A class availability

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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:54 pm
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A class availability

I had an interesting experience that I thought I'd mention on here about for those who are in the habit of checking flights regularly.

For those who don't know A class is both a PE upgrade booking class as well as a discount PE booking class. If there is A class available for sale on the website it means an A class upgrade can clear into this - however A class can exist as an upgrade class but not appear as a booking class available for sale on the website.

I booked flights to ADL for a long weekend a couple of months ago and R class for the return was cleared at time of booking. No A class was available at the time but I booked seat only so I could decide closer to the time what I would do in terms of adding a bag or upgrading. I'd never tried Economy on the 789 so even thought I might give it a go.

With a big Aussie sale a few weeks ago I thought I'd see if any A class availability opened up, and looking at this at 7am on a Monday morning A class was showing as available on the Air NZ website. I went to lodge the upgrades a few hours later (split PNRs so needed a phone call to clear the other) and upon checking around 10am the A class had gone and only O was on sale. Thinking that was strange I looked at EF and saw availability and nothing had changed except A had gone.

Tuesday morning comes around and I once again see A class in the Air NZ website and A5 in EF. I was busy so rang Air NZ a couple of hours later to check the fare cost I'd paid - as people will know they (typically) don't charge a booking fee or change fee if you're upgrading to a higher cabin and I suspected the price of my fare over vs the A class fare advertised may have been less than $100 - so it made sense in that case to upgrade to A rather than lodge a $100 Elite APD upgrade. Turns out A class had gone again and wasn't showing on the NZ site or EF.

Wednesday comes around and of course by now I'm really curious (and angry that I keep missing out). A class shows up but I purposely want to see what happens. By mid morning A class had gone from EF and Air NZ website.

Thursday morning comes around and A class is available again. I get stuck on a job first thing and can't get it done in time. By now I've gone from being curious to being angry about this.

Friday comes around and I have an early morning flight to SYD. Lodge upgrades online and call and get them cleared. CSR is pretty much in disbelief that this happens.

I'd had contradictory advice from sources in NZ over the years about whether an upgrade will clear automatically if A/R becomes available and it's probably one of the few things I don't know the correct answer to. This case however that it's worth checking things regularly!
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Old Jun 10, 19, 2:39 am
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I've experienced issues when dummy booking to check for A class, but selecting one-way legs ex-US, just to make the dummy booking quicker. I remember doing this once, seeing A class (for a flight departing the US) on a flight I had already lodged an upgrade, calling in to request upgrade processing, and being told that A class for an ex-US flight is not a bucket that can be used to confirm NZ-based upgrade requests from. I remember thinking that seemed weird, but there you go. I still don't know if that was/is the case, or if the CSR didn't know what they were talking about?

Either way, I have occasionally seen A class availability from dummy bookings, then called to accelerate successful upgrade processing, so there are data points that pax can control their own destiny a little. This is despite the oft-quoted statement over the phone that 'upgrade requests are looked at every day' - really?
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Old Jun 10, 19, 3:30 am
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It would be really convenient if we could tell online but for me it's in some ways quicker to call. I am usually looking for upgrades to the USA and don't mind where I fly into since rarely are NZs destinations my final destination. So I ask the attendent on the phone to check all the USA flights for me.

​​
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Old Jun 10, 19, 4:24 am
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Originally Posted by kiwifrequentflyer View Post
It would be really convenient if we could tell online but for me it's in some ways quicker to call. I am usually looking for upgrades to the USA and don't mind where I fly into since rarely are NZs destinations my final destination. So I ask the attendent on the phone to check all the USA flights for me.

​​
You're missing the key point here.

Ringing up is pointless when NZ are offering upgrade availability for only a few hours a day. In my case I could have rung multiple times every day but unless I'd rung between around 3am and 9am every day I would have got the same "no availability" answer every time.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 4:33 am
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Yes I've noticed this. I've got an upgrade pending to J from Y as there was no A class so I set an alert on EF and twice now A class has come available overnight and in the morning when I wake up to the EF alert then A is gone.

Also if you lodge an upgrade and there is no A or R inventory and then it is subsequently released then the system doesn't actually clear existing requested upgrades. So there could be 3 people waiting in the upgrade queue, A class is released, those 3 upgrades will not be processed and a 4th person can swoop in and put in an upgrade and snag the A inventory. It's happened to me on AKL-HNL when I had 2x PE-J RU's requested and then 2x R class was released and by the time I called NZ about it one of the R class seats had gone leaving R1.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
You're missing the key point here.

Ringing up is pointless when NZ are offering upgrade availability for only a few hours a day. In my case I could have rung multiple times every day but unless I'd rung between around 3am and 9am every day I would have got the same "no availability" answer every time.
The timing of availability seems to be better suited to UK and US markets........ coincidence?
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Old Jun 11, 19, 11:38 pm
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It's controlled by point of sale. A is available POS US or AU does not mean it is available POS NZ. If you have a NZ FF account, it has to have availability POS NZ.
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Old Jul 1, 19, 1:12 am
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Originally Posted by hansyuwiwb View Post
It's controlled by point of sale. A is available POS US or AU does not mean it is available POS NZ. If you have a NZ FF account, it has to have availability POS NZ.
That would suggest that there is different availability for upgrades between POS countries, which is not something that has ever been discussed before that I can recall.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by hansyuwiwb View Post
If you have a NZ FF account, it has to have availability POS NZ.
This is not the case at all. I have an NZ account an buy from AU/US/CA regularly.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 2:44 pm
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Question regarding A class on expert flyer. When I search for flight availability there is A class showing, but when I search the same flight under awards & upgrades (and select A class) there is none. Is this because there are A class sold as seats which are separate from A class upgrades? Or an issue with expert flyer? Or something else?

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Old Jul 3, 19, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by tp52 View Post
Question regarding A class on expert flyer. When I search for flight availability there is A class showing, but when I search the same flight under awards & upgrades (and select A class) there is none. Is this because there are A class sold as seats which are separate from A class upgrades? Or an issue with expert flyer? Or something else?

Cheers
probably the former...
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Old Jul 3, 19, 8:40 pm
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GDS can't show A class availability when it's upgrade only, in much the same way they can't show R class.

GDS can show A class when it's available as a published fare.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
GDS can't show A class availability when it's upgrade only, in much the same way they can't show R class.

GDS can show A class when it's available as a published fare.
Technically, isn't this a case of AirNZ withholding R or A upgrade availability from the GDS, rather than a GDS limitation?

Many other carriers make upgrade classes available to GDS systems.....
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Old Jul 10, 19, 1:53 am
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Another data point: had an Elite APD upgrade request for AKL-SYD on NZ105 on 9 Aug lodged Y -> PE. No A class at the time. Set an EF alert and for the last 3 days received a notification around 0400 that A class was available but by the time I checked when I woke up there was none.

Today I check and thereís A5 at 10am. Upgrade didnít automatically clear so called NZ to have them manually clear it. But seems there is something weird going on with A class availability coming and going very briefly as well as another data point that upgrades lodged are not reviewed when A or R class comes available after the upgrade is lodged
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Old Jul 10, 19, 2:38 am
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Originally Posted by NZ_Flyer View Post
as well as another data point that upgrades lodged are not reviewed when A or R class comes available after the upgrade is lodged
It's always been my view and the view of a few others on here as well that this is certainly the case - subsequent A class availability (and probably R) will not automatically clear. You have to call, and you have to call while that availability is showing. Once those A class promo fares disappear again from GDS and are no longer visible to the CSR they can't clear the upgrade.
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