Is United Airlines Premium Economy Worth It On Long Flights

United Airlines Premium Economy

Business travel in the premium economy has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many travelers seeking a more comfortable experience on long-haul flights. But is it worth the additional cost? If you travel frequently, you have probably at least once been given the choice to fly with United Airlines. Since 2019, budget-conscious passengers who like to travel in a little more luxurious manner have had access to United Airlines Premium Economy services.

If you are planning a long-haul trip, you might be considering whether the Premium Economy flight service on United Airlines is worth the extra cost. Thus, before you reserve your next flight with United, take a closer look at the premium economy United that will help you decide if it's the right choice for your trip.

What Is the United Premium Economy?

United Airlines offers a range of unique travel classes, each designed to cater to its diverse passengers. One such class is United Airlines Premium Economy, also called Premium Plus, which promises a unique and exclusive flying experience. This class can be ideal for economy-class travelers looking for extra comfort or budget-friendly flyers. 

Moreover, if you have extra money or miles on a credit card to spend, this could be a great option to improve your flight experience without splurging on a business-class or first-class ticket. 

What Does the United Premium Economy Include?

The premium economy United seats do not come with any perks aside from extra legroom. This package essentially gives passengers greater room on a plane at a reasonable cost—six inches more of extra legroom, to be exact. Remember that you may see this option referred to as "Economy Plus" on the official United Airlines website. 

Are United Premium Plus and United Premium Economy The Same?

Most frequent travelers are more familiar with Premium Plus than Premium Economy. United Airlines would much rather advertise its premium plus option, which is a more expensive upgrade with a lot more benefits. As the name implies, United Premium Economy has been upgraded to Premium Plus, which is slightly more expensive.

Benefits of Flying With United Airlines Premium Economy

If you want to upgrade from economy on your United airline ticket, check out premium economy, and you will get these amenities:

  • Priority Services: As a United Premium Plus traveler, you will have first-class access rights at the airport, including priority check-in, boarding, and security.  
  • More Space: You will have plenty of room, thanks to a 38-inch seat pitch, a six-inch seat recline, and an adjustable footrest. 
  • In-Flight Entertainment: Your 13-inch screen lets you watch the latest movies and TV shows. You will also receive a set of noise-canceling headphones.
  • Home Comforts: Your free amenity kit lets you snuggle up with your blanket and pillow from Saks Fifth Avenue and freshen up whenever you like. 

What Does United Premium Plus Offer?

Comparing United Premium Plus to a premium economy on the same aircraft, it certainly lives up to its name. Check these perks that show why many travelers prefer to upgrade to premium plus:

  • Free Alcoholic Beverages: You get to enjoy complimentary alcoholic beverages on United flights as a premium plus customer. 
  • Free Checked Bags: As a courtesy, you can take up to two free checked bags. You must read the United rules before booking your Premium Economy or Premium Plus ticket for carry-on luggage.
  • Discounted Lounge Access: If you frequently travel on long international flights, accessing the United Premium Economy international flight lounge can help you relax before each trip. You receive a discount, but it's not free.
  • Better Dining: Premium Plus seats offer upgraded dining options served on genuine flatware with a cloth napkin. During your flight, a complimentary hot meal will keep you satisfied.
  • Extra Space: United Premium Plus offers an incredible 38-inch seat pitch and seven inches of legroom. Because of this, Premier Plus seats are significantly roomier than Basic Economy or Premium Economy seats.
  • Premier Access Benefits: This complimentary package includes priority boarding, priority luggage handling, and special security lanes.
  • Noise-reducing headphones: You receive a broader screen for your in-flight entertainment and a blanket from Saks Fifth Avenue.
You can also read: How To Get on The United Upgrade List?

What is United Premium Economy,  and what is Premium Plus Seating Cost?

The Premium Plus costs more than the United Premium Economy, but the price difference varies widely, ranging from $50 to $2,400 more. The airline industry is known for its wide price range, which is influenced by factors such as the kind of ticket, the distance traveled, and the advance booking of the flight.

In short, if you want to estimate the cost of a plane ticket, it's best to research available tickets online. If you are on a tight budget, we advise booking a flight on one of the less expensive days.

Can I Get United Premium Economy Seats For Free?

When you achieve premier silver status or above as a member of the United Mileage Program, you are eligible for a free upgrade to a United premium economy class. You may use this advantage for yourself and any traveling companions you want (up to three if you achieve Premier Platinum rank).

Further, you can earn premier qualifying points toward premier status by traveling with United or its star alliance partners. You can also use mileage plus a credit card to earn PQP. 

Is The United Premium Economy Worth It?

There is no question that the United Premium Economy product is better than the economy experience. However, The additional money United demands for Premium Plus is not worth the small improvements in terms of room and a little more polish.  Nevertheless, a few areas like the following will determine whether Premium Plus United is the right option for you:

  • Travel Time: The additional expense of premium plus can have a significant impact on lengthier journeys.
  • Budget: United Premium Plus costs more than a coach, but it is significantly lower than business class. Think about the amount of money you will spend on a more luxurious trip.
  • Desired comfort level: if you value legroom, good meals, and extra services, Premium Plus is the best option.


United Premium Economy is a fantastic option for passengers wanting to elevate their flight experience without draining their wallets. However, before booking, check all the amenities mentioned above that Premium Economy and Premium Plus offer. 

If you still have questions about the premium economy ticket, call United Airlines customer service at 1-800-UNITED-1. For faster assistance, dial +1-800-865-1848, an online travel agency number available 24/7.

Phone calling icon