The Ultimate Upgrade Question thread

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Old Feb 20, 19, 7:43 am   -   Wikipost
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Is it possible to buy a (cheap) upgrade on Cathay Pacific upon check-in?

The short answer is no.

Cathay, as a general rule, does not allow you to purchase last minute upgrades if there are empty seats in Y+, J or F. The only way to upgrade a ticket is to pay the fare difference between your current ticket, and an available fare class in the higher cabins. Note that if your current ticket has restrictions (cancellation fees, non-refundable) these still apply.

There are been stories of people who have been offered cheap upgrades by Cathay, but this is more an exception than a common occurrence.


If I upgrade my ticket using asia miles, do I still earn miles?

Yes, you will earn miles for the original fare class that you booked, not the upgraded cabin.

How do I get a free upgrade / operational upgrade (op-up)?
Cathay Pacific does not upgrade passengers just because there are empty seats in higher classes. Upgrades will only occur where there is overbooking in lower classes.

The order of upgrades when required is believed to be:
  1. VIP (Heads of State, Government Bodies, or Canto Pop/Movie stars)
  2. CX Diamond Plus
  3. CX Diamond Invitation, Diamond
  4. CX Gold
  5. CX management staff on travel duty
  6. oneworld Emerald
  7. CX staff on duty nominees , other airline staff nominees, CX staff on personal travel
  8. oneworld Sapphire
  9. CX Silver
  10. oneworld Ruby
  11. CX Green
  12. Asia Miles
  13. Non status
In the event of a tiebreak being needed, generally those with lower "Boarding Numbers" will take precedence (lower BN takes priority). The earlier you check in, the lower your BN. Asking for an upgrade at check-in will not work, so don't. This is definitely one case of where "if you don't ask, you don't get", does NOT apply. The amount you paid for your ticket or the fare class of your ticket does not appear to affect your upgrade chances.


I am travelling on an award ticket. Will I still be considered for a free upgrade?

Yes - there are many stories of passengers on award tickets, or who upgraded a class using miles, getting (additional) upgrades.



What happens if the aircraft has 4 or 3 cabins, but is only selling Business and Economy seats?

It is likely if you have Marco Polo status, and to a lesser extent oneworld status, you may be able to sit in either First Class seats (if booked in J) or Premium Economy (if booked in Y) with service of the original cabin. There doesn't appear to be consistency yet as to how these semi-upgrades are allocated. Some people have been able to choose seats in the higher cabin during online check-in, or some will get them on request at check-in. However, there is no entitlement to these seats.


Will I get an upgrade on my Birthday, or for my membership anniversary, or for reaching xx number of lifetime club miles?

Please see this link for members' experience with these kinds of upgrades: Marco Polo Anniversary Upgrades


I want to use Asia Miles to upgrade a BA flight. How do I do this?

As of 22 June 2018, it is no longer possible to upgrade BA flights with Asia Miles.


How do I upgrade a CX flight using miles?

If you already have issued your original ticket:
  1. Try upgrading using Manage My Booking on the website (not always successful)
  2. If self-service doesn't work, try calling Marco Polo hotline to check availability
  3. If there is availability, you will need to issue the upgrade immediately to secure it. They may give you a few days grace before isssuing the upgrade, but this is now rarely given.
  4. In a few days, or longer if they are busy, your miles will be deducted, and you will be emailed a new e-ticket with the upgrade class details on it, and your online booking for your original booking class will disappear.

If you have not made any booking yet, and you want to check availability:
  1. Call Marco Polo club to check for availability on the flights/dates you want, or check for normal redemption availability on the website.
  2. Book a revenue ticket in the class of service for which you will be paying. Do NOT do this via the website -- call a CX telephone sales number/travel agent.
  3. Put the booking on hold.
  4. Call the Marco Polo/Asia Miles Service Center. Have them book the upgrade and give you a deadline to have the ticket issued. (It's usually about 72 hours).
  5. Have telephone sales/travel agent issue your revenue ticket.
  6. Call Marco Polo/Asia Miles back. Give them the revenue ticket number against the PNR and ask them to issue your upgrade.
  7. In about two or three days, you'll get a new ticket with the upgrade showing.

If you don't receive a new e-ticket before departure, call up Marco Polo club to double check if the upgrade has been issued.
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Old Aug 13, 14, 10:15 am
  #61  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8
upgrade chance?

hey guys - flying on cx838 this friday aug 15. just wondering what the chances are to get op-up'd

as per flightstats 12:15 am (aug 14):

Available Seats:
First: n/a Business: 5 (at least) Coach: 0 Other: n/a
Fare Classes: J/5 C/5 D/3 I/2 W/0 R/0 E/0 Y/0 B/0 H/0 K/0 M/0 L/0 V/0 S/0 N/0 Q/0 O/0

I'm MPO Gold. I haven't checked in online yet...should i to get a lower BN number? or wait til the day of to check in.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 13, 14, 6:05 pm
  #62  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8
update

Looks like only 3 business class fares left:

Available Seats:
First: n/a Business: 3 (at least) Coach: 0 Other: n/a
Fare Classes: J/3 C/3 D/0 I/0 W/0 R/0 E/0 Y/0 B/0 H/0 K/0 M/0 L/0 V/0 S/0 N/0 O/0


any luck in me getting upgraded from economy??

Originally Posted by diesel555 View Post
hey guys - flying on cx838 this friday aug 15. just wondering what the chances are to get op-up'd

as per flightstats 12:15 am (aug 14):

Available Seats:
First: n/a Business: 5 (at least) Coach: 0 Other: n/a
Fare Classes: J/5 C/5 D/3 I/2 W/0 R/0 E/0 Y/0 B/0 H/0 K/0 M/0 L/0 V/0 S/0 N/0 Q/0 O/0

I'm MPO Gold. I haven't checked in online yet...should i to get a lower BN number? or wait til the day of to check in.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 15, 14, 4:57 am
  #63  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,508
BN1+CX gold very high chance
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Old Aug 22, 14, 3:54 am
  #64  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1
Upgrades and premium economy

Hi, sorry if this has already been answered.

On HKG<>LHR, if there is premium economy class on the flight, where do I stand in terms of upgrading using Asia Miles when holding an Economy ticket which is eligible for upgrade? Only one class upgrades are allowed?

Thanks,
Ricky
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Old Aug 27, 14, 11:16 pm
  #65  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NYC
Programs: Marriot Am, MU Pt
Posts: 3,092
Originally Posted by RickyLeung View Post
Hi, sorry if this has already been answered.

On HKG<>LHR, if there is premium economy class on the flight, where do I stand in terms of upgrading using Asia Miles when holding an Economy ticket which is eligible for upgrade? Only one class upgrades are allowed?

Thanks,
Ricky
You'd have to look up the upgrade availability in PY and yes, you're restricted to one-class upgrades.
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Old Sep 1, 14, 12:35 pm
  #66  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 6
Hello folks

First time to post here and nice to meet you all

If I am MPO SL and OW Sapphire, with other things being equal (like fare class), which FFP number I should quote when I make the booking if I want to maximise my chances of being op-up?

From the wiki above it said OW Sapphire probably rank just above MPO SL. Of course it make sense (OW Sapphire vs OW Ruby at least) and I know there is no definitive answer, but do you think CX will treat their own FFP member a little better in this case? Just want to know the experience from you all.

Thank you
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Old Sep 1, 14, 6:07 pm
  #67  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: country Western Australia
Programs: QF WP - AA GLD 1MM - CX Grn
Posts: 2,634
In that CX is one of the few airlines that have implemented the FQTS field (in addition to FQTV) (and I am in the same situation as the previous poster) I wonder what effect including the "other" FF number would have.

Any experience?

Happy wandering

Fred
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Old Sep 10, 14, 8:07 am
  #68  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wimbledon, UK
Programs: Budding BA Bronze, MPC Gold
Posts: 347
Similar to the two posts above, just wondering if I should use my MP Gold on a few flights coming up in Y and what the benefits might be if any?

Or should I just put my BA FFP number on there and collect the Tier Points?

Thanks
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Old Sep 25, 14, 11:17 am
  #69  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NYC
Programs: Marriot Am, MU Pt
Posts: 3,092
I think I got a double op-up today. Went from Y to J in long haul J product (with PY in between).

I didn't check in online. Did it at the airport. I think it confused the heck out of the check in agent because it jumped two classes. She called like three people to make sure it wasn't a computer bug.

My SEC number was 229 so I'm now not too sure what's that number represents. Is higher better? Or it arbitrary?
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Old Sep 25, 14, 12:02 pm
  #70  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 845
What route was it?
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Old Sep 25, 14, 12:10 pm
  #71  
formerly gemini573
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: LAX, HKG, and BKK
Programs: CX DM (Emerald), former Hyatt DM, and current Marriott Gold.
Posts: 2,215
Spoke with a friend of mine at CX. I'll summarize how the new operational upgrade procedures work. Please feel free to add...

Upgrades are based on status. Within status, they look at ticket revenue contribution. They call it SEC. There's less emphasis on the BN. However, if there's a tie within those two criteria, then the BN would be the tiebreaker.

For those that ask which FFP I should bank the miles with, bank it with the airline you do the most flying with. Whoever you fly with the most, they will always take of their own elites before taking care of others.
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Old Sep 28, 14, 1:57 pm
  #72  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: CX Gold
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by alphaod View Post
I think I got a double op-up today. Went from Y to J in long haul J product (with PY in between).

I didn't check in online. Did it at the airport. I think it confused the heck out of the check in agent because it jumped two classes. She called like three people to make sure it wasn't a computer bug.

My SEC number was 229 so I'm now not too sure what's that number represents. Is higher better? Or it arbitrary?

was there a SEC number being shown on your ticket? I thought there wasn't any number apart from BN
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Old Sep 28, 14, 4:27 pm
  #73  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NYC
Programs: Marriot Am, MU Pt
Posts: 3,092
Originally Posted by GE90-115B View Post
What route was it?
HKG-SIN

Originally Posted by oscartao View Post
was there a SEC number being shown on your ticket? I thought there wasn't any number apart from BN
Yes, in place of the BN it said SEC instead.
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Old Oct 6, 14, 8:11 am
  #74  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX D, AF P, UA G, Hilton D, Marriott Plat, IHG Plat, National Exec
Posts: 68
Does anyone have experience with premium economy to business upgrades using points from SYD-HKG?

I am currently wait-listed on CX 162 for b-class on January 1, and unfortunately, I lost my status a few months ago. Any chance I will see this get confirmed?
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Old Oct 6, 14, 8:20 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LHR
Programs: CX DM, BA Gold, OZ*G, IHG Spire RA
Posts: 305
SEC?

So does anyone know what is a "better" SEC number? Is higher or lower better?

For a data point, I was on KA192 (HKG>KTM) last week in paid J. My SEC number was 255. I didn't notice the change from BN to SEC until reading this as I checked in quite late. Really just looked at the number and assumed BN 255

I mainly fly Y regionally with a few exceptions. Mix of paid J and PE for longhaul. Have accumulated 135K MPC miles this year so far. My year ends Jan. 31.
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