Unpublished AS Upgrade Priority Rules?

Old Nov 1, 18, 10:30 am
  #1  
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Unpublished AS Upgrade Priority Rules?

I'm sure this has probably been discussed here before, but if so I was not able to find the specific dialogue about it...

A mileage run guy sitting next to me last night mentioned that upgrade priority with Alaska is also determined by an unpublished method which ranks fliers essentially based on how far past 75K they fly each year. Essentially, if you flew 100K in 2017 for example, your upgrade priority would be higher than someone else who only flew 80K. If this is true, AS does not advertise as such.

Thanks for your replies!
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Old Nov 1, 18, 10:34 am
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Have not seen or heard of this before. Maybe MillionMilers get an extra bump in terms of priority if there's a tie, but maybe others have heard or @missydarlin can confirm.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 10:43 am
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I'll have what that guy was drinking!
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Old Nov 1, 18, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by Idaho Territory View Post
I'll have what that guy was drinking!
He also said that he's friends with the COO and knows pilot #3 or something. The smell of the conversation at that point was going in a direction that led me to insert earbuds and disengage in further conversation.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 10:48 am
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Based on the known level of sophistication of the AS computer upgrade system, this definitely is not happening.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 10:49 am
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I think you may have met this guy...

Met Alaskas #2 most important flyer yesterday
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Old Nov 1, 18, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by Seattlite View Post
A mileage run guy sitting next to me last night mentioned that upgrade priority with Alaska is also determined by an unpublished method which ranks fliers essentially based on how far past 75K they fly each year. Essentially, if you flew 100K in 2017 for example, your upgrade priority would be higher than someone else who only flew 80K. If this is true, AS does not advertise as such.
This is true on *AA* as of this year.

However, AS has never said they were adopting this. And as others note, it seems unlikely that their mainframes and green screens would even be up to the task if they wanted to.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Tracer_SEA View Post
This is true on *AA* as of this year.
I don't think so. AA has published that a secondary upgrade criterion is 12-month rolling EQD, not 'how far above EQM threshold.'
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Old Nov 1, 18, 12:48 pm
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You are right. I didn't correct the OP on the specifics, but was noting that AA is the one US carrier I know of with upgrade logic that treats elites within a tier dynamically based on recent activity. It is indeed based on spend and not on BIS miles.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by be_rettSEA View Post
Have not seen or heard of this before. Maybe MillionMilers get an extra bump in terms of priority if there's a tie, but maybe others have heard or @missydarlin can confirm.
I'm going with "Highly unlikely"
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Old Nov 1, 18, 2:08 pm
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But based on what I have been seeing with upgrade list clearing out of order:
Another bizarre tale of the upgrade list

...who knows what is going on!
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Old Nov 1, 18, 3:14 pm
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Undated Photo of AS Upgrade Policy:
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Old Nov 1, 18, 3:43 pm
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In fairness...

1. AS publishes relatively little information about how this works, and
2. It does not work as published.

So, whether this guy was right or not (almost certainly not), how it actually works is definitely unpublished.

Whatever is going on with premium upgrades seems to be incorrect. Regardless of whether you get the "you've been upgraded to premium" email (I've gotten it exactly once, several months ago) you can just go in and select a premium seat when your upgrade window opens, or even before (it seems to work any time during the day that your upgrade window WILL open... at least sometimes... so if you have a late-night flight, you basically might get a whole extra day).

I've certainly selected premium seats (manually, with no charge) while 10+ people ahead of me on the upgrade list did not get premium or F seats (and pretty much everyone on the list is usually head of me because I'm just MVP and I usually manage to snag R or T fares). The seat selection screen will claim that it will charge you (the charge will be listed when you select the seat) but when you hit "ok" it just assigns the seat without directing you to the payment screen.

I THINK what is happening here is that the premium upgrades are not clearing automatically, which leaves the seats open to be snagged in first-come, first-served order, by anyone who is eligible, regardless of priority order. Obviously I benefit from this (since I'm at or near the bottom of the priority list) but that means that someone else is getting screwed.

F seems to work more or less correctly for me (ie, there is never any U space, and, when it opens up, people ahead of me get it immediately, so I never get it...)
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Old Nov 1, 18, 4:59 pm
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Originally Posted by dmodemd View Post
But based on what I have been seeing with upgrade list clearing out of order:
Another bizarre tale of the upgrade list

...who knows what is going on!
75k
Yesterday I flew back from San Jose - the plane departed with an empty seat in 1st class. 15 minutes into the flight they asked a random guy if he wanted the seat. The guy was not on the upgrade list.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 6:43 pm
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US Dividend Miles used to have this policy. AS, on the other hand, does not have and has never had this policy to my knowledge.
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