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 Feb 12, 18, 7:42 am
  #796  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 525
Does ordering a special meal limit my opup opportunities? I've read anecdotally that they generally skip over folks who order special meals just because they can't cater those meals in the new class in such short notice.
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Old Feb 12, 18, 1:18 pm
  #797  
Moderator: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
 
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Originally Posted by LoveHateRelationship View Post
Does ordering a special meal limit my opup opportunities? I've read anecdotally that they generally skip over folks who order special meals just because they can't cater those meals in the new class in such short notice.
I heard about that too. That may be the case as they often do op-ups at the last minute (i.e., just before boarding). OTOH, I think they can still re-package your Y/PEY/J meal in the new cabin (PEY/J/F).
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Old Feb 13, 18, 1:53 am
  #798  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by cxfan1960 View Post
I heard about that too. That may be the case as they often do op-ups at the last minute (i.e., just before boarding). OTOH, I think they can still re-package your Y/PEY/J meal in the new cabin (PEY/J/F).
From my experience, this is false. On the two occassions I was upgraded ( from Y to Business), I had pre-ordered a hindu non veg meal. They simply asked me if I still wanted the meal I reserved or wanted to have the "normal" meal. The first time I said I wanted to try the normal Business class meal, the second time I said I wanted by hindu non veg.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 6:21 pm
  #799  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vancouver, Manila, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong
Programs: CX-DM, Marriott Gold, Fairmont Premier
Posts: 195
Does the time you check in (SEC Number) still have an effect on whether you get upgrades or not?

I'm on CX888 tonight with an premium economy E ticket.

F0 A0 J1 C1 D1 I1 W7 R7 E5 Y0 B0 H0
K0 M0 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O0

Anyone know if I still have a chance for an opt up with these numbers and gold status?

Last edited by blum81; Feb 13, 18 at 7:29 pm
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:18 pm
  #800  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: AA EXP, UA GLD
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Originally Posted by blum81 View Post
Does the time you check in (SEC Number) still have an effect on whether you get upgrades or not?

I'm on CX888 tonight with an premium economy E ticket.

F0 A0 J1 C1 D1 I1 W7 R7 E5 Y0 B0 H0
K0 M0 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O0

Anyone know if I still have a chance for an opt up with these numbers and gold status?
Consensus is that SEC number (formerly BN) doesn't have an impact on op ups anymore--within each status group, pax are prioritized by CIV score (measuring customer importance and/or commercial value to CX, or similar).

As for your odds, I'd say pretty low. It ultimately depends on how oversold Y is, but even then, with F0 and J1, doesn't look like there's much room up front to be upgraded into.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:29 pm
  #801  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vancouver, Manila, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong
Programs: CX-DM, Marriott Gold, Fairmont Premier
Posts: 195
Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
Consensus is that SEC number (formerly BN) doesn't have an impact on op ups anymore--within each status group, pax are prioritized by CIV score (measuring customer importance and/or commercial value to CX, or similar).

As for your odds, I'd say pretty low. It ultimately depends on how oversold Y is, but even then, with F0 and J1, doesn't look like there's much room up front to be upgraded into.
Thanks for the feedback dkc192. I guess I'll just have to cross my fingers at check in & the gate.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:37 pm
  #802  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 208
Originally Posted by blum81 View Post
Thanks for the feedback dkc192. I guess I'll just have to cross my fingers at check in & the gate.
Other than EF index, there are ID passengers come into play. Good luck.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 9:06 pm
  #803  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Programs: MPC Silver
Posts: 58
Originally Posted by jerrywu View Post

Other than EF index, there are ID passengers come into play. Good luck.
Sorry newb question here, what does ID passengers mean? hehe
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Old Feb 13, 18, 9:15 pm
  #804  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 208
Originally Posted by dmatthew View Post
Sorry newb question here, what does ID passengers mean? hehe
ID stands for Industry Discount. Usually used by airline staffs, and their approved family members. Often involves flying stand-by traveling only providing unsold seats remain.
dmatthew likes this.

Last edited by jerrywu; Feb 13, 18 at 9:27 pm
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Old Feb 13, 18, 9:41 pm
  #805  
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Do IDs get PE/J/F seats?
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Old Feb 13, 18, 9:49 pm
  #806  
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Do IDs get PE/J/F seats?
Yes, and it is possible for CX staff to see how many are waitlisted for all 4 cabins separately on a flight.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 8:32 am
  #807  
Moderator: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Do IDs get PE/J/F seats?
Yes, and they have priority over op-ups.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 12:11 pm
  #808  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: HKG
Programs: A3, TK *G; JL JGC; SPG,Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,944
Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Do IDs get PE/J/F seats?
yes
i think i told you that time i got stuck in the middle seat and an ID pax took the asile in PY?
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Old Feb 14, 18, 3:09 pm
  #809  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: HK
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Originally Posted by kaka View Post
yes
i think i told you that time i got stuck in the middle seat and an ID pax took the asile in PY?
just to add ID fares are about 10pct of fully published fares.

this why i feel stupid to pay for inflated ex hkg J. its just a nuisance to feel i paid 10x more for same chair for 15hr.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 10:09 pm
  #810  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Programs: N/A
Posts: 676
Hi Folks!

Can anyone let me know if the mileage upgrade from Business (I Class) to First is "Worth it" for this itinerary? Is it correct to assume it will be 60k asiamiles for SIN - HKG - NYC?

Would i also be able to earn F mileage when upgrading with miles?

Thanks!
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