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Questions. Are one way mileage upgrades not possible?

Questions. Are one way mileage upgrades not possible?

 
Old May 21, 07, 7:51 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NGO and KIX (by way of MSY)
Programs: NWA Gold
Posts: 296
Questions. Are one way mileage upgrades not possible?

Hi all. I haven't posted on here in months because of the lull in air travel I'm going through right now, but I need to call on the geniuses here for some advice and info.

I'm gonna be leaving Japan for good soon on a one way flight. I'm starting to play around with some dates in my head, and am trying to see how much a one way flight would cost. It's looking like it'll be in the neighborhood of 260,000 yen, so not exactly cheap. Considering that I'll probably end up flying on a fare in the full-Y range (flying out at the end of August/beginning of September), upgrading to WBC should be easy, no? All the flights from KIX and NGO show Z9 across the board for several dates in August/September. But, when I try to search for upgrade availability on NW's website, I keep getting the message that I can't book one way award travel. Is this something that NW doesn't allow, or is it just something the website doesn't allow and I should call the elite line for? And I assume that if I just go ahead and book the ticket in Y and call after the fact to do the mileage upgrade, that shouldn't be a problem?

Also, is there any specific fare class I should watch for (like some twisted mutant form of Y class) that would disallow upgrades?

I tried searching the forums for info on this topic, but after going through 10 pages of search results, I figured it'd be quicker to just start a new thread. Sorry if there was a thread recently about this and I missed it.

Thanks in advance.

PS - A bit off topic, but apparently NW doesn't use I class anymore for B fare upgrades, so is there any free way to view U class availability?
GWave120 is offline  
Old May 21, 07, 8:05 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: DTW
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I don't think you can book a one way award ticket, but you should not have a problem upgrading a one way paid Y or B fare with miles, assuming the availability is there. Mileage upgrades are processed one way, and any time I have managed to snag one it was only one way. Note these were round trip tickets, but I don't think it would matter.

Availability of an upgrade is in no way a sure thing. Heading into my sixth trans Atlantic run (in the last four months) tonight I have only been able to upgrade twice in the 10 flown segments, and this week is not looking good. One was DTW-AMS on a Tuesday. The other was AMS-DTW on a Saturday morning. Both opened up within a few hours of the flight. High business travel days will be tough, so you may want to shoot for a Wednesday to better your chances. Others can give you a better idea of trans-pacific upgrade chances.
tev9999 is offline  
Old May 21, 07, 8:09 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by GWave120 View Post
Hi all. I haven't posted on here in months because of the lull in air travel I'm going through right now, but I need to call on the geniuses here for some advice and info.

I'm gonna be leaving Japan for good soon on a one way flight. I'm starting to play around with some dates in my head, and am trying to see how much a one way flight would cost. It's looking like it'll be in the neighborhood of 260,000 yen, so not exactly cheap. Considering that I'll probably end up flying on a fare in the full-Y range (flying out at the end of August/beginning of September), upgrading to WBC should be easy, no? All the flights from KIX and NGO show Z9 across the board for several dates in August/September. But, when I try to search for upgrade availability on NW's website, I keep getting the message that I can't book one way award travel. Is this something that NW doesn't allow, or is it just something the website doesn't allow and I should call the elite line for? And I assume that if I just go ahead and book the ticket in Y and call after the fact to do the mileage upgrade, that shouldn't be a problem?

Also, is there any specific fare class I should watch for (like some twisted mutant form of Y class) that would disallow upgrades?

I tried searching the forums for info on this topic, but after going through 10 pages of search results, I figured it'd be quicker to just start a new thread. Sorry if there was a thread recently about this and I missed it.

Thanks in advance.

PS - A bit off topic, but apparently NW doesn't use I class anymore for B fare upgrades, so is there any free way to view U class availability?
One way award travel = No
One way Upgrade award = Yes
avidflyer is offline  
Old May 21, 07, 8:14 am
  #4  
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NGO and KIX (by way of MSY)
Programs: NWA Gold
Posts: 296
Thanks for the responses.

Lemme clarify. I'm looking to upgrade the ticket I'm gonna have purchased for me with miles (probably 15K since it'll probably be Y class). It's not a one way freebie I'm looking for.

It seems like the upgrade is something I'd have to call the elite line to take care of, right?
GWave120 is offline  
Old May 21, 07, 9:49 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alexandria, VA, USA NW Platinum Elite Since 1999, United GoldMM, Hyatt Plat, SPG Gold, Hilton Gold, Hertz #1 Gold, IC Ambassador, Avis Chairman's
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are you looking for Domestic or Int'l? I've had good luck using Expert Flyer's premium service, for example it e-mailed me when Z opened up on a TATL flight and I was able to grab an upgrade for 15k...

Originally Posted by GWave120 View Post
Thanks for the responses.

Lemme clarify. I'm looking to upgrade the ticket I'm gonna have purchased for me with miles (probably 15K since it'll probably be Y class). It's not a one way freebie I'm looking for.

It seems like the upgrade is something I'd have to call the elite line to take care of, right?
thezipper is offline  
Old May 21, 07, 10:40 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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One way mileage upgrades are no problem. If you're upgrading from a Y fare, I think your chances of getting the upgrade you want are pretty good.
MJLogan is offline  
Old May 21, 07, 1:19 pm
  #7  
 
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You mention that the ticket would be "purchased for you" so I take it you're not paying out of your own pocked, in which case this may not be that important. If price does matter... I've done 3 one-way trips so far and 2 out of those 3 times I ended up buying a RT ticket because it was cheaper than a OW. I just never showed up for the return.
florin is offline  
Old May 21, 07, 1:23 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
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You might want to verify that you can upgrade with miles immediately. I think you can do this on nwa.com when buying a ticket, but not sure. You might end up spending big $$$$ on a Y fare that never has availability open up. You should be able to change to a different flight if a seat opens later, but it is still a risk it won't happen.
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Old May 21, 07, 7:32 pm
  #9  
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MJLogan, thanks. That's what I really needed to know. tev9999, no, I can't upgrade with miles at the time of purchase on the NWA Japan site, but apparently I can on the US site. Since I'll have the ticket purchased for me, in yen, by a Japanese company, this doesn't do me much good. Guess I'll have to call the elite line tonight after work.

The routing will be KIX-DTW-MSY, or possibly NGO(-NRT)-DTW-MSY. Looking at the fare charts, Z is pretty much wide open on midweek flights. Friday and weekends look like a lost cause, but I have a lot of flexibility with my dates.

No, I won't be purchasing the ticket, but I get the feeling I'm gonna have the cheapest one possible purchased for me, whatever fare class that may be. So, are there any specific fare classes I should try and steer away from?

florin, and everyone else, what are the possible consequences of buying a RT ticket and not showing up for the return flight?
GWave120 is offline  
Old May 22, 07, 11:27 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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If it's short notice you will likely get Y class.
borneo is offline  
Old May 23, 07, 5:22 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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I fly that route about 10 times a year. (NGO/NRT to DTW or MSP). This is a very popular route and I have managed to use milage to upgrade exactly once in the past year. Business class is usually overbooked. I am sitting on more the 300K in mileage and cant use them! Gets frustrating...
ArcticPrince is offline  
Old May 23, 07, 5:46 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by ArcticPrince View Post
I fly that route about 10 times a year. (NGO/NRT to DTW or MSP). This is a very popular route and I have managed to use milage to upgrade exactly once in the past year. Business class is usually overbooked. I am sitting on more the 300K in mileage and cant use them! Gets frustrating...
I believe full Y UG's books out of C and If that is the case I can see a lot of availability on these routes.
avidflyer is offline  
Old May 23, 07, 7:03 am
  #13  
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Upgrading B class into what was then I class was a joke on NGO-DTW, but KIX-DTW was just loose enough with availability that I was able to snag two RT upgrades last year.
GWave120 is offline  
Old Jun 14, 07, 6:33 am
  #14  
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Ok, I'm gonna update this thread with some new info. I just heard back that the one way economy fare that I may have bought for me is... um... C class???

I'm slightly confused. Isn't C class reserved for business class upgrades? Or is the travel agent justt confused or something?
GWave120 is offline  
Old Jun 14, 07, 7:23 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Originally Posted by GWave120 View Post
I'm slightly confused. Isn't C class reserved for business class upgrades? Or is the travel agent justt confused or something?
No, I don't think so.

"I" class is reserved for mileage upgrades from B-class fares and I think upgrades from Y class fares go into "D".
SchmutzigMSP is offline  

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