Possible AS bug on upgrades?

Old May 21, 10, 10:41 am
  #1  
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Possible AS bug on upgrades?

Hello all - Wanted to share an experience i had today with MVPG upgrades.

I orginally booked a flight to return home from PDX-LAX for tonight at 8:30 - I was using the cheapest fare possible, and expected an upgrade at 72 hours, because i usually get the 72hour upgrade (not a full 1st cabin).

Things changed, and I was able to take the 5:30 flight, which unfortunatly usually books full in 1st. When i made the change (4 days ago) - i upgraded my fare to an instant upgrade fare, but was told that the instant upgrade fare would clear at 36 hours if any seats were available. I paid the extra $$ to get on instant upgrade fare class - to help my odds of getting the upgrade. (there were 6 open at the time).

At 36 hours, i called to check on the upgrade, but was told i was #2 on the list, and there were 3 seats available. I didn't push the point that it was an instant upgrade fare - and waited it out.

This AM - i called again, and was told there was one seat - but i had not been upgraded yet - the agent made it sound like this was a known bug, and he would submit the request to research why the upgrade did not automatically take place.

Since it was day of arrival - he had me check in online, and when i did, i was able to upgrade during the checkin process - so now i have a boarding pass for first.

Not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but if you have an instant upgrade fare that does not upgrade at 72 hours, and still does not upgrade at 36 hours, I would call the desk before the day of departure to make sure your upgrade goes in, before any on else gets the seat.

Any one else experienced this? I was not aware of the 36 hour window before this incident.

Thoughts?
jcooper90 is offline  
Old May 21, 10, 10:43 am
  #2  
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There are known issues with this (discussed at length on FT). Hopefully it will be resolved, once and for all, soon.
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Old May 21, 10, 11:39 am
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The bug is because AS' process depends on some action occurring to actually upgrade your seat. That action can be one of the following:

- Sweep at 72 hours for Gold
- Sweep at 48 hours for MVP
- Sweep at 36 hours for elites (supposedly new, not seen in action yet)
- User-initiated upgrade request during OLCI window
- User initiated request at purchase time (for eligible fares only)
- GA doing final sweep before boarding

All of the above will only be successful if there is U space actually available, which can happen at any time. The act of making U space available does NOT automatically clear those on the upgrade list. (If it's supposed to, it does so with shockingly low frequency.)

Once you know the rules, it becomes clear that it's critically important to either:
a) watch like a hawk for U space after 72 hours and call for a manual upgrade, or
b) use OLCI at exactly T-24 to secure your upgrade.

Tools like ExpertFlyer can give you invaluable insight into the available space in F and U classes and are highly recommended.
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Old May 21, 10, 3:27 pm
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Awsome - thanks for the replies -

I was unaware that i could submit for upgrade at t-24 - the flights i am on usually clear at 72 hours... But these last min changes will have me up at T-24 checking in....:-)


Thanks!
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Old May 21, 10, 8:19 pm
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There are definitely bugs in the system, but I understand AS is working hard to swat them.

I purchased an H class fare when U was not available, and later was notified by ExperFlyer that U became available long before my flight date. I was supposed to be immediately upgraded (AS policy for H or higher class purchases for MVPG), but it didn't happen. So I called and AS manually pushed it through.

I reported this to AS, with screen shots, and they told me they're trying to figure out what went wrong in my case. It's possible I would have been automatically upgraded at some point after when I called, perhaps within hours.

But I think keeping an eye on U space, using ExpertFlyer or another service, is never a bad idea. Just in case.
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Old May 22, 10, 4:16 am
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Originally Posted by baliktad View Post
The bug is because AS' process depends on some action occurring to actually upgrade your seat. That action can be one of the following:

- Sweep at 72 hours for Gold
- Sweep at 48 hours for MVP
- Sweep at 36 hours for elites (supposedly new, not seen in action yet)
- User-initiated upgrade request during OLCI window
- User initiated request at purchase time (for eligible fares only)
- GA doing final sweep before boarding

All of the above will only be successful if there is U space actually available, which can happen at any time. The act of making U space available does NOT automatically clear those on the upgrade list. (If it's supposed to, it does so with shockingly low frequency.)
Actually, isn't it:

- Sweep at 120 hours for Gold 75K
- Sweep at 72 hours for Gold
- Sweep at 48 hours for MVP
- Sweep at 36 hours for elites on qualifying fares, forcing into F even if no U available (supposedly new, not seen in action yet)
- User-initiated upgrade request during OLCI window
- User initiated request at purchase time (for eligible fares only)
- GA doing final sweep before boarding

As far as I know, you're right that one of these events has to happen in order for the system to process the upgrade. It seems to me to be fairly simple programming logic to tell the computer IF INVENTORY IN U CLASS INCREASED, THEN INITIATE WAITLIST UPGRADE PROCESSOR, so it's beyond me why it's still broken after several years. It seems simpler to do that than to try to create complicated logic of masking certain fare classes from requesting upgrades during OLCI, which is what they ended up doing a year or two ago.

As for whether it's under improvement: I haven't heard that it is, but I could have missed that announcement. I do know AS has refocused its resources on jumping back ahead of the technology curve; let's hope upgrading their upgrade system is in their sights.
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Old May 22, 10, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Actually, isn't it:

- Sweep at 120 hours for Gold 75K
[...]
AS initially claimed that they intended to have Gold 75K benefits ready by the time the first person qualified, but I don't know for sure if that has occurred yet. I haven't yet heard any reports of any 75K'ers get upgraded at 5 days out - not sure if it's just not reported or AS is still working on the implementation.

I'll qualify next month, but now I'm sorta afraid I'll run into the "mixed status" problem where I have a bunch of reservations created while I was still Gold that will just upgrade at 72 hours.
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Old May 23, 10, 7:49 am
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Seattle BR wouldn't push my uprade through even though its 25 ours away. when does the MVPG desk open?

Side note WOW saw some huge planes taking off from 1st floor in BR
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Old May 23, 10, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
Seattle BR wouldn't push my uprade through even though its 25 ours away. when does the MVPG desk open?
They're back to 24 hours now, AFAIK. Not sure how you get to them with the new phone system, though.
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