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Old Jan 13, 12, 1:10 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Either below the Ockham stack or below the approach to SDKY
Programs: AA EXP. Former over-entitled UA 1k, now freeloading 1MM/*G with 0 PQD
Posts: 3,806
UA metal, mixed CO/UA flight numbers - will SWU upgrade work?

I am about to book a R/T LHR-GRU in March. I fully appreciate that a one-stop connection via a US gateway comes across as extremely silly from a number of perspectives - total travel time, clearing immigration at transfer point etc - but it would maximise my EQMs, and above all, I can upgrade with my UA SWUs if I book in class W and above. Only problem is, whilst all potential connections show full availability in W for each individual leg, on UA.bomb, the full itinerary (for reasons known only to revenue management) is only available in non-upgradeable discount fares or in fare classes nearly twice as expensive as W. I have confirmed with the 1K line that it looks the same from their end. However, W class is available on CO.com, but with a twist. It's all UA metal, but with UA flight numbers on the transatlantic leg (into IAD or ORD), and CO codeshare but UA metal IAD/ORD-GRU. CO metal would have been both simpler and nicer (if the upgrade cleared), but it's nowhere to be seen in class W (plenty in S/T though). If I were to book this, is there any chance in heck that I could get UA, CO, and their integration desks to apply single SWUs on each one of these connecting itineraries, should I decide to purchase them? As an alternative to mixing UA and CO flight numbers, the outbound would be available with CO flight numbers LHR-ORD, a UA flight number ORD-IAD, and again a CO flight number IAD-GRU (again, UA metal throughout). Would that make upgrading less of a headache (I don't care about ORD-IAD)? I've upgraded a single-leg codeshare in the past with a CR-1, that was a pain in the neck but it did work in the end - I'd really appreciate any information about first-hand experience with this level of itinerary complexity.

Last edited by Passmethesickbag; Jan 13, 12 at 1:16 pm.
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Old Jan 13, 12, 4:49 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Nothern NJ
Programs: UA GS, AC Elite, Global Entry, AA EXP
Posts: 168
That's a mouthful.

Yes - SWU's work between CO/UA - I have TATL later in the year CO out, UA metal back and upgrades cleared both ways. The reservation was booked via CO.com.

1k/Elite desk should be able to book a W fare on CO. However, you can find it online, using CO.Com reservations you have option to specify fare bucket, simply put in W and it will price accordingly.

When I did this my SWU's were on CO site, PPlat rep had to call UA desk to move them across and facilitate and apply them to UA leg, presume same requirement if you go reverse starting with UA SWU's

Last edited by rwsteelers; Jan 13, 12 at 4:54 pm.
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Old Jan 14, 12, 12:13 am   #3
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Either below the Ockham stack or below the approach to SDKY
Programs: AA EXP. Former over-entitled UA 1k, now freeloading 1MM/*G with 0 PQD
Posts: 3,806
Sorry about the mouthful, I'm trying to verbalize the weird and wonderful world of two carriers that are united but not quite. I'll try again:

FIRSTLY, applying UA SWUs to UA flights with CO flight numbers

SECONDLY, that my itinerary will consist, in each direction, of a UA flight with a CO number connecting to a UA flight with a UA number

THIRDLY, that I obviously wish to apply only one SWU in each direction of travel
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Old Jan 14, 12, 12:47 am   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag View Post
Sorry about the mouthful, I'm trying to verbalize the weird and wonderful world of two carriers that are united but not quite. I'll try again:

FIRSTLY, applying UA SWUs to UA flights with CO flight numbers

SECONDLY, that my itinerary will consist, in each direction, of a UA flight with a CO number connecting to a UA flight with a UA number

THIRDLY, that I obviously wish to apply only one SWU in each direction of travel
Any particular reason why you have CO flight numbers for an all UA metal itinerary?

Call the 1K desk and they should be able to handle this.
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Old Jan 14, 12, 2:59 am   #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Either below the Ockham stack or below the approach to SDKY
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Posts: 3,806
Yes, as I tried to explain in my OP. Whilst there is full availability on W class on LHR-US gateway and US gateway-GRU, if you combine them into LHR-GRU, it all disappears. The 1K desk is seeing the same thing. So it's a matter of either taking the weird CO codeshare or just forgetting about upgrading and slugging it out in Y on a more direct route (or indeed booking LH in V class, but that's more expensive than PE on BA so a bit hard to justify).
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Old Jan 14, 12, 7:42 am   #6
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Nothern NJ
Programs: UA GS, AC Elite, Global Entry, AA EXP
Posts: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag View Post
Sorry about the mouthful, I'm trying to verbalize the weird and wonderful world of two carriers that are united but not quite. I'll try again:

FIRSTLY, applying UA SWUs to UA flights with CO flight numbers

SECONDLY, that my itinerary will consist, in each direction, of a UA flight with a CO number connecting to a UA flight with a UA number

THIRDLY, that I obviously wish to apply only one SWU in each direction of travel
First ands Second:
This is should not be problem, regardless of if your SWA's are in OP account or MP account you can use them across airline/metal

Third: Understand your availability challange on all legs, the USA-GRU one is that which you care about, some Y on a 1-2 hour flight is bearable. Don't know your dates but: CO31 (UA Metal JFK) shows W and R on a few dates I looked at, similiar 861 from IAD, concern with both these as old business class seats. If you are coming from LHR - suggest fly direct to ORD and then connect 843, which has dates with availability and benefit of lie flats in business
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Old Jan 17, 12, 11:10 am   #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Either below the Ockham stack or below the approach to SDKY
Programs: AA EXP. Former over-entitled UA 1k, now freeloading 1MM/*G with 0 PQD
Posts: 3,806
Just for the record, in case anybody else finds themselves in the same situation: It was a piece of cake in the end. The 1K agent put me on hold for a very short while whilst checking with the integration desk. When she came back, the whole itinerary had magically been converted into UA flight numbers and the SWUs applied. She said it was so easy because I'll be travelling in late March post-integration.
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