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upgrade on USAir using United elite status or miles?

upgrade on USAir using United elite status or miles?

Old Mar 8, 12, 3:09 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Programs: SW Gold, DL Siver, CO Silver
Posts: 30
upgrade on USAir using United elite status or miles?

is this possible? I cannot seem to get an answer anywhere and the priority line for United has a 40 minute wait...(now i know where the efficiencies of the merger are)
goetzphi is offline  
Old Mar 8, 12, 4:01 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: UA Plat
Posts: 81
For the purposes of upgrades I think you have to regard USAirways as any other Star Alliance carrier if you have non-US Elite status...

It's not spelled out on the website because it does't really exist as a published benefit, as I understand it.

It's pretty much not happening for upgrades: the best you can do is 'request' preferred seating by phone with US (50% success rate for me: it's also not a defined benefit, AFAIK) or choosing preferred seats at T-24 when they become freely available at OLCI

I think they offer buy-ups for 'tens of dollars' usually less than the equivalent UA buy-ups.

US routes tend to have a lot of US elites so UDU has about a zero chance of happening if you're UA Premier (Star Silver or Gold) unless you use a Star Alliance upgrade from Y or B with miles - but many would consider that a waste of money and miles!
exupery is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 9:55 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: AUS
Programs: AA PPro (12yr EXP) - 2.1 MM, Admirals Club, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium, National Executive
Posts: 1,355
My coworker is a UA Premier Exec or whatever the 75k level one. He flies US on occasion and he tells me he gets comp upgrades just as if he's on United. In fact he is fly US Air today, PDX->PHX and he says he got an upgrade.

I sign his expense reports, so I can confirm these are lowest possible economy fares.

I'm AA EXP and AA doesn't have another OneWorld US carrier so I don't have a comparison. However, as the highest AA passenger status, I don't get upgrades on Alaska or any overseas OneWorld carriers.

I'm not sure of he's just telling me he got an upgrade when he didn't, he's not the kind of guy to do that.

Reading this has me scratching my head though. Ive always been surprised a UA elite could get comp upgrades on US Air based on StarA status.

Can anyone confirm this?

Last edited by BrianV; Jul 22, 12 at 10:01 am
BrianV is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 10:30 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: ATL
Programs: AA Splat, Marriott LT Ti, Hyatt Explodist, IHG Splat
Posts: 1,573
I can only confirm that I've never gotten a comp upgrade on US as a UA Gold/Plat, nor on any other *A partner.
born sleepy is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 10:34 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: ORD
Programs: UA 1K, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 194
I can also confirm, never been upgraded by US based on status. In fact I'm normally told that UA has different agreement in place with US compared to normal *A carriers.
windchill is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 10:58 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: ATL
Programs: AA Splat, Marriott LT Ti, Hyatt Explodist, IHG Splat
Posts: 1,573
Unless it's a Shuttle flight, I never have trouble getting premium seats on US. Leaving the fact that PHL is a horrible airport aside, I don't have any issue with them.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Mar 2, 13 at 10:05 am
born sleepy is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 11:20 am
  #7  
Ambassador: Alaska Airlines
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: BWI
Posts: 7,269
Never got a comp upgrade on US. Well once, but the agent had to write my new seat assignment on my boarding pass to avoid getting in trouble.

Possible that his flights were overbooked in Y, so they upgraded him?
golfingboy is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 12:14 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: ORD
Programs: UA GS 4MM
Posts: 578
Not sure in the post 3/3 era, but in January, I was Pres Plat on CO and got CPU on both legs JAX-CLT and CLT-CLE without a particularly high fare. Nice experience, actually, though had to go mano a mano with the lounge dragon in CLT to prove I had club access.
JDT1955 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 12:18 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Programs: Premier 1K *G, MM, UA Club, Admirals Club Lifetime, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 363
You can buy the upgrade on US if available.
I was comp'd an upgrade once when VDB and then didnt need my seat.
The agent confirmed F as a 'thank you for offering'.
MarcoBJ is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 12:27 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: AUS
Programs: AA PPro (12yr EXP) - 2.1 MM, Admirals Club, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium, National Executive
Posts: 1,355
Thanks. I guess he's lying. And no, he's not getting OpUps, he's dating confirmed upgrades 48 hours out, etc.
BrianV is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 12:31 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: GSO
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 745
Originally Posted by BrianV View Post
Thanks. I guess he's lying. And no, he's not getting OpUps, he's dating confirmed upgrades 48 hours out, etc.
This is quite intriguing. I've been 1P (Premier Exec) on UA for the past 3 years, and have flown a good number of US segments (~20/year) and never once have been given a UDU/CPU. I've been comped upgrades for VDB situations and the like, but never automatically prior to the flight.

You're sure his status is originally with UA, and not with US? He has a MileagePlus Premier card?
tmm1012 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 12:39 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: AUS
Programs: AA PPro (12yr EXP) - 2.1 MM, Admirals Club, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium, National Executive
Posts: 1,355
Originally Posted by tmm1012 View Post
This is quite intriguing. I've been 1P (Premier Exec) on UA for the past 3 years, and have flown a good number of US segments (~20/year) and never once have been given a UDU/CPU. I've been comped upgrades for VDB situations and the like, but never automatically prior to the flight.

You're sure his status is originally with UA, and not with US? He has a MileagePlus Premier card?
Yes, I'm positive. He's actually a FlyerTalk member. I should forward him this URL, haha.
BrianV is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 12:46 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: DEN
Programs: United Premier 1K, Marriott Platinum, Frontier, Delta, Hertz Gold, National Emerald Club
Posts: 928
Nope, never been upgraded due to my status. Extra bag allowance, priority security line, and priority bag handling on US . . . those I have received as Star Gold (UA Gold).
valor155 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 12:47 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: AUS
Programs: AA PPro (12yr EXP) - 2.1 MM, Admirals Club, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium, National Executive
Posts: 1,355
He was flying US Air 42 PDX-PHX and he told me he had a confirmed first seat. He even told me this morning the he got FAM'd into an alternative first class seat. Then he said someone tried to trade him his first class seat for window bulkhead one. Quite the detailed story for a lie.

I was originally envious that he has two large airlines he could get upgrades on. Meanwhile I just sat in coach on an AS flight. So I went to read up on how they prioritize upgrades between US Air and *A members, then I found this thread.
BrianV is offline  
Old Jul 22, 12, 12:56 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Oakland
Posts: 198
I've flown US 3 times in the past year:

SMF-PHX-ABQ, August 2011 (Premier Executive at the time)
On booking, automatically put into "preferred" seats, but couldn't change to other "preferred" seats for free. Upon Checkin at SMF, I had my Star Gold card out to make sure I didn't have to pay for my checked bag. Agent said, "let's see if we can get a seat further up for a Star Gold." Sure enough, she put me into First on the SMF-PDX flight. First was exactly half full, though, so I'm sure there were no other US elites in line. My boarding pass had the "O" fare code, which I think is analogous to UA's "R." No upgrade on PHX-ABQ as it was a single-cabin CRJ.

LGA-DCA, December 2011 (CO Plat at the time)
A Shuttle flight, so no advance seat assignments. When I went to online check-in, I got some weird message along the lines of, "sorry, but we couldn't upgrade you today because first class is full." I'm not sure if this means they would have upgraded me if it wasn't, or was just a glitch. At online check-in, I was able to pick any economy seat, including exit rows.

SAN-PHX-SMF, February 2012 (CO Plat at the time)
Again give "preferred" seats at booking. I was assigned an aisle on SAN-PHX, but really wanted a window. Everything online wanted to charge me for a window seat. At airport check-in, I asked if I could get a window seat, and also made a passing remark about having gotten upgraded in the past. Counter agents said none of this was possible anymore, that if I wanted a window seat I'd have to pay for it. I tried again at the gate. The gate agent was very helpful, took my boarding pass and said he'd see what he could do. Just before boarding, he had gotten me a "preferred" window seat with an empty middle seat next to it. However, "preferred" seats really mean nothing, as they have the same legroom as all the others. They're just a bit further forward in the plane.


So, in short, the only consistent benefits to being a UA elite on US are priority check-in, free baggage allowance, and priority boarding. Everything else seems to be on a case-by-case basis.
777boy is offline  

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