Gifting my 75K upgrades

Old Sep 6, 19, 8:43 pm
  #1  
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Gifting my 75K upgrades

I have a number of upgrades which I will never use and would like to give to friends. It always seems I can't make this happen. What are the requirements for giving/receiving an upgrade?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 8:59 pm
  #2  
 
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GGUs are freely transferable. You simply give the beneficiary the code(s).

The much harder part is finding a flight on which to use a GGU. There's lots of threads on that here, so you can do your own research. The gist is that you need to search by MVP Gold Guest in the upgrade fare type selection (left column of search results). Then look for F boxes that are colored blue, not white. Realistically, an expert flyer subscription will probably be needed if you really want to get good value.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 9:14 pm
  #3  
 
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https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...guest-upgrades

"Guest upgrades
Guest upgrades are electronic upgrade codes given to MVP® Gold members to upgrade friends or family members who are not traveling with them, or for their own use for immediate upgrade when not purchasing a qualifying fare. "

and rules:
"Guest upgrades are valid on Alaska Airlines flight numbers 001 - 2999, 3300-3499.
Flights must be marketed and ticketed by Alaska Airlines
Guest upgrades are booked into "U" class of service and are subject to availability as "U" class may not be available on all flights.
Not all flights have a First Class cabin.
"U" class must be available at the time of the request, as guest upgrades may not utilize the upgrade waitlist. When purchasing, choose a flight with a First Class upgrade available icon next to it. The First Class upgrade available icon is a dark blue square box with a white F. The First Class upgrade not available icon is a white box with a dark blue outline and dark blue F
Tickets purchased in G, T, R, or X classes of service are not eligible for guest upgrades (please select "MVP® Gold guest" from the "Upgrade type" list when shopping at alaskaair.com/planbook to view eligible fares for your itinerary. You can also select "MVP® Gold guest upgrade" in the filter results on the "Available flights" page.)
MVP® Gold guest upgrades are not available when traveling on an award ticket, including the Money & Miles award.
Each guest upgrade code is valid for one-way travel for one person. Connecting flights must have no more than a 4-hour stopover between them.
Guest upgrades may not be used as a placeholder for a complimentary upgrade by an elite level member. Once a guest upgrade has been processed, you may not remove it in order to be placed on the upgrade waitlist, or receive a complimentary upgrade based on elite level.
Guest upgrades are transferable but may not be bartered, bought, sold.
If a flight upgraded with a guest upgrade is changed or canceled, the upgrade is forfeited. A replacement guest upgrade code can be requested through customer care only by the MVP® Gold to whom it was originally issued.
Passengers traveling on an upgraded ticket do not have complimentary access to the Alaska Airlines airport lounges."
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Old Sep 6, 19, 10:00 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by rtmf View Post
GGUs are freely transferable. You simply give the beneficiary the code(s).

The much harder part is finding a flight on which to use a GGU. There's lots of threads on that here, so you can do your own research. The gist is that you need to search by MVP Gold Guest in the upgrade fare type selection (left column of search results). Then look for F boxes that are colored blue, not white. Realistically, an expert flyer subscription will probably be needed if you really want to get good value.
Why?

James
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Old Sep 7, 19, 1:05 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
Why?

James
The ability to set alerts would seem to be the most obvious reason. The prior poster suggested that EF potentially adds to the value of GGUs... that is accomplished by the service allowing people to passively monitor for 'U' space.

I usually set dozens of alerts on EF in any given week. Many benefits, like free premium cabin upgrades, same day change, GGUs, etc., easier to obtain because you know about either seat or upgrade availability before most people who just occasionally check the AS website.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 2:26 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by metallo View Post
The ability to set alerts would seem to be the most obvious reason. The prior poster suggested that EF potentially adds to the value of GGUs... that is accomplished by the service allowing people to passively monitor for 'U' space.

I usually set dozens of alerts on EF in any given week. Many benefits, like free premium cabin upgrades, same day change, GGUs, etc., easier to obtain because you know about either seat or upgrade availability before most people who just occasionally check the AS website.
I understand what you are outlining. I use ExpertFlyer too but rarely as a 75K do I set alerts. I can select Premium on any non-Saver fare at booking and won't purchase a fare that I cannot immediately upgrade into.

Even ExpertFlyer isn't 100%. It is possible for U space to open and that U space to be spoken for without ExpertFlyer ever seeing it. ExpertFlyer doesn't check continuously for U space so whatever happens between the intervals of when it does check, ExpertFlyer would be none the wiser. I have also been alerted of U space availability that was no longer available. It wasn't available because in a manual check, I located the U space myself, called into AS and utilized a GGU. I received the alert sometime later, after I had already selected my F seat indicating a lag between finding U and sending the alert.

I look at ExpertFlyer as another tool in my toolbox. I can understand that it has some usefullness for a FF with status, but I don't see the need for some casual flyers that are gifted a GGU to have it. Hence my question; Why?

I find GGUs most valuable when used with a companion certificate. I don't mind paying the differential to fare bucket K when the companion fare is always $99. In essence, you are upfaring and upgrading two for the price of one.

When I am flying without my partner, I am just as happy to purchase an R fare and select a row 6 seat at booking. More often than not, I am upgraded anyway, even on awards and SDCs, so there is no real need to worry about U, no alert on a missed U, inaccurate alert on non-existant U or spending futher monies. The differential to a GGU eligible fare (could be higher than fare bucket K on any given flight) often does not justify the outlay as a 75K, especially on a shorter flight.

I have been upgraded on all but 2 of my AS flights this year. In the event that I am not upgraded, I am perfectly happy in Premium for any flight in the AS Network.

James
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Last edited by Flying for Fun; Sep 7, 19 at 2:32 am
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Old Sep 7, 19, 6:05 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
I understand what you are outlining. I use ExpertFlyer too but rarely as a 75K do I set alerts. I can select Premium on any non-Saver fare at booking and won't purchase a fare that I cannot immediately upgrade into.

Even ExpertFlyer isn't 100%. It is possible for U space to open and that U space to be spoken for without ExpertFlyer ever seeing it. ExpertFlyer doesn't check continuously for U space so whatever happens between the intervals of when it does check, ExpertFlyer would be none the wiser. I have also been alerted of U space availability that was no longer available. It wasn't available because in a manual check, I located the U space myself, called into AS and utilized a GGU. I received the alert sometime later, after I had already selected my F seat indicating a lag between finding U and sending the alert.

I look at ExpertFlyer as another tool in my toolbox. I can understand that it has some usefullness for a FF with status, but I don't see the need for some casual flyers that are gifted a GGU to have it. Hence my question; Why?

I find GGUs most valuable when used with a companion certificate. I don't mind paying the differential to fare bucket K when the companion fare is always $99. In essence, you are upfaring and upgrading two for the price of one.

When I am flying without my partner, I am just as happy to purchase an R fare and select a row 6 seat at booking. More often than not, I am upgraded anyway, even on awards and SDCs, so there is no real need to worry about U, no alert on a missed U, inaccurate alert on non-existant U or spending futher monies. The differential to a GGU eligible fare (could be higher than fare bucket K on any given flight) often does not justify the outlay as a 75K, especially on a shorter flight.

I have been upgraded on all but 2 of my AS flights this year. In the event that I am not upgraded, I am perfectly happy in Premium for any flight in the AS Network.

James

Family and I get a total of 16 per year (75K, gold, and gold). We get to use about 12 per year typically for 2 Mexico vacations that are planned 6-8 months in advance or SEA to LaX. Hard to use them midcon or transcontinental unless red eye (which we no longer do). Unfortunately , 4 gets wasted annually.

I considered “gifting” them to extended family and friends but many don’t travel as frequently and when they purchase their own tickets the “added” cost to use GGU seems unnecessary to them. Thus my wife explained to me that I was not giving them a gift but rather a “bill” for a higher cost ticket despite it being FC ticket. She reminded me that Most travelers are very content with main cabin and are very price sensitive.

I stopped “gifting” these as it also turned me into a travel agent frequently having to do the work myself.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 9:11 am
  #8  
 
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For those of you with excess GGU’s, consider posting them on Coupon Connection in the Giveaway. You are just giving a code so no sensitive info and it is perfectly legal if given away gratis.

Unlike you all, I use all of mine and as many gifted ones as I can get my hands on every year. I only book when U is available and a combination of EF, lots of flexibility, often travelling solo (easier to find one U) and a regular 5.5 hour flight where U almost always opens up means I use a lot of them.

I’m sure there are others like me who would love to take them off your hands and posting them on CC means they are going to people who know how to use them (so no TA duties) and would be very grateful.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 9:20 am
  #9  
 
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And I thought this was a thread where people were giving away GGU codes to FT members...
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Old Sep 7, 19, 10:49 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
For those of you with excess GGU’s, consider posting them on Coupon Connection in the Giveaway. You are just giving a code so no sensitive info and it is perfectly legal if given away gratis.

Unlike you all, I use all of mine and as many gifted ones as I can get my hands on every year. I only book when U is available and a combination of EF, lots of flexibility, often travelling solo (easier to find one U) and a regular 5.5 hour flight where U almost always opens up means I use a lot of them.

I’m sure there are others like me who would love to take them off your hands and posting them on CC means they are going to people who know how to use them (so no TA duties) and would be very grateful.
My partner and I usually use all of ours too. We burned through the last of 26 of them last year with a December trip to Hawaii.

This year we have flown a lot of partner flights and premium cabin awards. I will be in South America in October and we will be back in Australia and South Africa in November/December so I doubt we will get through them all this year. We still have 22 between us of which 8 are dated 2019. I believe they offer better value for MVPGs & MVPs especially traveling alone. I will consider the CC to gift a few so someone can some use some of them before they become a list in the expired column in my account.

James

Last edited by Flying for Fun; Sep 7, 19 at 11:29 am
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Old Sep 7, 19, 12:52 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
... I will consider the CC to gift a few so someone can some use some of them before they become a list in the expired column in my account.

James
Surely you must have a friend or two who could use them?
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Old Sep 7, 19, 5:48 pm
  #12  
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FYI FT no longer allows gifting of upgrades in general forums. This is the time of the year threads like this get locked down.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 9:33 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
FYI FT no longer allows gifting of upgrades in general forums. This is the time of the year threads like this get locked down.
Which is why I suggested......

Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
For those of you with excess GGU’s, consider posting them on Coupon Connection in the Giveaway thread. You are just giving a code so no sensitive info and it is perfectly legal if given away gratis.

Unlike you all, I use all of mine and as many gifted ones as I can get my hands on every year. I only book when U is available and a combination of EF, lots of flexibility, often travelling solo (easier to find one U) and a regular 5.5 hour flight where U almost always opens up means I use a lot of them.

I’m sure there are others like me who would love to take them off your hands and posting them on CC means they are going to people who know how to use them (so no TA duties) and would be very grateful.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 2:16 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
I don't see the need for some casual flyers that are gifted a GGU to have it. Hence my question; Why?
I said to get good value out of it, you (usually) need EF. This is because midcon and transcon routes rarely have U space at time of booking. To cash in a GGU on a longer flight, you need to be actively notified when U space opens so you can claim it quickly. The alternative is doing a dummy booking check everyday (still risky and not time efficient) or just not getting to use your GGU on a good route. Just because someone is a casual flyer doesn't mean they'll be opposed to spending $10 and 20 minutes of time to maximize the utility of thr gift. Sure, it's not for everyone, but it's not rocket science either.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 4:06 am
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Originally Posted by rtmf View Post


I said to get good value out of it, you (usually) need EF. This is because midcon and transcon routes rarely have U space at time of booking. To cash in a GGU on a longer flight, you need to be actively notified when U space opens so you can claim it quickly. The alternative is doing a dummy booking check everyday (still risky and not time efficient) or just not getting to use your GGU on a good route. Just because someone is a casual flyer doesn't mean they'll be opposed to spending $10 and 20 minutes of time to maximize the utility of thr gift. Sure, it's not for everyone, but it's not rocket science either.
There is no need to do a dummy booking to find U availability, a simple 15 second search is all it takes. That aside, the $10 fee is monthly, or $99.99 per annum, just so other readers know.

It took me less than 60 seconds to find U space on the 7:45 am departure from JFK to SFO on November 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th, all dates U3. During that same search I was also able to determine,
JFK-LAX 4:55p 8:25p Nov 1st 3U
JFK-SEA 7:10a 10:30a Nov 2nd, Nov 3rd 3U
JFK-SEA 7:30a 10:57a Nov 7th 2U
JFK-PDX 7:25a 10:40a Nov 2nd 3U.....

This was all obtained from a single JFK-SFO search! No only was I able to determine other routes that had U availability from JFK but I was able to determine how many U seats are available. All from the AS website. In all, 26 available U seats on 9 different transcon flights from JFK to 4 West Coast cities, in the first week of November, all from a single search.

Similarly, over the same week, there are options with U availability from LAX-ORD. Certainly not as plentiful, but not non-existent, and no non-stops from LAX. I was able, however, to see, in that same search, that SFO-ORD & SEA-ORD both had non-stop U availability. From LAX a connection would be necessary. There is also a connection, LAX-SEA-ORD, afternoon flight, where both segments have U space with a connection <= 4 hours (2h, 21m) so a single GGU would upgrade both segments.

As you say, it isn't rocket science.

As long as the giftee understands that ExpertFlyer isn't going to find U space on an AS flight 100% of the time, that if it does find U space, it may have been spoken for before acting on it or ever receiving the alert, the K fare can be up to 200% of the R fare, that U may never open up and doesn't mind the $10 monthly fee, then by all means, fill your boots.

On the above mentioned JFK-SFO flights, Main is $149, Eligible fare for GGU application $279.(185.25% of R fare)

James

Last edited by Flying for Fun; Sep 9, 19 at 4:52 am
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