More Upgrade Woes

Old Jul 25, 05, 10:20 pm
  #1  
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More Upgrade Woes

So many of you remember my thread from four months ago when I was denied an upgrade on a PHX-LAS flight in favor of a uniformed captain who took the last F seat. The experiance came close to repeating itself this weekend and I shall tell you the tail.

I arrived at the airport for the 6:16 PM PHX-LAS (HP 341) flight as part of my PHX-LAS-SMF trip and I knew full well First was sold out. Even so I used the machine to put myself on the upgrade list. Once at the gate I was told First was full to board with coach even though I was second on the list. Sitting with me in the exit row was another person on the upgrade list. About five minutes to departure time we noticed there were two empty seats in First Class and we mentioned this to the flight attendant. She went up to the gate agent who decided he wanted an on time departure and put two standbys there. Ironically we didn't have an on time departure. This irks me, two Elites denied upgrades, who do I have to bribe to get an upgrade on a PHX-LAS segment?

An added comment I want to make here is that on Sunday I called HP to see if my upgrade had cleared and was told that there was space and I was put into 1A. This is the fifth upgrade I've had this year, only one has cleared automatically online when there was space. However, at the airport the next day, I noticed a Gold head up to the service counter and ask if First had checked in full. He was told it had and to board with his coach seat. Now, as much as I enjoyed my First Class seat, I had no right to be in it over him, I was a bit miffed I'd stolen a Gold's seat due to the faulty upgrade system.
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Old Jul 25, 05, 11:01 pm
  #2  
 
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While I've been Silver Elite for most of the past 5 years, it seems the upgrade system this year is particularly bad. In the past, I could always count on computer upgrades the night prior to departure.

This year on separate two occasions (OCA-PHX, PDX-PHX), I went to use web check-in and was offered an upgrade for a fee, rather than complimentary. Both times I called a TA and got the upgrade and was then able to use we check-in. Further, both times I got strange answers from the TA about why I was prompted to pay for an upgrade that was supposed to be complimentary.

Also, on several occasions, I received an email after midnight that first class was not available but was able to secure an upgrade upon using web check-in at home prior to departing to the airport. While this is plausible due to last minute cancellations and such, the frequency with which this is occuring this year is higher than the past.

Has anyone else noted these type of "quirks" of late?

It seems to me that America West has "upgraded" their upgrade software this year, as it is definitely not as reliable as it once was.
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Old Jul 26, 05, 3:41 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My experience on upgrading on HP is pretty good this year. I think they change their system so that it is based on a rolling 12-month activities and status. I flew about 25k miles on them and I was upgraded automatically as a Silver 24 hours before departure, on all 8 flight segments.

Last year, I still need to ask them over the phone or at check-in counter.
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Old Jul 26, 05, 7:40 am
  #4  
 
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I just flew PHL-LAS last week and didn't get told of the upgrade until checking in on the outbound and had to call on the morning of the return to get that upgrade. As it turned out, the seat next to me remained empty for the return flight.
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Old Jul 26, 05, 9:01 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by CMK10
So many of you remember my thread from four months ago when I was denied an upgrade on a PHX-LAS flight in favor of a uniformed captain who took the last F seat. The experiance came close to repeating itself this weekend and I shall tell you the tail.

I arrived at the airport for the 6:16 PM PHX-LAS (HP 341) flight as part of my PHX-LAS-SMF trip and I knew full well First was sold out. Even so I used the machine to put myself on the upgrade list. Once at the gate I was told First was full to board with coach even though I was second on the list. Sitting with me in the exit row was another person on the upgrade list. About five minutes to departure time we noticed there were two empty seats in First Class and we mentioned this to the flight attendant. She went up to the gate agent who decided he wanted an on time departure and put two standbys there. Ironically we didn't have an on time departure. This irks me, two Elites denied upgrades, who do I have to bribe to get an upgrade on a PHX-LAS segment?

An added comment I want to make here is that on Sunday I called HP to see if my upgrade had cleared and was told that there was space and I was put into 1A. This is the fifth upgrade I've had this year, only one has cleared automatically online when there was space. However, at the airport the next day, I noticed a Gold head up to the service counter and ask if First had checked in full. He was told it had and to board with his coach seat. Now, as much as I enjoyed my First Class seat, I had no right to be in it over him, I was a bit miffed I'd stolen a Gold's seat due to the faulty upgrade system.
They put two standby passengers waiting in the gate area into first class? Could it have been these two pax where not only elites, but gold or plat, thus the reason they snagged it and not you?

Either way I agree it's very frustrating this year. It should be interesting to see what happens once the merger's frequent flier programs are merged/update/etc.
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Old Jul 26, 05, 7:44 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Programs: HP, UA, SW
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Upgrade "Quirks"

Originally Posted by transporter99
While I've been Silver Elite for most of the past 5 years, it seems the upgrade system this year is particularly bad. In the past, I could always count on computer upgrades the night prior to departure.

This year on separate two occasions (OCA-PHX, PDX-PHX), I went to use web check-in and was offered an upgrade for a fee, rather than complimentary. Both times I called a TA and got the upgrade and was then able to use we check-in. Further, both times I got strange answers from the TA about why I was prompted to pay for an upgrade that was supposed to be complimentary.

Also, on several occasions, I received an email after midnight that first class was not available but was able to secure an upgrade upon using web check-in at home prior to departing to the airport. While this is plausible due to last minute cancellations and such, the frequency with which this is occuring this year is higher than the past.

Has anyone else noted these type of "quirks" of late?

It seems to me that America West has "upgraded" their upgrade software this year, as it is definitely not as reliable as it once was.
I too have experienced irregularities with upgrades recently. More since the upgrade to their web site. Lets hope the bugs will be worked out soon. I went through a 6 week period without one single upgrade when I used to get at least 8 or 9 out of ten flights upgraded. As someone else mentioned on this thread, they were offered on the web the option of a paid upgrade. I called the elite phone number about this. I mentioned that I thought that if a F seat was available I was supposed to get it for free. The gentleman stated that was correct and gave me the upgrade. He also mentioned that I was not "on the list" for upgrades. He stated that when I make my next online reservation to call and make sure I was "on the list" for an upgrade. That has been several RT's ago and I am getting about 50 % upgrades now. Maybe there is something to this "list".
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Old Jul 27, 05, 2:52 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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I am PLT and find problems with the upgrade system.

Very rarely does the upgrade go through automatically (and when it does, I have never gotten the email notification).

Generally, I call the morning after it should have cleared and the agent does it manually
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Old Aug 6, 05, 12:21 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Originally Posted by FlyAO2
I am PLT and find problems with the upgrade system.

Very rarely does the upgrade go through automatically (and when it does, I have never gotten the email notification).

Generally, I call the morning after it should have cleared and the agent does it manually
well, hopefully they will keep the Chairman's desk after the merger. They are really good about upgrades and getting you in First without too many hassles (on domestic and carib). Problems can pop up when you are with a companion--on US, your companion gets your status for the upgrade (7 days out for Chairmans). The only problem that usually occurs is when the upgrade doesn't clear prior to the day before checkin and you have to checkin online. Usually though, pretty hassle free I think. They only problems Chairman's usually have is when the 757 is used (LAS, MCO, Aruba) where there are only 8 FC seats and 2 are usually taken up by Air Marshalls.
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Old Aug 6, 05, 2:56 pm
  #9  
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comments from pax next to me

I'm sitting here at bravo 4 at DTW waiting for my delayed flight to get me back home. I just heard the gent next to me tell the person he was talking to "well the gate agent upgraded me to first class so I could get off the plane quicker to make my connection".

Shall I assume there are/were empty seats unclaimed by any elites prior to an g/a doing this? Lucky him I suppose.
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