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United Cancelled My Upgrade Request a T-24

United Cancelled My Upgrade Request a T-24

Old Mar 31, 12, 1:09 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: WAS
Programs: UA1K .455 MM, Hilton and Marriott Gold
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United Cancelled My Upgrade Request a T-24

(yes, title is a bit overboard)

Situation:

1K on Y Fare that has been on waitlist for an international Y to C upgrade for about two weeks. At T-24 I receive an email saying my upgrade has been cancelled. I call UA and they say the new system cancels all waitlisted upgrades at T-24 hours, but once I check-in, I will be put back on the waitlist. I check-in, but my name does not show up as waitlisted. I call UA and explain the situation. Agent doesn't know what is wrong, gets a supervisor to help. After about 30 minutes on hold, agent comes back and says she and the supervisor can't do anything and tell me to ask at gate. Sadly, I am transiting and won't be at gate until T-75 minutes or so. Last time I was waiting for an international flight, the GA told another passenger that GA couldn't do anything at the gate unless the upgrade was already requisted by online check-in (note: this flight was only half-full in C)

Has this situation happened to anyone else and what actions or recourse did you take or have?

Thanks
BigBossman is offline  
Old Mar 31, 12, 1:59 am
  #2  
 
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In your specific case, you should (1) confirm that you are truly checked in for your flight and are not pending any intl document verification; (2) practice "hang up and try again" with phone reservations agents while asking "am I checked in?", "am I on the departure-management upgrade list?", "can you help?".

As background, this is a by-design feature of the sCO process; the airline has chosen not to waitlist segments within 24 hours of departure. Passengers who are accustomed to the "two-lists" process for advance upgrades aren't scared by the "Your request has been cancelled" e-mail, but travelers who only infrequently flew on CO have been a little more confused by the new-to-them messaging.

Your advance upgrade request showed up as a separate segment on your reservation -- it was in the "R" bucket and it had status "Waitlisted" rather than confirmed along with a big red message explaining that if availability opened up, your waitlist request would be honored, and otherwise, you've still got a confirmed booking.

At T-24 SHARES chooses to stop waitlisting segments like this. Indeed, they proactively delete these waitlisted upgrade segments.

The departure-management upgrade list which you can see on mobile.united.com or at the airport gate display is handled by gate agents, typically about 30 minutes prior to departure. If you had a waitlisted upgrade, you should get onto the departure-management list automatically once you check in for your flight.

One complication with international flights is that it can be tough to be truly checked in: if you haven't scanned your passport at a kiosk within the last year, then you will need to present your travel documents in person at an airport counter in order to be "checked in" for your intl flight. After that, though, you should appear on the departure-management upgrade list, and if you don't it's a bug which phone agents or counter agents can fix if you are polite but persistent.

During the interval from T-24 to T-0.5, it's possible that R inventory might open up while you are on the departure-management upgrade list and after your advance "waitlist request" has expired. If this happens, you can short-circuit the queue by calling United and asking to confirm an upgrade using miles or a GPU; they can confirm your upgrade immediately if there is positive R space regardless of your position on the waitlist.

During the interval from T-24 to T-0.5, it's also possible that United will offer people (including you) the chance to buy up to business class when they check in online or at the kiosk. This practice is great for per-flight revenue but it has disappointed some frequent travelers who have found day-of-departure upgrades to be hard to come by.
mherdeg is offline  
Old Mar 31, 12, 7:58 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: SAN
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
In your specific case, you should (1) confirm that you are truly checked in for your flight and are not pending any intl document verification; (2) practice "hang up and try again" with phone reservations agents while asking "am I checked in?", "am I on the departure-management upgrade list?", "can you help?".

As background, this is a by-design feature of the sCO process; the airline has chosen not to waitlist segments within 24 hours of departure. Passengers who are accustomed to the "two-lists" process for advance upgrades aren't scared by the "Your request has been cancelled" e-mail, but travelers who only infrequently flew on CO have been a little more confused by the new-to-them messaging.

Your advance upgrade request showed up as a separate segment on your reservation -- it was in the "R" bucket and it had status "Waitlisted" rather than confirmed along with a big red message explaining that if availability opened up, your waitlist request would be honored, and otherwise, you've still got a confirmed booking.

At T-24 SHARES chooses to stop waitlisting segments like this. Indeed, they proactively delete these waitlisted upgrade segments.

The departure-management upgrade list which you can see on mobile.united.com or at the airport gate display is handled by gate agents, typically about 30 minutes prior to departure. If you had a waitlisted upgrade, you should get onto the departure-management list automatically once you check in for your flight.

One complication with international flights is that it can be tough to be truly checked in: if you haven't scanned your passport at a kiosk within the last year, then you will need to present your travel documents in person at an airport counter in order to be "checked in" for your intl flight. After that, though, you should appear on the departure-management upgrade list, and if you don't it's a bug which phone agents or counter agents can fix if you are polite but persistent.

During the interval from T-24 to T-0.5, it's possible that R inventory might open up while you are on the departure-management upgrade list and after your advance "waitlist request" has expired. If this happens, you can short-circuit the queue by calling United and asking to confirm an upgrade using miles or a GPU; they can confirm your upgrade immediately if there is positive R space regardless of your position on the waitlist.

During the interval from T-24 to T-0.5, it's also possible that United will offer people (including you) the chance to buy up to business class when they check in online or at the kiosk. This practice is great for per-flight revenue but it has disappointed some frequent travelers who have found day-of-departure upgrades to be hard to come by.
Thanks for the info. The same thing happend to me this morning on my flight from LHR to SAN. So annoying!
Kate031 is offline  
Old Mar 31, 12, 8:09 am
  #4  
dfe
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The Simple Question

Why do they do this? Seems to be just more hassle and confusion for the customer. Look above at the very thorough but very long explanation of how to deal with the situation.
dfe is offline  
Old Mar 31, 12, 9:41 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
During the interval from T-24 to T-0.5, it's possible that R inventory might open up while you are on the departure-management upgrade list and after your advance "waitlist request" has expired. If this happens, you can short-circuit the queue by calling United and asking to confirm an upgrade using miles or a GPU; they can confirm your upgrade immediately if there is positive R space regardless of your position on the waitlist.
So between T-24 and T-.05 is this the only way to get upgraded, there are no sweeps that occur and no prioritization? Basically every waitlisted pax will try and call in to jump queue. The amount of shepherding required is almost not worth it.

Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
During the interval from T-24 to T-0.5, it's also possible that United will offer people (including you) the chance to buy up to business class when they check in online or at the kiosk. This practice is great for per-flight revenue but it has disappointed some frequent travelers who have found day-of-departure upgrades to be hard to come by.
If there are GPU waitlisted passengers & these are TOD upgrades this falls into the "shady business practice" category. They really shouldn't do that, they might get a class action.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Mar 31, 12 at 11:16 am Reason: merge
escapefromphl is offline  
Old Mar 31, 12, 10:40 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Originally Posted by BigBossman View Post
(yes, title is a bit overboard)

Situation:

1K on Y Fare that has been on waitlist for an international Y to C upgrade for about two weeks. At T-24 I receive an email saying my upgrade has been cancelled. I call UA and they say the new system cancels all waitlisted upgrades at T-24 hours, but once I check-in, I will be put back on the waitlist. I check-in, but my name does not show up as waitlisted. I call UA and explain the situation. Agent doesn't know what is wrong, gets a supervisor to help. After about 30 minutes on hold, agent comes back and says she and the supervisor can't do anything and tell me to ask at gate. Sadly, I am transiting and won't be at gate until T-75 minutes or so. Last time I was waiting for an international flight, the GA told another passenger that GA couldn't do anything at the gate unless the upgrade was already requisted by online check-in (note: this flight was only half-full in C)

Has this situation happened to anyone else and what actions or recourse did you take or have?

Thanks
Happened to me last week TPE ->NRT->EWR.
I called 3 times between T-24 and T-6 and got the same response. When I landed at NRT at T-2 my upgrade already cleared.
The system is very annoying, causes a lot of unnecessary stress but I have seen no indication of change in policy.

Good luck with the UG
DLP
DLPhoenix is offline  
Old Mar 31, 12, 11:31 am
  #7  
 
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This happened to my friend this past weekend on our way to Madrid. He was waitlisted on a mileage upgrade and it disappeared T-24. Went to a United Club and the agent confirmed she saw the mileage was deducted but he was nowhere on the waitlist. She was able to get the Help Desk to manually add him back on and he ended up clearing at the gate.

To the OP, we were able to do this at a UC not from our international departure gateway...so perhaps you can try at your first point of departure as well.
AndrewT84 is offline  
Old Mar 31, 12, 12:20 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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upgrade by a CR1 or UDU within T-24??

If I was on waitlist by a CR1, but system cancelled it at T-24, my request went into departure-management upgrade list and got cleared, does this upgrade still cost me a CR1 or simply an UDU? Thanks.

Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
The departure-management upgrade list which you can see on mobile.united.com or at the airport gate display is handled by gate agents, typically about 30 minutes prior to departure. If you had a waitlisted upgrade, you should get onto the departure-management list automatically once you check in for your flight.
pm6163 is offline  
Old Apr 3, 12, 12:04 pm
  #9  
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Follow-up...

First, thanks for the detailed explanation above....though, I must say that is one dumb system.

Ok, so in the end, my name never made it onto the upgrade list nor would the agents at the gate put me on the upgrade list. There were a couple of upgrades processed at the gate, so I was pissed as I had a very good chance of clearing as a 1K on a Y fare with the original upgrade request submitted a few weeks earlier.

This was my first international flight since 3/3 and all I can say is what a cluster everything has been. More and more I am seeing the merger as a net negative and that the new UA seems to be choosing the worst of both airlines. Hmm, I wonder if Delta and Skyteam is worth a look now that they have E+ being installed...

Last edited by iluv2fly; Apr 3, 12 at 12:39 pm Reason: language
BigBossman is offline  
Old Apr 3, 12, 12:12 pm
  #10  
 
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It's going to reach the point where passengers who can do so will start canceling reservations that don't clear instrument upgrades within 24 hours of booking. Why put up with this convoluted nonsense?
JetAway is offline  
Old Apr 3, 12, 4:33 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by dfe View Post
Why do they do this? Seems to be just more hassle and confusion for the customer. Look above at the very thorough but very long explanation of how to deal with the situation.
Why do they do this? A simple answer - it's how PMCO did it. Doesn't make it right of course (and it's clearly not)...
UA-NYC is offline  
Old Apr 3, 12, 5:34 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by BigBossman View Post
First, thanks for the detailed explanation above....though, I must say that is one dumb system.

Ok, so in the end, my name never made it onto the upgrade list nor would the agents at the gate put me on the upgrade list. There were a couple of upgrades processed at the gate, so I was pissed as I had a very good chance of clearing as a 1K on a Y fare with the original upgrade request submitted a few weeks earlier.

This was my first international flight since 3/3 and all I can say is what a cluster everything has been. More and more I am seeing the merger as a net negative and that the new UA seems to be choosing the worst of both airlines. Hmm, I wonder if Delta and Skyteam is worth a look now that they have E+ being installed...
Happened to me 3/23 DEL-EWR. They deducted 35,000 miles and $600 for the upgrade upon request, at T24 I get the email. I check in and my name never appears on the mobile app upgrade list and no upgrade available when I get to the gate. No upgrade and 3 hours on the phone getting my miles and $ back.
JTPictureman is offline  
Old Apr 3, 12, 11:18 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Why do they do this? A simple answer - it's how PMCO did it. Doesn't make it right of course (and it's clearly not)...
To be fair, it was never a problem historically getting onto the Upgrade Standby List at the airport. It was almost always automatic, as were refunds of co-pay/miles if the upgrade didn't clear.

I have no idea what's going on now, but clearly there have been a lot of reports of people having massive problems getting on the list now. However, it's not entirely clear that these people didn't actually get on the list (they may have just been too low of a priority). As DLPhoenix posted, s/he didn't think s/he was on the list, but the upgrade did clear automatically. It might be a case of pre-merger UA agents not being able to see the list properly and the online list not reflecting the true list.

Regardless, I would definitely send PMs to UA Insider, I don't know if this has been brought up in the system integration issues thread.

FWIW, a number of years ago (4-5?) if your upgrade didn't clear at T-24h you were completely out of luck. And actually it was T-72hrs for many years even further back. But there was enough screaming from Platinum elites whose upgrades didn't clear walking past empty BF seats (that were subsequently filled by nonrevs) that they eventually modified the policy to allow standby. I'll add that even when it was a drop-dead cutoff of 24 hours they did a pretty good job of releasing most if not all remaining seats prior to the waitlist expiration. My parents got 2 of the last 3 seats exactly at T-24 on a flight to Europe, and my partner and I got 2 of the last seats (on a waitlisted award ticket) on EWR-ATH right at T-24.
ijgordon is offline  
Old Apr 4, 12, 1:32 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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My wife had the same problem with a TA upgrade as the OP last November.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/conti...t-problem.html

Explanation by the GA was that she wasn't showing as having any status - despite being a Plat.
RossUK666 is offline  
Old Apr 4, 12, 3:31 am
  #15  
 
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I've had issues with this twice now in the last month. Both times, I've had the waitlist disappear, checked in, and the agent tells me I'm not on any list. Both times, it took well over an hour on the phone each time, but the agents/supervisors were able to manually confirm me into available R space.

I don't like this manual intervention. I hope I'm not jumping the queue, but if I'm really checked in and still not on the wait list the agent (and I) can see, then what other choice do I have?
astroflyer is offline  

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