United Airlines today said it is working with Sabre to enable the global distribution system's subscribers to upsell economy passengers to the carrier's Economy Plus cabin at the point of sale. United said the option would be available to Sabre-subscribing travel agencies in spring 2009.
The move makes United among the first U.S. carriers to take advantage of new GDS initiatives to enable merchandizing options at the point of sale. Most carriers thus far have assessed unbundling and upselling charges at the time of checkin, on the airplane or exclusively through their own Web sites, making their use difficult to track (BTNonline, April 28)
Like many carriers, United earlier this year launched capabilities on its Web site to purchase such upgrades prior to travel. Those capabilities, however, have lagged in the GDS environment. Midwest Airlines this year unveiled a comparable program with Sabre to upsell customers who elect to pay more for its higher-tier Signature economy seat at the time of booking (BTNonline, July 21)
"Economy Plus seats are complimentary for members of United's Mileage Plus program who hold at least premier status in the program," United said in a statement.