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Old Jun 10, 12, 3:37 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6
Waitlisted miles+copay upgrade expired - not on list at the gate!

I don't normally use miles+money upgrades, but then again often don't book a qualifying fare code. As I was in U on this trip I decided to try it...

I was booked DTW-ORD-MUC for my return leg. I had placed an upgrade request using miles + copay approximately a week before departure. I was on the phone with reservations a few days prior to departure for another topic, but the agent cheerfully noted that my upgrade position "looked good."

24 hours prior to departure I received a VERY confusingly-worded email that the upgrade waitlist had expired (implying that the wait list would not be cleared at the gate -- but why would that be?)

Just inside 24 hours I called to change to a different DTW-ORD flight (as I needed some more time in ORD). The agent at the time confirmed that I was "still on the list" for my miles and copay upgrade.

The DTW-ORD flight cleared at the gate (but now I think this was a CPU).

In ORD (where I spent all day working) I noticed that I was NOT on the upgrade list per the mobile app. I checked TWICE at the United Club counter and both times the rep confirmed to me that I was "on the upgrade list" for my ORD-MUC flight -- even after my pointing out that I didn't show up on the mobile app's upgrade list.

Getting to the gate and seeing myself quite clearly NOT on the list, I inquired with the GA and was rudely brushed off with the answer "miles + copay upgrades can't be waitlisted". Even though we were an hour from departure, she refused to let me switch to a GPU.

Once on the flight, the guy next to me told me he was #4 on the list... using MILES AND A COPAY!

To recap:
  • Telephone rep says "You're on the list. Position looks good."
  • Get waitlist expiration email.
  • Telephone rep re-confirms that I'm "on the list."
  • United club rep confirms TWICE that I'm "on the list" even though I'm not showing up in the mobile app.
  • Get to gate and I'm clearly not on the list. GA almost laughs when I ask about a mileage upgrade and tells me they don't waitlist those.

<Rant to United>
It's unclear what combination of clueless telephone reps, uninformed GAs or SHARES shenanigans caused this, but the net result is one very unhappy 1k customer. I'm 1k, was ticketed in U and should have been near the top of that list. I took a huge bruising at work because I was NOT able to finalize a contract and close the biggest deal in our pipeline the next morning.
</Rant to United>

<Plea to Flyertalk Community>
Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently (besides use a GPU)?
</Plea to Flyertalk Community>
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Old Jun 10, 12, 3:56 pm   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotChris View Post
<Rant to United>
It's unclear what combination of clueless telephone reps, uninformed GAs or SHARES shenanigans caused this, but the net result is one very unhappy 1k customer. I'm 1k, was ticketed in U and should have been near the top of that list. I took a huge bruising at work because I was NOT able to finalize a contract and close the biggest deal in our pipeline the next morning.
</Rant to United>
The OLCI system should have added you back to the list. When that didn't work the agents in the club should have.

As for that being your reason for not closing the deal, sorry, but I'm not buying it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotChris View Post
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Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently (besides use a GPU)?
</Plea to Flyertalk Community>
[/quote]Using a GPU wouldn't have changed anything in this situation.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 3:59 pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotChris View Post
... Getting to the gate and seeing myself quite clearly NOT on the list, I inquired with the GA and was rudely brushed off with the answer "miles + copay upgrades can't be waitlisted". ...
agent was wrong, you can & should have been on the waitlist (called upgrade standby list after T-24). This incorrect transfer from the waitlist to the upgrade standbay list has happened to many.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotChris View Post
...Even though we were an hour from departure, she refused to let me switch to a GPU. ...
agent was correct about this. It is a present system limitation supposely on the list for enhancement.
It may be no new upgrade request after T-24 that was confusing the agent on miles+$ request.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotChris View Post
..Telephone rep says "You're on the list. Position looks good."...
never a realible source

Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotChris View Post
... Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently (besides use a GPU)?
this is an ongoing problem, one suggestion that has worked for folks when you hear the "we see you on the list but you do not show" is to ask to be rechecked in for the flight. This has helped some.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 5:09 pm   #4
 
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WineCountryUA: thanks - very useful reply!

sbm12: Also thanks. I'm not calling up United demanding compensation for a scuttled deal or anything like that. Just want UA to know (should they read this) that this stuff actually matters.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 5:26 pm   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotchris View Post
sbm12: Also thanks. I'm not calling up united demanding compensation for a scuttled deal or anything like that. Just want ua to know (should they read this) that this stuff actually matters.
They

don't

care
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Old Jun 10, 12, 5:39 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotChris View Post
Getting to the gate and seeing myself quite clearly NOT on the list, I inquired with the GA and was rudely brushed off with the answer "miles + copay upgrades can't be waitlisted". Even though we were an hour from departure, she refused to let me switch to a GPU.

Once on the flight, the guy next to me told me he was #4 on the list... using MILES AND A COPAY!

  • Get to gate and I'm clearly not on the list. GA almost laughs when I ask about a mileage upgrade and tells me they don't waitlist those.

Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently (besides use a GPU)?
One option: you could have escalated your request from the gate agent to a supervisor. If the gate agent refused to call a supervisor, you could have asked for their name and explained that you'll be putting this in the complaint letter.

Alternately, you could called Reservations, asked them to confirm that you were on the departure-management list, then said "thanks for confirming that, now, the gate agent here doesn't see that, could you please chat with them about whether I should be on that list and where I am on it?"

A third, creative option: at the 24 hour mark when you saw that you were not upgraded, you could have checked for R availability on EWR-MUC or IAD-MUC; if there were immediately confirmable upgrade space, you could have made a same-day confirmed change onto those flights (possibly for free) and applied a miles + copay upgrade instantly, possibly bypassing other people on the upgrade waitlist. The UA system allows sniping; you'd be a fool not to take it, even if it is at the expense of other passengers.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 5:48 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotChris View Post
I don't normally use miles+money upgrades, but then again often don't book a qualifying fare code. As I was in U on this trip I decided to try it...

I was booked DTW-ORD-MUC for my return leg. I had placed an upgrade request using miles + copay approximately a week before departure. I was on the phone with reservations a few days prior to departure for another topic, but the agent cheerfully noted that my upgrade position "looked good."

24 hours prior to departure I received a VERY confusingly-worded email that the upgrade waitlist had expired (implying that the wait list would not be cleared at the gate -- but why would that be?)

Just inside 24 hours I called to change to a different DTW-ORD flight (as I needed some more time in ORD). The agent at the time confirmed that I was "still on the list" for my miles and copay upgrade.

The DTW-ORD flight cleared at the gate (but now I think this was a CPU).

In ORD (where I spent all day working) I noticed that I was NOT on the upgrade list per the mobile app. I checked TWICE at the United Club counter and both times the rep confirmed to me that I was "on the upgrade list" for my ORD-MUC flight -- even after my pointing out that I didn't show up on the mobile app's upgrade list.

Getting to the gate and seeing myself quite clearly NOT on the list, I inquired with the GA and was rudely brushed off with the answer "miles + copay upgrades can't be waitlisted". Even though we were an hour from departure, she refused to let me switch to a GPU.

Once on the flight, the guy next to me told me he was #4 on the list... using MILES AND A COPAY!

To recap:
  • Telephone rep says "You're on the list. Position looks good."
  • Get waitlist expiration email.
  • Telephone rep re-confirms that I'm "on the list."
  • United club rep confirms TWICE that I'm "on the list" even though I'm not showing up in the mobile app.
  • Get to gate and I'm clearly not on the list. GA almost laughs when I ask about a mileage upgrade and tells me they don't waitlist those.

<Rant to United>
It's unclear what combination of clueless telephone reps, uninformed GAs or SHARES shenanigans caused this, but the net result is one very unhappy 1k customer. I'm 1k, was ticketed in U and should have been near the top of that list. I took a huge bruising at work because I was NOT able to finalize a contract and close the biggest deal in our pipeline the next morning.
</Rant to United>

<Plea to Flyertalk Community>
Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently (besides use a GPU)?
</Plea to Flyertalk Community>
1K on a U fare is no guarantee you will be near the top of the list. International flight any GS would be ahead of you. Any 1K on a higher fare would be ahead of you.

If getting to an international destination rested is that important to you and the company you work for you should be buying business class and not relying on upgrades. You not closing the deal because you did not get upgraded have nothing to do with each other. Totally has to do with your companies travel policies though. Either buy business or leave a day earlier. And if your company won't do either of those then not much UA can do about getting you to an international destination rested.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 8:01 pm   #8
 
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Who said "Married Segments"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotChris View Post

I was booked DTW-ORD-MUC for my return leg.
There are several Threads dealing with GPUs, CPUs and mileage upgrades not clearing. It all comes down to two basic rules:

  1. The UA reservation system is not capable of handling upgrades on flights comprised of more than one leg.
  2. You will not be upgraded if you can not see your name on the upgrade wait list on your mobile phone after check-in.


Your mission is therefore to get yourself on the list (remember rule #2, the list you don't see doesn't count, the agent who tries to convince you otherwise never had to clear an upgrade waitlist).
  • Ask the UC agent, a ticketing agent or a phone agent to cancel your check-in (after you completed the first leg) and check you in again. Check your sequence number and verify that it changed; if it hasent the agent didn't cancel your original check-in.
  • Call and ask them to fix the problem, escalate to a supervisor and call again if they failed to fix the problem.
  • Look for a good E+ seat.
  • Write a complaint letter to UA with all the details if you ended up missing an upgrade.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 9:05 pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLPhoenix View Post
  • Call and ask them to fix the problem, escalate to a supervisor and call again if they failed to fix the problem.
Being added to the list that one sees after check-in is an airport-only function. It isn't something they can do on the phone. If the agent says otherwise and you don't see your name on the list you can press them to call their help desk to learn how to do it properly, but calling in directly is rather unlikely to be successful.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 9:21 pm   #10
 
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Waitlisted miles+copay upgrade expired - not on list at the gate!

You better check and make sure they refunded your copay. They steal that money from you on the copay request and I highly recommend that you dispute that charge every time with your credit card company. It took them over a month to refund mine last time when I requested it. But my credit card immediately returns it on the dispute.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 9:46 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Being added to the list that one sees after check-in is an airport-only function. It isn't something they can do on the phone. If the agent says otherwise and you don't see your name on the list you can press them to call their help desk to learn how to do it properly, but calling in directly is rather unlikely to be successful.
I have mixed experience.
- On most occasions a phone agent managed to fix it (after several attempts).
- On my most recent international trip the only person who managed to master the labyrinth was the ticketing agent at BOM.

My approach is to assume that it can be done over the phone but the system is so hard to use that only several can master it. I therefore call again and again until I end up with one of those who figured out how to use the system.

Happy Travels
DLP
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Old Jun 11, 12, 10:19 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluv2fly View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotchris
sbm12: Also thanks. I'm not calling up united demanding compensation for a scuttled deal or anything like that. Just want ua to know (should they read this) that this stuff actually matters.
They

don't

care
Redux

Redux

Redux
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Old Jun 11, 12, 10:42 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
A third, creative option: at the 24 hour mark when you saw that you were not upgraded, you could have checked for R availability on EWR-MUC or IAD-MUC; if there were immediately confirmable upgrade space, you could have made a same-day confirmed change onto those flights (possibly for free) and applied a miles + copay upgrade instantly, possibly bypassing other people on the upgrade waitlist. The UA system allows sniping; you'd be a fool not to take it, even if it is at the expense of other passengers.
Are same-day changes allowed for international flights?
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Old Jun 11, 12, 11:23 am   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluv2fly View Post
They

don't

care
Not correct according to many, many posts here but that tone is certainly the one that is engineered to prevail around here. Are you aware of this thread, where UA responded officially less than 24 hours after it being raised? On a fairly trivial point, might I add. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...on-elites.html

Blanket statements like this without any data to back them up are eyebrow-raising and certainly not 'moderate', to say the least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by c1mth0g View Post
Are same-day changes allowed for international flights?
Yes, certainly. The only difficulty you'll have is on routes operated once per day - more likely to apply to international flights - but otherwise the SDC behaviour is identical to domestic flights.
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Old Jun 11, 12, 12:11 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c1mth0g View Post
Are same-day changes allowed for international flights?
Yes. This is another sCO policy which survived, beating out the sUA version.
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