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Co-Pays on GPUs for Sub W (or Z) Fares: Slippery Slope or Good Idea?

View Poll Results: Would you like to see Co-Pays on SWUs for upgrading sub W (or Z) fares?
Yes, I would like to see this feature added.
31
35.23%
No, I like GPUs the way they are.
57
64.77%
Voters: 88. You may not vote on this poll

Co-Pays on GPUs for Sub W (or Z) Fares: Slippery Slope or Good Idea?

Old Mar 10, 12, 9:51 pm
  #1  
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Question Co-Pays on GPUs for Sub W (or Z) Fares: Slippery Slope or Good Idea?

Recent rumblings from our fellow FT'ers on the AA forum have seemed to suggest that AA is considering introducing co-pays to their SWUs.

Obviously there's a few differences between the two reward programs but it does seem to raise an interesting idea: in a simple "yes" or "no", would you like to see the option to have SWUs work on all fares (specifically sub W fares for Y > C and Z > F) with the addition of a copay.

Finally if you want to share your reasoning for voting please feel free to do so.
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Old Mar 10, 12, 9:55 pm
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My Vote: No, but I'm still interested in the idea

So I voted "no" on this mainly because I'm worried about the co-pay creeping to other fare classes which are currently eligible for upgrades and the additional pressure that this move will place on already limited inventory.

Not saying I would always be against it, but as for right now, I think I'm happy (or less miserable ) with the system the way it is...the devil you know, I guess.
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Old Mar 10, 12, 10:18 pm
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I'm 50/50.

One side of me says that it would be good in the circumstance that you fail to clear an upgrade with a SWU. It really sucks to have paid $300, $400, $500 or more for a W+ fare, and then sit in the back next to somebody that paid way less than you. If the co-pays were on SWUs, I could buy a K fare, give over the $$, and not worry if I didn't clear.

However, that would also depend on the amount of the co-pay. Seems silly to charge $600, for example, as the co-pay, while the difference between S/T/L/K & W is less than $600 (or whatever they charged).

I'm also saying no, because this would likely lead to even more competition for upgrades. Depending on the route, it can be almost impossible to use a SWU, and having 10~ more people on the list could make it challenging.
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Old Mar 11, 12, 12:26 am
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Better yet, just allow the buy up to the W fare (or cheapest available) without a change fee.

IE.

In order to apply this SWU, you must purchase a W fare or higher.
The current lowest upgradable fare is a U fare. The fare difference is $XXX.XX. Click Purchase to re-issue your ticket in U, and confirm your upgrade. You will not be charged a change fee for this transaction.
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Old Mar 11, 12, 12:35 am
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Originally Posted by bdraco View Post
Better yet, just allow the buy up to the W fare (or cheapest available) without a change fee.

IE.

In order to apply this SWU, you must purchase a W fare or higher.
The current lowest upgradable fare is a U fare. The fare difference is $XXX.XX. Click Purchase to re-issue your ticket in U, and confirm your upgrade. You will not be charged a change fee for this transaction.
They do that now. The problem is that there is rarely inventory opened up, and you have to wait list.

I would be ok with charging the difference between purchased fare and W as the copay amount (if refunded if upgrade doesn't clear). As it is all my SWU (12/yr) are wasted as I refuse to play the W fare lottery.
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Old Mar 11, 12, 12:39 am
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I'm ok with it but the co-pays have to be reasonable in the sense that they have to be LESS (rather significantly so) than the difference between the lower fare and W. Since below W would obviously be lower clearance priority, there would be less incentive to do this.

I feel that this is a good way to maximize revenue without the customer feeling screwed over. If the upgrade clears they pay, if it doesn't clear they don't.

With the upfaring to W or higher, if the upgrade doesn't clear, they are out the extra $ and no upgrade.

The more options we have the better. Perhaps the co-pay can be waived or reduced for GS and 1K.
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Old Mar 11, 12, 6:21 am
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I'm not ok with it. All it does is push the program down a slippery slope - before you know it they'll be co-pay for anything but YBM. It devalues SWUs and they end up behaving just like miles (so why have them?)

It would also encourage me not to buy any of the higher fare classes.

Given the new upgrade process I would have thought it now makes sense to remove the W restriction, or at least open up <W at the gate.

I'd rather co-pay went away. I prefer to be charged upfront.
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Old Mar 11, 12, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by demkr View Post
Perhaps the co-pay can be waived or reduced for GS and 1K.
This is the kind of thing that I'd like to see more of. Some of us work our ... off to get to 1K, and (I feel) we should see more benefits in the way of waived fees and such. Adding a 3rd, 4th, or 5th bag doesn't do it for me...I want change fees waived, as our travel plans often change. Way more often than I need to bring more than one bag with me.

But back to the OP...

Twice I've had to upgrade a fare to use a SWU...and it didn't clear. (There's a third pending now..which won't clear either.) I've now paid more than $800 in additional fees, and my seat is no different than if I hadn't tried to use a SWU.
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Old Mar 11, 12, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by Red_Rob View Post
They do that now. The problem is that there is rarely inventory opened up, and you have to wait list.

I would be ok with charging the difference between purchased fare and W as the copay amount (if refunded if upgrade doesn't clear). As it is all my SWU (12/yr) are wasted as I refuse to play the W fare lottery.
Unless something has changed, the official policy is to charge the change fee AND the fare difference.
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Old Mar 11, 12, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by demkr View Post
I'm ok with it but the co-pays have to be reasonable in the sense that they have to be LESS (rather significantly so) than the difference between the lower fare and W. Since below W would obviously be lower clearance priority, there would be less incentive to do this.

I feel that this is a good way to maximize revenue without the customer feeling screwed over. If the upgrade clears they pay, if it doesn't clear they don't.

With the upfaring to W or higher, if the upgrade doesn't clear, they are out the extra $ and no upgrade.

The more options we have the better. Perhaps the co-pay can be waived or reduced for GS and 1K.
Like others have noted, I won't play the W lottery, but I'm willing to pay a little more in order to get my SWU confirmed.
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Old Mar 11, 12, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by J.Edward;18176261[B
]So I voted "no" on this mainly because I'm worried about the co-pay creeping to other fare classes which are currently eligible for upgrades[/B] and the additional pressure that this move will place on already limited inventory.

Not saying I would always be against it, but as for right now, I think I'm happy (or less miserable ) with the system the way it is...the devil you know, I guess.
Bolding mine: And that the reason I voted "no" as well. Mission creep with COdbaUA is already in effect and it's a change I don't like so why give them another avenue to creep in
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Old Mar 11, 12, 12:58 pm
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Ideally, I'd obviously like GPUs to be usable on all fares. Barring that, I like the idea of the co-pay as long as it's a reasonable co-pay. Perhaps a flexible co-pay based on the flight and fare options for that specific flight.
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Old Mar 11, 12, 1:27 pm
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Originally Posted by demkr View Post
The more options we have the better. Perhaps the co-pay can be waived or reduced for GS and 1K.
I see this as unlikely. I think rewarding GS/1K when they fly on higher fares is the whole goal of the W fare requirement. UA isn't terribly interested in showering the 5cpm K/L fare 1K with perks, they want the 12+cpm W fare 1Ks.
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Old Mar 11, 12, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
I see this as unlikely. I think rewarding GS/1K when they fly on higher fares is the whole goal of the W fare requirement. UA isn't terribly interested in showering the 5cpm K/L fare 1K with perks, they want the 12+cpm W fare 1Ks.
Well the idea for GS is they are anyways paying tons of money a year, so that UA should indeed be willing to throw them this bone.
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Old Mar 11, 12, 2:55 pm
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No ... and Yes

As I understand, CO (oops, UA) now charges the co-pay when you apply for the u/g, not when it clears; if it doesn't clear, then you get a refund. I won't do this ever unless the upgrade will clear immediately.

But I would be interested in being able to have co-pays work with SWU's (or whatever they're called these days) from lower fare buckets, in particular, Z->F. (Or how about day of flight clearance? - for me at least.)
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