I get an email from United inviting me to join Ameniti. It is quite tempting. For $295 I can get 25K miles and a companion ticket if I buy a “full fare” ticket. but wait!
To decide how worth it this is, I go to United.com and do a search on SFO-JFK. The fares are $295-$320 or so. They’re named “everyday low price.” I call up Ameniti and ask if these are full fares, since these are the only results that come up. The woman does a search. Oh no, full fare would be “$2000” plus some odd amount I didn’t hear as I was reeling at the absurdity of paying even $2000 for an economy fare when for the same exact service I could pay $295.
OK United. How about making it I can take 3 companions for the full fare?
I mean really, even in first class on United, $2000 is really stretching it. I got upgraded to first class on an international trip recently. I’ve found that Economy Plus has more legroom. The “amenities” (get it? I kept pronouncing their program “amen-ee-tea” till I heard it on their phone recording) included a cup of mixed nuts, a bottle of water, a tablecloth, and a more elaborate meal. There weren’t even head cloth things over the seats. Not that hard to do. But I must admit, the headphones were new, wrapped in plastic. Maybe that was a first class only benefit.
I’d glanced at the people’s meals across from me and saw them laden with stale looking formerly frozen croissants and other non-enticing stuff. I’d gotten a special vegetarian meal. A few years ago I loved United’s vege meals. I even remember once getting a black bean burrito that rivaled some of the best I’d had.
From this breakfast all I wanted to eat were the grapes. Honestly I don’t remember the rest but I remember thinking it wasn’t worth the calories.
So United, since I’m addicted to earning miles on your airline, I sincerely hope you re-think what “first class service” is and have a cap on “full fare” tickets in the same class where you can pay 10% of the cost for the same ticket.
To Ameniti or not to Ameniti? It took a while reading the wording of the “double miles” benefit to realize it is not double miles when you fly on United but double on hotels, cars, and other partners. It may not be for me.