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Is a little more space, United's Economy Plus, worth $100 ?

We two are flying from Houston to Munich, departing at 4:30PM and arriving 10 1/2 hours later at 9:50AM,
then continuing on to Zagreb. Long flight on United Airlines. Munich/Zagreb is not a concern, only an hour flight.

Because we were able to redeem miles for our tickets, I am considering spending about $130 EACH to upgrade (slightly)
to their Economy Plus section where you get 3 or 4 inches more legroom and an extra inch on the recline.
I probably wouldn't even consider this except the tickets were pretty cheap, so far,
and 10 1/2 hours over night is a long flight.

Do you think United's Economy Plus is much of an improvement over regular Economy seating?
Have you done both?

If I buy the upgrade for the flight over, how about the flight home which is even an hour longer,
but chasing the sun all the the way? Homebound is Frankfurt to San Francisco, 5:25PM to 7:50PM.
Will we have trouble sleeping with the daylight outside? Is the little bit of extra room worth it anyway?

I'd especially like to hear from anyone that has done it both ways,
waste of money versus good value?


Posted by
419 posts

I am not a tall person--5'4", but over 80 years old. I always flew economy on my many flights across the Atlantic and back again. When economy plus became available, I thought I'd give it a try, although I didn't think the extra 5 or 6 inches would make a difference.
But, oh my, it certainly did. After that first experience, I have always flown economy plus. In my opinion it is well worth the extra dollars, especially on the homeward flight which is extra long and, in my view, much more stressful because it is more difficult to catch some sleep in the daylight.
My advice--go for economy plus and enjoy the extra room.

Posted by
9363 posts

VERY worth it! I had an economy plus seat traveling to China, but did not get one on the way home. Each flight was about 13 hours. The extra room was well worth the cost, even though I am short and didn't need the room, particularly. In your case, it's not quite as important coming back. When I travel to Europe, I just treat the trip home as one long afternoon, and I don't try to sleep (of course, I am only flying to Chicago, not the west coast). On the way there, the extra room and greater incline made it more possible to sleep.

Posted by
340 posts

My husband (6'2") and I (5'0") have flown on United both Economy and Economy Plus to London (8 hrs). We will never fly anything other than Economy Plus again. Upgrade both ways, it's worth every penny!!

Posted by
20 posts

I agree with the other folks.

My last long flight was in April.
A 13 1/2 hour non stop.
Between boarding time and de-icing, we sat for 15 1/2 hours.

I flew Delta Economy Comfort.
Set me back over $300 more for my ticket, but it was worth it.

Between that and a foot rest, I was sitting pretty.

Posted by
1319 posts

It's absolutely worth it. I'm 5'10" and have flown both Economy and Economy Plus and look for Economy Plus seats on all long flights. I hate it when the seat in front of me reclines into my lap. With Economy Plus, it's not so bad, the extra few inches between seats keeps the person in front of me out of my lap and makes the long flight more bearable.

Posted by
2529 posts

Have not experienced United's version of nicer economy seating but Delta's iteration is worth it in my opinion for longer flights.

Posted by
23434 posts

In my opinion there are four classes of service - first, business, super economy, and economy. Economy continues to get shorter to make room for the first three. At a hundred dollars it is cheap and worth it.

Posted by
67 posts

I'll add my vote to what looks like a unanimous opinion. After years of flying as cheap as possible, we sprang for United's Economy Plus for trips to Europe when it was introduced. It is without doubt worth the $100 or $200. That extra leg room makes all the difference even if that's all you get. But many airlines are adding upgraded menus and amenity kits as well. Go for it (and choose seats on the right side of the plane to avoid the sun coming back.)

Posted by
1205 posts

I totally would hate to spend the extra money and I feel it is so unfair of how the seats are smashed into the plane but YES go for the extra room. I flew last year from Newark to Rome and I was so uncomfortable and miserable! I am 5'1" and 125 lbs so it is not like I am a big person, but I had the worst flight ever. There was an article about seats on an airplane and they said they are making the seats very light weight. Less padding, less room so that the airlines could fit more seats. The seats are tight, less leg room and you feel it. I usually watch two movies, but it was so uncomfortable that I barely watched one movie and could not get comfortable. It was hard to sleep to.
So if you can afford it, do it and it will be better than being miserable. It is hard to sleep on a plane no matter what, but try to do so, everyone else is also trying to sleep and they keep the shades down on the windows.

Posted by
503 posts

I have flown United's Economy plus on last three trips, to Russia, Germany and England. I don't think I could go back to regular economy. I'm 5'9" so any extra inches are heaven-sent and they really do make a difference. It's too bad that the airlines have crammed people in to the point that even very small and short people are miserable. The flights over and back are absolutely the worst part of any trip for me, from the moment I step foot in the airport, until I can leave the airport at my arrival city, I hate it. The only comfort is that little bit of extra leg room you can pay hundreds of dollars for.

Posted by
4535 posts

We always try for the extra legroom on flights more than a few hours. It makes the flight sooooo much better and more comfortable. Especially if the base price of the tickets was nil. The extra legroom may not sound like much on paper, but it is significant in reality.

Posted by
5837 posts

You get to load ahead of the cheaper seat passengers and you arrive in front too. That's good if you have a tight connection.

Posted by
1221 posts

Another Economy Comfort and related fan here. Not only because we're two tall people, but also there's the small unadvertised benefit of getting off the plane right after the premium cabin does, putting you ahead of a bunch of people from general coach when it comes to immigration & customs lines. So figure 20+ minutes saved standing in line on many occasions.

Posted by
11613 posts

I usually fly Delta and get Economy Comfort (as opposed to Economy Discomfort) both ways. On the longer flights there is even more room between the rows, so that the person in the window or middle seat can stand up and walk past the aisle-seat passenger.

Even on shorter flights, when the plane is probably more cramped, I always buy the comfort seat.