Being a Plat at HP Sucks

Old Jun 29, 05, 3:47 pm
  #1  
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Thumbs down Being a Plat at HP Sucks

F sold out for tpa-phx tomorrow
F sold out for phx-dtw Friday.

I know, I know, people are going to criticize me and tell me that HP is making money of these seats, and yes, Friday is Holiday weekend but the bottom line is it's alienating me and other Plats, I was 100% last year as a plat (even on similiar trans cons), and perhaps if HP upped the ante a little bit and offered their most frequent fliers a bone like let's see....hmm....how about Plats get upgraded 5 days out (or 7 at US!) rather than a horrible 3 day, which pales in comparison to any other elite program out there.

I'm sure the other plats on here would be and/or are just as frustrated.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian
F sold out for tpa-phx tomorrow
F sold out for phx-dtw Friday.

I know, I know, people are going to criticize me and tell me that HP is making money of these seats, and yes, Friday is Holiday weekend but the bottom line is it's alienating me and other Plats, I was 100% last year as a plat (even on similiar trans cons), and perhaps if HP upped the ante a little bit and offered their most frequent fliers a bone like let's see....hmm....how about Plats get upgraded 5 days out (or 7 at US!) rather than a horrible 3 day, which pales in comparison to any other elite program out there.

I'm sure the other plats on here would be and/or are just as frustrated.
What is your normal upgrade average? As you said, this is a holiday weekend--flights are bound to be very, very full. Still, there's only one way to be sure of getting an F seat: buy one!
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Old Jun 29, 05, 4:24 pm
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Since moving some of my business over to America West a couple of months ago, I'm 12 for 12 in the upgrade department as a Gold.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 4:34 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian
F sold out for tpa-phx tomorrow
F sold out for phx-dtw Friday.
. . .I'm sure the other plats on here would be and/or are just as frustrated.
In recent months I have been shocked at the number of flights that have zero upgrade availability when the Platinum upgrade window rolls around. Many of my flights have either been sold out or they're holding the remaining seats for sale, to be released if not sold at some magical moment prior to departure.

On a recent flight from ORD to PHX I was standing in the cattle line waiting to board next to two gold members who were seated in first. (I was in coach.) I asked them if they bought F or were upgraded. They said that they were upgraded and that they kept calling until the last two seats being held "for sale" became available and then snagged them when they opened up the day before departure. As a Plat, this is extremely frustrating. If they want to hold back seats to sell, fine, but when they release them, they should go to the highest ranking elite members waiting to be upgraded. We shouldn't have to call them every hour to see if someone has released seats.

No question about it, upgrade-wise, being a Plat on HP is nothing like it used to be. Given how much more often I'm experiencing that ridiculously tight seat pitch on HP, UA's Econ. Plus or American's MRTC is looking better and better.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 4:59 pm
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American doesn't have More Room Throughout Coach any longer. As for TED, he may have Economy Plus, but he doesn't have First Class.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 9:59 pm
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I'm looking forward to the expanded routes. US is far too weak in the west.

Last edited by Spiff; Jun 30, 05 at 9:40 am Reason: Did not mean to inflame.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 10:32 pm
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If it sucks so bad, why'd you spend so much time/money to get Platinum?

Wouldn't you be better off at WN, where every passenger is a Platinum Elite member?
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Old Jun 29, 05, 11:09 pm
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I'm with you Enviroian. I'm plat and have been plat or equivalent on Delta and NW over the years. I still can't get over how people could vote Flight Fund as best elite program. It must be that they have no other elite program experience....
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Old Jun 30, 05, 12:24 am
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Originally Posted by ExtrAAordinaire
What is your normal upgrade average? As you said, this is a holiday weekend--flights are bound to be very, very full. Still, there's only one way to be sure of getting an F seat: buy one!

About 90%. Sure I get upgraded on my bi-weekly runs to IAH, but once in a while when I fly a > 3 hour flight for their tri-colored tortellini it is nice to get a seat up front.


Buy one? yes, your right--that would be the only logical way to secure a F seat. However, I feel, IMHO, that someone like me who buys a coach seat every week on HP should be privvy to the elite benefits offered and knowing that if I was similarly plat/1K/etc on any other airline I'd probably be upfront tomorrow. Yes, I am very happy that HP takes me non stop to 95% of my destinations, but the bottom line is their elite program blows. That is my opinion, and I'm sure folks like AZ and others can appreciate my $0.02 here.
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Old Jun 30, 05, 6:43 am
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Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World
On a recent flight from ORD to PHX I was standing in the cattle line waiting to board next to two gold members who were seated in first. (I was in coach.) I asked them if they bought F or were upgraded. They said that they were upgraded and that they kept calling until the last two seats being held "for sale" became available and then snagged them when they opened up the day before departure. As a Plat, this is extremely frustrating. If they want to hold back seats to sell, fine, but when they release them, they should go to the highest ranking elite members waiting to be upgraded. We shouldn't have to call them every hour to see if someone has released seats.
This is really the thing that bugs me. I'm all for them selling them if they can, but if they release them, don't let them sit there until someone calls or midnight hits to run their little upgrade program. If you release a seat from holding to sell the first thing that should be done is run the seat so the next elite in line gets it.

Lance
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Old Jun 30, 05, 6:44 am
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since HP has about 70% of the Phoenix market wrapped up its going to be tight. Lots of competition from the local travelers in the home base.....bottom line - too many platinums in the market.
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Old Jun 30, 05, 9:26 am
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Originally Posted by WebTraveler
since HP has about 70% of the Phoenix market wrapped up its going to be tight. Lots of competition from the local travelers in the home base.....bottom line - too many platinums in the market.
If only that were the problem. For me, at least it's not. With well over 100K EQM's in the prior 12 months, I know from experience that I'm one of the very first to get upgraded on any flight. The issue is not competition from other Plats -- it's the discounted seats that are sold, combined with the increasing number that HP now holds back for sale.

I've got another such situation this weekend. Sunday mid-day flight on a holiday weekend. Prior to the Platinum upgrade window even opening, 10 of 12 seats in F were gone. The remaining two are being held "for sale." At some point they will be released and the first person to call in will hit the jackpot. That could be a Silver member with 25K miles over the past 12 months. Meanwhile a high margin Plat with five times that number of miles walks past him to the back of the plane. It happened last week. It will happen this week. It never used to happen.

Several people will tell you that many of those people booked into F cashed in 20K miles to upgrade and get that seat. That's highly unlikely, as the number of seats available for mileage upgrade have also been tightly restricted. Just yesterday I booked a round-trip in October to DFW to connect with BA. Two passengers. Knowing that I don't want to come off a long BA Club World flight to play the upgrade lottery in a station like DFW, where I always lose, I wanted to use miles to confirm it. "I'm sorry, Mr. AZ Travels, we only have one seat left for mileage upgrade."

"Wow," I said. "That flight is so far out. How many seats are already taken?" "Ummm. . . none." Not a single person yet booked in F. One seat is all that is allowed for advance mileage upgrade. So you can't tell me that these full F cabins are filled with people burning miles.

I'm not quite in the camp that "Being a Plat at HP Sucks," but I am frustrated and, as a result, my loyalty is diminishing. HP promised they would manage this discounted F program carefully in order to preserve the upgrade benefits for elite members. They absoutely are not doing it. Even if they are going to sell every seat they can, which I can understand given the current profitability situation, they should at least change their process just enough to make sure that those seats that are available go to the highest level elite members first. Or, that those highest level members have an increased ability to get a seat if they're willing to use miles to confirm it.

Last edited by AZ Travels the World; Jun 30, 05 at 9:57 am Reason: fix typo
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Old Jun 30, 05, 11:03 am
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When the discounted F program was initiated, I wrote a letter to FF expressing my concerns about it ultimately alienating their most loyal, frequent customers. It sounds like this is exactly whatís happening.

If more FF Elites actually wrote in to express some of the sentiments expressed here, HP might actually listen!

Iím curious, how many others have written to HP about this issue??

Last edited by Tedaz8; Jun 30, 05 at 2:36 pm
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Old Jun 30, 05, 11:38 am
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I personally am not against the selling of F seats discounted or not. They make more money on those seats, it's better for our airline. I just want a fair shake at the seats when they become available and not have it be a lottery system by whoever happens to call in first gets the seat. I've been on both sides of the equation too. Back when I was silver last year I called up and was upgraded at that magic time and I knew a plat on the plane that had to walk by me and sit in Y. I've also been a plat that lost out on F call in lottery and walked past a buddy that got his upgrade as gold by calling in. That's the unfair part about it. I've not been doing this for too long but I have 96K EQM in the past 12 consecutive months so I think i'm up there with alot of plats and usually don't have too much competition for some of the routes I'm on but all I want is fairness in the process.

Lance
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Old Jun 30, 05, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Tedaz8
When the discounted F program was initiated, I wrote a letter to FF expressing my concerns about it ultimately alienating their most loyal, frequent customers. It sounds like this is exactly whatís happening.

If more FF Elites actually wrote in to express some of the sentiments expressed here, HP might actually listen!

Iím curious, how many others have written to HP about this issue??
I feel your frustration. I used to get upgraded at least 8 out of ten times on SNA/LAS. I was upgraded today and this is the first time is 8 flights! I too have seen others upgraded with less miles. This past Monday, they pulled two coach folks and gave them the two F seats that are apparently held till the last minute.

I have called and discussed this with AWA. I agree also that if enough loyal customers call we might get some attention.

I remember the letter sent to elites regarding the new upgrade policy awhile back but I don't believe it is working the way they implied.

On another note, when I checked in this AM (I had to call for asistance. Couldn't print the boarding pass with the web site) a screen notified me that F was available and would I like to be upgraded? Heck, I thought this was supposed to be automatic and as pointed out elsewhere, a day or so before the flight. What's up with that?
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