I'm looking to book a trans-Atlantic flight. My options are basically United and Lufthansa; each operates some flights, and each sells tickets on the other's flights. For one leg operated by United, Lufthansa has a premium economy ticket available on their site, but only if I book as a round-trip (if I try multi-city it says premium economy is sold out). United, on the other hand, says the premium economy is sold out on their site, and as the operator I assume they'd have the most up-to-date info. Is this just a website glitch, or is it possible that the premium fare is in fact still available?

  • When is the flight? Specifically, before or after March 30?
    – Doc
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 2:46
  • @Doc Before. Why?
    – cpast
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 2:47

2 Answers 2


Apparently Lufthansa is a little confused in some way or another.

United Airlines has only recently started rolling out Premium Economy to it's aircraft, and will only launch this class on March 30, 2019, and even then only on a few select routes. Whilst it IS possible to purchase tickets in Premium Economy (and has been since early December), they are only for sale on flights on/after March 30.

As your flight is before March 30, United is not selling ANY tickets for Premium Economy, and nor are such sales available to their partner airlines, including Lufthansa.

  • Thanks. How does economy plus fit into this? Is that considered a standard economy ticket with an upgrade, or is it a different fare class?
    – cpast
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 3:02
  • Economy plus is a standard Economy ticket, yes, not a separate cabin/ticket class. You can then pay more to select a seat in the Economy Plus section (or get it for free if you have status with United)
    – Doc
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 3:08

Always, always trust the operating carrier over a codeshare partner in this regard. They know best what inventory they have.

  • 3
    Not necessarily. Sometimes a codeshare partner will have an allocation of seats that they "own", at least until a certain period of time before the flight. So it's actually possible that the operating carrier can be sold out, whilst the marketing carrier does have seats available. UA/LH don't work this way, and it's not the case here, but in a generic case it's possible.
    – Doc
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 3:10
  • @Doc How likely is it? Seems to me that all but the savviest ticket buyers should assume the worst if the operating carrier isn't selling inventory. After all, most airlines will overbook, so even being sold out doesn't mean that an airline wouldn't sell a ticket. Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 3:13
  • @JimMacKenzie often the codeshare partner will have locked down the seat until a set period before departure. If this is a week (for example) the seat would show as unavailable on the carrier's booking system until a week before departure, then become open there if not yet booked via the codeshare partner. If not sold, it becomes available for filling a double booking through either.
    – jwenting
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 6:59

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