While sipping my morning Diet Coke, I came across an interesting article about United’s new tactic to make money by selling elite perks. At first, I thought United was the first to jump to the plate, but Seth Miller commented below, letting us know that American Airlines and JetBlue already have a similar “elite buy up” service in place. I wouldn’t be surprised if even more airlines join the bandwagon as well if this ends up being successful and profitable in the long run.
Aside from announcing the expansion of their new baggage-delivery service, now non-elites can pay as little as $9 per segment to hop through the Premier Access security lines and receive other expedited elite perks such as faster check-in and priority boarding.
The following excerpt was taken directly from the above press release:
Separately, United has begun offering Premier Access benefits for customers interested in speeding their way through the airports. Customers may now purchase, where available, access to expedited check-in and security checkpoint lanes along with priority boarding, for prices beginning at $9 per segment.
United limits the number of customers who may purchase Premier Access benefits to ensure the benefits are available to the airline’s premier-level frequent flyers and eligible United MileagePlus credit cardmembers including MileagePlus Explorer and Club Visa cardmembers.
Though United did state that they’ll set limits to the amount of people who can “buy up”, I can still see elites who have earned their status organically by flying opposing this all together.
United elites: How does this make you feel? I’d love to hear your opinions about this.