I guess I still don't understand upgrade lists

Old Aug 25, 19, 10:19 am
  #1  
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I guess I still don't understand upgrade lists

I have read the thread over and over but I guess I just don't understand how the upgrade lists work.

Yesterday PDX-SJC flight 414 there were 5 people on the list, I was number 3. 3 seats in F available. About an hour before departure there are only 2 people on the list now and I am now #1 and F is full. How did I go from being number 3 to effectively being #4 as I didn't get upgraded and someone below me getting upgraded? Gold on a B fare.

I know there is some sort of a hidden list but why would it be a different order than the one visible online and at the gate? Short flight and I did keep my exit row aisle so not a big thing but I just want to understand how this all works.
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Old Aug 25, 19, 10:31 am
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There are a number of scenarios that could have lead to your situation. The first that comes to mind is there was a companion to one of the people at #1 or #2 . This is a common problem as described by James on several occasions. Sometimes the companion is listed below others on the UG list, and sometimes they aren't even on the list. Another possibility is a SDC or IRROPS change of a paid F customer. Yet another possibility would be a U upgraded SDC passenger that was incorrectly processed ahead of you. I've been in your situation several times and often I get equal if not better service in PC, but just with a less comfortable seat. You likely weren't slighted, but you may want to drop an AS listens note to (yet again) know the UG list is murky at best.

ETA: did you glance at the awaiting seats list by chance? Sometimes that has the mystery upgraded person.
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Old Aug 25, 19, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by DrAlex View Post
There are a number of scenarios that could have lead to your situation. The first that comes to mind is there was a companion to one of the people at #1 or #2 . This is a common problem as described by James on several occasions. Sometimes the companion is listed below others on the UG list, and sometimes they aren't even on the list. Another possibility is a SDC or IRROPS change of a paid F customer. Yet another possibility would be a U upgraded SDC passenger that was incorrectly processed ahead of you. I've been in your situation several times and often I get equal if not better service in PC, but just with a less comfortable seat. You likely weren't slighted, but you may want to drop an AS listens note to (yet again) know the UG list is murky at best.

ETA: did you glance at the awaiting seats list by chance? Sometimes that has the mystery upgraded person.
I booked the flight about 30 hours before departure and checked in right at 24 hours. At first I was #2 on the list with only 2 people. Within about 3 hours there were 5 on the list and I was #3 . The list never changed from that point until about 1 hour before departure when 3 went off the list and only 2 remaining. I was 1 of the 2 remaining and ended at #1 . There were very few on the awaiting seats list and they all got seats in the back. So the upgrade list never changed with 5 people on it from T-21 hours to T-1 hour. None of the names matched even close on the list. But yes, I know companions don't have to have the same name.
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Old Aug 25, 19, 1:58 pm
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The other thing that seems to sabotage the list sometimes is the late check ins... Names don't appear on the UG list until check in. So, if someone doesn't check in until they get to the airport at T-1 (maybe because they are checking a bag), then they don't show on the UG list.

ETA: I'm unsure if a gate agent when under gate control (~T-2) can upgrade passengers that have not yet checked in??
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Old Aug 25, 19, 2:11 pm
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Another possibility is that someone with a paid first class ticket did a same day change to your flight.
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Old Aug 25, 19, 2:25 pm
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MVP gets added to list at T-48. So if you are a Gold and booked 30 hours before departure, you are going to be behind all the MVPs on the actual list, even though the airport list will say you are ahead of them.
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Old Aug 25, 19, 5:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
But yes, I know companions don't have to have the same name.
It’s not that they don’t have the same name; companions need not appear on the list at all. This happened to me a few weeks ago flying to OGG with my son (no status). I showed up at the top of the list, and my wife and daughter, both MVP at the time and on a separate PNR, showed up below. But my son was nowhere on the upgrade list or awaiting seats list at all. Based on previous experience I was concerned they wouldn’t process the upgrade or that they’d split my PNR. But when I called in they said it’s common for the companion not to appear on the list, and we both cleared into F at the gate around T-1.
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Old Aug 25, 19, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by eddiehuang97 View Post
MVP gets added to list at T-48. So if you are a Gold and booked 30 hours before departure, you are going to be behind all the MVPs on the actual list, even though the airport list will say you are ahead of them.
This doesn't matter at gate control. Upgrades for the remaining F seats, if any, are processed in Elite order. U space is irrelevant! Although a savvy Elite could snag U if available during OLCI.

There is also a possibility that an upgrade was sold out from under the OP. I have had that happen to me. They would never be listed on the upgrade list. Similarly, a SDC by a 75K whether on a U upgrade or not can be upgraded and will not show on the waitlist either. I have had that happen too.

I generally find that companions on the same PNR who have Elite Status will show on the waitlist in their "standalone" position and not below the Elite Member extending their benefit. It is also my experience that a companion on a PNR that does not have status will not show on the waitlist but will be correctly positioned in the system. In this case, the waitlist will show fewer people for upgrades than there actually are. If there is space for both on the PNR and that PNR is ahead of you, those 2 get upgraded and everybody subsequent drops down a position.

Example: 5 on the waitlist, 4 seats available, you are in position 4, elite member in position 2 has a non-status companion not showing.

#1 gets upgraded
#2 and their companion gets upgraded
#3 gets upgraded.
All seats in F accounted for, upgrades cleared from waitlist.
Elite in position #4 is now the first on the list showing in position #1 . Unless there is a last minute no-show, unfortunately you won't be moving up front.

This is a simplified example but throw in a SDC and/or a standby request along with last minute purchases in the cabin, eligible fares, ineligible fares, fully refundable Main awards, SDC on discounted awards with a higher Elite status, etc, etc.... It isn't so cut & dry. All this, if the upgrade processor is working correctly. If it isn't, well.... ??? The upgrade system is simply complex!

When there is no space available on a flight for a SDC, MVPG & 75K can request to standby for that flight while still holding their original reservation. Since all 75Ks will always be upgraded first from their own queue before any MVP or MVPG, it is possible for the 75K to clear the standby into F even with other Elites on the upgrade waitlist.

James

"Cliffs Notes version" lol

Last edited by Flying for Fun; Aug 25, 19 at 5:27 pm
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Old Aug 26, 19, 4:00 am
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
This doesn't matter at gate control. Upgrades for the remaining F seats, if any, are processed in Elite order. U space is irrelevant! Although a savvy Elite could snag U if available during OLCI.

"Cliffs Notes version" lol
I thought from the master thread the airport list(on the screen) is WRONG and the true list which GA uses to clear upgrades is as follows:

75K w/ Eligible fare(before T-120, sorted by time)
75K w/ Ineligible fare(T-120, (sorted by fare then purchase time)
75K after T-72 (sorted by time)
-------------------
Gold/MVP w/ Eligible fare(before T-72, sorted by time)
Gold w/ Ineligible fare(T-72)
Gold after T-72 but before T-48(sorted by time)
MVP w/ Ineligible fare(T-48)
Gold/MVP after T-48(sorted by time)

I do believe this is true since after SDC I get cleared after MVP as a Gold.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 9:22 am
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Upgrade lists are based on who's checked-in. SO was 1st on the upgrade list yesterday, 5th last night, and 3rd this morning. It doesn't feel like she was cheated out of an upgrade, there were just people higher in status/fare paid than her.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by bmvaughn View Post
Upgrade lists are based on who's checked-in. SO was 1st on the upgrade list yesterday, 5th last night, and 3rd this morning. It doesn't feel like she was cheated out of an upgrade, there were just people higher in status/fare paid than her.
I'm a he, but that is neither here nor there.

Ok, I'll start with the scenario again. at about T-21, 5 people on list, I am number 3. No more people added to visible list so at T-2 there are still 5 on the list and I am still #3 . There are 3 seats in F available. At T-1 there are no seats available in F and now only 2 on the list so I can only assume 3 people on the list got upgraded, just not in the order they were at T-2 as if it did go by that order I would have been number 3 and one of the names that was below me was no longer on the list.

I'm not complaining I didn't get the upgrade I am just trying to figure out what happened. If there is another list that is in a different order than the one you can see online I don't think this is a very good practice on AS's part as it just raises questions like this. I can understand that people may be on the other list and won't show up on the visible list until they check in, but that is obviously not what happened in this case as always from T-21 was 5 people. 5 on the visible list with 3 seats, then 0 seats and 2 on the visible list, still adds up to 5. If was a companion that is fine but the list should properly put the companion with the sponsor. The computer coding shouldn't be that difficult to get it right. If there was no companion why did someone below me get the upgrade?

So no last minute check ins, no last minute SDC's in this case as the number always matched 5 people from T-21.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
I'm a he, but that is neither here nor there.
And my SO that I was talking about is a she, but you're right... that is neither here nor there

Regarding your Qs... how many people with higher status/fare class moved into your flight? How many moved out? How many guaranteed space pilots moved into your flights? Without knowing those numbers... you can only speculate. I prefer to speculate that things are working well enough most of the time rather than worry that something I have no control over fixing is broken
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Old Aug 26, 19, 1:45 pm
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Originally Posted by eddiehuang97 View Post
I thought from the master thread the airport list(on the screen) is WRONG and the true list which GA uses to clear upgrades is as follows:

75K w/ Eligible fare(before T-120, sorted by time)
75K w/ Ineligible fare(T-120, (sorted by fare then purchase time)
75K after T-72 (sorted by time)
-------------------
Gold/MVP w/ Eligible fare(before T-72, sorted by time)
Gold w/ Ineligible fare(T-72)
Gold after T-72 but before T-48(sorted by time)
MVP w/ Ineligible fare(T-48)
Gold/MVP after T-48(sorted by time)

I do believe this is true since after SDC I get cleared after MVP as a Gold.

What happens at the gate?

The gate agent will assign available First Class seats, even those not designated as "U" class of service, that are still available less than 1 hour prior to departure. Those seats will be assigned by tier then time waitlisted.

At gate control, 75K, MVPG, MVP. What you describe is before gate control. What I am not sure about is if your time waitlisted is preserved from the original flight when you SDC or if you are deemed to have been added to the waitlist at the time you changed. If the former, then eligible fares would go back to the date of purchase & ineligible fares would be added at their respective windows. If the latter, then you would be after all elites in your tier but before all lower tiers. In this instance, time of the SDC would also be a determing factor.

AS a75K, I have done a SDC to an earlier flight. I was on a GGU applied eligible fare. Shortly after completing the SDC I was upgraded and received an email notification. I was never on the upgrade waitlist. This was before gate control. While not definitive, it appears that my GGU applied fare on the original flight had some determinative merit in being upgraded. Additionally, since email notiffication is a function of the upgrader processing, the upgrade was automatic.

OP: No changes in the waitlist does not rule out a SDC, nor a Standby. You can always ask the gate agent to see if there are other elites ahead of you that have a companion. It, however, does not rule out a SDC or Standby occuring after your inquiry. It appears that a companion was the case on your flight as an elite behind you was upgraded along with an elite ahead of you. If the companion was not elite, they would not have shown on the waitlist.

I agree that the waitlist at the gate could be better but unfortunately it isn't always a true representation of the actual waitlist order. Accounting for all the scenarios is a challenge at best. If there was a last minute cancellation or a no-show, you, in theory, would have been next. It really is just a guessing game until you have your upgraded boarding pass in hand.

Now onto downgrades.......

James
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Old Aug 26, 19, 2:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
If there was no companion why did someone below me get the upgrade?

So no last minute check ins, no last minute SDC's in this case as the number always matched 5 people from T-21.
Short answer: The passenger below you purchased their ticket before you did. Please read on.

Again, at gate control, upgrades are processed by tier and then time waitlisted. U space is irrelevant!

Before gate control, if U was available, you would be upgraded first since fare class determines order before time waitlisted within the elite tier. The time waitlisted would only be used as a tiebreaker if there were two or more elites in the same fare class. At gate control, the fare component is no longer applicable and processing upgrades reverts back to time waitlisted. An elite who purchased a lower fare class within the same tier group before someone who purchased a higher fare class later would get the upgrade first. The waitlist is not "reshuffled" when the gate takes control of the flight.

James
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Old Aug 26, 19, 3:24 pm
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Also you should ignore the monitors

When it says "First Class has checked in Full". That doesn't mean anything. All 4 of us were upgraded last week (or week before?) on PHL-SEA after they had already started boarding. Why do they wait and then cause the kerfuffle during the boarding process? Not sure.
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