short notice booking - upgrade strategy

Old May 19, 14, 7:52 pm
  #1  
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short notice booking - upgrade strategy

As a new AS flyer i want to make sure i understand the right strategy.

There's a chance I need to make a short notice booking xxx-yyy. On the date in question the flight is F3/Y7. Currently U = 0.

The difference between the lowest available fare and the MVP Gold upgrade fare (instant UP) is only ~$50 higher.

My understanding is that if I buy the "instant UP" fare, if/when U opens up, I'll be at (or fairly close) to the top of the list even with a short notice purchase date, surely ahead of all non-instant-UP fare classes. It's a leisure route where xxx and yyy do not equal either SEA or PDX, so my expectation is that as an MVPG I would be basically at or very near the top with an instant UP fare.

So, strategy: Buy the instant UP, or buy the cheapest?
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Old May 19, 14, 8:30 pm
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Pay the $50 and buy the upgrade-eligible fare.

The only potential wrinkle is if there are three 75K flyers also on the flight in Y. But if ANC, PDX, and SEA are not part of the city pairs, this is less likely.
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Old May 19, 14, 8:38 pm
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Originally Posted by dieselbear View Post
Pay the $50 and buy the upgrade-eligible fare.

The only potential wrinkle is if there are three 75K flyers also on the flight in Y. But if ANC, PDX, and SEA are not part of the city pairs, this is less likely.
yes I understand 75K will still have priority if waitlisted on an instant UP fare. given the city pairs that is a chance i'd be willing to take for $50 on Sunday travel over the 3 day weekend. what i want to accomplish (and I think I would with this strategy?) is jumping the queue of MVP and MVPG who will surely be in Y and have purchased well in advance on complimentary upgrade eligible fares.
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Old May 20, 14, 12:11 am
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Originally Posted by PV_Premier View Post
As a new AS flyer i want to make sure i understand the right strategy.

There's a chance I need to make a short notice booking xxx-yyy. On the date in question the flight is F3/Y7. Currently U = 0.

The difference between the lowest available fare and the MVP Gold upgrade fare (instant UP) is only ~$50 higher.

My understanding is that if I buy the "instant UP" fare, if/when U opens up, I'll be at (or fairly close) to the top of the list even with a short notice purchase date, surely ahead of all non-instant-UP fare classes. It's a leisure route where xxx and yyy do not equal either SEA or PDX, so my expectation is that as an MVPG I would be basically at or very near the top with an instant UP fare.

So, strategy: Buy the instant UP, or buy the cheapest?
Depends on what you mean by short notice. You're only ahead of those folks who are not already within their window.

So if you buy within 5 days of departure, ALL 75K's and their companions with existing reservations will be ahead of you, regardless of fare paid.
If you buy within 3 days of departure, ALL MVPG's and their companions with existing reservations will be ahead of you, regardless of fare paid.
If you buy within 2 days of departure, ALL MVP's with existing reservations will be ahead of you.

And of course, no matter what fare you buy, all MVPG's and MVPG 75K's and their companions who purchased Value or above fares prior to you will be above you on the list.
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Old May 20, 14, 2:17 am
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What's the route? Is it this Sunday?
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Old May 20, 14, 10:00 am
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route is KOA-SJC
for travel Sunday 5/25

if I purchase I will do it today, but probably not before T-120

fare buckets have changed, lowest available fare is now also instantly upgradeable

flight is still F3, U0
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Old May 21, 14, 8:38 am
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short notice booking - upgrade strategy

In my very limited experience there are almost no elites SJC-HI. U will likely be opened today.
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Old May 21, 14, 9:59 am
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i appreciate all the insight. in the end i booked the trip on United for under $300 and cleared the overwater CPU at the 1K window, which is almost unheard of these days.
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Old May 21, 14, 11:43 am
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How does AS prioritize upgrades? I thought that is based purely on when the ticket was purchased, regardless of fare paid. The only jumping occurs if the upgrade category is available when you buy your ticket. Does buying an upgrade-eligible fare put you on a waitlist that you can clear into if the upgrade opens up, or do you have to call in? And once you are within your window, does the fare category matter at all (within status)?

Apologies if this is already explained elsewhere. But for as long as I have been flying Alaska, this process has always remained mysterious for me.
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Old May 22, 14, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by seacarl View Post
How does AS prioritize upgrades? I thought that is based purely on when the ticket was purchased, regardless of fare paid. The only jumping occurs if the upgrade category is available when you buy your ticket. Does buying an upgrade-eligible fare put you on a waitlist that you can clear into if the upgrade opens up, or do you have to call in? And once you are within your window, does the fare category matter at all (within status)?

Apologies if this is already explained elsewhere. But for as long as I have been flying Alaska, this process has always remained mysterious for me.
This might help: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alask...ades-work.html
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