Old Mar 4, 12, 6:08 pm
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,213
Post 3-Mar-2012:How to find upgrade inventory [+how to see fare bucket availability]

There are four different types of upgrade space available in the new United:
  • Miles/Instrument Coach->Biz (R/RN)
  • Top Elite B/M->One cabin higher (PN)
  • All Elite Y->One cabin higher (JN)
  • Miles/Instrument Biz->First (ON)

Lots of changes as of 9 September thanks to United screwing customers by removing the easy way to see the fare day. No, I'm not bitter. Why do you ask?

Anyways, I've done what I can to make it slightly easier. Here is the latest iteration of the steps to find upgrade inventory on United:
First choose the Advanced Search option:

Check the box at the bottom to search for upgrades:

Select the individual segments:

Check the results:

It isn’t much, but the new GreaseMonkey script I’ve got will let you skip that page which asks which segments you’re interested in. I honestly have no idea why United asks anyways rather than just searching for the whole trip from the get-go but they do. Load up this script and after you submit the advanced form it will just jump straight to the search results. Also, if you want to force the site to only show GPU-eligible fare classes as part of the Advanced Search page check out the instructions here.


While that's a lot to go searching for, the good news is that it can all be found on the same single search results page, and there are no special custom profile settings or parameters that you need to set, though there is one which can help, detailed at the end of this post.

So, here's the drill, and it really is quite simple.
  • Do a normal revenue search for the flight you're interested in. One way or round trip doesn't matter. You just need a REVENUE fare search page that shows the results for the flight/date you are interested in.
  • On the results page look in the right-most column. The third row should say something like "Fare Class: United Economy (W)" on it. Note that the words Fare Class are a hyperlink.
  • Click that link and you will see all the inventory buckets for the flight:

That's all there is to it. Piece of cake.

If you want to get a bit more fancy and make it even easier - AND if you have a browser which supports GreaseMonkey scripts - I've created a script which causes the inventory to always be displayed for all flights and which highlights the award buckets. The downside is that there is no "X" button to close it and it obscures some other information, but I like the inventory info more so that's how I roll. For more information on that script check out my post here. Version 6.1 of the script is the first to support the new United.com and PSS site in it; older versions need to be upgraded.

This is what the page looks like with the script enabled:

Note the red/green coloring of the award buckets. Easy, at-a-glance information on upgrades and awards without too much effort at all.

Last edited by sbm12; Sep 9, 12 at 7:12 pm Reason: Update thread title to also show how to see the individual fare buckets.
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