What the Heck Good is Silver Elite!!!!!

 
Old Feb 3, 10, 7:07 am
  #1  
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What the Heck Good is Silver Elite!!!!!

I have plenty of miles. So I tried to upgrade my flight from EWR-PBI tommorrow. There are 10 open FC seats out of 20. I have been on the wait list for upgrades dozens of times. And how many have I received so far? Zero, None, Nada. So I figured it would be a no brainer with this many open seats and using the outrageous price of 15K miles but what the heck. And what kind of upgrade have I got. Zero , None, Nada. The upgrade list is now in airport control. So I ask what good is silver elite anyway?
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Old Feb 3, 10, 7:18 am
  #2  
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Its not worth much. Your problem is that you are stuck in CO's main hub. I usually score 2 upgrades a year flying home from FLA on Saturdays
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Old Feb 3, 10, 7:46 am
  #3  
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Have you checked in yet? Are you on the top of the list (or close to it)? Odds are that they are holding the seats on that flight because they actually do sell a number of them up front on that route. If they give out upgrades you should be at the top to receive one.

As for what it is worth, EliteAccess, waived bag check fees, faster answer on the phones, etc.
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Old Feb 3, 10, 8:15 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
As for what it is worth, EliteAccess, waived bag check fees, faster answer on the phones, etc.
I might add - that Silver gives you Elite seating - forward section at time of ticketing, later this year - access to UA E+.
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Old Feb 3, 10, 8:21 am
  #5  
 
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You also get a small mileage bonus.

I was silver elite for years. I liked it because I got decent seats and the occassional upgrade. I wasn't based out of EWR or IAH, so I probably got more than people who are. Now, with waived baggage fees, it makes sense.

Assuming that you'll get an upgrade ever is just back luck. I'm happy when I get one and OK when I don't.
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Old Feb 3, 10, 8:36 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
I might add - that Silver gives you Elite seating - forward section at time of ticketing, later this year - access to UA E+.
and upgrades at time of booking on higher fares. i should say that you given how unlikely a silver upgrade is on that route, you could have called a few days ahead and they would have happily upgraded you for miles. i am plat and my wife is gold and i often just use miles to upgrade her just aheap of the plat upgrade window when i think i wil get the upgrade. otherwise we don't get upgraded untill its her turn and that has not been often lately...
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Old Feb 3, 10, 9:36 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Playing the Upgrade Game

My wife and I are both Silver Elite ... from pleasure flights exclusively with CO ... the majority of flights reflecting our monthly EWR-FLL RTs to our 2nd home in Boca Raton ... occasional flights throughout each year to vacation destinations in the US, Canada, Europe, etc.

We find that selecting Saturday evening flights to Florida gives us a higher success rate for auto-upgrades at the 24 hour mark ... but we have noticed over the past year that flight times other than Sat eve'gs on the EWR-FLL and the alternative EWR-PBI routes tend to show an Upgrade Standby List that just about scrolls off my laptop's screen.

We are on an EWR-FLL flight later today which had only 9 revenue seats out of 20 filled up through three days ago ... then just one person was shown on the "upgrade" list following the 48-hour Gold upgrade run. Suddenly (and magically) within the 24-hour mark (yesterday), the front cabin filled with 8 more upgrades (apparently all Silvers) which is understandable. But with 19 (of 20) seats booked (revenue and upgrades) at the moment, the upgrade standby list shows 17 souls ... yep, 17!!! ... and this is a Wednesday afternoon flight. Who are these people that have prevented my wife and me from partaking in the pleasures of a CO 1st Class experience?!?!

Fortunately, though we are lowly Silvers, we accumulate lots and lots of FFMs through corporate and personal AmEx Platinum and Chase Continental credit card spending. So, when we have late day (evening, non-Saturday) flights, we'll use miles for upgrades ... as we did for our return flight next week.

For us, because of our travel flexibility, it's become a challenge ... even a game ... to book flights based on departure times and days of the week and 1st class cabin size ... in order to improve our chances for upgrades. But when I feel bad karma ... small 1st class cabin, too many revenue bookings way ahead of the flight date, etc. ... I react emotionally and plunk down the FFMs for the upgrade, if it is available.

As an observation, each of us posters may have divergent priorities, dissimilar ages, varying incomes, differing desires, distinctive needs and diverse life experiences ... so my value system and desire to fly in comfort up front may be at odds with the priorities or options available to others posters.
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Old Feb 3, 10, 10:01 am
  #8  
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Just an update to my fellow EWR CO travelers. To reply to one posting above. I did ask for an upgrade about 10 days ago using miles. That bucket was full and I was put on the stand by upgrade list. Even though there was 12 seats available out of 20 at that time. But to follow up I did get my upgrade. With a few minutes before the 24hr mark it did come thru. Also the other 10 open seats were all filled too. The sad thing about this upgrade game is with DEQM promo that was run in the last qtr. in 2009 everybody in EWR is elite. I was walking thru EWR last week on the way to TPA and I stopped by about 10 to 12 gates to look at the stand by upgrade list. None was shorted than 9 PAX. So i guess in the future that silvers and probably golds will only get upgraded out of EWR with miles. As for the other things that come with silver. Free bags I get with my Chase CC. The phone line I never use because I do most of my stuff online. And a closer row to the front and early boarding is irrevelant to me. But the 25% bonus is nice. So not totally worthless in that respect. But as for upgrades I probably will never see one based totally on status as a silver to or from EWR.
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Old Feb 3, 10, 10:05 am
  #9  
 
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To speak to my 2 years as Silver a few ago, it's a slow game for me. It's the mileage bonus (EQMs and RDMs), EliteAccess services, and satisfaction knowing I've a greater-than-normal stake in CO that makes me enjoy it. EUAs don't determine my happiness with OP Elite, though they may fairly do for others, since I see that as a bonus and not a right (and not saying others do either, but I'm perhaps more lassez-faire about it than most). I've experienced all sorts of EUA situations from being upgraded after being boarded by the gate agent finding me in my WESTNL class seat to getting the email at T-3days, from not making it with 15+ F/J seats free to getting the proverbial "last one". I've been Gold for a few years now, getting up to Platinum next year for a few years before onwards, always slowly but steadily. It's all worth it, Silver and otherwise.
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Old Feb 3, 10, 10:20 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by N9MD View Post
... and this is a Wednesday afternoon flight. Who are these people that have prevented my wife and me from partaking in the pleasures of a CO 1st Class experience?!?!
Errr... I'd say that's the Super Bowl crowd??

I have a flight to Miami tomorrow that as a Platinum I knew I'd have no chance at getting upgraded, even with 4 seats available at the 24 hour mark yesterday. All sold now, as expected and intended by Continental.

But in terms of the original OP, I was a Silver 2 years ago and my company always books Y or B fares, so it made all the difference in the world to me.
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Old Feb 3, 10, 10:37 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by stinkycop View Post
So I ask what good is silver elite anyway?
  • E+ on UA (coming soon)
  • No checked baggage fees
  • Those "preferred seats" closer to the front of the plane
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Old Feb 3, 10, 11:01 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by warreng24 View Post
  • E+ on UA (coming soon)
  • No checked baggage fees
  • Those "preferred seats" closer to the front of the plane
also...
no bag fees on US or UA
priority checkin w/ CO
priority security at most CO security areas (and US/UA areas stating "elites" rather than "*G")
priority boarding on CO and somewhat on US/UA
priority baggage on CO (not sure about US/UA)
no upgrade fee for FC or Intl biz mileage upgrades
instant ups on Y and B
mleage bonus
better access to reward availability
elite phone number
discount at pres club
slim possibility of complimentray upgarde (in 2002 i always rode up front as silver- the good old days).

i dont think those are terribly bad for 25k miles a year in leisure ravel. or any travel for that matter. i will admit though, ST had a slightly better package for silvers.
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Old Feb 3, 10, 12:01 pm
  #13  
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Id say anything less then CO Plat or UA 1k is a losing battle. It will be good basically to save the bag fees. And to keep you Indebted to CO and always buying your tkts on them. So from COs side of things its Working Great
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Old Feb 3, 10, 6:44 pm
  #14  
RNE
 
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
As for what it is worth, EliteAccess, waived bag check fees, faster answer on the phones, etc.
[crickets chirping] We all know the only benefit that counts is EUAs. Take heart, lamenters, the OP is probably silver only because of DEQMs. You get what you pay for.
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Old Feb 3, 10, 6:53 pm
  #15  
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B-ups are nice too.
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