Piqued: No upgrade Avail. with Miles

 
Old Mar 26, 99, 8:24 pm
  #1  
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Piqued: No upgrade Avail. with Miles


I book 3 months in advance, sometimes even 6 months in advance. I do it in advance to get a good price and often to upgrade using miles.

Continental, as opposed to NW (perhaps others), often has no availability despite first class being entirely open (no bookings). Why? I ask OnePass and they say it's "the mind" in Houston.

Well, I want to vent a bit here. I certainly understand withholding most, or almost all of the first class seats for revenue books. That's good business. But what's poor in my view is closing First off entirely, especially months and months in advance. As someone has mentioned before, this is where NW is superior in upgrade availability. NW doesn't do this, or at least as much, from my experience (and if NW does, then I want to apply this complaint to all airlines in general).

Of course, Cont. will likely at some point "open" some seats up. But why should it have to be a crap shoot and my having to check the computer to see if any F seats have been released--after I have booked my ticket. A bit annoying. This is a pain in the neck. Why not one or two seats???? This sort of restriction doesn't happen on all flights, of course, but often does with respect to weekend travel. August 27 and Nov. 12.

So, I would like to fly Cont. I like their service, newer planes, in flight entertainment, etc. better than NW (By the way, "NW you need to get your butts in gear with this stuff: not an equal partnership in many respects"). I can choose NW or CO, three months in advance, and six months in advance. I would like to upgrade. Oh, I can't on CO. I can on NW. Thus, in this respect the OnePass program has less value than NW. "The Mind" of Houston seems a bit closed to this dissevice. How about an email service that notifies you when the seats are released? A thought.

Okay, anything else with this querulous discourse...ok. That was therapeutic.
JeffLewis2 is offline  
Old Mar 26, 99, 8:35 pm
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I generally try to base the bookings on flights that have upgrades available, so there are no suprises.....


[This message has been edited by NJDavid (edited 03-26-99).]
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Old Mar 26, 99, 8:53 pm
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Jeff:

I like your idea about the e-mail. I'll go one further. How about allowing "standby" for miles upgrades. They could timestamp the list and when seats are made available, you'd get them automatically.

David' point about checking F seat availability before booking is a strong one. I always check the number of F seats using www.itn.com before booking a flight. If I'm flexible in travel plans, I try and book the flight with the most F seats.
I've found this most useful on EWR-IAH segments which are always a tough upgrade.
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Old Mar 26, 99, 9:09 pm
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Boomer, I like the idea. Would be great.

Yes, ITN is great for checking. This is what I've been doing today. The flights that have some F seats released don't work for me. Of the five flights to EWR that day, I recall that only one, or maybe two, had any F seats released. Again, there were no Fclass seats booked on those flights when I checked the seating chart.

I just don't like doing the rechecking via ITN for when they are released, as you know. Some sort of waitlisting is, indeed, the right approach. C
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Old Mar 27, 99, 7:05 am
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Once last year I had asked for an upgrade using miles on a flight where the only seats available were revenue. (My wife was already in first on a reward and I didn't want to hear how I "left her alone"). They promised me there was a "waiting list", and that as a Gold (last year's top) elite, they would contact me once a seat cleared.

As it turned out one never did, and when there were only 3 seats left at all, I paid the difference in fare to get the upgrade from an H fare (which is not restricted to F).

I don't know if they would have called me, but I certainly called in once a week to check on it.
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