Upgrade Policy For Families/Parties

Old Jul 17, 05, 8:54 am
  #1  
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Question Upgrade Policy For Families/Parties

Am booked and received email notification for confirmed upgrade on SNA/PHX today. Booked as a party with my wife as a Silver and son normal status.

I called in and discovered that my wife and son aren't upgraded and my seat has already been booked.

It's been my impression that HP will not break up a party for an upgrade, unless it is done at the airport with the affected parties' consent.

In all these years of flying, I've never had this happen to me. I've been upgraded by UA and they've automatically upgraded my wife and son, but never broken up the party.

What's the story with HP?
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Old Jul 17, 05, 12:29 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by KevAZ
. . . It's been my impression that HP will not break up a party for an upgrade, unless it is done at the airport with the affected parties' consent. . .
That's certainly the way it always has been -- if there is more than one person in the PNR, you don't get upgraded. (Supposedly if there are two of you and you are both elite members, they'll upgrade you both at the time of the lowest status upgrade window, but I've never tried it.) As one elite in a PNR with non-elites, once you've cleared the upgrade window you can get upgraded ahead of time by calling in, but they split the record into two to do it.

I've never heard of this happening. Perhaps it is a new system?
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Old Jul 17, 05, 1:28 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World
Supposedly if there are two of you and you are both elite members, they'll upgrade you both at the time of the lowest status upgrade window, but I've never tried it

The irony of this statement AZ is that for the July 4th weekend my g/f and I flew to Detroit. I purposely called HP a week before to split up our reservations and have two separate PNR's issued. This way I was pretty confident I would get my upgrade as a plat, and knowing it was highly unlikely she would get hers as a silver it wouldn't be a concern as I would just give her my seat and take her's in 11C.

Eau Contraire. My upgrade as a plat never cleared. So the night before we leave, I hop on her laptop to print us off boarding passes, not too concerned as the good thing is we are both together in Y and have good exit row seats.
So I print off mine first, then hers. As I was checking her in online, a message came up during seat selection. You know the "elite members are offered space available complimentary upgrades. Would you like to check and see if there is an upgrade available?". Well, of course I did already wondering why I didn't get this message 10 mins earlier and lo and behold there was an empty seat

Of course this was no big deal b/c it was my g/f. However, if it happened then, how many other times has this happened when a silver or gold snags an F seat b/c of some BS software glitch??

Oh wait a minute--my email just refreshed with a new email and look, it's from HP. Hold on a sec.....oh cool, it's the first class notification email for my PHX-DFW flight on Tuesday:

Here is the status of the request for your upcoming flight:

Confirmation: U******

Flight 551
Travel Date/Time Tue, Jul 19 at 02:53 PM
Depart PHOENIX, AZ (PHX)
Arrive DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX (DFW)
Status FIRST CLASS NOT AVAILABLE
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Old Jul 17, 05, 10:00 pm
  #4  
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Angry It got worse.......

First, enviroian - sorry to see that you got trapped by the DFW "beast." I frequently fly to DFW and have been upgraded once in the past three months. It has become a real bear of a lane segment, always overloaded and no upgrade opportunities.

My flight home today went downhill fast. My wife and son said to go ahead and take the upgrade because I fly so much. I am going out to BOS on AA in the morning (F thru DFW which is cheaper than HP direct) so I took them up on their offer. We arrived at SNA and there's a huge crowd at HP due to a cancellation and there are only two employees manning the check in. I use the kiosk for myself, then my wife uses it and uh oh, no son listed. After 10 minutes, I get one of the desk people to help me; during check in my wife moved up to the emergency row thinking our son would move immediately upon checking in to the empty seat by her. The desk agent books him in his original seat assignment though I specifically asked for the seat next to my wife. She runs down to general checkin and I follow her down. 5 mins later I get eye contact and I ask her if she can make the change so we can go through security and she can get back to helping the cancelled passengers. "One minute" is the answer. She goes in back. 10 minutes later the other employee (who has been a complete ***** to every customer and has removed her name tag) bypasses me to go back to the Elite kiosk. I walk back and wait by that passenger, all the while not mumbling, yelling or giving the nasty look (which is very unusual for me!) She wheels on her heels and says to me "you've been following me all over, what do YOU want?" I don't blow up at her (again, part of my new outlook on life) and I tell her that I just need to get my son's seat changed and we'll be all set. She leans across the counter and tells me "go take it to the gate, I don't have time for you!"

An hour later I get a gate agent to change seating, but he has a nasty attitude as well.

Either the SNA station manager needs to be fired immediately, or this is a harbringer of things to come with the USAir merger.

In any case, I've just dropped HP to #2 or #3 on my list of carriers. I have a sinking feeling that HP may be headed to the WC if they continue to allow this behavior from their employees - union or not.
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Old Jul 18, 05, 6:36 pm
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While we always enjoy getting an upgrade when there is room, it means that the airline was not able to sell the F seat and thus receive the profit that goes with that sale. The increasing unavailability of F seats for upgrades means that HP is selling those seats which bodes well for the airline. Other messages about very full flights are also encourging for the health of the airline. I would rather have an airline to upgrade on rather than find a place to spend my miles in a hurry on a sinking ship. Plentiful upgrades are not a rosy picture for the airline, though they may be for elites.
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Old Jul 19, 05, 9:15 pm
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Angry

Originally Posted by kanerf
The increasing unavailability of F seats for upgrades means that HP is selling those seats which bodes well for the airline. Other messages about very full flights are also encourging for the health of the airline. I would rather have an airline to upgrade on rather than find a place to spend my miles in a hurry on a sinking ship. Plentiful upgrades are not a rosy picture for the airline, though they may be for elites.
I am not griping about lack of F upgrades - I didn't want this latest upgrade! I wanted to stay with my family as a group in couch!!! DUH

Sorry to be so blunt, but you don't seem to grasp the issues that I posted about, but rather to toss off my concerns as b i t c h i n g.

I am willing and able to buy F seats, yet they aren't available on direct flights longer than an hour - HP is walking away from F revenue booked in the last week - I can prove it! Yet when I don't want to be upgraded on a short flight (SNA/PHX) because I am traveling with family I get yanked out of the group and tossed up front.

Too full flights when revenues are too low to make a profit is a sign of stupidity, not a sign of "good things to come." My concern is that HP is packing their flights with low revenue passengers who aren't adding to the bottom line (profitability) while making higher revenue (profitable) customers more uncomfortable. There is a happy medium - I can, and am willing to pay an extra $100/seat round trip not to get stuck on a flight full of first time fliers either while me and my family are flying on vacation or while I am flying on business. I am questioning whether HP is really close to their customers - I doubt it. They are going after Southwest customers. I don't fly Southwest for a reason.......

You seem to have a rosy view of HP - glad that you're happy. Hope that the middle seat you get stuck in is comfortable for you. Are you paying full business fare?

In the meantime, they have some real issues to work out. I've managed a global air express business, this isn't that much different. I question whether they are being pulled by some revenue analyst in Tempe or if their execs really have a vision. I don't see the vision when they are flying the airline into the ground full with underpaying, overweight customers on board.
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Old Jul 21, 05, 11:46 am
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SNA seems to be a problem child...

Originally Posted by KevAZ

We arrived at SNA and there's a huge crowd at HP due to a cancellation and there are only two employees manning the check in.
(rest of story snipped for space purposes)
Had quite a few problems as well with a flight SNA-MSP a couple of months ago. There was a mechanical on the PHX-SNA part, and the two agents couldn't process the passengers fast enough (not entirely their fault - they had a full flight to try to process onto later HP flights or other carriers). Furthermore, trying to call the 800-number was an exercise in futility, because only the gate agents were empowered to endorse our tickets over. We finally got ours endorsed over, but ended up waiting in SNA for 6 hours.

I had used this trip in part to see if HP would be a good alternative airline for me and company needs. After this experience, I'd have to say that's not the case.
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Old Jul 21, 05, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by speechguy3
Had quite a few problems as well with a flight SNA-MSP a couple of months ago. (snipped for space)
I had used this trip in part to see if HP would be a good alternative airline for me and company needs. After this experience, I'd have to say that's not the case.
My experience has been good overall up until the past three/four months when they started packing their planes with tourist fare people.

I've run into several glitches at SNA that I haven't experienced at any other station. I think HP needs to do a top to bottom customer service audit at SNA then make the required changes. SNA seems to be very poorly managed in comparison to other stations.
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Old Jul 21, 05, 1:27 pm
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Originally Posted by KevAZ
Too full flights when revenues are too low to make a profit is a sign of stupidity, not a sign of "good things to come." My concern is that HP is packing their flights with low revenue passengers who aren't adding to the bottom line (profitability) while making higher revenue (profitable) customers more uncomfortable. There is a happy medium - I can, and am willing to pay an extra $100/seat round trip not to get stuck on a flight full of first time fliers either while me and my family are flying on vacation or while I am flying on business. I am questioning whether HP is really close to their customers - I doubt it. They are going after Southwest customers. I don't fly Southwest for a reason.......

I have heard this comment a number of times recently. I am not seeing any of these cheap fares. I have been booking flights for myself (a Plat) as well as my family and friends for all sorts of routings and have yet to see anything that I would call a cheap fare. I am paying 50-100% more for all my flights this year over flights last year at the same time.

Where is everyone getting the information about these cheap flights? What routes are these on?

Jennifer
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Old Jul 21, 05, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by kanerf
While we always enjoy getting an upgrade when there is room, it means that the airline was not able to sell the F seat and thus receive the profit that goes with that sale. The increasing unavailability of F seats for upgrades means that HP is selling those seats which bodes well for the airline. Other messages about very full flights are also encourging for the health of the airline. I would rather have an airline to upgrade on rather than find a place to spend my miles in a hurry on a sinking ship. Plentiful upgrades are not a rosy picture for the airline, though they may be for elites.

As the OP stated, he was not bringing up this issue.

Others have brought up this issue, but if you really read what they are saying the reason they are not happy is because what elites were told when the new lower F prices were announced.

We were told it would not affect us and our upgrades much and they would watch the numbers to ensure this. They continue to tell us that things have not changed, when clearly they have.

We (elites) just want what they promised us. Is they wish to change that promise, then do it, but don't tell us we are still getting our upgrades when we are sitting in the back of the plane.

Yes, we want to see the airline do well. Yes, we want the airline to tell us the truth and follow through on their promises. I don't think these two things are mutually exclusive.

Jennifer
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