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Old May 26, 07, 3:07 pm   #1
 
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Consolidated "Can I Upgrade an Award Ticket?" Discussion Thread [Merged]

I know you can't upgrade off an XY ticket. As far as I know, its been a United rule for forever. WHY?
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Old May 26, 07, 3:36 pm   #2
 
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Don't ask why; it just is, that's why.

It's been raised in the past and the simple answer is that dem's the rules. UA decided that award travel is not eligible for upgrades, period.

Of course, rules are made to be bent and I've gotten upgraded on award tkts using 500 mile certs but that was based on the generosity of the gate agent and not because it's something that passengers are entitled to get.

I've raised it in this forum a number of times. It seems to me that if I'm going to use upgrade instruments for my paid flights, why not be able to use it on an award tkt for my wife? I'm going to use them at some point anyway.

So when my wife and I travel (usually I'm on a paid tkt and she's on the award), we both end up sitting in E+.

Others have said that UA figures that many upgrade instruments are not used (which I'm certain is true) and if they allow award tkts to be upgraded, then more will be used, obviously.

It's also been stated that there are options to upgrade awards by simply coughing up more miles to get those seats either saver or standard.

But, in the final analysis, UA makes the rules about the mileage plus program and we abide by them.

Does any airline allow upgrades on award tkts?
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Old May 26, 07, 3:56 pm   #3
 
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Probably only exception at the moment is same-day upgrade paying cash.
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Old May 26, 07, 4:00 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honmani2 View Post
Does any airline allow upgrades on award tkts?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SingTel001 View Post
Probably only exception is same-day upgrade paying cash at the moment.
Like AA does for $50 per 500 miles... maybe this is just for elites, though.
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Old May 26, 07, 4:04 pm   #5
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BR allows upgrades on award tickets. With the miles needed to upgrade, though, you would be better off initially booking the premium ticket (unless you want only a one-way upgrade).

It's actually comparable to UA's system as far as the raw ratios are concerned, e.g. US-Asia XY=60k miles RT, XC=90k miles RT, Y->NC upgrade = 30k miles EACH way. The difference is that on BR, you actually have the option to do the unfavorable-rate upgrade at 60+30+30. Maybe it comes in handy if someone gives you an XY ticket as a gift but you don't do economy travel.
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Old May 26, 07, 4:57 pm   #6
 
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NZ also allows upgrades on award tickets

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Old May 26, 07, 5:03 pm   #7
 
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Why would you want to upgrade an award ticket rather than book the award in the preferred class in the first place.

Well I know the answer is "I want to use my upgrades" or "I don't have enough miles" or something similar. And I know UAs answer - "Tough"!
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Old May 26, 07, 5:12 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wimpypipsqueak View Post
Why would you want to upgrade an award ticket rather than book the award in the preferred class in the first place.

Well I know the answer is "I want to use my upgrades" or "I don't have enough miles" or something similar. And I know UAs answer - "Tough"!
on intl itineraries, it's much easier to find NF availability than XF... so one reason might be that it's the easier way to get into the premium cabin, even if it ends up costing more miles.

another might be that you've taken 1/2 of an XY award on a 10+ hour flight and decided that you don't want to suffer through Y on a long flight again... you can't cancel the award and book it in a higher class once you've flown 1/2 of it.

i made the latter mistake, once. after i suffered through 17 hours in the Y cabin, there was nothing i could do to get into C on the return flight... except for what i did: i basically threw away the return ticket and bought a ticket in business class, then upgraded to F.

i'll never fly XY again. you have no options once you begin travel.
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Old May 26, 07, 8:01 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wimpypipsqueak View Post
Why would you want to upgrade an award ticket rather than book the award in the preferred class in the first place.

Well I know the answer is "I want to use my upgrades" or "I don't have enough miles" or something similar. And I know UAs answer - "Tough"!
As has been mentioned, try getting a business class award tkt for int'l travel. Very difficult compared to getting an economy tkt.

But even domestically, for me I book a saver award, say, HNL-ORD for 35k miles for my wife. Of course, I could book a first class saver award for 60k, if available but I would prefer to use 500 mile certs or even a CR1. In other words, for those that would rather save their miles and use other means to upgrade, UA says it can't be done.
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Old May 26, 07, 8:22 pm   #10
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Originally Posted by uapremier View Post
I know you can't upgrade off an XY ticket. As far as I know, its been a United rule for forever. WHY?
I've seen them upgrade several people from XY to XYY.
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Old May 26, 07, 10:37 pm   #11
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UA is very gestapo with awards. They don't allow one-way awards, combinations of saver and standard awards (at least for GMs, 2Ps, and 1Ps), and upgrades on awards.
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Old May 27, 07, 4:15 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by UNITED959 View Post
UA is very gestapo with awards. They don't allow one-way awards, combinations of saver and standard awards (at least for GMs, 2Ps, and 1Ps), and upgrades on awards.
In a sense, they have the right to be "gestapo" with awards. It's their program. If we don't like it, we can go somewhere else where they give out awards with no restrictions, etc. (I don't know of such an airline.)

Besides, UA can barely manage their program now what with all the possible combinations, permutations, etc. You want to even more chances for screwups?
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Old May 27, 07, 4:58 am   #13
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XY is an upgrade... from UnitedCargo.
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Old May 27, 07, 6:17 am   #14
 
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My guess...because "Cash is king"

Sure, there is the debate that miles is a form of currency, but I believe UA wants to get some real $$ for it's upper cabins and limit the number of non-cash people on the plane. If you book 20 people bok xy, and then 10 of them upgrade to NF, then there could be 10 more xy seats open and then you would have more non-monitary people on the plane, lowering the total revenue.
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Old May 27, 07, 10:26 am   #15
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
My guess...because "Cash is king"
. . . which would be why UA allows buy-ups from XY.
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