How do the Platinum Regional Upgrades Work

 
Old Feb 4, 11, 10:06 am
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Question How do the Platinum Regional Upgrades Work

I've never used an elite systemwide or regional (these are new I guess) upgrade instrument on CO before.

I've tried to find a thread on this subject and couldn't. If one exists mods can merge the threads. After reading throught the vague wording CO has, not sure about a lot of things:

1. What is the date when these regional upgrades get deposited in our accounts?
2. Are they good for any flights between the regions they include - e.g., between US and Central American or US and "select" flights in Asia / Oceania?
3. What are the "select" and the nonselect flights?
4. Anything else I need to know about these?

Here's all that is listed on Continental.com :

Platinum Elite members will earn two Regional Upgrades after completing 75,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) or 90 Elite Qualifying Points (EQPs). Two additional Regional Upgrades will be issued for every additional 25,000 EQMs or 30 EQPs earned thereafter in the same calendar year. Regional Upgrades, valid for upgrades to First Class, can be confirmed as early as the time of booking. These upgrades are eligible on all paid fares flown in the mainland U.S., Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean and Central America, and select flights in Hawaii and Asia/Oceania.

Regional Upgrade Terms and Conditions

Each Regional Upgrade is valid for one, one-way, one class upgrade.
Regional Upgrades are capacity controlled.
Regional Upgrades may not be used in conjunction with reward travel.
Regional Upgrades are earned based on flights taken between Jan.1 and Dec. 31.
Regional Upgrades will be deposited mid-year 2011 and at the time they are earned thereafter.
Regional upgrades will be valid 12 months from the date of issue.
These upgrades may be redeemed at continental.com or by contacting Continental Reservations.
Regional Upgrades are valid on Continental or Copa Airlines.
Upgrade waitlisting is permitted up to 24 hours prior to departure. Waitlists will be automatically cleared based on the Elite status of the account from which the Regional Upgrade was redeemed.
Regional upgrades are fully transferable and may be used for travel with or without the earning Elite member.
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Old Feb 4, 11, 10:14 am
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They will be valid on any non-BF marketed route. Assuming they work like the SWUs do you go into the reservation, click the upgrade link and then choose the instrument. Quite simple.

AFAIK the official start date has not yet been announced. I'd expect sometime in Q3.
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Old Feb 4, 11, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by GrizShel View Post
2. Are they good for any flights between the regions they include - e.g., between US and Central American or US and "select" flights in Asia / Oceania?
3. What are the "select" and the nonselect flights?
As sbm12, said, it's anything that doesn't have a BusinessFirst cabin. Which means you can't get from the US to Asia/Oceania on these because HNL-GUM would not qualify as it's a BF flight. But you could get to HNL via LAX/SNA. And Central/South America is fine too, except for GIG, GRU, EZE and LIM.
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Old Feb 4, 11, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
As sbm12, said, it's anything that doesn't have a BusinessFirst cabin. Which means you can't get from the US to Asia/Oceania on these because HNL-GUM would not qualify as it's a BF flight. But you could get to HNL via LAX/SNA. And Central/South America is fine too, except for GIG, GRU, EZE and LIM.
Marketed as BF is more accurate than having a BF cabin. And you could go EWR-LAX-HNL-Island Hopper-MNL/HKG/CNS/NRT on one, theoretically, as those flights are not marketed as BF.
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Old Feb 4, 11, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Marketed as BF is more accurate than having a BF cabin. And you could go EWR-LAX-HNL-Island Hopper-MNL/HKG/CNS/NRT on one, theoretically, as those flights are not marketed as BF.
oh i completely forgot about that... the island hopper is still on my to-do list...
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Old Feb 23, 11, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
As sbm12, said, it's anything that doesn't have a BusinessFirst cabin. Which means you can't get from the US to Asia/Oceania on these because HNL-GUM would not qualify as it's a BF flight. But you could get to HNL via LAX/SNA. And Central/South America is fine too, except for GIG, GRU, EZE and LIM.
So it seems like my dream of IAH-HNL-GUM for regional upgrade is long gone, not to talk about EWR-HNL...

However, until the 767 has refreshed all the BF seats, there's no way I would waste the SWU for that CO1/CO2. I think 10D-F isn't really as bad when I see how much the BF recliners do.
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Old Feb 24, 11, 10:37 pm
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BusinessFaux

Just took the EWR/HNL BusinessFaux flight.

Lets be honest - it's not similar to EWR-LHR, which is shorter.

Continental's BusinessFaux service between EWR/IAH-HNL features

- No amenity kits
- No printed menus (if there was, I didn't get it)
- Limited entree choices (on the overnight return). Actually only 1 entree choice. A meal featuring "a hot sandwich"
- No heated warm nuts. Nuts served from a bag.


What you do get
- BusinessFaux duvet
- BusinessFaux pillow
- BusinessFaux (767) seat
- Sundae, served from a trolley
- Meals on the outbound were good, return (night) less so

Frankly the FA's that worked my flight made it pleasant. Both on UA+CO they were nice. The lack of amenities made me and other pax feel "shortchanged", esp since some pax paid BusinessFaux prices. (no rev up)

In some ways, it's similar to UA's ORD-HNL flights, which UA fliers often upgrade using a CR-1 (Platinum Regional). At least CO didn't run out of food. Yours truely went back to Y and purchased food, and ate it in United First.

UACO needs to be honest and stop calling this flight BusinessFaux. It's domestic first class. If CO wants to call this BusinessFaux, then throw in the amenities to justify the price and the "brand"

Last edited by meFIRST; Feb 24, 11 at 10:43 pm
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Old Feb 24, 11, 11:13 pm
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Originally Posted by meFIRST View Post
What you do get
...
- BusinessFaux (767) seat
Well, for most people, that's 90% of the value.

The lack of amenities made me and other pax feel "shortchanged", esp since some pax paid BusinessFaux prices. (no rev up)
I assume part of the reason it's modified BusinessFirst is because not enough passengers pay BusinessFirst prices. That said, an amenity kit, printed menu and slightly improved catering can't cost more than $25 extra per passenger. The flight must be so marginally profitable that they can't afford the extra expense.

UACO needs to be honest and stop calling this flight BusinessFaux. It's domestic first class. If CO wants to call this BusinessFaux, then throw in the amenities to justify the price and the "brand"
Well, most of us think the BusinessFirst brand will have to go away anyway assuming the combined carrier keeps international first class at least on some routes.
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Old Feb 25, 11, 12:02 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Well, for most people, that's 90% of the value.

I assume part of the reason it's modified BusinessFirst is because not enough passengers pay BusinessFirst prices. That said, an amenity kit, printed menu and slightly improved catering can't cost more than $25 extra per passenger. The flight must be so marginally profitable that they can't afford the extra expense.


EWR-HNL Base "Z" fare is $2900+. And yes,it costs $500 + 17500 to upgrade from the lowest fare (instruments aside). While you can rev up, doing so during peak periods is a lost cause. Z = 0, T-24.

Currently, on UA metal, HNL routes are CR-1 eligible, just as United p.s flights are CR-1 eligible (aka Platinum Regional).

This has yet to be clarified.

Paging UA Insider....
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Old Feb 25, 11, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by meFIRST View Post


EWR-HNL Base "Z" fare is $2900+.
That's $0.29 per mile, which is a pretty low price for a long-haul premium class flight. EWR-HKG probably averages $7500 r/t or $0.47/mi, EWR-LHR would be $0.44-$0.74 at a $3-5k r/t fare. And those routes probably sell more fares at the higher prices, and have fewer upgrades/nonrevs. EWR-HNL effectively tops out at about $3500, or $0.35/mi So you can see why HNL would be an outlier in profitability, and thus service.

Currently, on UA metal, HNL routes are CR-1 eligible, just as United p.s flights are CR-1 eligible (aka Platinum Regional).

This has yet to be clarified.

Paging UA Insider....
Well I assume neither UA CR-1 nor CO PRUs will work on the CO-operated BF flights to HNL (you should be able to use them on the narrowbodies from Calif.) And whatever they issue based on 2012 travel in a combined UACO FF program probably wouldn't either. The question is how long they continue with a BF-lite product into Hawaii. I assume they're looking at subbing some of the UA widebodies with domestic first class configurations. One complication is the continuing service on HNL-GUM. If that's higher yield, then they might want to keep a BF-lite service on at least one flight from the 48 to HNL. Based on published fares, it does look like HNL-GUM would generate at least $0.42/mile, so more in line with int'l BF, although IAH-GUM is actually a worse than EWR-HNL. So who knows.

Oh, worth pointing out that AA EXP's free unlimited upgrades include all flights to Hawaii, even the ORD/DFW ones with the angled flat international J seats. Though I hear the service is pretty much regular domestic F.
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