Economy Plus: Spend Management in the Air

I just landed in Peking (what insiders and old-timers call Beijing), after an uneventful flight on United. This is after my wife recently swore that she would never fly Chicago's hometown airline again. But I convinced her to break the promise less than three months later because of economy plus (the one thing United has going for it over the competition). Sitting in economy plus on a direct flight from Chicago to Asia for $800 round-trip is an excellent deal, especially given that that United's business class seats are definitely worst in class. For those minding their budget -- or their company's -- I can honestly say that it would be a huge waste to pay eight times the amount to sit a few rows closer to the front on this airline. In my estimate, economy plus offers a good 4-6 more inches of room than other international economy seats. Not bad! It's a true, Spend Management approach to flying. Now, it's not Singapore Airlines (which is worth paying every penny for to upgrade to business), but it's a heck of a lot more convenient to get to China flying direct from Chicago, even if it comes with United's legendary "service with a snarl" approach to in-flight customer service (which I can say emerged from bankruptcy unscathed).

Jason Busch

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