Selling upgrades instead of giving to Elites?

Old Aug 23, 2005, 3:32 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Colin
Free upgrades for elites is the problem. A stupid policy. The benefit of elite status should be that you go to the top of the list of people waiting to pay a $150 increment to sit in first class. The elite benefit is still quite significant - the more-likely opportunity to sit in first class for the price of a deep discount coach plus $150.

HP should never have created an elite benefit that has the opportunity cost of reduced revenue. A policy that should be changed upon US aquisition.
From a cost-benefit analysis, Colin, you are absolutely correct!

When I travel on Amtrak, if I pay for coach, I expect to sit in coach (not business).

When I buy a ticket for travel on a shuttle van to the airport, I expect to sit in a van (not a limo with free beverages).

When I purchase an airline ticket, somehow I expect to get an upgrade to a class that I didn't purchase?!? I expect the airline to NOT try to sell the seat and just give it away to me?!? The airlines are crazy to have the upgrade policy (again from strictly the business perspective).

Clearly, HP started this policy when they were aligned with Continental. Hopefully, they will begin to rationalize these policies. HP must have a profit generating strategy.
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Old Aug 23, 2005, 5:12 pm
  #17  
 
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Itís not all that stupid of a policy when you get them regularly and spend a lot of $$$ on them. Without the elite upgrade, HP becomes little more than WN with assigned seats.

The opportunity cost isn't lost. The 11C exit row aisle an Elite pas leaves to move to 2B for free can now be offered to another pas in 20B. That 20B seat can now be sold to a last minute business pas for an astronomical amount, likely for more than $150 depending on the route.

The complaint that started this thread is a poor business practice. Don't advertise the upgrades as a competitive advantage when the likelihood of receiving them is significantly diminished by other policies.
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Old Aug 23, 2005, 9:41 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by Phobank
The opportunity cost isn't lost. The 11C exit row aisle an Elite pas leaves to move to 2B for free can now be offered to another pas in 20B. That 20B seat can now be sold to a last minute business pas for an astronomical amount, likely for more than $150 depending on the route.
This response is nonsensical. The elite on a discount economy fare can stay in Y and HP can sell the available F seat to the last minute business passenger for even more than a coach seat.

F class on an airplance is a valuable product. HP should not give it away for free.

The benefit for the elite passenger would still be huge if HP charged $150 for an elite upgrade PHX-IAD (for instance). That elite could buy a $400 roundtrip ticket, upgrade to first for $300 roundtrip, and fly roundtrip for 9 total flying hours in reasonable comfort for only $700. The elite benefit is significant because you would go to the top of the upgrade list and therefore, in a pay-for-upgrade system, would have a higher degree of certainty of actually obtaining the upgrade (vs. the current free upgrade scheme). Seems a far better system, both for HP and the passenger. More money for HP. More certainty for the passenger.

Want even more certainty that you will avoid the dreaded coach seat? Buy the $1200 Y-UP fare.

$400 coach seat, $700 likely-upgraded first class seat, $1200 confirmed first class seat.

Does anyone think he really deserves a first class seat on a $200 WN-fare match? Ridiculous.

Last edited by Colin; Aug 23, 2005 at 10:39 pm
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Old Aug 23, 2005, 10:28 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Colin
This response is nonsensical. The elite on a discount economy fare can stay in Y and HP can sell the available F seat to the last minute business passenger for even more than a coach seat.

F class on an airplance is a valuable product. HP should not give it away for free.

The benefit for the elite passenger would still be huge if HP charged $150 for an elite upgrade PHX-IAD (for instance). That elite could buy a $400 roundtrip ticket, upgrade to first for $300 roundtrip, and fly roundtrip for 9 total flying hours in reasonable comfort for only $700. The elite benefit is significant because you would go to the top of the upgrade list and therefore, in a pay-for-upgrade system, would have a higher degree of certainty of actually obtaining the upgrade (vs. the current free upgrade scheme). Seems a far better system, both for HP and the passenger. More money for HP. More certainty for the passenger.

Want even more certainty that you will avoid the dreaded coach seat? Buy the $1200 Y-UP fare.

$400 coach seat, $700 likely-upgraded first class seat, $1200 confirmed first class seat.

Does anyone think he really deserves a flight class seat on a $200 WN-fare match? Ridiculous.
Well sorry, I politely disagree. If all the airlines sided and in one quick move eliminated the upgrade benefits whether it be complimentary space available upgrades (DL,NW,CO,HP,US, or AA for EXP) or 500 mile coupons for United Premiers that's one thing. As a weekly flyer in a very competitive industry I love the benefit. If HP nixed it I (and probably a large chunk of other frequent business travelers) would leave HP in a heartbeat for another carrier who is more than willing to upgrade me, or at least in the confines I expect in this highly competitive industry. It's business travelers like us that help grandma get from LAX to BOS for $199. Our frequent weekly spend with airlines help lower costs for your traveler that spends 1 week online looking for a $199 transcon three months from now.

My $0.02
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Old Aug 24, 2005, 1:50 am
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by Colin
This response is nonsensical. The elite on a discount economy fare can stay in Y and HP can sell the available F seat to the last minute business passenger for even more than a coach seat.

F class on an airplance is a valuable product. HP should not give it away for free.

The benefit for the elite passenger would still be huge if HP charged $150 for an elite upgrade PHX-IAD (for instance). That elite could buy a $400 roundtrip ticket, upgrade to first for $300 roundtrip, and fly roundtrip for 9 total flying hours in reasonable comfort for only $700. The elite benefit is significant because you would go to the top of the upgrade list and therefore, in a pay-for-upgrade system, would have a higher degree of certainty of actually obtaining the upgrade (vs. the current free upgrade scheme). Seems a far better system, both for HP and the passenger. More money for HP. More certainty for the passenger.

Want even more certainty that you will avoid the dreaded coach seat? Buy the $1200 Y-UP fare.

$400 coach seat, $700 likely-upgraded first class seat, $1200 confirmed first class seat.

Does anyone think he really deserves a first class seat on a $200 WN-fare match? Ridiculous.
Well I can't buy a $1200 Y-UP fare and get upgraded because you just eliminated free upgrades. Or are you talking about only free upgrades to elites and not the general public? I'd have to pay for F to get F or pay the $150. I don't think I've flown a $200 fare since I started flying for business. My fares range in the $400-$1200 for strictly coach. I'd drop HP if they got rido the benefit. It's a special reward for showing loyalty to the airline. My company will only pay for the cheapest flight and will not allow F to be purchased. I've actually paid more for coach than a F seat would have been more than once. I'm grateful for the benefit and if HP values $150 more from me more than the money I spend on the airline flying every week then I'll have to give my business to someone else...if all airlines quit doing it, I certainly would fight flying more and just struggle with working out of my home. And while we're getting rid of F upgrades you might as well get rid of those FF miles that they give out too. I mean those seats go out for free when you could be selling them. It's a stupid benefit that we don't need and cost the airlines money by giving a free seat away that they could possibly have sold. Or only allow you to use FF miles on the day of departure if the seat is still empty...yeah that's the ticket...I mean Super Shuttle doesn't give me a free trip to the airport after I take 10 trips to the airport....

Lance

Edited to add further clarification.

Last edited by Robertsonland; Aug 24, 2005 at 5:02 am
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Old Aug 24, 2005, 8:51 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by Colin
This response is nonsensical. ... Does anyone think he really deserves a first class seat on a $200 WN-fare match? Ridiculous.
Not discount or restricted fares. An elite traveler, paying $500 more for unrestricted tickets on transcon flights every 2 weeks, should be offered a F seat rather than having it sold for $150. So there we can agree -- change it to a tiered system based on travel history and fare paid.

HP has used the Freddie awards and the loose upgrade rules in advertising to compete with other carriers. Don't publish there are "no limits to the number of free upgrades" and then rarely have one even for the Plat pas. It's the equivalent of a store advertising free microwaves with another purchase but having only 2 in stock.
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 12:07 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by Phobank
It's the equivalent of a store advertising free microwaves with another purchase but having only 2 in stock.
The most F seats on a plane that HP has is 14 thats on a 757. If your talking about the 320, they have 12. So the 757 seats about 175 total pax and the 320 seats 150 total. We all know this in advance. This doesn't change flight to flight. Some of the F seats will be full F fare, and some might be Yup fares. So that will leave less than 10 seats for at least 138 coach pax. With looking at those numbers your not going to get a FREE upgrade everytime you fly. Especially on a popular flight with a lot of elite members or willing First Rate customers. You have a better chance if your a Plat or Gold, but I know silvers will never get upgrades on certain flights because you can pay for the upgrade 30 hours out. Silvers have to wait 24 hours out to get their upgrade. HP is not advertising 150 firstclass seats. Everyone want get free upgrades is the bottom line. If you want free upgrades you have to stay on top of it and not expect the computer to pre-assign it to you. Call in at the first available time to check. If it is available you will get it. If it isn't available someone beat you to it.
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Old Aug 31, 2005, 1:11 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by NastyNoble357
You have a better chance if your a Plat or Gold, but I know silvers will never get upgrades on certain flights because you can pay for the upgrade 30 hours out. Silvers have to wait 24 hours out to get their upgrade.
This policy changed when they started selling the upgrades. Silvers can upgrade a day before (midnight 1 day prior) and they start selling the seats 30 hours ahead.

There would have been an uproar if they allowed people to buy an upgrade before the silvers got their chance and it would have gone against everything they promised the elites (not that they have not done this to a point already).

Jennifer
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Old Aug 31, 2005, 9:07 am
  #24  
 
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The paid upgrades are available 30 hours before departure. Of course if your flight is departing from say PHX-JFK, agents in PDX, SEA, TUS, LAX, etc can sell upgrades to pax connecting to the JFK flight...they really aren't concerned with the upgrade list on the connecting flight. However the agents working the PHX-JFK flight should be giving the upgrades to the elites first and then soliciting for people to buy upgrades. If you are elite the upgrades should be done in advance automatically as long as you booked the ticket far enough in advance. If you just booked it the same day or day before, you really should expect to get the upgrade...by that time it's gone to lady luck!
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