Friday, July 15, 2011


I was sitting in a delicious cafe, eating delicious sustenance, drinking delicious liquids, partaking in a delicious conversation, when I received a delicious e-mail... or so I thought.


My flight back from LAX was on the United Premium Service.. um.. service which, as you WELL know by now means that an upgrade to business class requires 15 thousand miles. Well... that isn't entirely true. You see, a long time ago, United threatened to start charging people co-pays for their upgrades. So, on top of paying a certain number of miles, you also had to pay them some cash. This was met with extraordinary anger on the part of frequent fliers of United, such as myself. Scientists measured a 45 on the Bush Hate/Anger scale for at least an entire week. I wrote a letter to United asking them to stop this non-sense.

And you know what happened? They did. They rolled back some on their co-pay policy (although not completely eradicating it). One year later and I've finally been asked to pay a co-pay.

I received an e-mail from United saying that my upgrade to business class could be confirmed for the small sum of $50 (plus the 15,000 miles). Now, having your upgrade confirmed before a flight has its advantages. You will be issued a business class boarding pass on the spot, which means you can arrive at the airport already knowing you are in business class, with a little piece of paper to prove it. In some places this can get you into certain lounges, give you access to a higher priority elite line for security (some airports, such as LAX actually have three security lines, one for poor riff raff, one for Premiere Execs and Star Gold, and one for First Class passengers, 1K and Global Services members), and get you other stuff probably (not really). But the most important thing is that you don't have to sit at the gate hoping your name gets called for an upgrade. Your upgrade is garunteed. So its peace of mind you're buying. You also are able to pick your business class seat, which you can't do if you're upgraded at the gate. Is it worth it? Probably not. Did I buy it anyway? Umm.... have you met me? Of course I bought it. Although, I probably wouldn't do it again (I say that now of course). The reason being that I probably had a good chance of being upgraded anyway since my name would have still been at the top of the upgrade priority list (or near the top at least). And if I didn't get upgraded, I would keep my 15k miles for another day.

So you all know what business class on United's Premium Service means. Do you think its worth it? I picked my favorite seat, 9C, which is an exit row... in business class.... which is absurd.

Look at that! That is way too much legroom. That shouldn't be legal. I feel like I should contact the Humans Rights Watch and inform them that certain humans are being treated way better than others, based solely on how much money they have. Thats not the American way! Or is it? Scientists say "iunno".

Stupid scientists.

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