How Complimentary Upgrades Work

Old Jul 7, 18, 10:39 pm
  #631  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
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F is dark blue, Twitter said no upgrade availability... should I call?

Hello all-

I am an MVP and had my eye on my flight this Monday. On alaskaair.com there was a dark F which I believe means that there is upgrade availability, right?

Right at T-48 I logged in and was able to select a Premium Class seat, but wasn't able to select first class. I figured someone else must have gotten the upgrade, but looking at the seating map, no additional F seats have been claimed, and running a search to purchase the F is still dark blue. Doesn't that mean I should have been upgraded?

So I tried on Twitter and the customer service rep there said that there was no upgrade availability. Should I call, or should I just wait until I am at the airport and hope that there is still room in F when I get there?
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Old Jul 7, 18, 11:21 pm
  #632  
 
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Originally Posted by wallyboag View Post
So I tried on Twitter and the customer service rep there said that there was no upgrade availability. Should I call, or should I just wait until I am at the airport and hope that there is still room in F when I get there?
You could always double check with another agent via phone, but it sounds like the same glitch reported in Post #150 of https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/show...&postcount=150
and in a couple more posts since.
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Old Jul 8, 18, 1:22 am
  #633  
 
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The U availability has disappeared on my flight about 45 minutes after T-48. My guess is there was an MVP Gold or higher that got the upgrade, even though no other F seats have been assigned. I think I will likely be upgraded at the gate as there are still 4 F seats available, and I doubt they will sell before the flight. Oh well.
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Old Jul 8, 18, 4:42 pm
  #634  
 
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Originally Posted by wallyboag View Post
The U availability has disappeared on my flight about 45 minutes after T-48. My guess is there was an MVP Gold or higher that got the upgrade, even though no other F seats have been assigned. I think I will likely be upgraded at the gate as there are still 4 F seats available, and I doubt they will sell before the flight. Oh well.
Or someone who purchased an eligible fare, even an MVP or a non-Elite with a GGU, and was upgraded.

James
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Old Jul 8, 18, 6:43 pm
  #635  
 
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The new upgrade fun. Upgraded at t-23:55. Locked my reservation and wouldnt let me do anything. Waited 45min before calling. Rep fixed it and I disappeared off the upgrade list. It was like the upgrade processor hung up mid upgrade. Noticed this morning the two people below me had disappeared as well and now the remaining 3 FC seats were full. They could of moved but I doubt it. So now get upgraded and disappear off the list?
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Old Jul 8, 18, 8:11 pm
  #636  
 
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Originally Posted by wallyboag View Post
The U availability has disappeared on my flight about 45 minutes after T-48. My guess is there was an MVP Gold or higher that got the upgrade, even though no other F seats have been assigned. I think I will likely be upgraded at the gate as there are still 4 F seats available, and I doubt they will sell before the flight. Oh well.
Seat assignments aren't a great way to determine actual F availability. I don't think I've ever been auto-assigned an F seat when upgraded on AS, even if there's only one seat left. It's entirely manual. You really have to use a service like ExpertFlyer or use the AS site to check for blue F upgrade space for U or add # of passengers in your search for First until you get a lack of availability to know what actual space in First is.

Originally Posted by rune87 View Post
The new upgrade fun. Upgraded at t-23:55. Locked my reservation and wouldnt let me do anything. Waited 45min before calling. Rep fixed it and I disappeared off the upgrade list. It was like the upgrade processor hung up mid upgrade. Noticed this morning the two people below me had disappeared as well and now the remaining 3 FC seats were full. They could of moved but I doubt it. So now get upgraded and disappear off the list?
Yikes. So frustrating!!
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Old Dec 9, 18, 12:11 pm
  #637  
 
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Is post #1 still reflecting the current “How it works” for upgrades ?
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Old Dec 9, 18, 2:55 pm
  #638  
 
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Originally Posted by Robt760 View Post
Is post #1 still reflecting the current “How it works” for upgrades ?
And if so, can we get it as a sticky, with the first post made a wiki?
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Old Dec 9, 18, 4:03 pm
  #639  
 
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MVPG75k

i am an MVPG75k and have a flight this week for three paid sweets in F to PVR

There are three free seats on this flight and there are no GGU upgrades available.

i usually book F so not sure of process but am I correct in thinking that should I Cancel these flights I will get a refund / credit with no penalty?

Furthermore should I book a coach fare I will get upgraded for all three seats to F as it is within he 72hr free upgrade period for 75k elites?

Trying to understand this confusing process, not sure if I will change on outbound but can prob do for inbound if this method makes sense
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Old Dec 9, 18, 4:08 pm
  #640  
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Originally Posted by navatwal View Post
i am an MVPG75k and have a flight this week for three paid sweets in F to PVR

There are three free seats on this flight and there are no GGU upgrades available.

i usually book F so not sure of process but am I correct in thinking that should I Cancel these flights I will get a refund / credit with no penalty?

Furthermore should I book a coach fare I will get upgraded for all three seats to F as it is within he 72hr free upgrade period for 75k elites?

Trying to understand this confusing process, not sure if I will change on outbound but can prob do for inbound if this method makes sense
if you attempt what you are speaking of, you will be very disappointed in the outcome.

since you say that MVP Gold Guest upgrades are not available, that means U is not open, and you would not be instantly upgraded as a 75k as you are expecting. regardless of the path to upgrade, all upgrades draw from the U bucket, and if the flight doesn't have U open you will go on the wait list and not know if you clear to F until the gate, or if they happen to open it earlier which with only 3 seats open they probably will not.

the process is in fact quite simple: if you buy a fare of class K or higher and U is open, you can use a GGU to upgrade. if you buy a fare of class H or higher, or a refundable award fare, and U is open, you would be instantly upgraded as a 75k. any other cash or non refundable award fare, you must wait until after your elite upgrade window opens, at which time if U is also open, you would be upgraded.

furthermore, the 75K window IIRC opens at 120 hours, not 72 hours.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 4:11 pm
  #641  
 
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Originally Posted by navatwal View Post
i am an MVPG75k and have a flight this week for three paid sweets in F to PVR

There are three free seats on this flight and there are no GGU upgrades available.

i usually book F so not sure of process but am I correct in thinking that should I Cancel these flights I will get a refund / credit with no penalty?

Furthermore should I book a coach fare I will get upgraded for all three seats to F as it is within he 72hr free upgrade period for 75k elites?

Trying to understand this confusing process, not sure if I will change on outbound but can prob do for inbound if this method makes sense
You may get upgraded. It's not guaranteed. You don't know how many other 75ks would be ahead of you on the waitlist. Obviously if there are more 75ks than seats, not everyone can get upgraded.

Also, can't you only upgrade one companion (not two?) Or can 75k upgrade more?
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Old Dec 9, 18, 5:09 pm
  #642  
 
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Thanks for the advice.. good job I booked F!
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Old Dec 9, 18, 5:29 pm
  #643  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
You may get upgraded. It's not guaranteed. You don't know how many other 75ks would be ahead of you on the waitlist. Obviously if there are more 75ks than seats, not everyone can get upgraded.
It isn't just the 75Ks. As the lower buckets sell out closer to departure the prices will increase. It is possible that another elite, even an MVP, could have purchased an eligible fare and is already on the waitlist. You could cancel your P fares and buy economy fares that may even be eligible but you won't get ahead of other elites already on the waitlist regardless of what Tier they have. Tier status, fare class purchased & date only come into play if there are still F seats available after all eligible fares have been processed off the waitlist.

James
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Old Dec 9, 18, 5:44 pm
  #644  
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How to Increase your First Class Upgrade Chances on Alaska Airlines
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Old Dec 9, 18, 6:15 pm
  #645  
 
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Decent article. The main point seems to be "learn how everything works" which is obviously good advice.

It's worth pointing out, though, that unlike, for example, AA (which breaks ties based on previous 12 months EQD), no one 75k has an advantage over another. Someone who just got 75k by the skin of their teeth doesn't necessarily lose out to the business traveler who flies one round trip every week. So the first point in the article is a little misleading. Obviously flights with fewer 75ks are easier to get upgraded on, but no individual 75k is at a disadvantage against any other.

Elite status, fare class, and purchase date (in that order) matter. Whether you got 75k EQM or 150k EQM last year does not.

I'm seriously considering making a run at 75k based mostly on partner travel next year. I scored one of those CX premium economy black Friday deals, traveling the 2nd week of January. So I'll be 20% of the way there 2 weeks into the year!
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