Which LAX-JFK for best upgrade opportunity

 
Old Oct 11, 09, 11:37 am
  #1  
PHL
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Which LAX-JFK for best upgrade opportunity

I'm looking at next Sunday 10/18 to take one of the last 3 LAX-JFK flights (415pm, 930pm, 1150pm). They all have 16-17 J seats unassigned right now (I know, that doesn't mean unsold), but the 415pm doesn't have a lot of coach seats left while the later two still have a fair amount (although none really that desirable)

I'm debating which one to book/confirm with the best opportunity for an upgrade. I'm platinum, but the trip is only a week away so I would fall behind any other plats who have already confirmed and submitted upgrade requests....
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Old Oct 11, 09, 11:57 am
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You could check availability of mileage upgrades to give a real data point re: likelihood of the cabin to be full.

Even as a EXP this is a route I will sometimes use miles to upgrade to remove the uncertainty. For a PLT the math is easier- you "save" the e-upgrades- and "spend" the miles and co-pay. You would incur the "expedite" fee too.
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Old Oct 11, 09, 12:02 pm
  #3  
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If I were going to be stuck in coach, I'd much rather it be on the 4:15pm flight than either of the redeyes.

That said, with cabins apparently less than half full only a week out, the odds are probably pretty decent, although you don't know how many EXPs and other Plats are ahead of you. Booking so late as a Plat puts you at a disadvantage.

If I had to guess about businesspeople behavior on this route, I'd say that most of the Sunday traffic LAX-JFK is people who live in LAX heading to NY for business on Monday. They're probably more likely to fly earlier in the day so they don't get to NY so late (or so early). Later in the week when the NY folks are headed back home from LA, it's probably a much tougher upgrade on the late afternoon flights.
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Old Oct 11, 09, 12:06 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
I'm looking at next Sunday 10/18 to take one of the last 3 LAX-JFK flights (415pm, 930pm, 1150pm). They all have 16-17 J seats unassigned right now (I know, that doesn't mean unsold), but the 415pm doesn't have a lot of coach seats left while the later two still have a fair amount (although none really that desirable)

I'm debating which one to book/confirm with the best opportunity for an upgrade. I'm platinum, but the trip is only a week away so I would fall behind any other plats who have already confirmed and submitted upgrade requests....
AA () 180 0 LAX
10/18/09 4:15 PM JFK
10/19/09 12:35 AM 762
Daily
90% / 61m F5 A1 J7 D7 I2 Y7 B7 H7 K7 M7 L7 W7 V7 G1 S0 N0 O0 Q0

0 Connections
AA () 10 0 LAX
10/18/09 9:30 PM JFK
10/19/09 5:45 AM 762
Daily
79% / 28m F6 A0 J7 D6 I0 Y7 B7 H7 K7 M7 L7 W7 V7 G2 S1 N0 O0 Q0

0 Connections
AA () 30 0 LAX
10/18/09 11:50 PM JFK
10/19/09 8:15 AM 762
Daily
78% / 18m F6 A0 J7 D7 I1 Y7 B7 H7 K7 M7 L7 W4 V0 G0 S0 N0 O0 Q0

Meanwhile, for today (as another Sunday datapoint):

AA () 180 0 LAX
10/11/09 4:15 PM JFK
10/12/09 12:35 AM 762
Daily
90% / 61m F7 A6 J5 D3 I1 Y1 B1 H1 K1 M1 L1 W1 V1 G0 S0 N0 O0 Q0

0 Connections
AA () 10 0 LAX
10/11/09 9:30 PM JFK
10/12/09 5:45 AM 762
Daily
79% / 28m F3 A1 J4 D1 I0 Y7 B7 H7 K7 M7 L7 W7 V7 G7 S6 N1 O0 Q0

0 Connections
AA () 30 0 LAX
10/11/09 11:50 PM JFK
10/12/09 8:15 AM 762
Daily
78% / 18m F5 A4 J5 D3 I1 Y4 B4 H4 K4 M4 L4 W4 V2 G0 S0 N0 O0 Q0

But:

AA () 22 0 LAX
10/11/09
3:00 PM JFK
10/11/09
11:25 PM 762
Business - Sticker Upgrade R 0
Business - Upgrade C 0


AA () 180 0 LAX
10/11/09
4:15 PM JFK
10/12/09
12:35 AM 762
Business - Sticker Upgrade R 0
Business - Upgrade C 0

As you can see, on the morning of the flight, there are still 4 to 5 business class seats available today on each of these flights, but at this minute no upgrades of any kind available. So still hard to tell whether they've assinged all the EXP sticker upgrades, or wehther they've assigned all the PLT sticker upgrades, at this hour. If they had assigned absolutely all the sticker upgrades (including GLD) at this hour, you'd think that there'd been some non-zero in the award availability.

But the problem is that can change from hour to hour, especially on this route. And the differences between the flights (in business class) are not drastic enough to be able to glean much. And note that today, it's the 9:30 pm flight that ended up pretty much selling out coach, not the 4:15 flight. So I'm not sure if what you're looking at 1 week out is meaningful information.

A better indication (if you read this soon after I post it and have time to set up something so you can keep checking as today progresses) is if you get set up so you can see booking code availablity in each class (not seats!), and track how that works for these 3 flights as the day progresses. No guaranatee that next week will be the same as this week, but the only data point available, unless someone who regularly flies these a copule of these flights can speak up as to the business class loads typically.
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Old Oct 11, 09, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
I'm platinum, but the trip is only a week away so I would fall behind any other plats who have already confirmed and submitted upgrade requests....
Don't get your hopes up. With the reduced frequency and the high traffic fall always experiences on this route. I never made any of my LAX-JFK-JFK upgrades last month in September (there were 2 round trips for 4 segments) This was similar to last year as well. I booked 3 weeks out on both trips and I'm executive platinum. I just want you to be prepared.

Last edited by jeffreyt; Oct 12, 09 at 10:56 am Reason: meant September as mentioned above
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Old Oct 11, 09, 2:58 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
I'm looking at next Sunday 10/18 to take one of the last 3 LAX-JFK flights (415pm, 930pm, 1150pm). They all have 16-17 J seats unassigned right now (I know, that doesn't mean unsold), but the 415pm doesn't have a lot of coach seats left while the later two still have a fair amount (although none really that desirable)

I'm debating which one to book/confirm with the best opportunity for an upgrade. I'm platinum, but the trip is only a week away so I would fall behind any other plats who have already confirmed and submitted upgrade requests....
I've flown AA10 or AA30 about eight times this year. I think your best bet is AA30. I think that your best bet is to take a redeye; I'd take the later one.
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Old Oct 11, 09, 3:11 pm
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You ask a question like this and you get contradicting answers.

I would go for the 4:15 (I take this flight with some regularity), only because a redeye in coach is way worse than a late-afternoon flight in coach. I think your upgrade chances are probably decent on all the flights, but IME the red-eyes are the hardest upgrades.
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Old Oct 11, 09, 3:49 pm
  #8  
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I am leaning towards the 415pm flight for a few reasons listed here...mainly that if I'm in coach, I'd rather it be in my waking hours than a red-eye. It's too bad that pretty much all the coach seats suck...
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Old Oct 11, 09, 5:11 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
I am leaning towards the 415pm flight for a few reasons listed here...mainly that if I'm in coach, I'd rather it be in my waking hours than a red-eye. It's too bad that pretty much all the coach seats suck...
I tried to take AA180 a few times last year and found this flight very challenging for upgrades; if the OP can take AA22, go with that one instead. If there is an IRROP, AA180 fills quickly, but I have always found AA10 or AA30 to be wide open.
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Old Oct 11, 09, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
If I were going to be stuck in coach, I'd much rather it be on the 4:15pm flight than either of the redeyes.

That said, with cabins apparently less than half full only a week out, the odds are probably pretty decent, although you don't know how many EXPs and other Plats are ahead of you. Booking so late as a Plat puts you at a disadvantage.

If I had to guess about businesspeople behavior on this route, I'd say that most of the Sunday traffic LAX-JFK is people who live in LAX heading to NY for business on Monday. They're probably more likely to fly earlier in the day so they don't get to NY so late (or so early). Later in the week when the NY folks are headed back home from LA, it's probably a much tougher upgrade on the late afternoon flights.
Tend to agree with you on the above. The other reason I would guess a Sunday redeye to be less full than a mid-week is that a situation won't pop up on Sunday morning (usually) that requires someone to be in NY Monday morning, whereas the result of the noon Wednesday staff meeting might involve a last-minute flight east (likely a redeye).

Also, though not entirely relevant, look at the F in the post with the availability. The redeye flights each have six F seats, but none allocated to A inventory (they're planning to sell them all at F fares, not give them to upgraders). However, the 4:15pm flight has only five F seats, but at this point, they're willing to let one of them go to an upgrader (so they really only count on selling four at the F fare, 33% less than on the redeye flights).
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Old Oct 11, 09, 5:35 pm
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Originally Posted by ldpeters View Post
I think your upgrade chances are probably decent on all the flights, but IME the red-eyes are the hardest upgrades.
+1

I've flown these flights as a PLT (made EXP just a few days ago) several times in the last couple of months. My experience is that the redeyes are the hardest upgrades. They have more customers on paid J tix, and more EXPs on them.

I actually had pretty good success with sticker upgrades. 11 of 12. My one flight to not clear was Wednesday night's redeye. Of the 11 upgrades I made, 8 of them cleared at the 72-hour mark. The other 3 were the redeye, and they cleared at the gate. (On one of them, I was the last person to clear, leaving 12-13 names on the list behind me, many of them PLTs who booked after me.)

When I was GLD, I used to always fly to NY through STL (LAX-STL-LGA). The first product wasn't anywhere near as nice (F on a 757 or MD80 vs J on a 762), but my upgrades always cleared.
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Old Oct 11, 09, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
I am leaning towards the 415pm flight for a few reasons listed here...mainly that if I'm in coach, I'd rather it be in my waking hours than a red-eye. It's too bad that pretty much all the coach seats suck...
Well, if you're PLT, you're able to reserve exit row seats ahead of time. They may not be as good as exit row seats on other planes, but they're still probably better than other economy seats on a packed plane. Now,if the problem is that any exit row seats are taken right now, that may change, because they may be taken by EXPs who will be upgraded ahead of you. So if you're interested in exit row seating but can't get it now, start checking as often as you can starting 72 hours out (the earliest that EXPs will be upgraded, tho there's no guarantee that they'll be upgraded then, and maybe not even at 24 hours out!). If an exit row seat opens up before 4 hours before the flight, you should be able to grab it online.

At 4 hours out, it transfers to airport control, and anyone (status or not) can grab an exit row seat at that point, but only at the airport. So if you're still not upgraded 4 hours out and you still haven't grabbed an exit row seat but you'd like one, you might want to get to the airport sooner rather than later.
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Old Oct 11, 09, 8:11 pm
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Would you be willing to use miles/co-pay/expedite fee to upgrade? You can snag a first class seat to IAD right now if you are. The redeye is showing plenty of A availability. Also, the 738 will be nicer should you decide to roll the dice on the sticker upgrade and fail.
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Old Oct 11, 09, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
I'm looking at next Sunday 10/18 to take one of the last 3 LAX-JFK flights (415pm, 930pm, 1150pm). They all have 16-17 J seats unassigned right now (I know, that doesn't mean unsold), but the 415pm doesn't have a lot of coach seats left while the later two still have a fair amount (although none really that desirable)

I'm debating which one to book/confirm with the best opportunity for an upgrade. I'm platinum, but the trip is only a week away so I would fall behind any other plats who have already confirmed and submitted upgrade requests....

this is heavy EXP/plt route. my upgrades clears at 72 hours as EXP and i purchase my tickets 2 months ib advance.
i work in manhattan and go home to lax 2 or 3 times every month and business class is always a full house. sometimestime there are at least 10 pax on the upgrade list.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 2:09 am
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Originally Posted by BarkinJ View Post
My experience is that the redeyes are the hardest upgrades. They have more customers on paid J tix, and more EXPs on them.
I don't have any firsthand experience with upgrades on the redeyes, but it is probably true that there are companies that would allow paid J travel only on an overnight flight. This would theoretically make upgrades more difficult. However, mitigating this is the fact that many business people, like myself, probably just flat out avoid the transcons redeyes. They're too short to get enough sleep to make the next day productive.
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