Finnair, stop waitlisted upgrades!

Old Jan 27, 19, 4:16 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Asia
Programs: AY Gold (OWS), SK Gold (*A Gold), AZ Freccia Alata Plus, Hilton Silver, PP
Posts: 353
Finnair, stop waitlisted upgrades!

Those of us who have belonged to AY Plus for decades remember how easy it was to use vouchers or points for upgrades. They were virtually always available with the exception of some LH flights.

Nowadays this is a mess. Whenever you wish to upgrade, you are put on a waitlist. This is very inconvenient, as in the case of non-upgrade I would personally opt for other services. Recently I asked for an upgrade HEL-FCO-HEL for a family member. Checkmytrip shows that both flights have a totally empty business with many seats. Yet both requests were waitlisted!

Easy upgrades were my reason to opt for AY. Now these are gone and increasingly often I choose *A. After many years as an AY Plat, I am now a lowly Gold.

Last edited by Justinus; Jan 27, 19 at 1:34 pm
Justinus is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 4:26 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Helsinki
Programs: AY Platinum, IHG Gold, Diners
Posts: 1,137
I have two awards and one upgrade waitlisted. Iíve started to look at other airlines for paid tickets. So I agree, AY is risking their own business by behaving like this.
esledo, Purjelentaja and Ukki like this.
niksal is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 5:37 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Helsinki
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 359
Originally Posted by Justinus View Post
Those of us who have belonged to AY Plus for decades remember how easy it was to use vouchers or points for upgrades. They were virtually always available with the exception of some LH flights.

Nowadays this is a mess. Whenever you wish to upgrade, you are put on a waitlist. This is very inconvenient, as in the case of non-upgrade I would personally opt for other services. Recently I asked for an upgrade HEL-FCO-HEL for a family member. Checkmytrip shows that both flights have a totally empty business with many seats. Yet both requests were waitlisted!

Easy upgrades were my reason to opt for AY. Now there are gone and increasinly often I choose *A. After many years as an AY Plat, I am now a lowly Gold.
I wholly agree! Flying to Geneva next week and being waitlisted for upgrade for weeks now although business class looks wideopen on expertflyer. Use to be very different before...
teme is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 6:17 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Programs: AY+ Platinum / FlyingBlue Gold
Posts: 362
I agree, and meanwhile my vouchers will expire......
EuroFlash is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 6:24 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Programs: OWE,*A G, Bonvoy LT TE, HHonors Diamond, WoH Globalist
Posts: 870
Something to learn from TK. When J booking class is available you get immediate confirmation, when not, but business seats are, they can release seats to J class.
Justinus likes this.
Jaenks is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 7:40 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: HEL
Programs: AY Platinum, AA, BA, SK, DL, NT, WB + hotels
Posts: 4,659
I quite like the current system. As a Plat, my requests have sometimes cleared instantly (within 24 hours) and at other times, a bit later, but they've always cleared. Maybe I'll change my mind next week when I fall to Gold for some four months.

The biggest advantage here is that basic members, who cannot waitlist (?), don't hoard the upgrade space. Now that points don't expire, there will be many more basic members saving points for that once-in-a-lifetime J upgrade, and if they just released F inventory without restrictions, it would be a lot more difficult for Plats to get upgrades.

Originally Posted by niksal View Post
I have two awards and one upgrade waitlisted. Iíve started to look at other airlines for paid tickets. So I agree, AY is risking their own business by behaving like this.
Really? And what is your other option? A paid Y ticket with another airline, and with no possibility to upgrade?
ffay005 is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 8:02 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: HEL
Programs: AY+ Plat and several other cards
Posts: 551
Originally Posted by ffay005 View Post
I quite like the current system. As a Plat, my requests have sometimes cleared instantly (within 24 hours) and at other times, a bit later, but they've always cleared. Maybe I'll change my mind next week when I fall to Gold for some four months.

The biggest advantage here is that basic members, who cannot waitlist (?), don't hoard the upgrade space. Now that points don't expire, there will be many more basic members saving points for that once-in-a-lifetime J upgrade, and if they just released F inventory without restrictions, it would be a lot more difficult for Plats to get upgrades.
I'm one of those that don't like the current system, even if all my waitlisted upgrades this far have cleared, though some only after quite some time, and being waitlisted for weeks/months is definately not peace of mind that Finnair used as their slogan.

Solution: priority upgrade availability and that to be shown only for Lumos/Plats/Golds when signed in.
LoungeEnthusiast and esledo like this.
Purjelentaja is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 8:20 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: HEL
Programs: AY+Plat, ALL Gold, Scandic L2
Posts: 2,747
I don't mind the wait-listing as such, though it gets really bad for Silver's and statusless semi-frequent fliers looking for their once in a decade upgrade.

But. Why oh why is the self-wait-listing form no longer available? I don't want to run after a customer service chat agent all the time...
Trav1970 likes this.
Courmisch is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 9:08 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: MMX (CPH)
Programs: QR PC Platinum, AY+ Platinum, A3*G, SK EB silver, Nordic Choice Platinum, Liberokerho GOLD, SJ Black
Posts: 11,092
I share OP's anger over the system.

I don't think the waitlist itself is to blame, it is the changed policy in capacity control.

Before, they released F seats well in advance and if that got depleated, then you could get on waitlist and rev mngmt was nudged and told about new additional demand.
Now, they release almost nothing to F and almost all requests have to go on waitlist.

Some are happy because "all requests clear immediately" and others are unhappy for a very low rate of clearance. But that is not even the main point. Yes, clearance rate have gone down, which is bad.
But worse is, they had a reliable and (somwhat) transparent system of publicly open F availability plus a tiered waitlist where extra seats could be released.
Now only the waitlist is left, with less availability and you need to be savvy with weel of fortune to be able to use your upgrade instruments...

This dents the trust in the loyalty program. Why qualify for a tier this year to get some upgrade vouchers which may or may not clear next year?
TTL, Justinus, esledo and 1 others like this.
intuition is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 10:41 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Helsinki
Programs: AY Platinum, IHG Gold, Diners
Posts: 1,137
Originally Posted by ffay005 View Post


Really? And what is your other option? A paid Y ticket with another airline, and with no possibility to upgrade?
This is a special trip, so travel will take place in Business Class. Paid, if nothing else works. Currently competition has cheaper J tickets than Finnair. If Finnair would give me the awards for my family, I would pay the higher J price with money to be on the same flight.

Thereís a long time to the flight in question, but if competition comes with a campaign, and Finnair doesnít release the award space, then my money goes to the competition. Most likely this is *A, and then I just might start building up status there instead. With my travel patterns, I have actively chosen AY, but I could just as easily fly *A. Upgrades are the greatest benefit of AY. If they become more stingy, I will look for alternatives.
vulle, AhogZ and LoungeEnthusiast like this.
niksal is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 11:26 am
  #11  
TTL
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: KUO / AMS
Programs: HH Diam, AY Plat, IHG Plat, Visa Plat, PP Prest, BT Vip, FB Irony
Posts: 1,749
So far using the vouchers and getting upgrades for my frequently flown HEL-LHR-flights has been no pain. No help of the web upgrade tool but after contacting AY Plus by email or chat, the upgrades have been processed within a day.

In the near future I begin frequenting AMS. The planes have only 1 to 2 rows of J (with several rows of pre-paid seat and meal) and no immediate upg-reserve. Email to AY Plus: March passed. April pending. May passed.

For the long haul sectors, this Feb PVR upgrade was impossible ("thank you" Aurinkomatkat and fanny packers! I have seen You to and from HAV ). I ended up buying J-tickets. For the upcoming Oct-Nov trip MIA, 4 LH upgrades were available right away (initially I was trying to find availability to Far-East in Oct by contacting the AY Plus and the only availability was one return from HKG for 2 pax). After all... more happy leisure time in Miami that time than in the Far-East...

Something needs to be done - AY Plus, please take a note!

Last edited by TTL; Jan 27, 19 at 11:35 am
TTL is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 11:32 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: HEL
Programs: lots of shiny metal cards
Posts: 9,171
This really can drive business away. Scenario - going to SGN. With AY I could go via BKK and direct flight back for 1,2-1,3k€ in Y, with online upgrade availability showing X, ie none either for inbound or outbound. Probably they would clear for a Lumo, but still there's risk. OTOH I could buy from TK directly J for 1,4k€ - which I ended up doing. And thus ⅔ on the way to renewing *G until 2023 (TK Miles&Smiles proved to be a good *A programme for me, even though LH/OS discount biz in "P" earn zilch, which is a bummer)
Justinus likes this.
WilcoRoger is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 11:42 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Helsinki-Vantaa APT, Finland
Programs: AY GUEST
Posts: 3,863
Originally Posted by TTL View Post

Something needs to be done - AY Plus, please take a note!
Upgrades only for Y H B K T M P ? @:-)
lkrt likes this.
OH-LGG is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 11:43 am
  #14  
TTL
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: KUO / AMS
Programs: HH Diam, AY Plat, IHG Plat, Visa Plat, PP Prest, BT Vip, FB Irony
Posts: 1,749
Originally Posted by OH-LGG View Post
Upgrades only for Y H B K T M P ? @:-)
And rest of the letters - as before! Might suffice for business trips in the future. BA has been applying that scheme for ages.
TTL is offline  
Old Jan 27, 19, 11:46 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: HEL
Programs: AY+ Lumo (OWE), Accor Gold, Hilton Honors Gold
Posts: 1,739
Originally Posted by OH-LGG View Post
Upgrades only for Y H B K T M P ? @:-)
Exactly. Be careful what you wish for. If you want AY to restrict upgrades, it's going to affect everyone.
lkrt is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: