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Old Jan 11, 13, 5:07 pm   #16
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czpdx View Post
I think it's pretty clear from the OP's post that there wasn't U space at booking, but the OP was assuming (wrongly) that a mostly empty F cabin meant that U space would be released before the regular upgrade window. I, for one, would never buy the instant upgrade fare if I didn't see the U - too much of a gamble (and usually an expensive one at that).
Ok, I must have misinterpreted then. I read that he checked ('validate') that there was U, bought it and then wasn't able to upgrade. From his original post:

I am one of those people that is willing to spend "a little bit more" for full-flex upgrade anytime fares. I validate that it's a U fare for my elite status and pay the higher fare.
After paying, I try to upgrade - and am ALWAYS told that there are no available "upgradable seats", even though 5-7 are available for purchase. Once those become available, I would be able to immediate upgrade.
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Old Jan 11, 13, 5:15 pm   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shatterpdx View Post
.

. I validate that it's a U fare for my elite status and pay the higher fare.

After paying, I try to upgrade - and am ALWAYS told that there are no available "upgradable seats", even though 5-7 are available for purchase.
Do you validate that it has a U or U beside the fare? Seems to me that you are thinking a full Y fare is an automatic Y up fare if you are an elite. Thats not the case...but its a great idea
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Old Jan 11, 13, 5:15 pm   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shatterpdx View Post
I feel bad for MVP's, because they will never seen upgrades again. MVP Golds are already missing most all upgrades now.
Uh, no? Made plenty of upgrades last year as an MVPG, just saw I was upgraded at T-48 as an MVP on BUR-SEA.
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Old Jan 11, 13, 5:17 pm   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
Ok, I must have misinterpreted then. I read that he checked ('validate') that there was U, bought it and then wasn't able to upgrade. From his original post:

I am one of those people that is willing to spend "a little bit more" for full-flex upgrade anytime fares. I validate that it's a U fare for my elite status and pay the higher fare.
After paying, I try to upgrade - and am ALWAYS told that there are no available "upgradable seats", even though 5-7 are available for purchase. Once those become available, I would be able to immediate upgrade.
How I read it is that the OP validates that it is an eligibe fare for instant upgrade, but then that does not mean U space is available. We will see when the OP clarifies his situation. Honestly, I did not read the whole thing.
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Old Jan 11, 13, 5:19 pm   #20
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
How I read it is that the OP validates that it is an eligibe fare for instant upgrade, but then that does not mean U space is available. We will see when the OP clarifies his situation. Honestly, I did not read the whole thing.
I am curious too. He's keepin' us hanging.
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Old Jan 12, 13, 11:18 am   #21
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shatterpdx View Post
Alaska continues to frustrate me more and more with their lack of cohesive technology. I thought their system upgrades were going to make things better, but boy have I been wrong.

I am one of those people that is willing to spend "a little bit more" for full-flex upgrade anytime fares. I validate that it's a U fare for my elite status and pay the higher fare.

After paying, I try to upgrade - and am ALWAYS told that there are no available "upgradable seats", even though 5-7 are available for purchase. Once those become available, I would be able to immediate upgrade.

What Alaska has been doing, is holding excessive amounts of first class seats for sale, until about 48 hours prior to departure. When the upgrade inventory is released, guess what?

PRIORITY IS:

75K on Upgrade Anytime Fare
75K on Prioritize by fare class (discounts included)
MVP Gold on Upgrade Anytime Fare
MVP Gold on Prioritized by fare class (discounts included)
MVP on Upgrade Anytime Fare
MVP on prioritized by fare class (discounts included)

So I can be looking at a first class cabin pretty much wide open, and choose to book an upgrade anytime fare, assuming I have a solid chance at upgrading. Alaska holds the inventory so late, that the NORMAL status upgrades happen first, prior to any upgrade anytime fares. I feel bad for MVP's, because they will never seen upgrades again. MVP Golds are already missing most all upgrades now.

At the end of last year, as an MVP Gold on an upgrade anytime fare with 5 open seats 72 hours prior to departure - I not only didn't get upgraded... but while at the airport I had 18 people ahead of me. The agent was cool enough to look at the upgrades that had processed and confirmed people upgraded were not upgrade anytime fares, but just normal 75K's - through normal upgrade processes on discounted fares.

If this is the case, all upgrade anytime fare will do for you - is put you at the highest rank(s) of your Elite Status class. With the abundance of 75k's now, the Gold benefit is gone. I get upgraded more frequently on United (as a gold too) than I do on Alaska...... From the Portland market...

Alaska has been making questionable moves making me decide that I likely am going to switch to an alternative, which I have never ultimately wanted to do..:

1. The new "upgrade" path
2. Lack of partner network upgrades (u never get them on delta)
3. Turboprops are slower/louder/more turbulent than CRJ's (longer flights)
4. Common routes to SFO/SJC/Calgary/Vancouver use more CRJ's than 737
5. Food in first class is attempting to get "too fancy", in which everyone opts for the "safe" meal, leaving anyone beyond row 3 with no choice.
6. While some mileage redemption rates can be low, they're pretty much never accessible. You must use 2x to 3x the miles that you would on a United or former Continental.
7. Lack of destinations going anywhere eastbound, forcing partner connections only on Delta (and Delta sucks for the record.)
8. Getting shut out of terminals .. (Anyone else have to experience that some flights out of SFO from Alaska are now going out of International terminals?)
9. My in ability of a long time elite to get on the TSA list
10. Very poor/limited functional technology. (From iphone App to website)
11. No TV's in seats. Digi-players are OK, but if you're flying to DCA - it should have different content for different directions.
12. Never have I once been invited to the MVP Gold or other meetings.
13. If a travel department handles your travels and makes a minor change to "bundled" travel like a hotel (even though it doesn't touch your reservation or confirmation codes, it will reset your upgrade if you've been upgraded.)
14. Million-Miler requirements with Alaska are difficult. Connections requirements should be added or a lower tier of million-miler. If your preferred airlines (outside of DCA/ANC/ORD) are maximum 1000 mile opportunities, it would take you 1000 flights to achieve (and partner flights aren't included!).
15. I hate getting the "Credit Card" pitch on every single flight that is taken, usually at the highest possible audible level on the intercom.
16. The bait/switch with the BOA Alaska Airlines Card
17. Static fares for first class... ALMOST always...
18. Lack of an "economy plus" type functionality being adopted by other airlines.

While I may sound negative and bitter, I still like Alaska for other reasons.

1. Friendly people, all the time.
2. Comfortable/modern planes
3. In-flight Wi-Fi
4. Very quick/efficient service
5. Communicative cabin/pilots
6. Very good about avoiding turbulent areas
7. Almost always on-time
8. Take advantage of boarding earlier than scheduled
9. Usually no "flight" problems
10. Can switch flights quickly and easily (free for Elites)
11. Positive approach and contributions to the Northwest area

I am begging, pleading and torturing myself just trying to make Alaska Airlines work for me.... but they keep alienating me every chance they get. Since it's January, I just took my first two Alaska flights... but it's easy to switch.

Any Alaska Airlines experts know what the heck is going on with this airline?

While I complain, I love Alaska for

As a long time AS FF one of the first and still 75K I rarely have issues upgrading. I prefer to purchase the "upgradable" fare so there is no issue which I assume your doing ? That is essentially the fare you described. The higher the status ladder the better upgrades are, just a fact as is the sooner you book the easier it is as well, sans paying the "Gold" or FC fee.

I assume when you said you just took your first two flights those are for 2013 qualification?

CC pitch, they ALL do it, just the way it is ! I fly AS, UA and gasp DL at times hear the same pitch just different spelling !

Only you can make the decision on who you fly and yes several times over the years I have thought of switching but at the end of the day Alaska for my travel except for international works well for me and I have been well taken care of over the years. even invited to cut the ribbon for the first ever SEA-PHL flight.

There is no perfect airline, otherwise we wouldn't have this forum


Travel Safe
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Old Jan 12, 13, 12:28 pm   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czpdx View Post
I, for one, would never buy the instant upgrade fare if I didn't see the U - too much of a gamble (and usually an expensive one at that).
I have actually had fairly good luck buying instant upgrade fares when U is not available at the time of purchase. With the routes I fly, U is almost never available at the time of purchase (I was able to use only one of my gold upgrade certificates last year - and that was a ticket purchased 6 months in advance).

If the upgradeable fare does not cost much more, I am willing to take the gamble, so that if and when U space opens at some point, I will get a surprise email that my upgrade has cleared. But there is a limit to how much I am willing to gamble, and I consider both how full the flight is when I buy my ticket and my guess on how full it will eventually be, and whether I might get upgraded on at least one segment. And I remember that it is a gamble!
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Old Jan 12, 13, 2:07 pm   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czpdx View Post
I think it's pretty clear from the OP's post that there wasn't U space at booking, but the OP was assuming (wrongly) that a mostly empty F cabin meant that U space would be released before the regular upgrade window.
Thats what I assume as well however awaiting any dialogue regarding it in this thread is like listening to crickets chirp . I remember when first becoming an MVP and read my benefits thats what I thought. And if you read on the website it also gives you that illusion
Quote:
•Unlimited** Complimentary Upgrades anytime on Y or YAS fares (booked as Full Flex at alaskaair.com) or 48 hours prior to departure on other fares. Qualifying Mileage Plan number must be in the reservation
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Old Jan 13, 13, 8:41 am   #24
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baliktad View Post
If you are:
1) an MVP, and
2) you buy a Y/S/B fare, and
3) there is U space at the time of purchase, then
You will be upgraded immediately. You must be the only person on your PNR to receive the complimentary upgrade.

.
I have a question in this. If you have two MVP on 1 PNR can both be upgraded??
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Old Jan 13, 13, 9:57 am   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SF1K View Post
I have a question in this. If you have two MVP on 1 PNR can both be upgraded??
No, AS' system won't split the PNR to upgrade you one at a time, and it's not smart enough to upgrade both of you as MVP's. If you and your companion are both MVP, you should book separately to ensure your best chances of being upgraded. At the gate, a GA can upgrade both of you even on a single PNR if there is still space.
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Old Jan 13, 13, 10:00 am   #26
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baliktad View Post
No, AS' system won't split the PNR to upgrade you one at a time, and it's not smart enough to upgrade both of you as MVP's. If you and your companion are both MVP, you should book separately to ensure your best chances of being upgraded. At the gate, a GA can upgrade both of you even on a single PNR if there is still space.
So my strategy of both of us being MVP and buying instant upgrade fares with a companion cert won't work?? Since even calling in am they won't upgrade to MVPs on one PNR?? And obviously you can't split a
PNR bought with a companion cert.

I'm not talking about upgrade at upgrade window but buying higher fare that allows instant upgrade.
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Old Jan 13, 13, 10:29 am   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SF1K View Post
So my strategy of both of us being MVP and buying instant upgrade fares with a companion cert won't work?? Since even calling in am they won't upgrade to MVPs on one PNR?? And obviously you can't split a
PNR bought with a companion cert.

I'm not talking about upgrade at upgrade window but buying higher fare that allows instant upgrade.
You could call in and try it. You may have to CSR shop for a while until you find a veteran who knows the system inside outside and sideways but it still might not be possible. Its a huge problem IMO. Its as if 2 MVPs flying together are penalized for both having status. Like I said in your topic asking this, the AS system is too archaic to recognize traveler #2 as an elite. I think the same problem arises if there are 3 golds on 1 PNR and there happens to be 3 open U buckets
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Old Jan 15, 13, 10:10 pm   #28
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Delayed response

Hey Folks,

Thanks for all the good responses and debates. I was tied up heavily in meetings, and didn't have time to respond until now.

In short, what I stated is still accurate. I was presented with the flights. The full-flex had the Upgrade Anytime flag noted. I even filtered the flights (which made me select this particular flight) ..... Upon booking the flight within seconds, guess what? "First Class Waitlisted"

What I failed to mention in my previous post, is that my return trip had the same challenges. It sounds like a poster validated this too.

And to clarify one of the other posters, that tried saying different ranking - I confirmed it again today with desk agents.

1. 75K U Fare
2. MVP Gold U Fare
3. MVP U Fare

At 120 Hours

1. 75K U Fare
2. 75K other fare priority
3. MVP Gold U Fare
4. MVP Gold fare priority
5. MVP U Fare
6. MVP U fare priority

At 48 Hours
1. 75K U Fare
2. 75K other fare priority
3. MVP Gold U Fare
4. MVP Gold fare priority
5. MVP U Fare
6. MVP U fare priority

So if you book a U flight and are magically "first class waitlisted" the inventory will never open up until the day of departure. At that point in time, you will rank based on your fare-class and then check-in time.

Perhaps we should be describing the problem differently. The U fares aren't working properly. So when I called in after being put on the "First Class Waitlisted" when purchasing a U fare, I was told there were no seats for Upgrade at this time. The agent was kind enough to tell me how odd it was, considering there was only 2 paid and filled seats in first class. Alaska held the rest.

If you book a flight with U posted, and available - upon booking that flight I should be upgraded. Period. I think they're selling them now as U upgrade anytime, if available - but are holding upgrade inventory until under the 120 hour window... in which you don't get it.

For that matter, that brings up another griping point. After booking flights while being logged into my "elite" account, why the heck do I not get AUTOMATICALLY added to an upgrade queue?

I would love for someone to prove me otherwise....

SCENARIO:
U Fare 2 Weeks before flight - 6 Available First seats - Waitlisted
48 Hours before the flight - 5 Available First seats - Waitlisted
24 Hours before the flight - 4 Available First seats
Check-in at airport - First Class FULL - While me with my U priority am number "21" on the upgrade priority list.
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Old Jan 15, 13, 10:42 pm   #29
  
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"Perhaps we should be describing the problem differently. The U fares aren't working properly. So when I called in after being put on the "First Class Waitlisted" when purchasing a U fare, I was told there were no seats for Upgrade at this time. The agent was kind enough to tell me how odd it was, considering there was only 2 paid and filled seats in first class. Alaska held the rest.

If you book a flight with U posted, and available - upon booking that flight I should be upgraded. Period. I think they're selling them now as U upgrade anytime, if available - but are holding upgrade inventory until under the 120 hour window... in which you don't get it. "

Did you tell the agent that the U was showing when you selected the flight? I'm not talking about F inventory and how many seats were available, but that the U was showing, meaning an upgrade was available at the time you made your purchase? Because if that was the case, the first line ofthe second paragraph above is correct: "if you book a flight with U posted, and available - upon booking that flight I should be upgraded.".

If it is a case of the system malfunctioning, they should be dealing with that. If not, then hoping someone can explain why it didn't happen as it was supposed to.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 7:10 am   #30
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baliktad View Post
No, AS' system won't split the PNR to upgrade you one at a time, and it's not smart enough to upgrade both of you as MVP's. If you and your companion are both MVP, you should book separately to ensure your best chances of being upgraded. At the gate, a GA can upgrade both of you even on a single PNR if there is still space.
Am I missing something here? My daughter and her husband are both MVP's and were upgraded twice last year that I am aware of. Once out of SNA and once out of PHX.
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