United Premier Silver members have a number of benefits on top of regular members. However, it’s hard to actually enjoy some of the benefits, since higher Premier members are higher on the priority list. That being said, in my mind, there’s one benefit that you can potentially get quite a bit of value from, and is reasonably easy to grab, but unfortunately many are negligent about it.
As a Premier Silver you have access to Economy Plus seats, if they’re available at the time of check-in. This is what United’s site has to say about the benefit:
Go, go, go!!
Naturally, because it’s the lowest Premier level, this likely means that it’s the level with more members out of the four Premier levels, making it more of a race at check-in. The point is to be ready 24 hours before your flight departs to check-in and select your economy plus seat, if available. You can monitor availability from some days prior, and what you should see is some seats taken during this time, which are more than likely folks that have decided to pay for an upgrade to economy plus, as all other Premier tiers can select their economy plus seat, if available, at the time of booking. So immediately when it hits the 24-hr prior to departure, check-in. Just seconds could signify the difference between flying comfortably and deplaining earlier (which for some reason people love) or not.
There’s no availability at check-in
You’re hope is not all lost. Folks can change their travel plans, previous economy plus passengers may be upgraded to business class, someone decides that they want to fly back in economy with the rest of their family…who cares. The point is that after check-in you should keep checking for available seats to pop-up and grab them when it happens.
That’s not all
Additionally, as a Premier Silver, you can upgrade one companion (someone on the same reservation as you) with you! Isn’t that a nice perk? Imagine this, if you’re on top of it and select you economy plus seat and your companions your companion may be enjoying a seat that potentially would’ve belonged to a Premier Silver that was negligent and thus now gets to remain in the back of the plane. So even a non-Premier Silver (your companion) can enjoy this benefit.
In conclusion, if you made Premier Silver, ensure you’re taking advantage of as many benefits as you can, but especially of this one. Economy Plus paid upgrades can range somewhere between $30 up to $200 or so. So if you upgrade in 5 flights a year with a companions, setting the upgrade cost at $75, you’re essentially getting $750 in value out of this benefit. Not too shabby.