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-   -   First time NW Plat on CO (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/continental-onepass-pre-merger/801289-first-time-nw-plat-co.html)

DCAflyer81 Mar 13, 08 10:56 pm

First time NW Plat on CO
 
So full disclosure: this is, in part, one of those obnoxious "can I get the upgrade" threads. My sincere apologies. I've done a number of searches re: upgrades on the routes I'll be taking, but I was hoping to go straight to the "horse's mouth," so to speak.

I'm a NW plat, have heard great things about CO, just have never taken them. I've got a number of trips coming up I must take to LAS from DCA and I'm seeing that NW is pricing out quite a bit higher than CO, so thought this might be a good opportunity to test CO out. I guess I'm wondering what upgrades are on various flights, such as DCA-IAH, IAH-LAS, LAS-EWR, etc. The first of these trips is coming up rather soon, 3/26-3/31 (if anyone would like to do a little reconnaisance re: my chances - likely need to leave mid-afternoon or evening). :D

Looking forward to trying CO out, though, and hoping to see FC - I've heard only good things, especially compared to the NW product. Is it true that CO'S FA staffing is higher than NW? Curious about that.

Thanks for any help anyone can provide, and sorry for the annoyance! Many thanks.

SAT Lawyer Mar 13, 08 11:36 pm

Upgrades are much harder to come by on CO than NW. Over the last three years, I have never missed an upgrade on an eligible flight on NW, but am batting around 50-60% on CO flights. Furthermore, while NW almost always upgrades me at or before the five-day window, CO frequently makes me sweat it out until much closer to the date of travel. With that said, the food and seats in first class are substantially better on CO, and CO, unlike NW, actually shows a movie on many of its longer flights. On the other hand, if you get stuck in coach on a 733/735/73G, you will find that there are far fewer attractive seats than you might be used to on NW. I especially dislike the 73G, which plies the DCA-IAH route frequently, when riding in the back because the entire bulkhead row 5 is pretty worthless, making only the landlocked window seats 14A and 14F, with virtually unlimited legroom, worth a dang. One thing you should definitely watch out for is your fare class: Q, I, S, W, T, X, and L fares will only earn you 50% elite qualifying miles in the WorldPerks program, which is definitely a bummer, and likely to be a problem if you are trying to book the cheapest possible fare.

As for your routing, you should be forewarned that DCA-IAH and vice versa is brutal for upgrades. I have sat in the back as a Platinum on both Y and H fares and my understanding is that my experience may be the rule, not the exception. IAH-LAS offers you an improved chance for an upgrade with bigger equipment and fewer business travelers, but even it is far from a guarantee. I have no idea about EWR-LAS. If you want to play around and see how elites have been doing lately with regards to upgrades, you might try plugging in some sample flights into the new CO PDA tool and check the upgrade standby lists.

DCAflyer81 Mar 13, 08 11:51 pm

Thanks for the great info! ^ Sad to hear about the upgrades (although not altogether unsurprising; especially given I saw many seat maps with only 3 rows of first class). I do love the NW EUA system - I do very well as a Platinum. Maybe it's even worth it to pay a bit extra for these upcoming trips, I'll see what I can swing.

Stripe Mar 14, 08 12:17 am

I concur with SAT Lawyer's comments and they generally match my experience. I prefer CO over NW when flying from Texas to DCA, although if I have time and the price is similar I sometime go via MSP or DTW for better upgrade chances and more EQMs. (However, my only missed upgrade in 4 years as an elite on NW was DCA-MSP).

On CO you're not flying out of the dingy terminal A, and the President's Club near the CO gates is much better than the WC. It's airside, for one thing, and it's very open and spacious, has good views, I've never seen it crowded, and the staff is wonderful. Example: As usual I had not been EUA'd even on an H fare. When I checked into the PC she said I was at the head of the upgrade list for the one remaining F seat. After I went in and sat down, she called down to the gate and badgered them to process the upgrade, then brings my new BP over to me.

CO's leather F seats are nicer and the FA usually gets some help with the meal service. You get a hot towel service on CO and the meal is presented more nicely than NW's but I have to say that the CO food has slipped in recent months and I actually prefer NW's F meals.

CLE PLAT Mar 14, 08 5:07 am

[QUOTE=SAT Lawyer;9407546]Upgrades are much harder to come by on CO than NW. Over the last three years, I have never missed an upgrade on an eligible flight on NW, but am batting around 50-60% on CO flights.


As a CO Plat in CLE, I obtain upgrades 90% of the time at the 5 day window. And, I can assure you I hardly ever purchase full Y class fares.

However, this percentage drops off significantly when you throw in a leg to/from IAH, and to lesser extent from EWR. As a matter of fact, I have a flight from CLE to EWR this weekend, and I didn't get the 5 day updrade, but did get it on the 2nd portion of my trip from EWR to FLL.

I also get upgrades 100% of the time on NW, most at the 5 day mark, but occaisionally as a Battlefield upgrade. I agree the food is sometimes better on NWA, but we all know the planes seem old, well worn, and not nearly as clean. I do like the legrests on NWA, you'll never find those on CO.

Seems to me, most of the FA's on NWA enjoy their job, but really dislike their employer and it shows. You really don't see that on CO.

radonc1 Mar 14, 08 12:10 pm

As a CO Plat in CLE, I obtain upgrades 90% of the time at the 5 day window. And, I can assure you I hardly ever purchase full Y class fares.

I think it is about time that we stop accepting as fact the statements of some posters about the lack of UG's on CO. I am running about 80% upgrades on those flights that I have not bought Y fares (which are running at 100%, not counting Kenjets). The flights I am not successful on are the CO plat specials (CLE-IAH Fri PM or IAH-CLE Sun PM or early Mon AM). Even on some of those flights I have gotten a battlefield UG (much to my surprise). So, I guess life must be good for those of us in CLE. I have not yet flown on NW so I have no idea what the UG situation is for them, but I suspect I am going to find out very soon. However I think that CO UG's are more common than most people let on. Finally, getting an UG is definitely worth it for all the reasons previously stated.

CO 1E Mar 14, 08 2:07 pm


Originally Posted by radonc1 (Post 9409794)
As a CO Plat in CLE, I obtain upgrades 90% of the time at the 5 day window. And, I can assure you I hardly ever purchase full Y class fares.

I think it is about time that we stop accepting as fact the statements of some posters about the lack of UG's on CO. I am running about 80% upgrades on those flights that I have not bought Y fares (which are running at 100%, not counting Kenjets). The flights I am not successful on are the CO plat specials (CLE-IAH Fri PM or IAH-CLE Sun PM or early Mon AM). Even on some of those flights I have gotten a battlefield UG (much to my surprise). So, I guess life must be good for those of us in CLE. I have not yet flown on NW so I have no idea what the UG situation is for them, but I suspect I am going to find out very soon. However I think that CO UG's are more common than most people let on. Finally, getting an UG is definitely worth it for all the reasons previously stated.

I am 92% so far this year as a Plat on non-Y fares (12 out of 13 non-RJ segments) (knock wood). The only one I missed was IAH-BWI on a T fare on a Monday morning.

sna430 Mar 15, 08 12:25 pm

I had been a NWA Plat for 6+ years before switching to CO. I did not like to fly to MSP/DTW/MEM to go to Texas from the West Coast. Anyways each year, my wife and I obtain our Plat elite status only from leisure travel (usually deep discount fares). Upgrades from LAX/SNA is amost impossible to get, even as a Plat member. We recently were switched from CO to NWA due to weather. NWA's WC is somewhat behind PC. The NWA MSP-LAX flight seemed very long without a movie, but we were both upgraded the very last minute. NWA first is the same as what I remembered. We are thinking about switching back to NWA because of the upgrades. Economy is very long for a SNA-EWR 737-700 flight, even in seats 14A/F with a movie.


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