United Economy Plus Vs Economy: Which Seat Option Is Right For You?

Whether you’re a frequent United flier or just flying the friendly skies for a one-off trip, choosing the right seat can make all the difference in your in-flight experience. Economy Plus and standard Economy represent the two main options for the average leisure or business traveler on United.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: United Economy Plus offers added legroom and other premium perks over standard Economy for an additional fee. It’s ideal for taller travelers or those wanting more comfort, but isn’t essential for shorter flights.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare United Economy Plus vs Economy across key factors like seat size and pitch, amenities, service, price, and more. We’ll also provide tips to help you decide which option to choose for your upcoming flight based on your individual needs and preferences.

Seat Size and Pitch

Legroom and Recline

One of the key factors to consider when choosing between United Economy Plus and Economy seats is the legroom and recline options.

In United Economy Plus, passengers can enjoy extra legroom compared to Economy seats. With up to several inches of additional space, you’ll have more room to stretch out and relax during your flight. This can be particularly beneficial for taller individuals or those who prefer more legroom.

On the other hand, Economy seats offer standard legroom, which is still comfortable for most passengers. While the legroom may not be as generous as in United Economy Plus, it is still adequate for a comfortable journey.

When it comes to recline, both United Economy Plus and Economy seats allow you to recline your seat to a certain extent. However, it’s important to be considerate of the passengers behind you and not recline excessively, as it can limit their legroom and comfort.

Width and Underseat Storage

Another aspect to consider is the width of the seats and the availability of underseat storage.

In United Economy Plus, you can expect wider seats compared to Economy seats. This extra width can provide a more comfortable seating experience, especially during longer flights.

Economy seats, while slightly narrower than United Economy Plus seats, still offer adequate space for most passengers.

As for underseat storage, both United Economy Plus and Economy seats provide space to store personal items such as bags and small backpacks. However, it’s important to note that the amount of underseat storage may vary depending on the aircraft and seat location.

If having extra width and underseat storage is important to you, United Economy Plus may be the preferred option.

For more information on United Economy Plus and Economy seats, you can visit www.united.com.

Amenities and Service

Premium Cabin Perks

When it comes to amenities and service, United Economy Plus offers several advantages over regular Economy seating. One of the main perks of choosing Economy Plus is the extra legroom, which can make a significant difference on long-haul flights.

With up to 6 inches of additional legroom compared to Economy, passengers can stretch out and enjoy a more comfortable journey. This extra space can be especially appreciated by taller individuals or those who simply prefer a little more room to relax.

In addition to the extra legroom, Economy Plus passengers also have access to priority boarding, allowing them to settle into their seats and stow their belongings before the rest of the passengers. This can be a great time-saver, especially for those who prefer to avoid the rush and stress of finding overhead bin space.

Complimentary Food/Drinks

When it comes to in-flight dining, United Economy Plus offers a step up from regular Economy. Passengers in Economy Plus can enjoy complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the flight.

This can be a welcome treat, especially on longer journeys where hunger or thirst can become an issue. While the menu options may not be as extensive as those offered in First or Business Class, the complimentary refreshments are a nice touch that adds value to the Economy Plus experience.

Entertainment and WiFi

United Airlines understands the importance of staying connected and entertained during a flight. In this regard, both Economy Plus and regular Economy offer seatback entertainment systems, providing a selection of movies, TV shows, and music to keep passengers entertained throughout the flight.

Additionally, United offers WiFi on most of its flights, allowing passengers to browse the internet, check emails, or even stream their favorite shows or movies. However, it’s worth noting that while WiFi is available on most flights, there may be a fee associated with its usage.

Route Considerations

Domestic vs International

When deciding between United Economy Plus and Economy, it’s important to consider whether you are flying domestically or internationally. For domestic flights, the difference between the two seat options may not be as significant.

However, for international flights, the extra legroom and amenities offered in United Economy Plus can make a big difference in terms of comfort and overall experience.

United Economy Plus provides passengers with extra legroom, usually around 5-7 inches, compared to Economy. This extra space can be especially beneficial on long-haul flights, where passengers may be sitting for extended periods of time.

Additionally, United Economy Plus passengers also enjoy other perks such as priority boarding and complimentary alcoholic beverages, which can enhance the overall travel experience.

On the other hand, for shorter domestic flights, the difference in legroom may not be as crucial. If you are only flying for a few hours, you may find that the standard Economy seat is sufficient for your needs.

It’s important to weigh your personal preferences, budget, and the duration of your flight when making a decision.

Flight Duration

The duration of your flight is another important factor to consider when choosing between United Economy Plus and Economy. If you are embarking on a long-haul journey, such as a transatlantic or transpacific flight, the extra legroom and amenities provided in United Economy Plus can greatly enhance your comfort throughout the trip.

Studies have shown that sitting in cramped conditions for extended periods of time can lead to discomfort and even health issues such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). With the extra legroom offered in United Economy Plus, you have more space to stretch your legs and move around, reducing the risk of developing these issues.

However, if you are flying a shorter route, such as a domestic flight or a regional flight within a specific country, you may not require the additional legroom provided in United Economy Plus. In these cases, opting for the standard Economy seat can be a more cost-effective choice.

Ultimately, the decision between United Economy Plus and Economy should be based on your personal preferences, budget, and the specific route you will be traveling. Consider the duration of your flight and the level of comfort you desire, and make an informed decision that will ensure an enjoyable travel experience.

Price Difference

When choosing between United Economy Plus and Economy class, one of the key factors to consider is the price difference. Economy Plus generally comes at a higher price compared to Economy, but it also offers additional benefits and amenities that may be worth the extra cost for some travelers.

Upfront Costs

United Economy Plus seats typically come with a higher upfront cost compared to Economy class. These seats offer extra legroom, which can make a significant difference in comfort during long flights. The additional cost for Economy Plus varies depending on the route and duration of the flight.

It’s important to weigh your budget against the added comfort and convenience before making a decision.

According to a study conducted by Airfarewatchdog, the average price difference between United Economy Plus and Economy class on domestic flights is around $50. However, this can vary widely depending on factors such as flight distance, time of booking, and demand.

It’s always a good idea to check the prices for both options when booking your flight to determine if the extra cost is worth it for you.

Elite Status Discounts

One advantage of having elite status with United Airlines is the potential for discounts on Economy Plus seats. United offers different elite tiers, such as Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, and Premier 1K, each with its own set of benefits including the opportunity to receive complimentary or discounted Economy Plus upgrades.

For example, Premier Silver members may receive complimentary Economy Plus upgrades at check-in, while Premier 1K members can enjoy unlimited complimentary upgrades on United and select partner flights, including Economy Plus.

These discounts can significantly reduce the price difference between Economy Plus and Economy class, making it a more attractive option for frequent flyers who have achieved elite status.

It’s worth noting that even if you don’t have elite status, there may still be opportunities to upgrade to Economy Plus at a discounted rate. United often offers upgrade options at the time of check-in or during the booking process, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of extra legroom without breaking the bank.

Who Should Choose Economy Plus?

When it comes to choosing between United Economy Plus and Economy seats, there are certain factors to consider. While Economy is the standard seating option, Economy Plus offers a bit more comfort and legroom. Here are a few types of travelers who might benefit from choosing Economy Plus:

Tall Travelers

Tall travelers often struggle with cramped legroom on flights. If you find yourself constantly feeling cramped and uncomfortable in standard Economy seats, then Economy Plus might be the perfect choice for you. With extra legroom, you’ll have more space to stretch out and relax during your flight.

This can make a significant difference in your overall comfort level, especially on longer journeys.

Those Seeking More Comfort

If you prioritize comfort during your flights, then Economy Plus is a great option. With additional legroom and slightly wider seats, you’ll have a more enjoyable flying experience. Whether you want to work on your laptop, catch up on some sleep, or simply relax with a good book, the extra space in Economy Plus can make all the difference.

Frequent United Fliers

If you find yourself frequently flying with United Airlines, it might be worth considering Economy Plus. As a frequent flier, you deserve a comfortable and enjoyable flying experience. With Economy Plus, you can enjoy the perks of extra legroom and more comfortable seats on a regular basis.

Additionally, if you’re a member of the United MileagePlus program, you may even be eligible for complimentary upgrades to Economy Plus.

So, whether you’re a tall traveler looking for more legroom, someone seeking extra comfort, or a frequent United flier who wants to make the most of their travel experience, Economy Plus could be the perfect choice for you.

Remember to weigh the cost difference and your own personal preferences before making a decision.


When deciding between United Economy Plus vs standard Economy, there are several key factors to weigh like legroom, amenities, pricing, and flight duration. Ultimately, Economy Plus represents a “happy medium” between standard coach and a premium class upgrade.

For tall travelers, those who value generous personal space, or anyone taking long-haul international flights, springing for Economy Plus is likely worth the extra cost. But it isn’t as essential on shorter domestic hops, especially if you don’t require abundant legroom or amenities.

Consider your individual needs and compare the costs to determine if Economy Plus or standard Economy will provide the experience you want at a price you’re willing to pay.

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