Upgraded Boarding Question

Old Nov 18, 19, 6:17 pm
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Upgraded Boarding Question

The new WN business card comes with 4 upgraded boardings, I believe these upgrades have to be done at the gate.

We fly WN often but have no status and always use WGA fares with at least one EBCI so I never paid attention to upgrades at the gate.

Are the upgraded boarding spots only A-1 - A -15 ? Am I correct in assuming the maximum number they could have for sale on any given flight is 15 ?

I'm just wondering if I pass on EBCI what the chances are of me getting a upgraded spot at the gate, almost all of our recent flights were sold out as out MSP to LAS and TPA seem to be popular routes.

Thanks

Last edited by flyer4512; Nov 19, 19 at 2:31 pm
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Old Nov 18, 19, 6:48 pm
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Correct that it is positions 1-15 that are available for upgrade.

Even if flight is sold out, there can still be A1-15 slots open. In theory you can have a 100% sold out flight where no one purchased a BS seat thus A1-15 are still available to upgrade to.

If it is a popular business commuter route, BS seats could likely all be taken so it is a crap shoot.
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Old Nov 18, 19, 7:47 pm
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Yes... it can happen. Gonna guess it is well under 5% of the time, and close to 1% - just a guess.

But - if you do not get it - guess what? You still get to fly. And, if you check in EXACTLY at T-24 - you still have a good shot at window or aisle.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 7:43 am
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I have never been on a flight where A 1-15 were sold out; usually there are just a few (or one or two) positions taken.

This could change obviously as more customers with these new cards get the complimentary upgraded boarding.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 8:45 am
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I never do EBCI, I always check in at exactly T-24 (and set alarms and calendar reminders to make sure I don't forget). If by some chance I receive a very bad boarding number (I consider any B to be "bad" and anything past B30 to be "very bad"), I'll go ahead and upgrade at the gate with either my WN business credit card or the $250 in travel credits from my Hilton Aspire Amex. In the few times I've upgraded I've usually been either A3 or A4, I think the worst I've ever received was A7. It's possible that you'd end up being on a flight where A1-A15 are already sold out, but I haven't seen it yet (although I agree that the fact that these credits now exist will make that scenario more likely).

So if you are able to correctly check in at T-24, that's probably your safest bet (if you don't want to pay for EBCI), and then depending on what number you receive, you can decide if it's worth it to upgrade or not. If you don't want to deal with checking in at all at T-24 it's a bit riskier, but you'd still probably end up fine.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by Peoriaman1 View Post
I have never been on a flight where A 1-15 were sold out; usually there are just a few (or one or two) positions taken.

This could change obviously as more customers with these new cards get the complimentary upgraded boarding.
I see a1-15 sold out all the time for SFO/oak-sna/bur/ont (esp sna) but much more sporadic for other routes. I find you can tell by looking to see if bs is sold out. If it's not than early boarding is available IME.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by Nirvana91 View Post
I never do EBCI, I always check in at exactly T-24 (and set alarms and calendar reminders to make sure I don't forget). If by some chance I receive a very bad boarding number (I consider any B to be "bad" and anything past B30 to be "very bad"), I'll go ahead and upgrade at the gate with either my WN business credit card or the $250 in travel credits from my Hilton Aspire Amex. In the few times I've upgraded I've usually been either A3 or A4, I think the worst I've ever received was A7. It's possible that you'd end up being on a flight where A1-A15 are already sold out, but I haven't seen it yet (although I agree that the fact that these credits now exist will make that scenario more likely).

So if you are able to correctly check in at T-24, that's probably your safest bet (if you don't want to pay for EBCI), and then depending on what number you receive, you can decide if it's worth it to upgrade or not. If you don't want to deal with checking in at all at T-24 it's a bit riskier, but you'd still probably end up fine.
Oh, another thing I forgot to mention. It seems that you can usually get the gate agent to tell you what position you'd receive, and also if your flight will have through passengers. So if something like the exit row or "infinity legroom" seats are important to you, that may be helpful to know. For example, I once upgraded on a flight from MDW-LAX because a) it was the first flight of the day and thus no through passengers; and b) the agent told me I'd receive A1 if I upgraded. So to me, that was a no-brainer since it guaranteed I'd get the infinity legroom seat for a long flight (since pre-boarders cannot sit in the exit row). If I'm remembering correctly I had already pulled a good boarding number at T-24, but in this specific instance it was well worth burning one of the free upgrades.

Last edited by Nirvana91; Nov 19, 19 at 10:04 am
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Old Nov 19, 19, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by Nirvana91 View Post
I once upgraded on a flight from MDW-LAX because ... the agent told me I'd receive A1 if I upgraded.
No BS passengers on a Chicago-LA flight seems amazing. I often fly MDW-ONT and rarely see more than one or two (although sadly usually not nonstop anymore), but that's to Ontario, not LA proper.

I could imagine intra-California getting a lot of BS passengers. Although I once flew OAK-ONT and was one of about 40 passengers. Like they say, your mileage can vary.

Speaking just for myself, I have my best luck at T-24 with those early flights out of MDW. I am starting to think a lot of people just don't (or won't) get up for T-24 at 5:30 AM.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by Boghopper View Post
I see a1-15 sold out all the time for SFO/oak-sna/bur/ont (esp sna) but much more sporadic for other routes. I find you can tell by looking to see if bs is sold out. If it's not than early boarding is available IME.
Just a side note... sometimes BS is not sold out, but the flight is. In theory, you can have a totally sold out flight and A1-a15 is still not assigned. If the flight is sold out, they will not sell BS at any price even though A1-A15 is wide open.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by Peoriaman1 View Post
No BS passengers on a Chicago-LA flight seems amazing.
The Saturday morning 5:55am MDW-LAX (or sometimes closer to 7am) is your friend
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Old Nov 19, 19, 2:35 pm
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Thanks for all the replies, as far as why we purchase EBCI , WN often schedules fairly tight connections (often under 1 hour so we like to be row 10 or closer to the front) and all of our travel is for pleasure so if I'm in Vegas or on the beach in Florida the last day of my vacation the last thing I want to worry about is checking in for a flight.

I suspect as more people get this new business card and thus the 4 free upgrades per year more upgraded boarding spots will be sold, I'll try T-24 on our next outgoing flight and check to see if upgrades are available at the gate.

I didn't realize a flight could sell out without A 1- 15 being sold, I always figured WGA sold out then Anytime sold out then all that was left were BS seats but it seems that is not the case and Anytime can be the last seat sold.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 5:21 pm
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As i understand it, the flight can be far from sold out and no BS will be available if there are a lot of through passengers.In that situation, I'm not sure if upgraded boarding is available or not.
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Old Nov 20, 19, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by lougord99 View Post
As i understand it, the flight can be far from sold out and no BS will be available if there are a lot of through passengers.In that situation, I'm not sure if upgraded boarding is available or not.
I'm not clear how the number of through passengers affects the number of BS seats sold.
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Old Nov 20, 19, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
I'm not clear how the number of through passengers affects the number of BS seats sold.
Thanks, was gonna ask the same question. I assume the logic is "you can't sell BS if there will already be a bunch of pax onboard taking up the desirable seats" but I don't think that's the case?
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Old Nov 20, 19, 3:34 pm
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
I'm not clear how the number of through passengers affects the number of BS seats sold.
The flight is full maybe?
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