Buy-Up Offer with 25 People Standing By?

 
Old Jan 21, 10, 12:46 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: FLL
Programs: United Premier Platinum; Marriott Gold; Starwood Gold; Hilton Honors Diamond; Hertz Pres Circle
Posts: 631
Buy-Up Offer with 25 People Standing By?

Not quite sure about this one...I have two separate reservations (one for a friend and one for myself) I am flying on a reward ticket so I am not eligible for an upgrade. My friend, however, is on an extremely discounted ticket ($178 for FLL-EWR) and was offered an upgrade at check-in for $150. Seems pretty cheap and not really fair to the 25 people standing by. Is this common policy? There is only one seat left in F.
goldelite8 is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 12:49 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DCA
Programs: AA EXP, LT Gold, UA LT 1K, Bonvoy LT Titan, Avis PC, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,011
This is CO's new policy. If the buy up was exactly $150 then that is most likely a buy up and not a fare difference between an F fare and coach.

Seems to me there are enough posts that the buy up is flawed. Yes, CO might get that extra $150 from someone that paid $178 RT - but in the long term it is going to tick off the Elites.
cova is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 1:28 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: IAH
Programs: UA Premier Gold, AA, Hertz, Avis, Marriott, Hilton HH
Posts: 372
Originally Posted by cova View Post
- but in the long term it is going to tick off the Elites.
Long Term???? How about already happening
Falcon20 is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 2:26 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DCA
Programs: AA EXP, LT Gold, UA LT 1K, Bonvoy LT Titan, Avis PC, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,011
I am looking at a flight I have tomorrow - and I am continually getting pushed down the upgrade list (about half way down) a list of 18. I am Plat on an E fare.

When one checks in - does the F buy up - offer to but you on the upgrade standby list? That might explain the large number ahead.
cova is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 2:32 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: LAX
Posts: 435
I think it is funny the number of people who are still shocked that this is going on and questioning the "fairness" of it. Does it suck that what was once a free (and basically guarenteed) upgrade is disappearing? Yes, of course. But in this new nickel-and-dime'ing airline business it should be no surprise that airlines will do ANYTHING (i.e. bag fees, paper ticket fee, pay for meals(not yet at CAL)) for extra income without raising the actual ticket fare.
dkul is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 2:32 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Programs: Nothing - I'm useless!
Posts: 2,441
Originally Posted by cova View Post
I am looking at a flight I have tomorrow - and I am continually getting pushed down the upgrade list (about half way down) a list of 18. I am Plat on an E fare.

When one checks in - does the F buy up - offer to but you on the upgrade standby list? That might explain the large number ahead.
Buy up should list on the cleared side - not waitlist.
KNRG is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 2:54 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DCA
Programs: AA EXP, LT Gold, UA LT 1K, Bonvoy LT Titan, Avis PC, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,011
Originally Posted by KNRG View Post
Buy up should list on the cleared side - not waitlist.
What I am asking is that can you waitlist to buy up if F is full. On the Managed Reservations - it does allow you to waitlist if the buy up is not available at that time.
cova is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 2:58 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DCA
Programs: AA EXP, LT Gold, UA LT 1K, Bonvoy LT Titan, Avis PC, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,011
Originally Posted by dkul View Post
I think it is funny the number of people who are still shocked that this is going on and questioning the "fairness" of it. Does it suck that what was once a free (and basically guarenteed) upgrade is disappearing? Yes, of course. But in this new nickel-and-dime'ing airline business it should be no surprise that airlines will do ANYTHING (i.e. bag fees, paper ticket fee, pay for meals(not yet at CAL)) for extra income without raising the actual ticket fare.
Maybe CO should eliminate Elite upgrades and make F a free for all bid for buy up.

CO offers a dynamic offer. When first person is offered - the buy up is high. If they reject, then the buy up offer is lowered for the next person. Then if too many - the price goes back up, etc.

The point is - Elites (except those at Hubs) go elsewhere. F upgrades then become a pure non-elite bid option. Why not just eliminate the elite program all together and make F an online auction.
cova is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 3:26 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Central NJ (Usually EWR but sometimes PHL)
Programs: UA-1K w/MM & lifetime U-Club; Marriott-Lifetime Plat-Premier; SPG-Plat; IHG-Plat; National-Exec. Eli
Posts: 2,553
With all the talk of F seats going away and silvers on B fares being prioritized ahead of Plats, perhaps it's time to resubmit the idea I had a while back. I suggested this to Larry at DO IV and he said the idea had some merit and that they would "look into it". Perhaps with some FT support, it could fix some problems and allow OnePass benefits to continue to be given out to the best customers instead of the "what have you done for me lately" approach.

My idea:

Platinum on Y/B/M: Upgrade at the time of ticketing (just like now).

Gold on Y/B: Prioritize for upgrade in the EUA system as if they were platinum.

Silver on Y/B: Prioritize for upgrade in the EUA system as if they were gold.

Besided opening up more F seats to upper level elites while still providing a much better chance of an EUA for full-fare purchases, it would also raise the incentive to reach the next level of elite. Currently, if someone only flies occasionally but buys all B/Y, there's no incentive for them to get higher than silver because they will always be booked into F ahead of platinums.

Thoughts? Ideas?
Steve GadFly is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 3:34 pm
  #10  
Moderator: United MileagePlus
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Clinging to the edifices of a decadent past. (IAH, DEN, YKF)
Programs: (ಠ_ಠ)
Posts: 8,728
Originally Posted by goldelite8 View Post
Seems pretty cheap and not really fair to the 25 people standing by. Is this common policy? There is only one seat left in F.
As I understand it CO's policy is to offer up-sells (the difference between a customer's coach fare and the cheapest F fare) as long as there are seats remaining in F. This is not to be confused with offering upgrades for cash to general customers to "sell" otherwise unoccupied F seats.

As far as it being fair, I'd suggest that it is. Customers have always had the ability to walk up to the counter and upgrade their fare (i.e. buy a F ticket) and I think this concept should remain. Back in the day it could easily by thousands, now it could be in the tens of dollars -- and that's the crux of the issue: CO's having to trade off the what are you doing for me now (paying me more money this one time) vs. what have you done for me in the past (the 2MM Plat who's been flying CO since the eighties.)

I personally think CO's right in aggressively marketing the F cabin, even though it will ultimately hurt my EUA rate; they need all the revenue they can get! However as I've said in other posts, I think CO should not overlook the impact the elite population will feel as their waning upgrade rate contracts even further.

Honestly I think obvious solution here is to beef up the elite experience in Y. Put in E+ and offer some fringe goodies to the customers who make it a point to choose CO...plus if a handful of people are willing to buy F for ~$150 doncha think even more want to buy an upgraded Y experince for even less....hmmmmmmm........ @:-)@:-)@:-)
J.Edward is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 3:40 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: UA 1K 1MMer & LT UC (when flying UA); Hyatt Credit Cardist; HHonors Gold; Marriott Gold via UA 1K
Posts: 6,494
The one time I was offered a buy-up, I did not take it, and ended up as #1 on the upgrade list. The reason why I am never offered the buy-up: F is already full at check-in time.

The upgrading waiting lists are usually well into the double digits -- often as high as 30 or 40 people deep.

While I certainly do not begrudge CO the right to sell F rather than "give it away," one would think that with upgrade standby lists making up a quarter of the passengers, there is a real justification to give elites a bit of extra comfort in Y???

My upgrade success rate as a Platinum is 25%. If Platinums are clearing less than 50% of the time, I can only imagine how often Golds and Silvers are getting upgraded. When the vast majority of your elites are shoehorned into 31" of pitch, it stands to reason that the vast majority of your elites are probably unhappy the vast majority of the time. That's a problem.......but since I have been extremely lucky in scoring exit row seats at the time of booking, it's not a problem which is affecting me directly at this time.

I am just wondering if CO is aggressively trying to "sell" upgrades to F at check-in time to every Tom, Dick & Harry as a test to determine whether or not it would make financial sense to add an E+ section????
SS255 is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 4:18 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DCA
Programs: AA EXP, LT Gold, UA LT 1K, Bonvoy LT Titan, Avis PC, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,011
Originally Posted by J.Edward View Post
As I understand it CO's policy is to offer up-sells (the difference between a customer's coach fare and the cheapest F fare) as long as there are seats remaining in F. This is not to be confused with offering upgrades for cash to general customers to "sell" otherwise unoccupied F seats.

As far as it being fair, I'd suggest that it is. Customers have always had the ability to walk up to the counter and upgrade their fare (i.e. buy a F ticket) and I think this concept should remain. Back in the day it could easily by thousands,
The issue is that the F up-sell is a dynamic number. When you first buy a ticket on co.com - at the top left of the screen CO shows - lowest, non-restricted, and F fare. F is always very high - so no one takes it. If you wanted an F ticket at ticket time - you would have selected to search only for F tickets.

But now - the person that bought the cheap coach ticket - when they check in - CO lowers the price of a FC ticket (significantly) maybe dropping the price from $1.5K to $400-500RT and then offers that same person the ability to add $200 to their $200 RT ticket ($400 total) and now get that FC ticket for $400 versus the $1.5K that was available when they first bought the ticket.

For my flight tomorrow - F is sold out (20 seats), the up standby list is over 25 people and I as a Plat am about 1/2 way down the list on an E fare (not an L or a T, but a step up - E). And this flight is out of CLE (not IAH or EWR).

So yes, they are buying up from a coach to an F fare, but the F fare is real cheap when they now check in. Seems to me that CO should only offer full fare F tickets for buy-up - not discounted F tickets. Then the delta would be much higher.

Then the buy up would be say $1,300 buy up from a $200 fare, not $200 buy up with a newly created $400 RT F fare.
cova is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 4:48 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ACT/GRK/DAL/ABI/MIA/FLL
Programs: OMNIArchist, OMNIArchy!, OMNIIDGAS
Posts: 23,478
I haven't not gotten upgraded this year, even with a SDC. And leapfrogging over 20 on waitlist. without paying a penny, even for SDC.

I just wish the RJs had F, 12A is ghetto first.
Steph3n is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 5:17 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DCA
Programs: AA EXP, LT Gold, UA LT 1K, Bonvoy LT Titan, Avis PC, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,011
I think the point is:

1. CO has a product of 20 FC seats on a flight.
2. The hope is they sell all of those seats at FC fares.
3. A FC fare is defined as a FC fare code or a B/M up fare for Elites (M Plat only).
4. You have a flight in which 20 FC seat are sold out in advance of checkin.
5. Before check in time CO lowers the cost of a F seat.
6. After checkin starts, you have a long up standby list.
7. Platinums on midlevel fares are half way down the up standby list.
8. The net is too many people above willing to pay for F (do not believe the flight has more than say 10-15 Plat - if so that is another case - Too many Plats).
9. The result is that CO is selling its F product too cheap - demand exceeds capacity. (There are no EUA ups on the flight - since F is selling out).
10. Or CO is cutting the price of FC seats at the last minute (too low) or that CO has made B/M fares too cheap and not offering a K fare as a day before purchase.

B is many times the cheapest fare at 6 days or less, and B is priced way below what Y or H used to be and way below what Z used to be. And last minute F fares to any passenger are way below as well.

It is reported - someone asks what it would cost to upgrade to F the day before (answer $1K), then at check in the F drops to $400 and the cost to upgrade the one way is $100.
cova is offline  
Old Jan 21, 10, 5:29 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Programs: Million Miler, 1K - Basically spend a lot of time on planes
Posts: 2,173
I've said this before. The only thing that elites that truthfully have a right to complain about with this is that the elites are generally not being offered the buy ups, yet the non elite is. It should be that everyone is offered the buy up:

"You can confirm first class for this flight for x dollars, or you may remain on the standby list for complimentary upgrade.

Instead, at least on my limited exposure to the buyups, non elite travelers I have been with have been offered it while myself as a platinum was not offered it.

It gives the impression that they value the buy up money coming from the non elite than the buy up money from the elite.
CO_Nonrev_elite is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: