US Airways Dividend Miles - Preferred upgrade strategy?
Jan 10, 09, 3:20 pm
I'm an SP for the first time, and have two cross-country trips planned next month.
My understanding of the upgrade process is that SPs get F seats if any are left at 48 hrs before the flight, though I can't seem to find an explanation of this on the web site. My membership package was mailed to the wrong address, and is lost.
My question here is: what is the best strategy for proactively getting upgrades if I'm NOT automatically upgraded? I've seen a lot of posts about calling (who do you call?) or getting upgrades from the TA or GA. Should I check in online or not? If so, when? Stuff like that.
Could someone summarize this in a single post?
Jan 10, 09, 4:46 pm
My understanding of the process is a bit hazy, but it seems like this is how it works:
Based on your level, you may be upgraded before check in (by getting an email with a link to upgrade). I haven't had this happen to me yet.
When you check in, if there is an upgrade available, you will be presented with a button to click to upgrade to first. If an upgrade is not available, there is a link to add yourself to the upgrade standby list.
At the gate, the agents will go through the standby list if there are upgrades available and call you to the podium for a new boarding pass. The standby list is prioritized first by your status (CP, plat, gold, silver), then mileage flown YTD, then check in time. I'm not 100% sure of this order.
I've never asked a gate agent to upgrade me, but I've asked where I fall on the standby list. I've heard of people calling for upgrades when they don't get the automated emails, I've never done this.
Jan 10, 09, 6:20 pm
So it would seem that one should check in online at the earliest possible moment?
Jan 10, 09, 8:07 pm
AFAICT the system automatically tries to upgrade you and keeps trying. The times when I haven't been upgraded and I've inquired (usually at check-in or the airline club) F has been full. Since I get upgraded automatically on domestic flights about half the time, I've tended to assume the system knows what it's doing.
Jan 10, 09, 8:57 pm
My understanding of the upgrade process is that SPs get F seats if any are left at 48 hrs before the flight, though I can't seem to find an explanation of this on the web site
For Silver the auto upgrade is 2 days before date of departure. For instance when I fly out on a Friday my auto upgrade email notification would come through around 4ish wednesday morning.
Jan 10, 09, 10:02 pm
Thanks for the responses. I did find this page again finally: http://usairways.com/awa/content/dividendmiles/preferred/upgrades.aspx#auto
I'll be traveling primarily with my fiancee, who is not a preferred. Will the automatic upgrades still happen if we are on the same reservation, or do I have to call? It says that it won't give the option to be put on the upgrade list if you have a non-preferred companion, but is less clear about the automatic upgrades.
Is there a way to get on the waiting list with a non-preferred companion without being at the airport? Or maybe it doesn't really matter, and it's just the check-in time that determines priority and not when you got on the list?
Jan 10, 09, 10:50 pm
1. Yes, auto upgrades would still happen for Preferred + Non-P on same PNR. However, if only 1 FC seat is left, the computer automatically bypasses you....some say it's better to split your PNR if FC seat availability is tight, on the theory that one upgraded seat is better than none. To split, simply call your SP line...
2. Day of departure at airport: If not auto upgraded in advance, ask again at check-in or Club to make sure you're on the day's upgrade list, and inform the agent you have a non-P companion. If the agent is nice, s/he would be glad to tell you how high you are on the list!
3. In case of a tie between you and another SP, check-in time matters and you can check in online....yes, it's not when you got on the list at the airport.