Is it getting harder to upgrade??

Old Mar 27, 19, 4:33 pm
  #1  
koi
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Is it getting harder to upgrade??

until 4-5 years ago, I used to fly between ORD and NRT a couple of times a year, and I've never had issues with an upgrade, then I stopped flying for a while.
Last year I had opportunities to fly this route couple times again, and none of my upgrades went through. I never held status, so the only thing I can think of is the upgrade availability got worsened. Anyone had the same experience??
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Old Mar 27, 19, 4:38 pm
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Yes

Very hard.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by koi View Post
until 4-5 years ago, I used to fly between ORD and NRT a couple of times a year, and I've never had issues with an upgrade, then I stopped flying for a while.
Last year I had opportunities to fly this route couple times again, and none of my upgrades went through. I never held status, so the only thing I can think of is the upgrade availability got worsened. Anyone had the same experience??
Yes. Project Oasis isn't driving people away fast enough.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 4:59 pm
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What changed was that priority on the upgrade list changed to those who have spent the most over the previous 12 months, whereas it used to be driven by when you requested the upgrade.

I doubt that the probability of someone receiving an upgrade has changed much, but the probability of a specific person (you, for example, or me, or anyone else reading this) has definitely changed (and gone up for some and down for others).
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Old Mar 27, 19, 5:06 pm
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koi
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Originally Posted by SeattleDavid View Post
What changed was that priority on the upgrade list changed to those who have spent the most over the previous 12 months, whereas it used to be driven by when you requested the upgrade.

I doubt that the probability of someone receiving an upgrade has changed much, but the probability of a specific person (you, for example, or me, or anyone else reading this) has definitely changed (and gone up for some and down for others).
Thanks, I've always preferred getting an upgrade and avoided getting award seats, but looks like I have to change my preference then...
Sounds like the program got really bad for someone like me who's just sitting on a bunch of miles.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 5:07 pm
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Also, on the whole, there's fewer premium cabin seats in the international fleet than several years ago. In 2018/2019 alone, we've lost hundreds of business class seats with the refitting of some 772's and the 788's. Which means each day there's probably ~300 fewer seats for paid J class or upgrades. That's over 100k/year.

If we assume there are 250k-300k SWU's doled out annually, that's a big number of premium seats taken out of the mix.

(numbers above are for illustrative purposes... but I assume I'm within reasonable margin of error).
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Old Mar 27, 19, 5:14 pm
  #7  
koi
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Originally Posted by dave_261 View Post
Also, on the whole, there's fewer premium cabin seats in the international fleet than several years ago. In 2018/2019 alone, we've lost hundreds of business class seats with the refitting of some 772's and the 788's. Which means each day there's probably ~300 fewer seats for paid J class or upgrades. That's over 100k/year.

If we assume there are 250k-300k SWU's doled out annually, that's a big number of premium seats taken out of the mix.

(numbers above are for illustrative purposes... but I assume I'm within reasonable margin of error).
interesting how those refit cabins are making me want to upgrade, yet, it looks like it's one of the reasons why I'm not getting requested upgrades.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 5:24 pm
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We are also in a boom period economically. A lot of companies have no trouble with booking business class for one or more of portions of TPAC and TATL crossings.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 5:25 pm
  #9  
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other airlines are adding premium seats. Cheap ... Parker is takin' 'em away.

I don't see his model being sustainable.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 5:36 pm
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And, all of the airlines are selling reasonable advance purchase F and J fares, so many are just starting to book F/J in lieu of playing upgrade roulette.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 5:39 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
other airlines are adding premium seats. Cheap ... Parker is takin' 'em away.

I don't see his model being sustainable.
The numbers don't supprt this asserion from what I can see ( assuming seatguru is accurate )

772 2 class has 45 business
vs
772-3 class has 37 business plus 24 premium economy = 61

77W has 8 1st , 52 business and 28 premium economy = 88

778 2 class 28 business
vs
778 3-class 20 business plus 28 premium economy = 48

789 has 30 business plus 21 premium economy = 51

Still seems a large number of premium seats being offered , though some movement from business to premium economy - PE seems to be reported to be a cabin with very good returns for airlines
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Old Mar 27, 19, 5:48 pm
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I think the major driver here for the OPs route is AAs downsized ORD-NRT schedule. In the past the flight operated daily now its just three times a week. This causes higher number of customers who are seeking an upgrade onto the same flight as opposed to being a bit more spread out over the week.

Last edited by golfingboy; Mar 27, 19 at 10:11 pm
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Old Mar 27, 19, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
The numbers don't supprt this asserion from what I can see ( assuming seatguru is accurate )

772 2 class has 45 business
vs
772-3 class has 37 business plus 24 premium economy = 61

77W has 8 1st , 52 business and 28 premium economy = 88

778 2 class 28 business
vs
778 3-class 20 business plus 28 premium economy = 48

789 has 30 business plus 21 premium economy = 51

Still seems a large number of premium seats being offered , though some movement from business to premium economy - PE seems to be reported to be a cabin with very good returns for airlines
772 with 45 seats are all gone. 788 with 28 seats will be gone by Summer. So each of those planes lost 8 seats in the past year +. And nobody on FT considers PE a substitute for J.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by koi View Post
until 4-5 years ago, I used to fly between ORD and NRT a couple of times a year, and I've never had issues with an upgrade, then I stopped flying for a while.
Last year I had opportunities to fly this route couple times again, and none of my upgrades went through. I never held status, so the only thing I can think of is the upgrade availability got worsened. Anyone had the same experience??
This part is key, no status, you are certainly at the bottom of the list. I can only presume you were using gifted upgrade instruments.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by koi View Post
until 4-5 years ago, I used to fly between ORD and NRT a couple of times a year, and I've never had issues with an upgrade.... never held status
Without status, how were you upgrading? Were you using points (or points + $$$)? Were you buying them at time of checkin (LFBU) for whatever price was being offered? Were you getting gate upgraded for operational reasons?

But as has been reported, the upgrade priority has changed in the past few years. Having no status puts you behind basically anyone else with status who requested one with an instrument or points. If you were requesting your upgrades well in advance, you would have been on higher on the list than a CK or EXPlt member who requested it a week before the flight.
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