United Offers Elite Perks for Average Joes

Posted February 4, 2009 by Carl Unger

CrowdedSecurityLineUnited's Premier Line offering of add-on perks allows regular passengers to enjoy some of the benefits usually reserved for elite-level frequent flyers. For a cool $25, United will let you breeze through security, check-in, and boarding while the rest of the coach-flying hoi polloi wait in line.

While $25 is nothing to shake a stick at, it's not an exorbitant amount of money either, especially if you manage to score cheap airfare for your flight. And if you're the type of person who is always running a little late, or if you simply don't like airports, these perks will give you some peace of mind leading up to your flight.

Premier Line is available at 14 cities overall, including Chicago, Washington (Reagan and Dulles), Boston, New York (LaGuardia and Newark), and Los Angeles. United will sell only a limited number of Premier Line slots per hour in order to keep the express lines moving at actual express speeds.

Of course, elite-level frequent flyers, who log tens of thousands of miles each year to earn their benefits, aren't exactly singing United's praises following this decision. And who can blame them? After all that time spent in planes, at airports, and so on, shouldn't elite-level perks be set aside for elite-level passengers?

United says no. And for average Joes like us, that's the right answer.

(Photo: msnbc.com)

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Reader Comments

I would totally throw 25 bucks down to get through security easier, but I don't blame elite flyers for being bitter. Where's the benefit for the most loyal passengers?

Posted on February 06, 2009 at 03:13 PM by Jarvis K. Thorpe

As an silver level elite flyer on United, I have to say this makes me angry. Now I'm competing with anyone who can plop down $25? It's enough to make me re-evaluate my loyalty altogether. Good bye United, Hello Delta.

Posted on February 06, 2009 at 03:14 PM by Kentucky Fried Fred

Is there really a benefit to loyalty programs anymore when you can comparison shop for low fares and then give up some of the price difference to get elite level perks?

Posted on February 06, 2009 at 03:31 PM by snarky_schnoodle

I'd rather put that $25 toward an economy plus seat for a little extra legroom!

Posted on February 10, 2009 at 09:01 AM by Erin

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