Rumor Mill: United Adding Seats to CR7s, American-US Airways Reciprocal Lounge Access

A couple of threads caught my attention this week on Flyertalk and Milepoint with rumors that United (Express) will add a row of seats to its Canadair CRJ-700s, and lounge reciprocity for American and US Airways fliers begins September 1. And yes, while these are both unconfirmed as of this posting, they certainly sound plausible.

First, Flyertalk member goingbananas offers up the following about United:

I heard this a couple of weeks ago through various sources and thought it was real far-fetched. However, the last few days I have heard this from a few other sources and it’s looking like this will be coming to a Skywest CR7 soon for all.

1) They are taking out the bulkhead (pulling the cabinet or as it is referred to by the crew as “doghouses” behind F/C.
2) Adjust the seat pitch in F/C to accommodate one more row in regular Economy.

This will add 4 more seats to E-.

If true, it’s shame that United is deciding to add another economy row, versus beefing up the first class section. Not that first class on a CR7 is anything great, but at least American and Delta offer three rows on their birds offering a more comfortable ride and better upgrade chances for more elites on some of the brutally long routes this aircraft flies.

I’d rather see a reduction of the economy plus section on United’s CR7s to accommodate another row of first. The ratio of E+ to E- seats (32 to 28) has always boggled my mind. But then again… it’s all about the economics.

I first saw the rumored lounge reciprocity news for American and US Airways on AAdvantageGeek’s blog, which links to this thread where nevansm notes:

Saw a memo sitting on the check in desk at the DCA club today stating that starting 9/1 AC members and US Club members will have reciprocal access. Memo had US and New American logos at the top and dated 8/1.

And on Milepoint, member Mike Reed (who authors the Getting Status blog here on BoardingArea) wrote:

Stopped through an Admiral’s club recently and haven’t had time to post since… they’re being reading to accept USAir fliers as of the date of the merger being official, regardless of alliance/program changes. In spots with no US clubs, the AC’s will be ready for more volume. I’m assuming the same is happening on the US side of the fence. No official announcements yet… but would be a great way to cross-pollinate folks, especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 airports with small clubs from each airline.

If reciprocity does begin September 1, I wonder if United Club/Star Alliance Gold members will be turned away from US Airways clubs. The latest date I’ve read for US Airways officially leaving Star Alliance is November 1.

In any case, we’ll see what actually transpires with both rumored changes. And my apologies to those readers who hate rumors… I found these to be particularly interesting for a post. 😉

– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.

Related:

Lounge Review: American Airlines Admirals Club, Denver

Review: American’s Flagship Check-In and Lounge at LAX

Lounge Review: US Airways Club, Charlotte

Comments

  1. I don’t think that I’ve ever been on a CR7 flight were F was all revenue customers, there is no reason to expand that cabin when it yields no additional revenue, so I can’t blame them for that. With that said, where they will get the additional 30″ for another row is more concerning (if this rumor is true).

  2. @Kris: Agreed that it’s all about where United can add a row to generate the most revenue. Increasing F would just be “nice” from an elite’s standpoint.

  3. @m: Great question. We’ll have to wait for an official announcement. Hopefully communication will be clear to the lounge agents as to which “rule” they decide on (same-day ticket on US/AA required or not with the AMEX Plat card).

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