With its international route network still limited due to the pandemic, United Airlines is ramping up service to Hawaii with more flights this summer and newer aircraft. In fact, it will begin marketing its Premium Plus (premium economy) cabin as a separate class of service with an enhanced soft product on several longer Hawaiian flights.
United Airlines Adds Premium Economy To Select Hawaii Flights
United’s Premium Plus cabin is only available on new or retrofitted aircraft. These purple seats resemble a domestic first class seat (a bit narrower), but feature greater recline and a footrest.
Onboard amenities include:
- Saks Fifth Avenue blanket
- Upgraded dining
- Complimentary alcohol
- Amenity kit (on some routes)
I’ve reviewed the product on a longhaul flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt here.
> Read More: United Premium Plus Review
Which United Hawaii Routes Will Feature Premium Economy?
In May, Premium Plus will be offered on four routes:
- Honolulu – Chicago
- Honolulu – Denver
- Maui – Chicago
- Maui – Denver
In June, premium economy will be expanded to:
- Honolulu – Houston
- Kona – Chicago
- Maui- Newark
What Does This Mean For Upgrades?
Note that all of the flights above are exception routes to United’s complimentary unlimited upgrades to MileagePlus elite members (on a space available basis). Since these flights do not offer free upgrades, elite members will no longer be able to assign Premium Plus seats for free anymore on flights that feature this cabin.
However, members can use PlusPoints or miles to upgrade. Mileage upgrade pricing varies based upon fare class and an additional co-pay applies. Lately, it has made more sense just to buy a premium ticket than to use miles to upgrade.
By the end of May, United will offer more than 200 flights per week between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii. As part of the ramp up of service, United will begin selling premium economy as a separate cabin.