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'Space available upgrade' offered - best way to use it?

'Space available upgrade' offered - best way to use it?

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Old Mar 12, 19, 4:54 am
  #1  
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'Space available upgrade' offered - best way to use it?

As part of complaining about the gluten free food in First, and collapsing foot stall in CW (among other things), I was offered 20k Avios, which I refused.

I was then instead offered a 'space available one-way upgrade', which is something I've never heard of before.

As we have a WT booking LHR/DEL (out this Friday, back 31st), the customer relations agent suggested applying it to that.

What's frustrating though is that:
  1. There's a huge list of terms and conditions basically stating it can happen at any time up to the gate, or not at all (hence 'space available' I suppose)
  2. The agent was also unable to explain anything about likely availability, whether it matched normal reward availability, and whether gold status would help
  3. They even stated that we may even see empty seats in WTP, despite being refused the upgrade. This advance warning suggests expectation management that makes me think that's common enough.
I also asked the agent if I could upgrade WT to WTP myself, with cash or Avios, and apply the upgrade then to CW (it's a night flight, and would be a real boon), but still there'd be no guarantee, and WTP itself isn't worth it to me.

So any ideas on how best to use this? Shall I ask them to un-apply it, and wait for when I know a WTP-CW space is available?
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Old Mar 12, 19, 5:03 am
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Originally Posted by likethis View Post
Shall I ask them to un-apply it, and wait for when I know a WTP-CW space is available?
Are you saying that its a bit like a wildcard - you have to play it and then hope for the upgrade, but that's it - you've played it. In other words if you play the card and don't get upgraded, its gone and you can't apply it on a later flight?
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Old Mar 12, 19, 5:05 am
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The one time I had one of these it was a simple matter of calling. I had it confirmed a couple of days before. Used it on SIN-LHR CW to F.

It definitely does not require award availability, but there needs to be a seat that would otherwise go unsold.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 5:08 am
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Itís basically a standby upgrade for any available seat in the next cabin up. In theory a phone agent could look at the actual sales by cabin and give you a view but of course things can change, commercial sensitivity etc etc.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 5:14 am
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Originally Posted by xPositor View Post
Are you saying that its a bit like a wildcard - you have to play it and then hope for the upgrade, but that's it - you've played it. In other words if you play the card and don't get upgraded, its gone and you can't apply it on a later flight?
I don't think it's one time only; if it doesn't happen, you can use it on another flight.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by likethis View Post
I don't think it's one time only; if it doesn't happen, you can use it on another flight.
My understanding and correct me if I am wrong is ‘space available’ upgrade. If it’s not available then the offer lapses and thst it would have been better to take the Avios then you can Do a confirmed UUA when availability suits.

You therefore have to check the loads etc carefully and ask for this to be applied when the next cabin available is fairly empty.

I was lucky my upgrade cleared at check in.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 5:53 am
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The only time I had one of these, I was definitely told that if it didn't clear first time, it would remain available for use on a future flight. I can't say if that was correct though, as it did clear on my first attempt to use it.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 6:10 am
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Originally Posted by windowontheAside View Post
The only time I had one of these, I was definitely told that if it didn't clear first time, it would remain available for use on a future flight. I can't say if that was correct though, as it did clear on my first attempt to use it.
Same for me. I was told to call Customer Relations a few days before the flight (which I did) and was told that I could use it again if it failed to clear. In the end, I was upgraded whilst in the lounge at T5 about 1.5 hours before departure (by Special Services, according to my boarding pass).
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:00 am
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Surely, WT to WT+ is less than 20k? Ergo take the 20k. After a problem the year before last I had a space available upgrade to First for me and my colleague travelling with me was also upgraded - this was to Phoenix...
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by itsmeitisss View Post
Surely, WT to WT+ is less than 20k? Ergo take the 20k. After a problem the year before last I had a space available upgrade to First for me and my colleague travelling with me was also upgraded - this was to Phoenix...
Really? For two people on a long haul route? Also, as I think the consensus states, it can be used another time if it doesnít happen now.
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Old Mar 13, 19, 3:53 am
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My understanding is the space available is exactly that, if space is available you get to use it. If you try to use it and canít because no space available , you can try and use it again, up to its expiry which is one year from date of issue.

Also note it it is not transferable and only applies to the person granted to, and not others in the booking the space available upgrade is applied to.
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Old Mar 13, 19, 5:21 am
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I had a fair bit of those over the last few years - they go though if there are unsold seats (they are not related to any booking class bucket).

The curious bit is that I had some go through at T-24, others went though a couple of weeks before the flight and some at the airport check-in desk on the day of departure.

A couple of times they didn't go through because flights were oversold in each cabin - I was able to use them on following flights.

Best value I would say is W to J or J to F - on ultra long haul (SIN, SYD, etc.).
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