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Should we be concerned with this new Upgrade Development?

Should we be concerned with this new Upgrade Development?

 
Old Aug 30, 10, 1:03 pm
  #1  
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Thumbs down Should we be concerned with this new Upgrade Development?

Background: Tomorrow I am flying through IAH to Atlanta. Before the 24 hour mark I received an email announcing that my upgrade cleared on the flight to Houston. Good.

Curious I was wondering about the 2 hour flight to Atlanta. I checked and they were still offering seats for sale on my flight, but no upgrade had cleared. No big deal I thought; this may be a battlefield upgrade on the plane.

Well as I proceeded to check in I pulled up the seat map to check the seats on my flight to Atlanta. I received an interested offer: Upgrade to First Class for $29!

I know that Continental has been offering first class upgrades for a price, but this is just dead wrong. I fly over 100K per year on Continental. The main perk that I fly for is the upgrades.

In this situation they could have easily upgraded me (10 year platinum, over 1.4 million miles) rather than insult me and offer me to pay them another $29 for the seat.

I called the elite desk and as I suspected; they said this was an error and gave the seat. I don't buy this for one minute. Computers don't make mistakes. This was programmed to do exactly what it did.

I will not continue to let management chip away at my elite benefits and continue to fly them exclusively. This merger with United will give them an opportunity to bring more to the table for elites. I for one am tired of them continuing to take benefits away.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 1:14 pm
  #2  
 
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Computers don't make mistakes?????

I will have to pass that on to my wife who works in software development! She would beg to differ I am sure.

Now, why you did not get upgraded is an entirely different topic; but it could be because of poorly designed software.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 1:14 pm
  #3  
 
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Right there with you, brother (or sister)!

I felt similarly insulted and frustrated by the "buy-up to first" on a recent flight.

At least you got someone to address the issue. I mentioned it to the gate agent and she stated that they are there to make money.

It's a shame that people who make these decisions don't have a more "enlightened" sense of self-interest in which future loyalty has a quantifiable measure.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 1:28 pm
  #4  
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The fare-up and the buy-up do not bother me at all. The one I cannot explain at all, however, is one that I saw for the first time yesterday: the fare-up "on sale." The screen displayed the actual fare difference (~$350) and then offered it "on sale" for only $59.

If CO really is planning on starting a bidding war amongst elites on discount fares for the upgrades then I'll have to write off that aspect of the program as a rather awful collection of manure.

Oh, and computers do not make mistakes; they do exactly what their programmers tell them to do. There may be unexpected results, but that doesn't mean the computer processed the instructions wrong.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 1:51 pm
  #5  
 
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Nope.

Originally Posted by rockdoc View Post
Computers don't make mistakes?????

I will have to pass that on to my wife who works in software development! She would beg to differ I am sure.

Now, why you did not get upgraded is an entirely different topic; but it could be because of poorly designed software.
No, computers don't make mistakes; software developers do. See last year's incident involving a Qantas A330 plummeting towards earth. Software.

Further, this very issue has been reported here NUMEROUS times, and is, in plain fact, complete horse manure.

CO gets away with it via some paragraphs of legal-ese, basically stating that upgrade seats are sold out of R availability, and 0 R seats doesn't necessarily translate to 0 seats available in the cabin. Consequently, even if all seats are empty, should Continental feel that they can sell ALL seats in F, they may zero out R inventory at the 350 day mark. Should they wish to.

But, as far as customer service goes, I don't know why we're sticking to CO above other carriers based on upgrades- if they're not selling me what they sold me on, then why am I still buying? Oh wait, maybe it's because of the most professional..... oh, sorry, that's Channa's line.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 1:56 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by rockdoc View Post
Computers don't make mistakes?????

I will have to pass that on to my wife who works in software development! She would beg to differ I am sure.
Not if she knows what she's doing.

Programmers make mistakes. Rarely, integrated circuit designers have a data-changing mistake make it into a production chip. But computers are pretty infallible - if they operate at all, then they will operate exactly as programed.



If CO is going to sell upgrades at below the fare-up price, then they need to establish and publish a minimum-price for that, so I can evaluate the value of the program.


I'm not sure this makes a lot of sense for CO; if anyone can buy the upgrades at a discount if they are available, then I don't have any reason to have an elite level higher than Silver for free bags - cheaper for me to just buy the upgrade when I want it.


But, we don't know the whole situation here - there may have been 6 seats available and two people on the upgrade list and the software just isn't smart enough to NOT offer it to an elite. (Or maybe CO is turning into DL and is willing to try to charge you for something they know they're about to give you for free.)

Last edited by raehl311; Aug 30, 10 at 2:03 pm
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Old Aug 30, 10, 1:57 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Legend717 View Post
Further, this very issue has been reported here NUMEROUS times,
I disagree with this aspect of your argument. The "sale" fare-ups are reasonably new.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I disagree with this aspect of your argument. The "sale" fare-ups are reasonably new.
How do we know that this was the OP's situation? I'm not saying it wasn't, just wondering how we can tell that it was.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 2:49 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by st530 View Post
How do we know that this was the OP's situation? I'm not saying it wasn't, just wondering how we can tell that it was.
Educated guess based on the numbers involved, the description of where in the overall sequence of time it happened and my experiences yesterday.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 4:15 pm
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raehl311, my wife knows exactly what she is doing. EOM
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Old Aug 30, 10, 4:20 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
The fare-up and the buy-up do not bother me at all. The one I cannot explain at all, however, is one that I saw for the first time yesterday: the fare-up "on sale." The screen displayed the actual fare difference (~$350) and then offered it "on sale" for only $59.

If CO really is planning on starting a bidding war amongst elites on discount fares for the upgrades then I'll have to write off that aspect of the program as a rather awful collection of manure.
The "on sale" is troublesome. When fare-up and buy-up were introduced, many Elites worried how much this policy would cut into EUA rates. At the time, these concern were entirely unfounded, just a mop that was about to run amok, before CO Insider calmed the waters.
Originally Posted by CO Insider View Post
Hi Everyone, before you start marching down to Smith Street with your pitchforks and torches, let me fill in some of the blanks about our upgrade programs.
The new policy was quite reasonable to me, because I could not find a good argument that CO should give me a free upgrade rather than selling the seat to someone who is willing to pay the (difference up to a) published fare. The following statement is all fine with me:
Originally Posted by CO Insider View Post
... we've always said that our first priority is to actually fill the First Class cabin with customers paying First Class fares. Our buy-up option is simply a matter of more proactively merchandising these fares (as opposed to keeping them hidden behind a veil of secrecy).
But the (new?) "on sale" calls for some clarification. Is CO simply testing sbm12's willingness to pay for an upgrade he would have gotten anyway? Or is $59 the price it takes to bump an elite down in coach (by eliminating an EUA). I think many of us would like to know the exact mechanism behind this option, so we can better access the meaning of: "OnePass Elite members are eligible for unlimited complimentary First Class upgrades".
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Old Aug 30, 10, 4:28 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Educated guess based on the numbers involved, the description of where in the overall sequence of time it happened and my experiences yesterday.
I am not sure exactly what I was offered. All I know is that I paid a high (K) fare for this itinerary. It may have been a "pay up fare" although it was not indicated as such on the web site. When I looked at the seat map I was offered a first class seat for $29.

As far as computer making mistakes… of course it is the programmer that makes the mistake. The computer only does exactly what it is programmed to do. They are probably selling seats everyday that should go to qualified elites. As some said earlier, why earn status beyond Silver if this Mickey Mouse game will continue? Continental needs to stop playing games and play by the rules that they established.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 4:30 pm
  #13  
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The on sale buy-ups downright suck. If CO goes this way, I certainly wont be supportive and will probably just start booking based on lowest price if I am sitting in the back anyway.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 4:30 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by Reptile View Post

I will not continue to let management chip away at my elite benefits and continue to fly them exclusively. This merger with United will give them an opportunity to bring more to the table for elites. I for one am tired of them continuing to take benefits away.
I for one think that when the 2 FFP's merge, we will have addition by subtraction. I have lowered expectations for 2012 and CO OP. My 2012 strategy is to maintain 1K on UA, use up my 4 SWU's on CO, then look for greener pastures elsewhere.
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Old Aug 30, 10, 4:34 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Reptile View Post
I will not continue to let management chip away at my elite benefits and continue to fly them exclusively.
I agree. Currently, less than 48 hours to flight time and still waiting for EUA. It appears the only upgrade has been a Y/B/M up. Nine F seats remain and no Plats have received a EUA. It will be interesting tomorrow at OLCI to see what the "offers" are.
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