CO 1Pass <-- Upgrades are harder to get

 
Old Oct 22, 06, 2:06 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation CO 1Pass <-- Upgrades are harder to get

Continental has yet again changed the rules on their best customers, their "Elite".

I fly on Continental at least once a week and have been watching the availability of upgrades. About two weeks ago it pretty much stopped. I started going to their website to see if 1st class seats were still open the day before and even the day of my flights, and they have been continuing to show and sell seats -- while the counter & gate agents are telling me that 1st class is already full. I checked online for a flight last week out of Orange County (SNA) while I was at the gate, one hour before my flight and they still had seats shown for sale, and the sale price was only $50 above the price for economy seats. Therefore Continental wants any last minute buyer to fly 1st class, and not the "Elite" who have been loyal to Continental for years.

The $50 incident was not one time. I have been watching other flights including one I am on tomorrow. Same thing, economy is one price but 1st class seats (round trip) are only $50 higher.

Very disappointing. Yes, they continue to serve meals at meal time. Woohoo! Throw a nasty cheeseburger at me. Bring back the 1st class upgrades.
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Old Oct 22, 06, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by dpickel
Continental has yet again changed the rules on their best customers, their "Elite".
First, welcome to FlyerTalk.
Second, what rule change are you talking about?
I don't think you bring up anything new. Further, CO will still upgrade its elite flyers if FC seats remain unsold. Nothing has changed there. Generally all remaining FC seats are assigned to upgraders 3 hours before the flight.
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Old Oct 22, 06, 2:42 pm
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welcome to FT and to fewer EUAs . There are more and more people willing to pay for FC nowadays.

As for the burger, I don't think it is nasty, maybe a little cheesy, but not nasty .
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Old Oct 22, 06, 7:41 pm
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wow, big surprise.

Someone most likely DID get the upgrade in the end, so what's the problem? CO thought they could sell the seat.. If they can make an extra $50 on a flight, why not?
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Old Oct 22, 06, 7:56 pm
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Lightbulb

Sounds like good business to sell your product rather than give it away..Sounds likes some seats are held for purchase until last minute ..this is just good business..what you mean to say is you dont like thier policy because your not getting your upgrade all the time..are you use to getting more than you pay for???
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Old Oct 22, 06, 8:53 pm
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Originally Posted by CAL PHL FLYER
Sounds like good business to sell your product rather than give it away..Sounds likes some seats are held for purchase until last minute ..this is just good business..what you mean to say is you dont like thier policy because your not getting your upgrade all the time..are you use to getting more than you pay for???
Let me start by mentioning all too often, Im the one who is Pontificating about 'Did U get what U paid for' & if You really want something then buy it be it where One sits on a flight or what room sleeps in at a Hotel.

That aside, Both the Carriers and Hotels Programs are full with ads and come-ons trying to get everyone to believe that once they Earn a certain level a Magic Door to Riches be it free tkts or Upgrades will Automatically be theirs to be had. It is this that is WRONG, but if those Carriers and Hotels told the Truth they wouldnt be able to get anyone to jump thru its Hoops as they want.

The answer is 2 folded 1- Let the Public Be Aware, 2- Let there be some Truth in Advertising on the part of the Carriers and Hotels. If both groups would take a step in each direction alot will be accomplished.

We shouldnt expect a Rolls-Royce for the price of a Volkswagon, nor should anyone be trying to get Us to believe that We can do just that.
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Old Oct 22, 06, 9:40 pm
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Pete Platinum buys an X fare a couple of weeks before the flight and is sitting in 12D. Within the EUA window, there are still seats in FC, but CO holds on to them. Larry Lastminute buys a ticket the night before the flight for Y + $50. The alternative was to move Pete to FC as a reward for his continued business, and sell 12D to Larry for Y. So CO has a choice: reward a good customer or make an extra $50 on the seat. Of course CO should maximize their profits, but at what cost to long term customers? $200 a seat? $100? $50? $1?

Loyalty works both ways. If CO isnít loyal to the elites, how can CO expect the elites to be loyal to them?

Margins are tight in the industry Ė no argument there. Different airlines are choosing different ways to beef up that margin. AA has eliminated magazines and wonít run the APU at the gate. CO has decided to increase their margins by not rewarding elites unless it costs them next to nothing.
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Old Oct 22, 06, 9:55 pm
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Originally Posted by craz
Let there be some Truth in Advertising on the part of the Carriers and Hotels.
I'm still a little confused -- what exactly is not true in these businesses' advertising?
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Old Oct 23, 06, 1:52 am
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I thought this forum was populated by actual OnePass FF's, but, apparently not.

My personal opinion is that no upgrades should be available prior to closing the flight; I benefit by CO staying in business and maxing revenue, regardless of what I pay for my ticket. I understand, however, that compettive pressures and gate Agent pressures have led to advance upgrades.

If you are elite, including "instant elite," there is no $50 gain in revenue on the seat - you get the FC seat, if availabel, at booking for the "Y" fare (there are some limits on this, such as said a coach seat must be available - for Plat - that is usually not an issue, unless flying "SSSS").

The problem is the "promise" made to discount fare elites; 5 days, 3 days, 1 day. In most of the markets I fly that are still CO instead of CO express, CO is not releasing any seats for the advance window.

I think that, as with the severe downgrade in treatment of President Club members when flying abroad, it is a violation of the agreement with the elite flyers.

If the window is a joke, it shouldn't be in the rules. Like the original poster, I don't find it funny.
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Old Oct 23, 06, 2:22 am
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I'm 5 for 6 this week, LGA IAH YYC, YYC IAH OAK, OAK IAH LGA for upgrades 3 to 5 days out. For IAH YYC and back, a colleague just missed a companion upgrade each way; oh well. Watching the seat maps on ExpertFlyer, I could see the 3 upgrades on OAK IAH that took place ahead of me. ExpertFlyer is showing availability of 2 in front, 9 in back for my last leg IAH LGA; I don't blame CO for waiting a bit.

CO can sell first weeks in advance on my usual run EWR to SFO, so the above is nice, and upgrades on my usual run are unexpected. I just picked up a KLM award for this summer, "lay flat" seat SFO AMS OTP and back on the exact dates needed, $3200 value for my recent miles, and I'll still have enough flights in 2007 to make Platinum again.

I read complaints in this thread, but no complaints here.
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Old Oct 23, 06, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by ContPlat
If the window is a joke, it shouldn't be in the rules.
It's not a joke.
I think that, as with the severe downgrade in treatment of President Club members when flying abroad, it is a violation of the agreement with the elite flyers.
What in the world are you talking about, and what does that have anything to do with the topic of this thread?
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Old Oct 23, 06, 8:22 am
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The $50 fee for non-Elite upgrade from Y has been around for some time - but you had to know about it and request it - it did not show up in the system.

An Elite gets the upgrade from Y (non-controlled) without the $50 fee to AU.

The last minute non-elite purchaser would have likely flown coach without issue - if he/she really needed to buy that last minute ticket. A full Y non-Elite is likely an infrequent travel with special circumstances and is likely not going to become a frequent traveler.

The real issue is - should CO had priced the last minute F seat at a price greater than $50 over coach - maybe $200 - $300. Then the last minute traveler would have had a choice. The $50 delta basically says - we will give you F for your last minute coach ticket - regardless of who you are even though you did not know any difference and would have flown coach.

The $50 fee basically moves the non-Elite Y (with Elite Access) from bottom of the upgrade list - to confirmed upgrade. Question: Is there any data to show that non-Elites who are infrequent travelers and buy last minute tickets for the Y+$50 become a frequent traveler with CO down the road??
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Old Oct 23, 06, 10:31 am
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As for the burger, I don't think it is nasty, maybe a little cheesy, but not nasty.

It's not quite nasty. He probably meant it became nasty when it was served with potato salad and potato chips. Thats what makes it nasty
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Old Oct 23, 06, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by chasbondy
As for the burger, I don't think it is nasty, maybe a little cheesy, but not nasty.

It's not quite nasty. He probably meant it became nasty when it was served with potato salad and potato chips. Thats what makes it nasty
I'll take the burger over that "pizza" anyday of the week...
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Old Oct 23, 06, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by BigPoppaCO
I'll take the burger over that "pizza" anyday of the week...
I think I encountered one of these "pizzas" today midflight to NRT, first time I have seen that....just a pizza and a napkin is what I was given....I was like this meal seems odd midflight on a 12 hour flight....I will admit I ate it but expected a little more....The Cheeseburger would have been nice!

As for the main topic thread, I am still running about 90% success on upgrades this year, but I am a high dollar/mileage traveler so I would expect that.

I have also noticed many seats showing unavailable for upgrade (even Y upgradeable fares) until I arrive at the gate or once i am seatedin my economy seat then I get the EUA.

I guess if they can get the extra $50 from a last minute buyer then to go for it, but it does seem like something changed over the last 3-4 months in the EUA availability.
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