I really had to laugh out loud when I heard United Airlines was introducing a “co-pay” for
patients fliers upgrading from coach class. A co-pay is what the patient contributes toward the cost of his or her treatment when the rest is being paid for by their health insurer. United is using the term to describe the amount it intends to collect in addition to the frequent flier points it deducts from the traveler’s account. So in United’s scheme the traveler is paying both parts!
But here’s a little tip that I’ll pass along to you as an elite flier on United: if an upgrade is actually available to you, you’ll probably be more comfortable staying in coach. The Economy Plus seating (especially in the exit rows) has about as much –and sometimes more– legroom as first class, and when upgrades are available that also means coach isn’t full. You’re likely to have an empty seat or two next to you in coach, but not first.
Personally, on domestic flights I’d just as soon skip the first class meal and free drinks anyway.
I sure hope the airlines don’t copy too many more ideas from the health insurance industry. I don’t look forward to having to get a referral from my gatekeeper before booking a ticket, for example.November 11, 2008