BA's upgrade "formula"

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Old Nov 9, 18, 7:33 am
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BA's upgrade "formula"

So on my last trip (LHR-IAD) we all got upgraded to CW from WT+, we were upgraded rather early, few days prior at least, three of us in the party. I was surprised as I haven't been upgraded for years if not decades. I checked on board and there were tons of CW seats empty and WT+ was indeed completely full.

Interestingly, on the way back (IAD-LHR) we were fairly aggressively (just a phrase) marketed a paid for upgrade, both at the desk and in the lounge. £500 to upgrade from WT+ to CW. Which is actually on the face of it really a rather good deal! But as I happen to like WT+ and being a night flight I knew I would just pass out and sleep the whole way back it would rather be £500 wasted on me so I didn't bite. But I realise it's a good deal.

Anyway... My question is, was that just a coincidence or was it because we had just received an upgrade on the way out? Is the plan from BA, give them a taste for free, then offer a heavily discounted upgrade, then hopefully they will be hooked and buy CW tickets from here on out? Just trying to understand what the thinking from BA is there.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by cupsandsaucers View Post
So on my last trip (LHR-IAD) we all got upgraded to CW from WT+, we were upgraded rather early, few days prior at least, three of us in the party. I was surprised as I haven't been upgraded for years if not decades. I checked on board and there were tons of CW seats empty and WT+ was indeed completely full.

Interestingly, on the way back (IAD-LHR) we were fairly aggressively (just a phrase) marketed a paid for upgrade, both at the desk and in the lounge. £500 to upgrade from WT+ to CW. Which is actually on the face of it really a rather good deal! But as I happen to like WT+ and being a night flight I knew I would just pass out and sleep the whole way back it would rather be £500 wasted on me so I didn't bite. But I realise it's a good deal.

Anyway... My question is, was that just a coincidence or was it because we had just received an upgrade on the way out? Is the plan from BA, give them a taste for free, then offer a heavily discounted upgrade, then hopefully they will be hooked and buy CW tickets from here on out? Just trying to understand what the thinking from BA is there.
Purely random I expect
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Old Nov 9, 18, 7:44 am
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All you can read into this is that your return flight has WTP number in a position where if BA could shift a few AUPs at £500 a pop everything would work; whereas on the LHR-IAD section they really had to move people in advance - I guess at T-72 hrs or so - otherwise the seat map would not work for anyone in WTP and probably WT too. They were badly overbooked at that point. When USA staff promote AUPs heavily, my experience is that they are also potentially oversold somewhere, so the BA Airport manager would have told the ground staff "try and push out 6 Upgrade Promos today please, if you can get 8 even better". If that didn't work then I suspect the shortfall would have resulted in the immortal two-tone beep at the gate.

This has come up a lot recently, and I've had a silly number of upgrades of late, so I'm beginning to worry where Ryan the Intern is working at the moment, but in the absence of that there are further thoughts from several FTers here:

Why did my colleague (Blue) get upgraded and not me (Gold)?
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Old Nov 9, 18, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by babats View Post
Purely random I expect
hugely coincidental then, can't say I can remember ever being asked if I would like to buy an upgrade. And for it to happen right after a free upgrade, kinda makes business sense.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 7:53 am
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It’s always in BA’s interests, one way or another ... as I understand it, anyway.

C-W-S undoubtedly knows more, but if he told you ,,, he’d have to kill you.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 8:02 am
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The secret rocket fuel formula is secret. For a reason.

The better question is why, once BA had determined that it was best served by providing OPUPs to 4 WT+ passengers, the 4 of you received them rather than others. Part of that may well be the fact that your profile to BA looks as though you might be someone who, if given a taste of the good life, will purchase it in the future.

Conversely, on the return, you were afforded a good offer but declined. On that flight, perhaps BA believed that if not you, someone else would take the offer and, if not and the WT+ cabin wound up in an oversell situation, it would OPUP someone else.

How that all works would require access to BA's code and to its big data which can tell BA more about you than you know about you, e.g., that people who order Asian-Vegetarian meals on odd-numbered flights on Tuesdays are more likely to purchase CW after an OPUP than others.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The secret rocket fuel formula is secret. For a reason.

The better question is why, once BA had determined that it was best served by providing OPUPs to 4 WT+ passengers, the 4 of you received them rather than others. Part of that may well be the fact that your profile to BA looks as though you might be someone who, if given a taste of the good life, will purchase it in the future.
I think that yes, this is almost certainly the case. We are all Silver card members, fly quite a lot for business and always WT+. Perfect "potential CW fliers" I would expect.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by cupsandsaucers View Post
I think that yes, this is almost certainly the case. We are all Silver card members, fly quite a lot for business and always WT+. Perfect "potential CW fliers" I would expect.
So, as a couple of Golds who always pay to fly CW (and indeed CE) why are we never given a free taste of First, or even FLub? Don’t they want to try and squeeze even more cash from our pockets? Or do they think I won’t live long enough to make it worth bothering?

Or do we have a record of flying AA too often?
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Old Nov 9, 18, 8:57 am
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Well, it is Friday afternoon..............

When folk talk of the secret upgrade formula, I think of Shakespeare's witches.
3 Interns, dressed as witches, uttering the decisive formula........
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 9:07 am
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
So, as a couple of Golds who always pay to fly CW (and indeed CE) why are we never given a free taste of First, or even FLub? Donít they want to try and squeeze even more cash from our pockets? Or do they think I wonít live long enough to make it worth bothering?

Or do we have a record of flying AA too often?
I wonder if CWS is upgraded often purely on his GGLFL status? He must one of the best customers BA has? worldwide!
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Old Nov 9, 18, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
So, as a couple of Golds who always pay to fly CW (and indeed CE) why are we never given a free taste of First, or even FLub? Donít they want to try and squeeze even more cash from our pockets? Or do they think I wonít live long enough to make it worth bothering?

Or do we have a record of flying AA too often?
No F upgrades for HNL Golds. So sorry.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by cupsandsaucers View Post
I wonder if CWS is upgraded often purely on his GGLFL status? He must one of the best customers BA has? worldwide!
I wouldnít be surprised if he was a secret non-Exec Director of BA or IAG.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 9:31 am
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corporate-wage-slave explained it all in this thread...

Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post

... or maybe not!
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Old Nov 9, 18, 9:41 am
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We shall see how the magic works tonight. With access to BA OPS dashboard tonight's BA15 has J2, W2, Y(-4). Booked in W at the moment, we shall see how this plays out.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 10:02 am
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Poisson process? Smells a bit fishy to me.

OK, as it's Friday, let's reveal the secret. Get a sharp blade and carefully use it to delaminate your BAEC card, it will separate fairly easily but you may lose a finger or two. No matter: pull the two halves of the card apart and it will reveal a set of graphics, similar to those found in the emergency card in your seat back pocket, which details the precise process for presenting yourself at the gate with the magic wink that will have you instantly upgraded.

In any situation where there is competition for the upgrade, Bronze members take precedence. Shouldn't need to be said, but some gate agents don't know.
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