GGU question - no U space

Old Oct 27, 18, 2:33 pm
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GGU question - no U space

Hello FT'ers,

Like many of you I have GGU's that will be expiring this year. I have been able to use them to upgrade our seats to OGG the past couple of years but no U space is showing available right now. My question is if I book tickets with the GGU upgrade option and select tickets under the First Class Upgrade column will I get upgraded if and when U space becomes available? I would also have had entered my certificate numbers in at the time of booking.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 27, 18, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by bosca418 View Post
Hello FT'ers,

Like many of you I have GGU's that will be expiring this year. I have been able to use them to upgrade our seats to OGG the past couple of years but no U space is showing available right now. My question is if I book tickets with the GGU upgrade option and select tickets under the First Class Upgrade column will I get upgraded if and when U space becomes available? I would also have had entered my certificate numbers in at the time of booking.

Thanks!
No. You can’t waitlist GGU’s. You would have to wait for U to open and then apply your GGU’s at the time. You can’t enter the cert numbers at the time of booking unless there is U space available at that time.
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Old Oct 27, 18, 8:25 pm
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If you join expertflyer.com ($10/month) you can set up an "alert" and they will send you an email as soon as U space is released. If U space is never released, the alert just expires. If you are going to buy a ticket regardless of whether or not U space is available, this is a great way to go. Over the years I have had good success doing this in order to put my GGU's to good use.
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Old Oct 27, 18, 9:07 pm
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Originally Posted by pipeliner View Post
If you join expertflyer.com ($10/month) you can set up an "alert" and they will send you an email as soon as U space is released. If U space is never released, the alert just expires. If you are going to buy a ticket regardless of whether or not U space is available, this is a great way to go. Over the years I have had good success doing this in order to put my GGU's to good use.
It can help, but not a guarantee. EF checks for U space on an interval determined by their "algorithm." It is possible that U space can be released and taken by anyone between the next EF interval check and you would be none the wiser.

I checked for U space on an itinerary I had and found U available. I called AS to attach a GGU and did so without issue. Subsequently, I received an EF Alert showing the U space which I had already taken and U0 was available. An alert also isn't a guarantee that it will still be there at the time of receipt. Any latency between EF finding U and sending the alert or within your email provider is an opportunity for someone else to benefit.

James
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Old Oct 29, 18, 4:14 pm
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Even if there was no latency... if there is one seat available and 2 people get alerts.. someone is going to be sol.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Even if there was no latency... if there is one seat available and 2 people get alerts.. someone is going to be sol.
Bit of a risk, but I have experienced instances where U spaces are released 1 at a time, eventually accommodating both members of the party.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
Bit of a risk, but I have experienced instances where U spaces are released 1 at a time, eventually accommodating both members of the party.
As long as you don't ask for 2 or more seats in your Alert Request. However if you need 2 for a companion certificate or you aren't solo on the PNR 1 at a time leaves you sol anyways if they dribble out one at a time. Again, another tool in tool box, but like life, nothing is 100%.

James
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Old Oct 29, 18, 5:28 pm
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I meant, 2 different people on different reservations.

If you are waiting for U space, and I am waiting for U space, and only 1 seat is ever released then only one of us is getting a seat, regardless if how good the alerting system is. It's not a latency issue, it's a supply and demand issue.

Having a lower latency system just makes it more likely that the other guy gets screwed instead of you. Which is fine
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Old Oct 29, 18, 7:55 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I meant, 2 different people on different reservations.

If you are waiting for U space, and I am waiting for U space, and only 1 seat is ever released then only one of us is getting a seat, regardless if how good the alerting system is. It's not a latency issue, it's a supply and demand issue.

Having a lower latency system just makes it more likely that the other guy gets screwed instead of you. Which is fine
I am not disagreeing with you here, I am just saying that you may be out of luck if you are strickly relying on an Alert to advise you. U can come and go between the EF checks. ie EF check, no U, no alert sent, some amount of time passes, EF check, no U, no alert sent, .... A lot can happen in that "some amount of time that passes" including the release and application of U space when EF would be none the wiser. If I find U before EF, you are the one out of luck. I will have my upgrade, you will never be alerted.

EF has also alerted me of U availability that was no longer there because "I" found it and took it before receiving the Alert.

It is a good tool, but shouldn't be 100% relied upon. It shouldn't preclude you from doing you own random checks to possibly find that "gem" in that "some amount of time that passes"

I would rather sit in Y with my partner than alone in F without him. Conpanion Certificates and GGUs have been very good for us even with the tighter availability and we secure the upgrades that way. Of course, as leisure travelers, we do have flexibility. I will be 75K through 2020. We will see how things are with a more consistent intergrated pmVX product and assess as appropriate.

James
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Old Oct 29, 18, 10:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
No. You canít waitlist GGUís. You would have to wait for U to open and then apply your GGUís at the time. You canít enter the cert numbers at the time of booking unless there is U space available at that time.
Yeah, good luck with this. I've used the same strategy a couple times and it has NEVER panned out as a single flyer on a PNR. Even with expertflyer and checking on intervals myself, it doesn't pan out since AS has been EXTREMELY stingy with U space until well into the upgrade windows. Even then, it's been a looooong time since I have been upgraded at the T-120 mark. More often, I won't even see an actual upgrade until T<24 despite F being half full (whether 12 or 16 config).

What does this mean to you? If you select a GGU fare on a route without current U space, then make it to the upgrade windows without U space available in the interim, other flyers with status will automatically be processed ahead of you since GGU fares don't qualify for waitlist upgrades. You will have paid a higher(usually) fare for nothing. You could get lucky in that there are fewer flyers with status than available U space, but that seems highly unlikely.

Your best bet is to find flights with U space at the time of booking. Good luck with that.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by clarrkkent View Post
...What does this mean to you? If you select a GGU fare on a route without current U space, then make it to the upgrade windows without U space available in the interim, other flyers with status will automatically be processed ahead of you since GGU fares don't qualify for waitlist upgrades. You will have paid a higher(usually) fare for nothing. You could get lucky in that there are fewer flyers with status than available U space, but that seems highly unlikely.

Your best bet is to find flights with U space at the time of booking. Good luck with that.
GGU eligible fares don’t qualify for complimentary upgrades? Since when? Of course you can request a comp upgrade on a K fare or higher (GGU eligible classes). You get put on the waitlist at your window and you will be in a higher position on the waitlist than others with your same status who bought lower fares (G, R or T).

The only thing you have to remember is that, if you have requested the comp upgrade and U does open up, you have to call in and get removed from the waitlist before you can apply a GGU.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by clarrkkent View Post
Yeah, good luck with this. I've used the same strategy a couple times and it has NEVER panned out as a single flyer on a PNR

[....]

Your best bet is to find flights with U space at the time of booking. Good luck with that.
I have found much luck with that. Last week I booked a trip for two, to/from Hawaii in the second week of December with a companion certificate. I don't disagree that they are more difficult to utilize but flexibility is key.

James
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Old Oct 30, 18, 1:53 am
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
I have found much luck with that. Last week I booked a trip for two, to/from Hawaii in the second week of December with a companion certificate. I don't disagree that they are more difficult to utilize but flexibility is key.

James
Same here. Have booked two sets of flights to Hawaii using companion passes within the past month and found U In both directions for both bookings for two people. I look at all reasonable connecting cities and have always managed to find a decent option. As above, the key is flexibility.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 2:06 am
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
Same here. Have booked two sets of flights to Hawaii using companion passes within the past month and found U In both directions for both bookings for two people. I look at all reasonable connecting cities and have always managed to find a decent option. As above, the key is flexibility.
And the flexibility of the companion certificate is nice too. For us the outbound is from SJC, inbound is to SAN and then the following day SAN-SEA-BC. For 2-3 hour flights, it is not that important if we don't clear on the complimentary upgrade. I don't burn GGUs for the short to mid haul. Of course if there are connections < 4 hours and you can upgrade all of them with 1 GGU, you can't get much better than that. My best single GGU upgrade each on a companion certificate was SJO-LAX-SEA-SFO-PVR.

James
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Old Oct 30, 18, 9:08 am
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Folks, it's not that GGU's are completely useless. Obviously, people can and do find opportunities to use them. The issue is the frequency with which they can be used. It used to be far easier to apply them at time of purchase, which is the only time they're easy to use. With the restrictions on U availability, the late opening of what little U space there is compared to the past, and the clumsiness of the process after initial purchase, they're far less useful than they used to be and are not a significant benefit of Mileage Plan anymore.
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