Upgrade Chances on Copa?

Old Apr 6, 13, 10:08 am
  #1  
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Upgrade Chances on Copa?

Predictably, my question got completely buried and lost in the far-too-fast-moving United forum, so I thought I'd ask the folks here who, you know, presumably actually fly Copa.

1. Are upgrades on Copa prioritized by fare class (like UA) or in strict date/time of ticketing (like some other carriers)?

2. As a UA 1K on a W fare ticketed yesterday and booked for next month on JFK-PTY-MVD and back (solo traveler, Wednesday south, Monday north), what are my upgrade chances?

3. As a UA 1K on a W fare with a companion ticketed yesterday and booked for September on JFK-PTY-MVD and back (Monday south, Monday north, seat map looks completely empty), how likely are my upgrade chances? I'm considering burning RPUs (4 total for the round-trip for both of us), but if it's pretty much a guaranteed upgrade for both me and my same-PNR companion, I won't bother.

4. Do the bulkheads on all of the 737-700s and 737-800s have a cutout so your feet (and possibly a small backpack) can go underneath the business-class seat in front of you, or is it a hard bulkhead that goes all the way to the floor?

5. Someone mentioned that SeatGuru showed row 18 as non-reclining on the 737-800. Since that is the rear exit row, I would be surprised if it did not recline, but I thought I'd check on that to be sure.

Thanks!
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Old Apr 7, 13, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Predictably, my question got completely buried and lost in the far-too-fast-moving United forum, so I thought I'd ask the folks here who, you know, presumably actually fly Copa.

1. Are upgrades on Copa prioritized by fare class (like UA) or in strict date/time of ticketing (like some other carriers)?

2. As a UA 1K on a W fare ticketed yesterday and booked for next month on JFK-PTY-MVD and back (solo traveler, Wednesday south, Monday north), what are my upgrade chances?

3. As a UA 1K on a W fare with a companion ticketed yesterday and booked for September on JFK-PTY-MVD and back (Monday south, Monday north, seat map looks completely empty), how likely are my upgrade chances? I'm considering burning RPUs (4 total for the round-trip for both of us), but if it's pretty much a guaranteed upgrade for both me and my same-PNR companion, I won't bother.

4. Do the bulkheads on all of the 737-700s and 737-800s have a cutout so your feet (and possibly a small backpack) can go underneath the business-class seat in front of you, or is it a hard bulkhead that goes all the way to the floor?

5. Someone mentioned that SeatGuru showed row 18 as non-reclining on the 737-800. Since that is the rear exit row, I would be surprised if it did not recline, but I thought I'd check on that to be sure.

Thanks!
Hey there,
Not sure about all of your questions but in general:
1 - UG's are fare and status based as far as what I know.
2 - As a 1K you have a pretty good chance to receive a complimentary UG although on that long of a flight, I would probably use miles. Did you book it though COPA.COM?
3 - I recently came back from Santiago on COPA and burned only 1 (yes, 1) Regional RPU on 2 segments. This should be easy if you call UA and ask for the Star Alliance desk
4 - Don't know - never flew COPA on coach - always booked on coach but always was UG...

As a very frequent UA travel and a 1K, I think COPA have a wonderful product, service is way better than UA, and the F seats in specific planes (737-800 those who do not have row 11) are fantastic with the new leg rest.
let me know how things went for you in this respect.

R
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Old Apr 7, 13, 12:48 pm
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Reposted here from UA Forum:

Any idea if Copa ever gives comp upgrades to non-United MP *G's? I have LH miles&more SEN ( *G. )
I have only a lowly W fare, but it'd be certainly most welcomed to sit in a larger seat. Thank you for replies.
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Old Apr 7, 13, 12:58 pm
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My additional comments:

1 - UG's are fare and status based as far as what I know. Agreed

2 - As a 1K you have a pretty good chance to receive a complimentary UG although on that long of a flight, I would probably use miles. Did you book it though COPA.COM? Agree. Though, as a 1K I have missed a few upgrades between IAD-PTY and PTY-MEX, so I would not count on it. Use the RPU's if it is really important to you.

3 - I recently came back from Santiago on COPA and burned only 1 (yes, 1) Regional RPU on 2 segments. This should be easy if you call UA and ask for the Star Alliance desk. I definitely would not count on the companion upgrade. If it were important to me, I would at least use the RPU for them.

Getting the RPU applied is a little bit of a pain. Here is a thread with info about how to do it is the *A desk does not know. Scroll down to post #10.

Link: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/conti...-rpu-copa.html


4 - Don't know - never flew COPA on coach - always booked on coach but always was UG... As noted in other posts here, I have changed from being a dedicated exit row flyer and moved to the bulkhead. -700's generally do NOT have the cutout, and -800's do. If I am on a -700, I take an aisle seat so that I can access the overhead.

Row 18, in my experience, has recline, though it may be limited a little.

Also, the seat map does not tell you much. Many COPA flyers do not get an assignment until checkin. I always look here:

Link: http://www.flightstats.com/go/Flight...vailability.do
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Old Apr 7, 13, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by jral View Post
Reposted here from UA Forum:

Any idea if Copa ever gives comp upgrades to non-United MP *G's? I have LH miles&more SEN ( *G. )
I have only a lowly W fare, but it'd be certainly most welcomed to sit in a larger seat. Thank you for replies.
I don't know for sure, but I would say it is unlikely. COPA is a good airline, but they do not do more than advertised, in my experience. For example, even as a Mileage Plus 1K, when I flew in coach on award miles they did not give me an upgrade even though business class was practically empty. NOTE: I did ask.
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Old Apr 7, 13, 1:45 pm
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Originally Posted by coolcoil View Post
2 - As a 1K you have a pretty good chance to receive a complimentary UG although on that long of a flight, I would probably use miles. Did you book it though COPA.COM? Agree. Though, as a 1K I have missed a few upgrades between IAD-PTY and PTY-MEX, so I would not count on it. Use the RPU's if it is really important to you.
Thanks for all the advice, everyone.

I had seen a few others reference that IAD-PTY is difficult, but I wonder if JFK-PTY is easier--with IAD-PTY, you have a lot of potential connecting traffic from UA as well as a lot of UA elites originating at IAD (since IAD is a UA hub). JFK not being a UA hub, I wonder if the competition for upgrades will be significantly less fierce (and UA elites connecting through or originating in EWR would likely fly EWR-IAD/ORD/MCO/MIA-PTY rather than make the cross-Manhattan trek to JFK).

Still, I may end up with a few spare RPUs/GPUs this year, so maybe I'll go ahead with burning them. Thanks for the advice on this and everything else.
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Old Apr 7, 13, 5:53 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Thanks for all the advice, everyone.

I had seen a few others reference that IAD-PTY is difficult, but I wonder if JFK-PTY is easier--with IAD-PTY, you have a lot of potential connecting traffic from UA as well as a lot of UA elites originating at IAD (since IAD is a UA hub). JFK not being a UA hub, I wonder if the competition for upgrades will be significantly less fierce (and UA elites connecting through or originating in EWR would likely fly EWR-IAD/ORD/MCO/MIA-PTY rather than make the cross-Manhattan trek to JFK).

Still, I may end up with a few spare RPUs/GPUs this year, so maybe I'll go ahead with burning them. Thanks for the advice on this and everything else.
BTW, if you do decide to UG with an RPU, all of those UG's clear into Z in oppose to R with UA. If a flight has a Z class available, you're good for the UG.
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Old Apr 9, 13, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by rebech34 View Post
BTW, if you do decide to UG with an RPU, all of those UG's clear into Z in oppose to R with UA. If a flight has a Z class available, you're good for the UG.
So after some reflection, I've decided that I won't likely have a better use for my RPUs this year than this flight. I tried to look for Z class, but EF doesn't show a Z class in the regular availability search, and the only option in the upgrades/awards search is I class (business upgrade) and specifying Z class there does nothing, either.

Where can I see Z class inventory?
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Old Apr 9, 13, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
So after some reflection, I've decided that I won't likely have a better use for my RPUs this year than this flight. I tried to look for Z class, but EF doesn't show a Z class in the regular availability search, and the only option in the upgrades/awards search is I class (business upgrade) and specifying Z class there does nothing, either.
"I" is what you need when you are looking at COPA. United shows the same thing on a codeshare flight as "Z."

To confirm, I looked up an upcoming flight that I have on flightstats.com. When I look at availability for COPA, it shows C=5, D=5 & I=5. I then looked up the same flight for United (operated as a codeshare, of course) and it showed J=5, C=5, D=5, Z=5. This leads me to conclude that I on COPA = Z on United.

Last edited by coolcoil; Apr 9, 13 at 11:19 am Reason: edited for clarity
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Old Apr 9, 13, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by coolcoil View Post
"I" is what you need when you are looking at COPA. United shows the same thing on a codeshare flight as "Z."

To confirm, I looked up an upcoming flight that I have on flightstats.com. When I look at availability for COPA, it shows C=5, D=5 & I=5. I then looked up the same flight for United (operated as a codeshare, of course) and it showed J=5, C=5, D=5, Z=5. This leads me to conclude that I on COPA = Z on United.
Ah, that would make sense. I space is available on one out of the two legs...I'll call in and report back to see if UA sees the same thing I'm seeing.

ETA: Yes, they do. Z does map to I.

Last edited by jackal; Apr 9, 13 at 12:13 pm
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Old Apr 29, 13, 12:37 am
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Thumbs up Ah Copa (-:

Flew 4 legs last year all in F. You'll think your on old CO plane, yet the service will be excellent!

BTW, if you end up in F, try BOTH Rum's of the Month...
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Old Sep 24, 13, 9:04 pm
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4 of 4 legs UG automatically as Silver!

Just did IAD-PTY-VVI and return and on all 4 legs received a UDU at 12-24 hours prior via email confirmation. I have just been given silver through the Marriott relationship as a plat.

My wife was also with me on the 2 outbound legs (diff itinerary locator) and she got an upgrade on 1 leg. They put her on the UG lists at checkin. Copa service in J was much better than UA.
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Old Sep 26, 13, 1:31 pm
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IAD to PTY I'm silverMP is upgrade a dream?

I'm travelling in early and mid Nov (4 days prior to thanksgiving)...I also continue on to Quito from PCY....I'm silver on MP, is it 1 in 144 to get a BClass comp upgrade (UDU)? I see a lot of 1K's don't always get it...I'm the bottom of the ladder. Any better chances with Quito from PC? Any silvers (or golds or plats) care to weigh in??? I see no evidence that COPA has a economy plus either? I'm on the 737 700 3 segments and the 737 800 1 segment.

Last edited by jimaleg; Sep 26, 13 at 1:38 pm
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Old Sep 26, 13, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by jimaleg View Post
I'm travelling in early and mid Nov (4 days prior to thanksgiving)...I also continue on to Quito from PCY....I'm silver on MP, is it 1 in 144 to get a BClass comp upgrade (UDU)? I see a lot of 1K's don't always get it...I'm the bottom of the ladder. Any better chances with Quito from PC? Any silvers (or golds or plats) care to weigh in??? I see no evidence that COPA has a economy plus either? I'm on the 737 700 3 segments and the 737 800 1 segment.
It sounds to me like you are returning to the USA right before Thanksgiving. If that is correct, I think your chances are decent. Few business travelers are going to be heading to the USA right before a holiday week. For the outbound, early November is pretty good too.

I would think your chances are very good on PTY-Quito, as the South American routes have fewer elites overall.

The downside is that you are on the -700 for three legs. It only has 12 seats in business vs. 16 in the -800.

Nothing is ever sure. My UG history has actually been better this year as a PLT than last year as a 1K.
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Old Sep 27, 13, 2:43 pm
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thank you for your input...I just realized your point on the 700 vs 800....thank you.
2nd question. If I only get BC on the PCY to UIO piece will I qualify for the COPA club at PCY? I think the answer is yes on my way in and no on my way out since I'll be waiting for a BC flight on my way in but on my way out I might not?
Finally, can I use a United one time Pass...it sounds like I can but they talk about buying a day pass or using your United club membership pass but doesn't really combine the 2 into whether you can use a United one time Pass?
I assume COPA does NOT have economy plus?
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