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What are the chances of a free upgrade from WT+ to CW?

What are the chances of a free upgrade from WT+ to CW?

Old Sep 5, 19, 2:14 pm
  #1  
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What are the chances of a free upgrade from WT+ to CW?

Yes, before I am sternly told off that I should book the class of travel I want etc etc.

This is purely a question. I have a friend who is BA silver, and he has been upgraded 6 times in the last 2 years from WT+ to CW. He's probably flown long haul a maximum of 20 times in that period of time. Therefore, he has almost a 1/3 rate of getting bumped up.

I'm BA Bronze, and have two WT+ legs coming up to GRU. I was wondering, what are the chances of a free upgrade? Does being silver mean that his chance would be much much higher than my own?
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Old Sep 5, 19, 2:21 pm
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This is a perennial topic - I've been gold for around 15 years and had a grand total of one upgrade to Algiers back in 2007, flying at least 12 Long haul returns a year and untold number of SH flights. WTP does appear to be the sweet spot for upgrades however, so YMMV
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Old Sep 5, 19, 2:59 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by thaibeereeus View Post
I'm BA Bronze, and have two WT+ legs coming up to GRU. I was wondering, what are the chances of a free upgrade? Does being silver mean that his chance would be much much higher than my own?
It's impossible to give a definitive answer to this since BA go to some trouble to (successfully) hide the exact methodology behind involuntary upgrades. And you can well understand why that would be. But the overwhelming cause for an upgrade isn't your status, or necessarily how full WTP or CW is, but how many tickets in World Traveller they sold. If WT is full and oversold, then people have to be pushed forward. That is by far why people get upgraded. Thereafter things like status and whether it is a redemption ticket and dozen other factors come into play, but without a full cabin they don't get very far. Moreover the system appears to have something random within it, to deter gaming the system. So in short, you never know the time or place, but it certainly helps if they sold a lot of World Traveller tickets.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 9:35 pm
  #4  
 
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Upgrades, or the lack thereof, are to my mind, the biggest negative of BAEC. Flying with LATAM I'd get them all the time: status plus early check in always got me to the top of the list. But the business model is as it is.

I did see one LHRMEX not so long ago. A group of two women and a girl in the exit row just behind the door in WT were invited to elect one of their number for upgrade, presumably to WT+. I was slightly miffed they chose from a seat with so much legroom, but maybe they had paid the extra for that seat in advance?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 1:44 am
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I've had a number over the past couple of years, from Y to WTP and from WTP to J, both when silver and gold, and when on BA and QR (that was Y to J of course). Travelling solo, which I usually do when on business, helps. Only ever happens to me on long haul... never, ever happened to me on Europe flights, never happened when travelling with Mrs Y.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 1:55 am
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Originally Posted by Soupdragon62 View Post
This is a perennial topic - I've been gold for around 15 years and had a grand total of one upgrade to Algiers back in 2007, flying at least 12 Long haul returns a year and untold number of SH flights. WTP does appear to be the sweet spot for upgrades however, so YMMV
Twelve longhaul RTs per year for fifteen years should be more than just Gold, right? At least lifetime Gold and GGL?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 2:00 am
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12 long haul returns a year doesn't necessarily make gold let alone GGL. In fact you wouldn't even make silver at the lowest fare classes. Over 15 years you could be less than half way to LTG.

I know this from experience... 20+ years of frequent travel, mostly in the back of the bus and despite making Gold for quite a bit of that I'm nowhere near LTG
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Old Sep 6, 19, 2:11 am
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Originally Posted by windowontheAside View Post
12 long haul returns a year doesn't necessarily make gold let alone GGL. In fact you wouldn't even make silver at the lowest fare classes. Over 15 years you could be less than half way to LTG.

I know this from experience... 20+ years of frequent travel, mostly in the back of the bus and despite making Gold for quite a bit of that I'm nowhere near LTG
I can relate to that. The centenary pin thread was full of LTGs etc with only about a million flown miles on BA. I've done about double that on BA, yet although I've been Gold for a number of years, my next membership year will be at Silver and I'm only about half way to LTG (which I don't expect to reach).
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Old Sep 6, 19, 2:31 am
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I had my first upgrade for 6 years in April. It was CDG-LHR...
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Old Sep 6, 19, 2:44 am
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Itís all anecdotal but the Silver members of my household account are far more frequently upgraded than the Golds. That could be because of the routes and times they fly, or because they are more likely in WT+ whereas I would book myself CW when not having them in tow. However, of the 5-6 times I have flown WT+ as a Gold, I never got a thing. Neither an opup nor even a greeting. Master Tafflyer as Silver is curenly on 4 out of 6 sectors this year. These are all either LHR-MIA or LGW-MCO around college start and end dates.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 3:04 am
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My wife (as Silver) has had pretty good luck when travelling on her own. But that has usually been WTP-CW when on her own during school holidays when WT has been very busy. She has been lucky CW-F on LHR-ORD on the 777 flight (actually on UuA’d T fares), again with WT being full due to summer travels.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 3:33 am
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The above absolutely echos my experience. As a Silver in WTP BA tempted me to the dark side of J with 3/5 long haul trips upgraded. It worked and Iíve flown J since!

Since being Gold Iíve had a lovey surprise J to F at the gate, so still very happy
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Old Sep 6, 19, 4:18 am
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Interesting about all of the comments on WT+. I've had the total number of one WT+ to CW upgrade in my 20 years of travelling with BA, 8 as a GGL. (ICN-LHR - remember it clearly!).

As PETER01 keeps reminding me, I had over 50 return segments in WT+ to / from DME without a sniff of an upgrade!

I've had a few CW-Fs, quite a few ET-CEs, but WT+ - CW has generally eluded me
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Old Sep 6, 19, 4:44 am
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I recently broke a five-year op-up drought on BA as a SCH, first with a WTP->CW upgrade PHL-LHR (traveling solo) and then a ET->CE LHR-MAD (on the 777!) with my partner, who's Bronze.

When I traveled extensively with CX and was a sapphire equivalent in their program, my op-up rate was phenomenal. Consistently between one-third and one-half of regional flights would get upgraded, and roughly one-quarter of long-hauls. But it really cheapened regional J. I could never be tempted to pay for it outright since there was always a good chance I'd get upgraded anyway. Interestingly, my longhaul upgrade rate declined significantly when they rolled out premium economy and I started paying for that. I'd guess on many flights they'd still bump people from Y into Y+, but became much more hesitant to overbook such that they'd have to bump Y+ into J. BA's business model makes me more likely to pay outright (or via POUG) for the class I want to travel in, but their pricing model especially with ex-EU discounts makes it more affordable, too.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 10:45 am
  #15  
 
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I've been on a roll. On my last four trips since November 2018, Vienna, Rome, Dublin, and Inverness, I've received a WTP to CW upgrade, with the INV trip, just concluded, on the overnight flight and the LHR-JFK segment on the Dublin trip an upgrade from Y to J--a BA operated by Brussels so no WTP.

On each, I was traveling solo, had made no special meal requests, and followed the standard FT advice of checking in but not printing a boarding pass. I'm sure my luck will be running out soon since that's an unusually long streak of upgrades for me, but it's been nice. I have had some paid J in the past, including the JFK-LHR segment on the Dublin trip, as well as one paid F. Other than the Y that got upgraded, I haven't purchased a coach ticket on BA since 1998, and I've maintained Silver since 2013, but I've never come close to Gold.

Put it all together, and I just can't discern a pattern--unless, of course, I keep getting upgrades on my future flights by following the same steps I've described above.
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