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[Rant] What Is the Point of (Gold) Guest Upgrades (GGU)?

[Rant] What Is the Point of (Gold) Guest Upgrades (GGU)?

Old Jul 17, 21, 11:39 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AS MVP Gold 75K, DL Platinum, UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium + LT Silver, Hertz PC
Posts: 6,412
I usually give away my GGUs to FTers. I have had good CPU (complementary upgrade) success over the years on AS routes I'd normally fly, and personally, I can't justify spending multiples of the lowest Y cabin fare bucket (at the time of ticketing) when I would be upgraded to F for free anyway.

So, yes, I would agree with the general premise of the thread topic. This is not a perk to me but others can enjoy them on my behalf as long as they can find good use.
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Old Jul 18, 21, 1:08 am
  #32  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: On a plane or a beach
Programs: Yes
Posts: 2,155
I just applied a GGU to a JFK SFO flight.👌🏻
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Old Jul 18, 21, 8:45 am
  #33  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: LAX/NYC
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Originally Posted by anteater View Post
I just applied a GGU to a JFK SFO flight.👌🏻
How far out from departure?
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Old Jul 18, 21, 9:38 am
  #34  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: On a plane or a beach
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Originally Posted by BR787 View Post
How far out from departure?
T-22. At that time, FC was at 6 and UG list was at 8. I saw U space opened up and snagged it before the UG processor ran. In the morning, FC is now at 0 and the UG list is at 7.

When the ticket was purchased, the price of a GGU eligible fare was the slowest available fare bucket. No U space opened up from about T - 30 days until now.

I'd count this one as a win.

edit: flight went out full with 8 pax on the UG list, no one else cleared. 🤙🏻

Last edited by anteater; Jul 18, 21 at 4:35 pm
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Old Jul 18, 21, 10:01 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: PDX, OGG or between the two
Programs: AS 100K
Posts: 1,962
To the point of this thread..... I'm wondering why AS doesn't make GGU certificates available for a Premium Class upgrade? They would be far more useful and being able to bump a family member or friend into some more legroom and a couple free beers is a nice perk.
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Old Jul 24, 21, 8:20 am
  #36  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: SEA
Programs: Alaska Million Mile Flyer, Marriott Lifetime Titanium Elite
Posts: 3,125
Biggest challenge I've had recently with GGUs, once finding a way to apply them, is getting them back after having to cancel a flight.

I was on the phone for nearly a half-hour with a CSR who had to try two different Customer Care reps to redeposit two GGUs into my account. The first one apparently ranted a bit to the CSR about how a customer should only apply a GGU if they were absolutely certain they were going to take a flight, it was unfair to other passengers to use a GGU if they didn't take it, and refused my request to redeposit both, saying they'd redeposit one of the two GGUs as a "one-time" goodwill gesture. (I had to cancel the fights due to a change at the event I traveling to.)

Keep in mind this wasn't the CSR saying all this. The CSR was relaying to me what the Customer Care rep said.

I politely noted that the text on GGU complimentary upgrade rules and on the "Account" GGU redemption webpage both had similar language, "Once a MVP Gold guest upgrade is applied to a reservation, no flight changes are allowed. Only MVP Gold members may contact customer care by phone or [email protected] for a replacement code."

I was that MVP Gold member, and it was for a flight for me, not for someone I'd given the GGU to.

The CSR kindly offered (I didn't have to ask) to contact another Customer Care rep who apparently understood and did the redeposit. But good grief. How awkward for the CSR, and what a time suck for me. You'd think by now these rules were understand internally.

Kudos to the CSR for the patience and retrying.
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Old Jul 24, 21, 10:24 am
  #37  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: On a plane or a beach
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Originally Posted by Seattlenerd View Post
Biggest challenge I've had recently with GGUs, once finding a way to apply them, is getting them back after having to cancel a flight.

I was on the phone for nearly a half-hour with a CSR who had to try two different Customer Care reps to redeposit two GGUs into my account. The first one apparently ranted a bit to the CSR about how a customer should only apply a GGU if they were absolutely certain they were going to take a flight, it was unfair to other passengers to use a GGU if they didn't take it, and refused my request to redeposit both, saying they'd redeposit one of the two GGUs as a "one-time" goodwill gesture. (I had to cancel the fights due to a change at the event I traveling to.)

Keep in mind this wasn't the CSR saying all this. The CSR was relaying to me what the Customer Care rep said.

I politely noted that the text on GGU complimentary upgrade rules and on the "Account" GGU redemption webpage both had similar language, "Once a MVP Gold guest upgrade is applied to a reservation, no flight changes are allowed. Only MVP Gold members may contact customer care by phone or [email protected] for a replacement code."

I was that MVP Gold member, and it was for a flight for me, not for someone I'd given the GGU to.

The CSR kindly offered (I didn't have to ask) to contact another Customer Care rep who apparently understood and did the redeposit. But good grief. How awkward for the CSR, and what a time suck for me. You'd think by now these rules were understand internally.

Kudos to the CSR for the patience and retrying.
You should report that experience to Customer Care so AS can retrain that agent. 👌🏻
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Old Jul 24, 21, 2:21 pm
  #38  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: PDX
Programs: AS 75K, BW Plat, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,910
Originally Posted by Seattlenerd View Post
Biggest challenge I've had recently with GGUs, once finding a way to apply them, is getting them back after having to cancel a flight.

I was on the phone for nearly a half-hour with a CSR who had to try two different Customer Care reps to redeposit two GGUs into my account. The first one apparently ranted a bit to the CSR about how a customer should only apply a GGU if they were absolutely certain they were going to take a flight, it was unfair to other passengers to use a GGU if they didn't take it, and refused my request to redeposit both, saying they'd redeposit one of the two GGUs as a "one-time" goodwill gesture. (I had to cancel the fights due to a change at the event I traveling to.)

Keep in mind this wasn't the CSR saying all this. The CSR was relaying to me what the Customer Care rep said.

I politely noted that the text on GGU complimentary upgrade rules and on the "Account" GGU redemption webpage both had similar language, "Once a MVP Gold guest upgrade is applied to a reservation, no flight changes are allowed. Only MVP Gold members may contact customer care by phone or [email protected] for a replacement code."

I was that MVP Gold member, and it was for a flight for me, not for someone I'd given the GGU to.

The CSR kindly offered (I didn't have to ask) to contact another Customer Care rep who apparently understood and did the redeposit. But good grief. How awkward for the CSR, and what a time suck for me. You'd think by now these rules were understand internally.

Kudos to the CSR for the patience and retrying.
I don't ever ask for redeposits of GGUs over the phone...I always just drop an email to customer care with my request and confirmation numbers and it's always taken care of with no hassle and no questions asked. I prefer to use email or chat as much as possible rather than sitting on hold or having to deal with some unexpected hassle.
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Old Jul 25, 21, 8:48 am
  #39  
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I was able to confirm GGU for two pax on SFO-PHX without having to upfare. Saved $250 per ticket.
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Old Aug 13, 21, 11:34 am
  #40  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP Gold 100K
Posts: 2,174
Just used a GGU to grab the last window seat in F on a mid-September ORD-SEA flight. $20 extra for an eligible fare vs. $220 to upgrade to paid F.
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Old Aug 13, 21, 3:31 pm
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: ANC
Programs: Alyeska Choice Pass, AS MVP Gold 100K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 404
Availability opened up for me to apply GGU for 2 seats in January: ANC-SEA-PIT. When I booked the flights I was able to get upgrades for the SEA-PIT leg but when I checked today there was much more GGU opportunity so now both legs are confirmed. Checking for other potential trips now.
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Old Aug 13, 21, 11:36 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: HNL
Programs: AS MVPG, HA Plat
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Originally Posted by FlyerDigits View Post
Availability opened up for me to apply GGU for 2 seats in January: ANC-SEA-PIT. When I booked the flights I was able to get upgrades for the SEA-PIT leg but when I checked today there was much more GGU opportunity so now both legs are confirmed. Checking for other potential trips now.
Expert Flyer helps a lot when youre hoping for U space to open up.
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Old Sep 18, 21, 6:35 pm
  #43  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: (PHL) Cape May, NJ
Programs: MVP Gold 75K, Board Room, Marriott Gold, Hertz Gold
Posts: 2,439
So I re-qualified for gold after a many year break a while back. Back in the day, I remember being able to use GGU's for any cheapo fare in any class, as long as U was available.

Fast forward to today...so let me get this straight...a GGU basically requires you to use more expensive upgradable fares? Whats the point?

Also, the kind of stuff I see on Alaska is downright nutty in terms of automatic upgrades:

MVP Gold Upgrade Selected:

GGU selected:


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Old Sep 18, 21, 8:18 pm
  #44  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: HNL
Programs: AS MVPG, HA Plat
Posts: 1,016
On a flight with first available cheap, the GGU is saving you $50. Not a great use of GGU but 50 bucks is still 50 bucks.

Edited to add: but when first is that cheap, my inclination would be either to buy first or roll the dice on a free upgrade and save the GGU for a better opportunity.
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Old Sep 18, 21, 8:43 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Programs: AS Million Miler, Marriott Lifetime Platinum, Nexus / Global Entry
Posts: 745
I should buy a lotto ticket. Used a companion fare *and* four GGUs for a SEA-HNL trip.
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