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Old Feb 11, 12, 1:38 pm   #31
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
While civil discourse is always a better approach, one has to take into account that people here are passionate about the perks. And so it's natural that folks be upset and even emotional to lose them.
Upset and emotional, OK. But calling Shannon a liar (I know, this is an extreme example) is not acceptable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
If UACO wants to change the rules, it should change the rules and announce that.
This is one statement that I agree with you on 100%!

UA could do themselves a favor (and help tone down the rhetoric) if they just very clearly and transparently outline exactly how they intend the system to work. Will there be upsells? Under what conditions? Will upsells compete with free elite upgrades? Under what conditions and at what price?

I certainly would appreciate more clarity from them... But yes, you are right. Until I have it I am of the nature to give them the benefit of the doubt.
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Old Feb 11, 12, 2:42 pm   #32
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Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
Until I have it I am of the nature to give them the benefit of the doubt.
There's been enough reported here that for many of us that it's pretty obvious they shouldn't be.
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Old Feb 11, 12, 2:50 pm   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
If UACO wants to change the rules, it should change the rules and announce that.

If UACO wants the rules to be as stated but their software is not up to the task then they need to be honest about that and take their well-deserved lumps for that.

Frankly, I don't believe that it is the posters here who are being unreasonable. I think it is UACO that is being unreasonable.
to all the above, especially the bolded part. If United is going to prioritize purchased upgrades before instruments, then be honest about it.
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Old Feb 11, 12, 4:01 pm   #34
 
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Since this thread seems to be degenerating into another polarized discussion of the members posting in it rather than the subject at hand - though most of the original posts by said members *are* relevant, though somewhat repetitive if for those of us who have read other similar threads. BTW, I don't begrudge you posters your right to be repetitive on threads that are themselves only slight variations on other threads. These fora are not great literature and we aren't required to be original - or interesting, for that matter, as you can see self-demonstrated by my post.

Anyway, I think TOD is a acceptable term, but I would like to know whether we are supposed to use it to describe pre-day-of-travel purchased upgrades or T-24 purchased upgrades? From this board, I've learned the valuable information that there seem to be two programs. I have personally verified that advance-purchase upgrade offers are to the lowest instant-upgrade fare for my flights. From the kokonutz' TOD thread, I think we see that this is *not* true for day-of-travel purchased upgrades.

So my nominations are:
1. Advance purchase upgrades: APUs or APHODs (advance purchase hundreds of dollars)
2. Day of travel purchased upgrades: DOTPUs or DOTTODs or TODs for short.
3. LRPALBABOMTRTT - long rambling post adding little but a bit of mirth to relieve the tension.
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Old Feb 11, 12, 4:25 pm   #35
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Originally Posted by lensman View Post
Anyway, I think TOD is a acceptable term, but I would like to know whether we are supposed to use it to describe pre-day-of-travel purchased upgrades or T-24 purchased upgrades? From this board, I've learned the valuable information that there seem to be two programs. I have personally verified that advance-purchase upgrade offers are to the lowest instant-upgrade fare for my flights. From the kokonutz' TOD thread, I think we see that this is *not* true for day-of-travel purchased upgrades.
Concur - CO follows its rulebook until T-24...and then strange things just seem to happen.

I think inside T-24, it should be called All Bets Are Off (ABAO). Upgrade prices have no correlation to your fare, Kayakers may get better offers than someone flying hundreds of thousands of miles on the airline annually. Just admit to the flyer base that they're actively trying to sell of the F seats before processing UGs...at least Delta admitted as such with FCM, right?
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Old Feb 11, 12, 4:29 pm   #36
 
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In my opinion, TOD has become a charged term that is (usually) intended to be inflamatory when posted on FT. If I read TOD in a post, I can guess what kind of rant the poster is about to go on....

To demonstrate my ignorance, I don't even recall the correct terms for the 2 types of upsells offered by UA... PCU - Premium Cabin Upsell and _______ drawing a blank.

I am certainly not saying there are not upsells... (I took advantage of one myself last year, and got the elusive double upgrade to F for my family when we traveled to SYD late 2011.)

I am just saying that in most cases I read here on FT, somebody with an axe to grind posts about a GM who bought the upgrade for TOD and so the elite who should have received it for free got screwed... With little to no facts to back it up.

Enough already.



Just found an old post by our friend 5khours:

"There are two kinds of upgrades offered for cash at the airport. UFCs (Upgrade for Cash) and PCUs (Premium Cabin Upsells). UFCs are only offered when there is a lot of availability and UA IM decides (in their mysterious way) to offer them. Agents in theory are supposed to offer PCUs (slightly higher priced than UFC) at check-in or the gate if there are any open seats after all other UGs have cleared. In practice though this depends on the station and the agent. Some agents believe they can only offer PCUs when there is NF or NC availability. I don't think anyone knows for sure which is correct since no one has been able to supply a copy of the PCU policy profile. It often helps to push hard if you want to buy a PCU. "

Last edited by LarkSFO; Feb 11, 12 at 4:34 pm.. Reason: added upsell info
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Old Feb 11, 12, 4:56 pm   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
In my opinion, TOD has become a charged term that is (usually) intended to be inflamatory when posted on FT. If I read TOD in a post, I can guess what kind of rant the poster is about to go on....
Totally agree. It's on the same list as $MI/J.
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Old Feb 11, 12, 5:25 pm   #38
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Concur - CO follows its rulebook until T-24...and then strange things just seem to happen.

I think inside T-24, it should be called All Bets Are Off (ABAO). Upgrade prices have no correlation to your fare, Kayakers may get better offers than someone flying hundreds of thousands of miles on the airline annually. Just admit to the flyer base that they're actively trying to sell of the F seats before processing UGs...at least Delta admitted as such with FCM, right?
It's pretty amazing that some folks are still in denial about CO's practice of TOD upgrades.

There so many reports about this. How could anyone say with a straight face that this is a CO computer glitch?
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Old Feb 11, 12, 7:02 pm   #39
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keisari View Post
Quoted post removed
I think LarkSFO is remarking on the fact that your post was off-topic to the original poster. You would have better results posting your question in a separate thread.

That said, I do agree that you could have been asked to post in a separate thread in a nicer way, but the board has become very confrontational and polarized lately, so oh well.

OTOH, I suspect that your post might have been on-topic but just very indirect. You could be saying: "I agree. In fact, because of this I will post asking about a competitor's product in order to imply that as a result of the information in the original post, I will be looking for a better airline."

But here I am falling into the trap of talking about other people's posts instead of the original topic.

OB buy-up: So is there general agreement that the advanced purchase upgrades are acceptable?

Also, is there a thread where we are discussing the higher priority of instrument-based upgrades over CPU/UDUs? I just put myself on the waitlist for an upgrade with miles for an EWR-SFO transcon. I assume I will end up higher on the T-24 list than all CPUs. But what about RPUs? I'm at the same priority as those and SWUs, I believe. I just hope we aren't trumped by T-24 TODs. OTOH, if offered a TOD on this flight I would take it since it would save me RDMs.

It would be crazy if UA offered me a TOD at less than the cost of my mileage upgrade.

Last edited by J.Edward; Feb 11, 12 at 7:50 pm..
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Old Feb 15, 12, 11:08 pm   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORD-LIH View Post
Well, I have to admit it, SMI/J finally beat me. Upon checking in for my EWR > PHX flight today I was offered a $99 buy-up to F. That's a six hour flight with the head-wind. I was 3rd on the WL with 3 open F seats (from what I could handicap). I pulled out the corporate card and took 2B. $100 in the scope of my business expenses is about a cup of coffee, but this still bugs me. You may have my $100 the new-CO but each and every day I feel as thought his 1K thing is a bit over-rated. Happy I put the time in on DL last year.

TOD. I've fallen victim. For the record, this was a p.s. inbound LAX>JFK and then a CO EWR>PHX today with a UX PHX>LAX leg on Sunday which cost me (my firm) $290 a.i. (now $389) Can someone please tell me who's making any money at all on that?!
Hi Everyone, I know upgrades are a hot topic here lately. To be honest, we’ve been struggling for some time to determine where, if at all, there was a break in the process. I realize that this post could be made in response to any number of examples and threads, but, I’ve posted it here because it was ultimately ORH-LIH’s example that helped us find the needle in the haystack. Admittedly, it’s taken us some time, but, here’s what we found:
  • Upgrade offer logic is working correctly. In all the cases we’ve researched to date – including this one - we found that the logic behind the upgrade offer is working correctly. Specifically, when there are more front cabin seats than there are Elite customers, the lower, discounted fee-based offer is being made. When there are more Elites than seats, the offer is based on the difference between the fare class purchased and the lowest fare class that qualifies the customer to confirm an upgraded seat.

  • In some markets, we’re not using the right average fares. In this specific case, given the above offer logic, the difference in fare was based on M class since the customer is Platinum. In this case, we used an estimated T fare class price of $328. We then looked at the range for M and found that the minimum estimate was $279.

Hey, subtract these, and we should be paying you to sit up front! Well, there is a failsafe to prevent that. In each market we also have a minimum default amount. In this specific case, it was $99 for Platinum members, $129 for Gold/Silver members and $539 for general members.

Obiously this doesn’t make any sense – especially since, as was pointed out in the thread, there is no published M fare in the market. So what happened?
Here’s what should have happened: When there is no corresponding fare in the market, the calculation should be built off the next higher fare (in this case B). In the EWR-PHX market, if we used the right calculation, the upgrade offer for a Platinum member who purchased a T fare would be $299.

Here’s what did happen (this is the item we’ll work to correct): Our system used inaccurate city codes. Specifically, in this case, our system pulled fares in the NYC-PHX market instead of the EWR-PHX market. For those in the know, NYC is the city code for all New York City airports versus EWR which is the airport code for Newark. In the NYC-PHX market, there is an M fare (which is indeed competitive with other carriers in the NYC market). But, we should be basing this off the EWR market, and not NYC. Defaulting to the city code versus the airport code is ultimately the issue. It’s not happening in all markets. But, as I look back at other examples, I can now see that this is the cause of other apparent “tens of dollar” offers.
I know that many of you have cited cases of receiving “tens of dollars” upgrade offers recently. Our challenge in researching these is that there is a pretty small window in which the level of detail necessary to assess the situation is accessible (specifically, the detailed research window ends about 24 hours post-departure). To dig into the details, we also need to know the specific flight, the original fare class purchased and the status of the customer. I’m happy to say that, in this case, were able to put all the pieces together.

Personally, I’d like to thank you for continuing to share your feedback with us, and more importantly, for your patience with us during this time of extreme transition. We’re committed to being upfront and sharing the insight behind any policy changes with you. We'll also always ackowledge our mistakes and fix things when they’re not working correctly. Your continued feedback is a key to our success. Please keep it coming.

Shannon

Last edited by UA Insider; Feb 15, 12 at 11:27 pm.. Reason: typo
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Old Feb 16, 12, 12:34 am   #41
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi Everyone, I know upgrades are a hot topic here lately. To be honest, we’ve been struggling for some time to determine where, if at all, there was a break in the process. I realize that this post could be made in response to any number of examples and threads, but, I’ve posted it here because it was ultimately ORH-LIH’s example that helped us find the needle in the haystack. Admittedly, it’s taken us some time, but, here’s what we found:
  • Upgrade offer logic is working correctly. In all the cases we’ve researched to date – including this one - we found that the logic behind the upgrade offer is working correctly. Specifically, when there are more front cabin seats than there are Elite customers, the lower, discounted fee-based offer is being made. When there are more Elites than seats, the offer is based on the difference between the fare class purchased and the lowest fare class that qualifies the customer to confirm an upgraded seat.

  • In some markets, we’re not using the right average fares. In this specific case, given the above offer logic, the difference in fare was based on M class since the customer is Platinum. In this case, we used an estimated T fare class price of $328. We then looked at the range for M and found that the minimum estimate was $279.

Hey, subtract these, and we should be paying you to sit up front! Well, there is a failsafe to prevent that. In each market we also have a minimum default amount. In this specific case, it was $99 for Platinum members, $129 for Gold/Silver members and $539 for general members.

Obiously this doesn’t make any sense – especially since, as was pointed out in the thread, there is no published M fare in the market. So what happened?
Here’s what should have happened: When there is no corresponding fare in the market, the calculation should be built off the next higher fare (in this case B). In the EWR-PHX market, if we used the right calculation, the upgrade offer for a Platinum member who purchased a T fare would be $299.

Here’s what did happen (this is the item we’ll work to correct): Our system used inaccurate city codes. Specifically, in this case, our system pulled fares in the NYC-PHX market instead of the EWR-PHX market. For those in the know, NYC is the city code for all New York City airports versus EWR which is the airport code for Newark. In the NYC-PHX market, there is an M fare (which is indeed competitive with other carriers in the NYC market). But, we should be basing this off the EWR market, and not NYC. Defaulting to the city code versus the airport code is ultimately the issue. It’s not happening in all markets. But, as I look back at other examples, I can now see that this is the cause of other apparent “tens of dollar” offers.
I know that many of you have cited cases of receiving “tens of dollars” upgrade offers recently. Our challenge in researching these is that there is a pretty small window in which the level of detail necessary to assess the situation is accessible (specifically, the detailed research window ends about 24 hours post-departure). To dig into the details, we also need to know the specific flight, the original fare class purchased and the status of the customer. I’m happy to say that, in this case, were able to put all the pieces together.

Personally, I’d like to thank you for continuing to share your feedback with us, and more importantly, for your patience with us during this time of extreme transition. We’re committed to being upfront and sharing the insight behind any policy changes with you. We'll also always ackowledge our mistakes and fix things when they’re not working correctly. Your continued feedback is a key to our success. Please keep it coming.

Shannon
Thanks for the update and explanation. Hopefully this is indeed the source for all the complaints .

Follow-up questions to get some more understanding into this:
In general, curious to see how you arrive at this T/M figure. What's the process? Is it based on current fares at the time of flight, purchase, or some historical range? Do you average all applicable fares for a given bucket or go by cheapest? And is this based on O/W fares, R/T somehow, etc? (By that 279 M figure, it almost seems as if you're using the cheapest price it has ever been in the last x months. While that may have been some fare war with DL out of LGA/JFK, it doesn't seem like that M price was around for long.)

As far as getting your 299 price figure. TA14KN is 198 (TA7KN is 224) while BUA is 794. The difference seems to be a tad larger than 300. I guess this is going back to first question of how you calculate this T and M/B.

Last edited by okrogius; Feb 16, 12 at 1:11 am..
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Old Feb 16, 12, 12:43 am   #42
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hey, subtract these, and we should be paying you to sit up front!
That would be nice!

As always, thank you Shannon for the information.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 1:55 am   #43
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi Everyone, I know upgrades are a hot topic here lately. To be honest, we’ve been struggling for some time to determine where, if at all, there was a break in the process. I realize that this post could be made in response to any number of examples and threads, but, I’ve posted it here because it was ultimately ORH-LIH’s example that helped us find the needle in the haystack. Admittedly, it’s taken us some time, but, here’s what we found:
  • Upgrade offer logic is working correctly. In all the cases we’ve researched to date – including this one - we found that the logic behind the upgrade offer is working correctly. Specifically, when there are more front cabin seats than there are Elite customers, the lower, discounted fee-based offer is being made. When there are more Elites than seats, the offer is based on the difference between the fare class purchased and the lowest fare class that qualifies the customer to confirm an upgraded seat.

  • In some markets, we’re not using the right average fares. In this specific case, given the above offer logic, the difference in fare was based on M class since the customer is Platinum. In this case, we used an estimated T fare class price of $328. We then looked at the range for M and found that the minimum estimate was $279.

Hey, subtract these, and we should be paying you to sit up front! Well, there is a failsafe to prevent that. In each market we also have a minimum default amount. In this specific case, it was $99 for Platinum members, $129 for Gold/Silver members and $539 for general members.

Obiously this doesn’t make any sense – especially since, as was pointed out in the thread, there is no published M fare in the market. So what happened?
Here’s what should have happened: When there is no corresponding fare in the market, the calculation should be built off the next higher fare (in this case B). In the EWR-PHX market, if we used the right calculation, the upgrade offer for a Platinum member who purchased a T fare would be $299.

Here’s what did happen (this is the item we’ll work to correct): Our system used inaccurate city codes. Specifically, in this case, our system pulled fares in the NYC-PHX market instead of the EWR-PHX market. For those in the know, NYC is the city code for all New York City airports versus EWR which is the airport code for Newark. In the NYC-PHX market, there is an M fare (which is indeed competitive with other carriers in the NYC market). But, we should be basing this off the EWR market, and not NYC. Defaulting to the city code versus the airport code is ultimately the issue. It’s not happening in all markets. But, as I look back at other examples, I can now see that this is the cause of other apparent “tens of dollar” offers.
I know that many of you have cited cases of receiving “tens of dollars” upgrade offers recently. Our challenge in researching these is that there is a pretty small window in which the level of detail necessary to assess the situation is accessible (specifically, the detailed research window ends about 24 hours post-departure). To dig into the details, we also need to know the specific flight, the original fare class purchased and the status of the customer. I’m happy to say that, in this case, were able to put all the pieces together.

Personally, I’d like to thank you for continuing to share your feedback with us, and more importantly, for your patience with us during this time of extreme transition. We’re committed to being upfront and sharing the insight behind any policy changes with you. We'll also always ackowledge our mistakes and fix things when they’re not working correctly. Your continued feedback is a key to our success. Please keep it coming.

Shannon
Thank you Shannon for taking this critical issue all the way to the goal line. You trusted us and it is very apparent that we can trust you. We need a lifeline like you to prevent insidious little things like this from destroying the trust, what little there might be in the merger environment, from ruling the day and taking on the sort of excessive gravity that it can. Thank you for your hard work and problem solving skills.

Cheers,

Tryathlete
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Old Feb 16, 12, 2:15 am   #44
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Welcome to the world of TODs!

FYI no M filed for that route, just a B at $789.
My biggest concern-- International Flying with checked bags--- I usually go to the check in counter, had over my passport and take my boarding pass-- no offer of buyups, when I have a waitlisted SWU on an M fare. I watch four open seats in C with three days to go and at time of checkin I am #1 for an UG, then as the secret buyups, not offered to me, go to anyone with who knows how much cash, take these four seats leaving me with my unused SWU and an economy seat.

If my flight does not show NC space, and my UG won't clear, then I am not booking, so from this day forward all of my bookings will be done with an agent who can either confirm me in NC or I'll head over and fly the dAArkside where I always manage to keep that status alive. My Internatiional UG clear nearly 100% on cheap fares, and I have 8 chances instead of 6.

Behavior modification has forced me to stop the W fare lottery nonsense. Shannon if you fix one thing before I leave UA for good, its the lottery with no rebate. We ought to get the fare difference BACK when UG's on W fares do not clear. It would be "fare" play if you ask me. Anything else is unfair, and without any logic other than one-sided greed as visible as the shining sun.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 6:04 am   #45
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Unless I'm missing something, I don't see Shannon's explanation for the instances of GM's getting UG offers and Elite members not getting an offer on the same flight.
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