UA vs DL....share your perspectives

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Old Jan 1, 16, 11:11 am
  #1  
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Delta flyer on United - Upgrade Question

Happy New Year all,

I'm a Platinum Medallion on Delta, flying United, and I'm unfamiliar with some of United's policies. on a IAD-LAS non-stop flight in a few weeks. It was booked for me by work, for a reasonable rate of $171.

Delta, of course is obsessed with offering buy-ups to first on domestic flights to non-elites. Is this something United does? I looked, and the one-way first class fare for my exact flight right now is a very inexpensive $369. I'd be willing to pay the roughly $200 different out of pocket to upgrade for the 5+ hour flight. (i don't really drink, but i'm a big guy - i fit fine in coach seats, but prefer the extra room up front very much and i'm happy to value it at $40/hr).

Is this an offer that United would offer me you think? I called the main 800# this morning and got an agent who didn't speak great English (not trying to start something, just being honest) who didn't seem to understand what I was asking. Kept telling me if I wanted to fly today, it would be $1359. That's of course not what I was asking.

I was wondering if any of you here on the UA boards would have any insight into the changes of me being able to grab that first class fare for around $200 more if I'm wasting my time.

Thanks,
Plinko
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Old Jan 1, 16, 11:26 am
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You might find an agent who's willing to reissue in F without a change fee (assuming your ticket imposes fee). Call again.

But United is notorious for selling upgrades when elites are waiting for theirs. It's one of the biggest gripes here. So there's also a decent chance they'll offer you a buy up -- perhaps very cheap -- between now and flight day.
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Old Jan 1, 16, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by Alpha Golf View Post
You might find an agent who's willing to reissue in F without a change fee (assuming your ticket imposes fee). Call again.

But United is notorious for selling upgrades when elites are waiting for theirs. It's one of the biggest gripes here. So there's also a decent chance they'll offer you a buy up -- perhaps very cheap -- between now and flight day.


If they did offer me a buy up - where would I see it? In my reservation on untied.com? The app? All of the above?
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Old Jan 1, 16, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by plinko83 View Post
Happy New Year all,

I'm a Platinum Medallion on Delta, flying United, and I'm unfamiliar with some of United's policies. on a IAD-LAS non-stop flight in a few weeks. It was booked for me by work, for a reasonable rate of $171.

Delta, of course is obsessed with offering buy-ups to first on domestic flights to non-elites. Is this something United does? I looked, and the one-way first class fare for my exact flight right now is a very inexpensive $369. I'd be willing to pay the roughly $200 different out of pocket to upgrade for the 5+ hour flight. (i don't really drink, but i'm a big guy - i fit fine in coach seats, but prefer the extra room up front very much and i'm happy to value it at $40/hr).

Is this an offer that United would offer me you think? I called the main 800# this morning and got an agent who didn't speak great English (not trying to start something, just being honest) who didn't seem to understand what I was asking. Kept telling me if I wanted to fly today, it would be $1359. That's of course not what I was asking.

I was wondering if any of you here on the UA boards would have any insight into the changes of me being able to grab that first class fare for around $200 more if I'm wasting my time.

Thanks,
Plinko
Take a look at your Ua reservation online and see if an upgrade for cash is offered. If so, how much are they asking?
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Old Jan 1, 16, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
Take a look at your Ua reservation online and see if an upgrade for cash is offered. If so, how much are they asking?
It's offering my upgrades to Economy plus for $189 and to United First for $299.

Not sure if I'm willing to bite at $299, think I'd like to see if it comes down closer to $200.

The Flight is on an A320 what appears to be 3 rows of FC with no in-flight entertainment of any kind. Any idea what kind of experience it is in first on that plane?

I ask that knowing that an answer of "it's a standard domestic first class experience, basically the same on DL, UA and AA" is an acceptable answer. But for someone who flies DL almost exclusively and has never flown UA or AA anywhere but in the back, anything I should know pro or con on the cash upgrade?
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Old Jan 1, 16, 11:49 am
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In the UA app, if you view reservation, it'll usually show you the upgrade options. I find the day of, for similar legs (DCA-DEN) I've had no issues upgrading to a Z fare in F cabin for ~$160.
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Old Jan 1, 16, 11:55 am
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OP - IF any seats are available in F at 24 hours you MAY be offered the upgrade when you check in. The best way to see these offers is to check in with the app. Even after check in you can go back later and go through the check in process again to see if anything has changed. Occasionally something will open up because someone changes plans.

For this route with this aircraft there is a very low chance of any F seats being available at 24 hours before departure, however.
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Old Jan 1, 16, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by plinko83 View Post
I ask that knowing that an answer of "it's a standard domestic first class experience, basically the same on DL, UA and AA" is an acceptable answer.
That would be my answer. Almost always pre departure drink, domestic FC seat most likely not much different than what you're used to on DL.

Oh, and IIRC all A320s have WiFi, but you do have to pay for it. Some have streaming entertainment that is free as long as you have latest UA app on your Apple or Android device. Actually it's free whether you have the app or not, you just can't view it without the app
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Old Jan 1, 16, 12:35 pm
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Nothing really special as far as F product.
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Old Jan 1, 16, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by plinko83 View Post
The Flight is on an A320 what appears to be 3 rows of FC with no in-flight entertainment of any kind. Any idea what kind of experience it is in first on that plane?
Since you're coming from DL, the difference will be on UA there's no pillow, blankets only on request, no individual water bottle, no tray linen, and the coffee will be undrinkable.

The only upside I can think of on UA is that there may be three (3) meal choices rather than two (2) on DL.
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Old Jan 1, 16, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Alpha Golf View Post
You might find an agent who's willing to reissue in F without a change fee (assuming your ticket imposes fee). Call again.

But United is notorious for selling upgrades when elites are waiting for theirs. It's one of the biggest gripes here. So there's also a decent chance they'll offer you a buy up -- perhaps very cheap -- between now and flight day.
there is never a change fee if you upfare. United.com and the app may not show the lowest available F fare. In essence you can call in and just pay the delta between what you paid and the lowest available F fare. Some agents don't know how to do this, but most do. HUCA in case there is an issue.
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Old Jan 1, 16, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by plinko83 View Post
Happy New Year all,

I'm a Platinum Medallion on Delta, flying United, and I'm unfamiliar with some of United's policies. on a IAD-LAS non-stop flight in a few weeks. It was booked for me by work, for a reasonable rate of $171.

Delta, of course is obsessed with offering buy-ups to first on domestic flights to non-elites. Is this something United does? I looked, and the one-way first class fare for my exact flight right now is a very inexpensive $369. I'd be willing to pay the roughly $200 different out of pocket to upgrade for the 5+ hour flight.
Both United and Delta offer upsells at purchase. The difference is that on United you can go in - and as you were offered - get a "buy up" to F while people are waiting on the upgrade list. You will have the same (and IMHE cheaper) offer to buy up when you check in, and often these offers fall as you get closer to departure time.

So you can wait and see what UA offers you (which may be a lower price) or bite now.
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Old Jan 1, 16, 1:39 pm
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
A passenger buying 'an upgrade' - aka TOD - isn't going to show on the upgrade list. They will be counted as paid F and included in any LF analysis.
My understanding is different. If purchased at the time of the original ticket, it counts in as a purchased F ticket. But if done as a TOD, the ticket is still recorded as a coach ticket. Why? Two reason, (1) UA does not want to give the PQM for a FC ticket (it is still counted as coach) and (2) United does not want to pay ticket taxes on the extra upsell money. As such "TODs" are counted by United in ancillary revenue, not passenger revenue, and as such are not included in the "paid F" figures.

Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
I don't know about Delta 360, but CK does get upgrade priority. Regardless, I'm not sure what that has to do with comparing Delta and United outside of an attempt to imply that United is playing fast and sloppy with GS.
you are wrong about CK, I know several and they all say it makes no difference in upgrade clearance. Same bucket, and it is done via status (EXP) and then fare class. Checking the AA board will show the same thing.
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Old Jan 1, 16, 2:02 pm
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Thanks all for the great advice. I figured with a scheduled flying time of 5:20, I'll be in the seat for about 6 hours.

If the price does drop below $250, I think I might hop on it.

Guess I'll periodically check the app and united.com every week or so.
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Old Jan 1, 16, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by plinko83 View Post
Thanks all for the great advice. I figured with a scheduled flying time of 5:20, I'll be in the seat for about 6 hours.

If the price does drop below $250, I think I might hop on it.

Guess I'll periodically check the app and united.com every week or so.
I might add that the Airbus on United not only have no in seat IFE, but they have NO POWER! So either bring a book, or hope your power can last that long....
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