats, our checked bags are already paid for, and we'll fly through lines.  In addition I'm excited to have the opportunity to check out the Red Carpet lounges.  Primer Travel cost us roughly an extra $400 for two round trip tickets, which is still $600 less than first class would have cost us.  Primer Travel is an excellent opportunity to still travel comfortably, without paying first class prices.  Primer Travel is a bundled package of perks, but United also offers it's passengers the opportunity to purchase travel options al la carte for smaller fees.  For instance Premier Line from Chicago to Orlando is only about $10 extra.

 United's Premier Travel service includes:
  • Extra 5" of legroom with Economy Plus® seating (room to stretch out)
  • Early boarding with seating group 1 (makes sure your carry on bags stay with you)
  • Priority security line access (saves time)
  • Premier® check-in line access (personal service)
  • Bonus miles equal to 25% of your flight miles (earn perks faster)
  • First two standard checked bags free (like they should be) [1]
Yes, it's not the most economical way to fly, and if money is more important than the experience, then United's travel options may not be for you.  However if you long for the days of not having to wear protective gear while queing up in line, a comfortable flight with room to stretch out, and personal service, you might want to give some of these great ad-ons a try.

[1] united.com
Disclaimer: 2011 Land/Sea Vacation was paid for and scheduled by DVCMom. I am not a United employee nor do I speak for the company.  All activities, reviews and opinions expressed on this website are entirely my own.

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