Those illusive upgrades...

 
Old Feb 27, 11, 7:26 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 328
Those illusive upgrades...

Flying IAH to DEN tomorrow, Feb 28th on CO601 on my final trip as Platinum I connect on a UA flight to SAN.

I bought a V fare and had chosen 21A and kept watching the FC cabin which was empty with only 1B taken (most likely just blocked). The coach cabin is 98% full and there has to be a fair share of Elites on the flight. With no advance upgrade to FC I went ahead and ponied up 15,000 miles to reserve my spot in FC. Next month I will be Silver so I want to enjoy this little trip!

Just checked the CO website and it still only shows 1B and my seat, 2F taken and the PDA site at 29 hours until the flight lists 4 out of 20 booked and I am the only UG on the list with no others listed.

I already used miles for the UG on the return leg which will be from SEA on March 9th as I wanted to secure it while still Platinum but this outgoing flight sure looks odd with all of those empty FC seats.

Is this just what we are to expect from CO regarding upgrades from now on?
Chrisinhouston is offline  
Old Feb 27, 11, 8:09 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Austin, Texas(Best Airport Food in the World)
Programs: UA 1K, CO Pres? Plat, Marriott Plat, Hilton, Avis, Hertz
Posts: 329
I would cancel the upgrade as you will probably get the EAU or battlefield ug. What fare class? They have been doing tons of UG in the t-24 and under window.
AUSshouldbeahub is offline  
Old Feb 27, 11, 9:01 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: East Coast
Programs: UA 1k & MillM
Posts: 562
Originally Posted by AUSshouldbeahub View Post
I would cancel the upgrade as you will probably get the EAU or battlefield ug. What fare class? They have been doing tons of UG in the t-24 and under window.
I agree. Several recent cases where F is wide open up until T-24... Even on case where the elite section seatmap showed just 5/57.
reinballe is offline  
Old Feb 27, 11, 9:22 am
  #4  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: DCA or IAD (originally DUB)
Programs: UA 1K 1.8MM, Hertz PC, Marriott Platinum/Lifetime Gold
Posts: 7,658
Somewhat OT:
Did you mean "elusive" as in hard to find?
Or "illusive" as in having the nature of an illusion?
UAPremExecflyer is offline  
Old Feb 27, 11, 9:45 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, NY
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Hertz, Avis, National, Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, Marriott
Posts: 7,919
I'd cancel the request before EUA runs. IMO, 15k for IAH-DEN on a 737 is a terrible waste of miles.

You'll probably get the u/g regardless as a Platinum on a mid-range fare basis.
EWR764 is offline  
Old Feb 27, 11, 12:58 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 328
Originally Posted by UAPremExecflyer View Post
Somewhat OT:
Did you mean "elusive" as in hard to find?
Or "illusive" as in having the nature of an illusion?
More towards the meaning of B!
Chrisinhouston is offline  
Old Feb 27, 11, 1:04 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 328
Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
I'd cancel the request before EUA runs. IMO, 15k for IAH-DEN on a 737 is a terrible waste of miles.

You'll probably get the u/g regardless as a Platinum on a mid-range fare basis.
Well, differences of opinion are what makes the world go around. As far as I'm concerned 15,000 miles isn't much of anything. I'm at the 24 hour mark and just checked in and I'm still the only upgrade showing with 14 on the wait list.

And as mentioned, I drop to Silver now so the chances of upgrades will be few and far between, better to go out in style even if it is less then a 2 hour ride!
Chrisinhouston is offline  
Old Feb 28, 11, 7:55 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 328
3 1/2 hours out and no upgrades listed other then me with my 15000 miles as payment. It shows 7 of the 20 booked and 5 checked in, 30+ on the UG standby list and coach is showing booked at 100%.

I believe the sad reality is that they are still offering to sell the FC seats to those still checking in. They will most likely process the UGs at the gate or just after everyone takes their reserved seat which only slows down the departure as the UGs move up to FC.

As a Houston based traveler I've always tried to give CO my business because it helped me reach Elite and I enjoyed the perks. If the perks like courtesy upgrades are non existent I guess I will shop ticket prices and spread my business elsewhere.
Chrisinhouston is offline  
Old Feb 28, 11, 8:09 am
  #9  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: ORD / DUB / LHR
Programs: UA 1K MM; BA Silver; Marriott Plat
Posts: 8,243
Another day, another hyperbole-ridden post regarding CO upgrades.

Help me out here - how do you get from this:

Originally Posted by Chrisinhouston View Post
It shows 7 of the 20 booked and 5 checked in, 30+ on the UG standby list and coach is showing booked at 100%.
to this?:

Originally Posted by Chrisinhouston View Post
If the perks like courtesy upgrades are non existent I guess I will shop ticket prices and spread my business elsewhere.
The reality is that approx. 13 of those remaining seats will go to "courtesy upgrades". So many people here have repeated this doom and gloom story about how upgrades are non-existent and CO has somehow failed them. The reality is that this is an example of the process working perfectly. Nobody is promised an upgrade a specific period of time before a flight - if no paying pax are expected then CO will happily run EUA several days in advance and everybody gets upgraded. It would be crazy to do this on all flights though where historical patterns indicate that people would be willing to pay several hundred dollars for an upgrade, or where last minute business travelers may pay for a seat in F. If none of these happen, then what's the issue? All the available seats will go to "courtesy upgrades" and everyone's happy.

Again - I really don't see the issue here. And that is coming from a very frequent CO traveler who would be affected by these things just like everyone else. And my upgrade rates have been doing just fine thanks ^
star_world is offline  
Old Feb 28, 11, 10:20 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,766
30+ beats the 85+ I had on a IAH-DEN earlier this month on a 5:30PM departure.
wcalvert is offline  
Old Feb 28, 11, 10:39 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 10,966
Waste of 15k

1) You probably would have gotten the upgrade
2) 15k for the upgrade to Denver is an incredible waste (especialy when you already had a seat in 21).
3) The only reason you were Plat was probably because of the ludicrous DEQM promotions in '09. I'm guessing your imminent Silver status is probably more reflective of you actual yearly flight miles, so the threat of "spreading your business elsewhere" isn't a bad idea. The benefit you're most likely to miss most is the 25% mileage bonus, but at a Silver Elite level of flying, that's hardly worth hanging around for.
IAH-OIL-TRASH is offline  
Old Feb 28, 11, 10:46 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: East Coast
Programs: UA 1k & MillM
Posts: 562
Originally Posted by Chrisinhouston View Post
It shows 7 of the 20 booked and 5 checked in, 30+ on the UG standby list.
Originally Posted by star_world View Post
Another day, another hyperbole-ridden post regarding CO upgrades.

The reality is that approx. 13 of those remaining seats will go to "courtesy upgrades". So many people here have repeated this doom and gloom story about how upgrades are non-existent and CO has somehow failed them. The reality is that this is an example of the process working perfectly. Nobody is promised an upgrade a specific period of time before a flight - if no paying pax are expected then CO will happily run EUA several days in advance and everybody gets upgraded.
Two things:
1) The number could be a great deal smaller than 13. I have seen the last 7 seats eaten up by the TOD program, as I was #1 on the wait list, trying to make use of an SWU.

2) There has been something odd with the timing of upgrades recently. Today's flight 1538 (discussed in a different thread) had just 2 booking in F (2/20) all the way up until T-1, and just 5/57 seats occupied in the elite section of the plane... with a Plat still waiting for an upgrade.
At T-1 F went to 7/20 in F leaving the elite section at 0/57.
The plane took off with 9 empty seats in F.

The final outcome was (of course) great for elites.... all silver and companions got seated in F... Still... Why did a Plat not get upgraded before T-1 under these circumstances? That does look a bit odd.

It is plausible that there has been a shift in policy in terms the seat availability for EUA.
reinballe is offline  
Old Feb 28, 11, 10:54 am
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: ORD / DUB / LHR
Programs: UA 1K MM; BA Silver; Marriott Plat
Posts: 8,243
Originally Posted by reinballe View Post
Two things:
1) The number could be a great deal smaller than 13. I have seen the last 7 seats eaten up by the TOD program, as I was #1 on the wait list, trying to make use of an SWU.
First - there is no "TOD program" despite several people on this board desperately trying to insist that there is - upgrade quotes are based on fare difference on flights like this. You pay more upfront, your upgrade will be cheaper.

Originally Posted by reinballe View Post
2) There has been something odd with the timing of upgrades recently. Today's flight 1538 (discussed in a different thread) had just 2 booking in F (2/20) all the way up until T-1, and just 5/57 seats occupied in the elite section of the plane... with a Plat still waiting for an upgrade.
At T-1 F went to 7/20 in F leaving the elite section at 0/57.
The plane took off with 9 empty seats in F.

The final outcome was (of course) great for elites.... all silver and companions got seated in F... Still... Why did a Plat not get upgraded before T-1 under these circumstances? That does look a bit odd.
What difference does it make when you're upgraded? Apart from the decision of whether or not to buy a meal in the terminal, I really don't see why this is a reason for panic.

Originally Posted by reinballe View Post
It is plausible that there has been a shift in policy in terms the seat availability for EUA.
If you mean seat availability for EUA in advance of the departure date - sure, maybe. There always was a variation from one flight to the next. Most likely CO realises they have missed out on revenue from paying pax close to the departure time and has adjusted the timings for specific flights accordingly. Again - hardly a reason for panic.
star_world is offline  
Old Feb 28, 11, 11:01 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: LGA/JFK/EWR
Programs: UA 1K1.5MM, Hyatt Globalist, abandoned Marriott LTT (RIP SPG), Hertz PC
Posts: 20,326
Originally Posted by star_world View Post
First - there is no "TOD program" despite several people on this board desperately trying to insist that there is - upgrade quotes are based on fare difference on flights like this. You pay more upfront, your upgrade will be cheaper.
Actually, when connecting flights mis-map to much higher fare buckets (as has been documented innumerable times on this forum), or when the price of a B fare magically drops during OLCI (also documented), the TOD upgrades do appear. Why do you think no shortage of CO flyers (both long-time FTers as well as newer ones) report all the $59 upgrades they're offered during OLCI? It's not a single poster with 100 different FT logins. We can debate whether it's intentional or not, but it's definitely systemic.

You do just as much a disservice saying these upgrades don't exist, when they clearly do. It's simply delusional to say they don't exist. Hopefully with the increase in B (and I assume M) fares, these will become a thing of the past.
UA-NYC is offline  
Old Feb 28, 11, 11:22 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Central Florida
Programs: Bonvoy-Gold, HH-Gold, Sixt-Plat
Posts: 2,043
Originally Posted by UAPremExecflyer View Post
Somewhat OT:
Did you mean "elusive" as in hard to find?
Or "illusive" as in having the nature of an illusion?
^^^^ Beat me to it.
HobokenFlyer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: