Old Aug 7, 15, 9:44 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: CVG
Programs: UA Silver, AA, DL, Marriott Silver
Posts: 12,083
Over the past several years, usually as a gold, my upgrade rates were in 70 - 80% range. This year as a plat, I think I'm ~65%. It really does depend on where you're flying and when. Hub to hubs are going to be tough..always. I'm based out of CVG, and fly to various places - YYZ, EWR, SFO, SJC, etc. and the rate varies depending on route. Into/out of CVG to/from ORD/DEN are usually pretty good for me, onward is dependent. Rare to get an upgrade into SFO (no surprise there), but SJC, when I can fly there, is much better. Ironically, ORD-YYZ, even in my days as a silver, were very good odds, while coming back the other direction is much tougher. I have no idea why.

Yes, the rates are lower these days, with the economy better and more people willing to buy (or take upgrade offers) to F, and my view is, if UA can sell the seats for $, they probably should first. I know that's likely to get flamed in here, but they are a business. I like an upgrades as much as anyone else, and appreciate when I get one, but am perfectly fine sitting in coach, since it's what I pay for (and, a lot of my flights are short-haul to medium-haul at most). If one really wants to sit in the F cabin, one should probably pay for it. And outside of the U.S., this is usually the only way to get in a premium cabin.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The same whine here appears regularly on the DL board where the derisive term for DL selling seats in F is FCM.

Bottom line is that with a vastly improved economy and a more rational F pricing structure the freeloader UG's, whether they're called CPU's on UA or Medallions on DL, are going the way of the dodo bird.
This. I know people like to complain on here a lot about UA and about how much better DL is, but you see the same thing on the DL board. Sure, there are DL routes that are easier to upgrade on, but out of ATL on key routes, for example, it's likely as difficult, if not more so, than getting a UA upgrade out of SFO or IAH.

I agree also that free elite upgrades are going to be a very rare occurrence on all carriers in a few years.
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