United added an interesting new benefit this morning (courtesy of the 1K website) whereby 1K and Global Services members can now take up to eight family members into Economy Plus. That’s right, EIGHT! That means your spouse, Bobby and Jane, Aunt Martha, Uncle Otis, Grandma Iris, Grandpa Marvin, and Great Grandma Gertrude (no offense to any readers with those names!).
Well, on one hand it’s awesome that United’s actually adding a benefit without either charging for it or taking away a concrete benefit from another group. The old policy was ridiculous. If you were a 1K and had a spouse and kid you’d have to sit in regular economy, which just doesn’t make sense. A Premier who flies a quarter as many miles as a 1K would get the same benefit, so I think this makes sense.
At the same time, eight seems like a lot. I think four family members would have been plenty. I can picture a case where two families reserve most of the Economy Plus cabin on a plane like a 737 ten months out, but of course that would be the real exception as opposed to the norm.
So kudos to UA on this one, a real improvement.