Old Mar 30, 18, 10:39 pm
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bend, Oregon
Posts: 39
Long time lurker; seldom poster. I didn't read through all 24 pages of replies, so I apologize if my thoughts have already been discussed.

Wouldn't this issue best be solved by returning to the "old days" of instrument-based upgrades? I'm not advocating for a return to the e-500 days specifically, but a modernized version could work something like this:

- Each flight you take earns you an amount of "Premier Upgrade Dollars" (PUDs). The dollar accrual rate could be scaled and variable based on a combination fare paid, miles flown, and/or level of Premier status.

- Available first class seats could be marketed for sale by United with all customers having the opportunity to purchase an upgrade. But in addition to cash, the "currency" of payment for United MileagePlus premier members could be PUDs. Yes, United would need to develop enhanced account management tools for us to choose when & on which flights to apply our earned PUDs (including an option for "auto apply")... and the devil would be in the details. But it's possible, IMHO.

As a Premier Silver, I rarely get upgraded. But under the above model, I could bank my earned PUDs and save them to use on the one or two flights a year I really desire an upgrade. Premier members at higher levels would have a larger bank account of PUDs and could apply them to more flights. Regardless of status level, this type of system is transparent and allows for upgrade expectations to be aligned with the delivery reality.

Want an upgrade for a specific flight? Redeem your PUDs. Don't have any PUDs left in your account? Pay cash... or sit in the back.

Why not?
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