Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan
Reload this Page >

Strategy for Hawaii flight, MVP status & companion?

Strategy for Hawaii flight, MVP status & companion?

Reply

Old Jan 23, 19, 12:36 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SFO or OAK
Programs: AA 1MM GLD, Hertz #1 Gold, bunch of other programs w/no status
Posts: 1,076
Strategy for Hawaii flight, MVP status & companion?

My wife got to MVP status last year; first time status on AS for anyone in our family, so sorry if this is a total noob question. I am trying to develop a booking strategy for a trip to Hawaii this summer. My wife and I each have companion tickets to use, so that lets us take our kids for "free". However, will her MVP status offer us anything in terms of upgrades to either Premium class or even F? It's OK only to upgrade two of us; we can leave the 2 kids in the main cabin (they are teens). I don't think MVP allows for companion upgrades, but if there is availability, say in Premium class, could she upgrade for free if I paid for the upgrade? Any advice is appreciated.
mangoMan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 1:12 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 16,703
MVP does not offer companion upgrades for anything. Your wife won't be upgraded if anyone else is on the same PNR; you need the companion to be on the same PNR to use the companion ticket. So my advice is "don't expect an upgrade".
eponymous_coward is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 1:23 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: AS 75K and Marriott Platinum
Posts: 182
Yep; sadly, you wonít be able to get upgraded. When MVPs are traveling with someone else, they can request to split the reservation to allow for upgrades, but thatís not an option when using a companion certificate. Even with two in the reservation, she should at least have access to the elite seats, so hopefully you can at least grab exit row seating. Youíll also get the two free checked bags benefit for both her and the child on the same reservation
eponymous_coward likes this.
osubeavers01 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 1:33 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: AS, New Sagaya
Posts: 378
Will OP's wife be able to select PC after midnight two days before T-24 and pay for just one seat? Or does it charge for both as companion status removes upgrade option?

Last edited by williwaw; Jan 23, 19 at 5:01 pm
williwaw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 2:45 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: AS MVPG 75K, HH Gold, SPG/Marriott Gold
Posts: 129
Originally Posted by williwaw View Post
Will OP's wife be able to select PC at T-24 and pay for just one seat? Or does it charge for both as companion status removes upgrade option?
From what I've heard from phone agents, she should be able to split seating/take a PC seat, though her kid would not be able to without paying and the PNR won't be split. Seating would not happen automatically - she'd have to select at T-24, since AS wouldn't want to "upgrade" and split the party automatically.
icelandman2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 3:16 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,359
Why T-24?

MVP can select a Premium seat at midnight 2 days before the flight. So if your flight is on Wednesday, you can pull up the seat map on the app at 00:00 Monday (Sunday night) and select a premium seat. Everyone else will have to pay to move to a premium seat. I have done this before as MVP traveling with a non-status companion; I moved both of us to premium and paid only 1 fee.

The MVP should not even be waitlisted for First Class. You could still ask the GA but I would not expect to be accommodated unless F is going out with empty seats (which is entirely possible). It never hurts to ask, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.
VegasGambler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 3:18 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: AS MVPG 75K, HH Gold, SPG/Marriott Gold
Posts: 129
Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Why T-24?
You're right, sorry. Just mixed programs up. Totally right on the upgrade. I got one upgrade on a reservation with companions back when MVP, but would definitely not expect it, as you said.
icelandman2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 5:02 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: AS, New Sagaya
Posts: 378
Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Why T-24?
Sorry, cerebral hiccup. So one could split the record at midnight, move the MVP up and pay for the second one if so desired.
williwaw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 5:21 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,359
Originally Posted by williwaw View Post
Sorry, cerebral hiccup. So one could split the record at midnight, move the MVP up and pay for the second one if so desired.
You don't need to split the record for premium seats (and, I though that wasn't allowed for companion fares?)

You can just change seats. Despite their references to "premium cabin" and "upgrades", these are just seats in the same cabin, that have been designated "premium". There is no actual upgrade. The seats require a selection fee, but that fee is waived for people with status inside their window. There is a process that sometimes works (and usually doesn't) which moves you to a premium seat when available, and sends you an email saying that you have been "upgraded", but you don't need to wait for that. Just select the seat at midnight 2 days before you flight. You jump the queue this way. That's why you will see MVPs who are 40th on the upgrade list with the "premium seat assigned" checkmark, when the 20 people above them are all in regular economy seats. They just moved to the seat before the processor had the chance to move the Golds there. Even as a lowly MVP, by doing it right at midnight 2 days before, I always managed to secure a premium seat, even on very elite-heavy flights with 40 people ahead of me on the upgrade list (like SEA-SFO)

Splitting the record is necessary for the F upgrade, but, as I said, I don't think that's possible for a companion fare. If it was, you'd want to do it BEFORE the window opened (since if you are added to the list after the window opens, you are last on the list)

My point here is, for F upgrades, there's a queue. For premium seats, it's a free-for-all.
williwaw likes this.
VegasGambler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 5:55 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Programs: AA, AS, UA, Marriott, Hilton
Posts: 240
If both travelers were MVP would the system recognize this for upgrade purposes or would it still require splitting the reservation?
BudgetJetsetter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 6:04 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,359
Originally Posted by BudgetJetsetter View Post
If both travelers were MVP would the system recognize this for upgrade purposes or would it still require splitting the reservation?
I believe you'd be on the list in this situation but I've never actually done it. You certainly should be on the upgrade list.

Splitting would allow you to be upgraded 1 at a time though. If not split it would skip over you if only 1 seat opens up. This could be problematic of they release U space 1 at a time, since you would be repeatedly skipped.
icelandman2 likes this.
VegasGambler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 6:10 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: AS MVPG 75K, HH Gold, SPG/Marriott Gold
Posts: 129
Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I believe you'd be on the list in this situation but I've never actually done it. You certainly should be on the upgrade list.

Splitting would allow you to be upgraded 1 at a time though. If not split it would skip over you if only 1 seat opens up. This could be problematic of they release U space 1 at a time, since you would be repeatedly skipped.
Learned this the hard way in travels with gf, who is consistently one level of MP below me. Definitely something to keep in mind (though they often will open multiple at once).
icelandman2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 6:43 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: AS Gold, Hyatt Diamond, Starriott LTPP
Posts: 208
If somehow you find availability to use Gold Guest Upgrades for 2 or 4 of you, you could make sure to book into an eligible fare class for that.

Folks are not allowed to offer you GGUs here, only in other fora.
soartoday is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 7:12 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: AS, New Sagaya
Posts: 378
Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
You don't need to split the record for premium seats (and, I though that wasn't allowed for companion fares?)

My point here is, for F upgrades, there's a queue. For premium seats, it's a free-for-all.
Truth
williwaw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 19, 8:12 pm
  #15  
Original Poster
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SFO or OAK
Programs: AA 1MM GLD, Hertz #1 Gold, bunch of other programs w/no status
Posts: 1,076
Originally Posted by soartoday View Post
If somehow you find availability to use Gold Guest Upgrades for 2 or 4 of you, you could make sure to book into an eligible fare class for that.

Folks are not allowed to offer you GGUs here, only in other fora.
The flights I'm targeting have U4 availability, so I was thinking of using miles for at least the outbound, where the main cabin fare is equal to the 'upgrade with miles' fare, although I'm hoping this goes down if WN ever starts flying to Hawaii as it's a pretty high fare. The GGU fare on the return isn't too much higher than the main cabin fare, but I'm leery of trying to procure GGUs via Coupon Connection (never traded before).

Thanks VegasGambler for all the info on PC seats - if they don't fill up, we may have a decent chance of snagging two of those and only paying for one.
mangoMan is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread