You should MR for Plat (Modelling Upgrades)

Old Oct 19, 11, 3:27 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Programs: CO Platinum / BA Gold
Posts: 779
You should MR for Plat (Modelling Upgrades)

There have been a huge number of recent threads asking if it's worth mileage running for silver, gold or plat. (But not 1K... presumably people know if they want that )

I was most interested in domestic upgrade chances so I decided to construct some simple models in Excel and take a look at how things were going to change with the introduction of the Plat level.

Summary
If you like upgrades you should seriously consider mileage running for 1P.

Results
These results should be valid for comparison purposes between levels, but won't match reality for lots of reasons. My assumptions are listed below, along with a link to the source data so you can mess with the model yourself.

2P / Upgrade Certain / Good Chance / Slim Chance / No Chance
New System 13 / 2 / 5 / 40
Old System 13 / 2 / 4 / 41


1P / Upgrade Certain / Good Chance / Slim Chance / No Chance
New System 27 / 5 / 5 / 23
Old System 26 / 9 / 9 / 16


0P / Upgrade Certain / Good Chance / Slim Chance / No Chance
New System 44 / 2 / 4 / 10
Old System - / - / - / -


1K / Upgrade Certain / Good Chance / Slim Chance / No Chance
New System 53 / 3 / 3 / 1
Old System 53 / 3 / 3 / 1


Method

First I wanted to calculate the expected number of 0Ps next year. I used the 2004 United numbers posted on Flyertalk and some exponential extrapolation to estimate that the numbers would have been about:

1K/0P/1P/2P
Real 46,000 / - / 239,000 / 535,000
Extrpolated 46,000 / 71,000 / 168,000 / 535,000


I assumed that the ratio of elites has stayed the same, and also that the number of elites per available F seat has also remained constant since 2004.

Then I built a matrix tabulating elite loads between 10 and 50 elites per flight, with 2-24 open F seats. I assumed that the number and type of elites was evenly distributed over all flights. Finally I summed the number of scenarios that resulted in a certain upgrade vs no chance of an upgrade.

Limitations

Many. This shouldn't be treated as more than an approximation. However it does demonstrate rather well that the inclusion of a new elite tier will cause 1Ps to be edged out of upgrades a lot. The system used to favor 1Ps who booked early, now it favors former 1Ps who fly 75k+ miles rather than 50k-75k miles.

Source files

http://www.filefactory.com/file/ce68...A_chances.xlsx (Select slow download to get it free; sorry, I was looking for a site with no registration.)

Last edited by rruaco; Oct 19, 11 at 3:30 pm Reason: Fixed font isn't fixed... grrr
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Old Oct 19, 11, 3:40 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 47
did you account for what seems like biggest change to me???

That is---people using upgrades (miles, etc) will get upgrade ahead of people with higher status based on fare class???

Seems like more priority will be given to this compared to old system.

My take home---spend a little to be in better fare class if you want any upgrades.
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Old Oct 19, 11, 3:44 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Programs: CO Platinum / BA Gold
Posts: 779
Originally Posted by mastoidbone View Post
That is---people using upgrades (miles, etc) will get upgrade ahead of people with higher status based on fare class???
No, however this actually makes 0P *more* valuable relative to 1P because with limited NF seats there is a much higher proportion of somechange to nochance for 0P than 1P in the new system.

(In my experience CO used to charge enough for Y,B,M fares that there were still a goodly number of open first seats though.)
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