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Old Nov 4, 11, 10:27 pm
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: SEA and TPE
Programs: United 1K, SPG Platinum, Delta PM, Marriott Gold
Posts: 240
Originally Posted by channa View Post
But CO used to have this. CO used to have a 3-hour EUA cutoff, at which time the PDA list became authoritative.

The problem they had with that is that they also had a procedure at checkin (kiosk and OLCI) to upgrade an Elite if there was upgrade space. The problem with that was timing. If space had been released, but EUA hadn't run, and a Silver checked in, they would get the upgrade, irrespective of any ordering scheme.

The concept makes sense, as theoretically, if there's upgrade space at checkin, it's available, and everyone who was supposed to have been upgraded has been upgraded, right? Well, not with CO. As we know, the concept of having the upgrade space available, but the upgrade space not assigned to Elites while within the upgrade window is a CO systems exclusive. With other programs, the space would have been released, and the waitlist would snag the next person, and you would not be in a situation where you're within the window with upgrade space available (unless all Elites had already been upgraded). But with CO, we have the EUA sweeping methodology, so the space gets released, but then it's not allocated until the sweep (if it's still there).

Anyhow, instead of just turning off the checkin upgrade (which is what should have been done), they came up with yet another workaround of running EUA each time someone checks in. This gets the job done of preserving the ordering, and avoiding Mr. Silver getting upgraded ahead of Mr. PresPlat. But it has a new side effect which requires that they run this thing constantly so long as checkin is open. That means EUA must now run during the entire checkin process, which runs until up to 30 minutes out (which is 5 minutes after preboarding for a 737, for those of us with status).

That's how they've created the gate display monitor or PDA list with one ordering scheme, while a couple dozen Elites and a couple GAs watch #7 get upgraded and wonder what the heck is up. And of course that's when I just watch the frustration, laugh, and think of nothing but the FINEST programmers in the business.

Fundamentally, UA's pending/waitlisted design is cleaner because it's more tightly integrated to the core system, and you don't need to build workaround on top of workaround to get close to the desired result. Upgrades clear when space is released. Upgrades clear in the order intended. And gate displays/airport lists have a reasonable window during which they are authoritative (4 hours on UA).

CO's system is more of a kludge of band-aids on top of band-aids because it seems they're trying to avoid dealing with their architecture choices by avoiding SHARES as much as possible.
Thanks for the detailed explanation of CO's EUA and airport upgrade system. Having mostly avoided CO metal since the merger, your explanation was very helpful for me to understand the CO system, which I find greatly lacking in transparency. I flew CUN-IAH-SEA yesterday having bought the ticket only 24 hours prior to the flight time. I was on-queue for EUA but couldn't do OCLI as I hadn't flown CO intl'. I could see on the PDA site a running list of 7 pax listed for 2 open seats in F. As I couldn't do OCLI, I wasn't placed on the list and had not cleared EUA as of the morning of the flight. However, by the time I checked-in at the airport, I had already been upgraded via EUA without ever being put on the upgrade standby list. Confused by this, I checked the PDA site to find that I had been upgraded over numerous pax who had been on the airport upgrade list since the night before through OLCI. Checking the final stats on the PDA site revealed that numerous pax were upgraded like me via EUA while most of the pax on the airport upgrade list since the night before never cleared.

I really hope this system doesn't carry over to the combined carrier. I like the transparency of being able to decide which flight to book in order to secure an upgrade when booking within the window. Both legacy UA and DL employ a system where you can basically decide which flights to book within the upgrade window to secure an upgrade based on available NF (or in the case of DL, V class) inventory. As someone who books a lot of travel close-in, I would be very turned off by the carryover of CO's convoluted EUA over to United. In fact, it will determine whether I stay with DL as Diamond or go all out for UA in the coming year. Anyone have insight on which system will be used?
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