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Y/B/M Premier Instant Upgrade - How does it work?

Y/B/M Premier Instant Upgrade - How does it work?

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Old Jan 23, 19, 11:32 am   -   Wikipost
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Instant Upgrades (economy to next cabin) are available at booking for elites selecting Y/B fares on CPU Eligible flights. There also needs to be RN PZ space if Plat / Gold / Silver or PN if GS / 1K. GS/1Ks are also eligible for M fares.
If not available at booking, GS/1Ks will be waitlisted for the upgrade and will be prioritized above 1Ks and lower elites on supported upgrades (GPUs,RPUs, Miles+copay) and CPUs.

For more on waitlisting, see Understanding the United Upgrade List Comprehensively .


Feb 2016, Waitlisting was restricted to1Ks/GSs. Plat / Gold / Silver can still Instant Upgrade but only if available at the time of booking
For flights departing on or after February 1, 2016, the following is the order of priority for upgrades, within five days of departure, on flights that are eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades:

Premier 1K members on eligible Y-, B- and M-class fares: Premier 1K Instant upgrades that weren't confirmed in advance are prioritized by fare class
All travelers on waitlisted Global Premier Upgrades, Regional Premier Upgrades and MileagePlus Upgrade Awards: Prioritized by Premier status of the traveler, then fare class and then the time of request
All remaining Premier members: Prioritized by Premier status of the traveler, then fare class and then award travel
Instant upgrades at time of ticketing
Premier members traveling on full-fare economy Y and discount full-fare economy B fares are eligible for an instant upgrade at time of ticketing on select flights. Premier 1K members traveling on M fares are also eligible. Instant upgrades are subject to capacity controls.
Changes (2016Q2) to required fare class to clear
Originally Posted by edcho View Post
From what i've seen for YBM upgrades (from coworkers and friends):
PN PZ = GS and 1K
RN = Plat - Silver
RN has been repurposed to Premium Plus / Premium Economy upgrade
Is PZ the right fare class for Plat/Gold/Silver


Related, more general but older thread -- Y/B/M Premier Instant Upgrade - How does it work?
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Old Apr 1, 12, 10:41 am
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2004
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Y/B/M Premier Instant Upgrade - How does it work?

I'm confused on how the instant upgrade system works. I am having to do some last minute travel and had to purchase a B fare. Clearly marked in the flight selection screen and my reservation is the yellow "U" "Premier Instant Upgrade Fare." When I booked the flight there was still F-bucket availability (I think there were 2 tickets left). But when I actually booked the ticket it still put me in economy class. (Nothing instant happened) When I called in, the res agent said that the program is only instant if award upgrade space is available, and the fact that revenue buckets were available was irrelevant. And now that the check in has started the last 2 tickets have been upgraded and I'm at the top of the upgrade list.

Was this correct? When I read the text of the instant upgrade, it does not mention that it needs upgrade award space available but only seat availability. It seems like a misrepresentation of this "perk" since upgrade space is rarely available these days (esp to those flying last minute on B fares).

Ploo
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Old Apr 1, 12, 10:49 am
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The agent was correct, the instant upgrade does not pull from F or A. Instant upgrades on a B fare pull from the PN fare bucket. Therefore for an instant upgrade to be processed at time of booking PN>0. If PN=0, I guess UA is supposed to sweep regularly, but I booked a flight with my TA and had to call UA to manually process the upgrade. When I tried to do it online, UA wanted 10k miles.

Last edited by anc-ord772; Apr 1, 12 at 10:59 am
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Old Apr 1, 12, 10:49 am
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You need PN inventory to upgrade into on a B fare domestically. If PN=0 you won't get an "instant" upgrade, you'll get waitlisted.

Also, you need to actually "redeem" the instant upgrade by clicking the smaller blue "redeem instant elite upgrade" link on the lower part of the page after booking. It's "instant" but not "automatic."

Chances are if only 2 F seats remained that there was no PN inventory available at the time you booked.
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Old Apr 1, 12, 11:40 am
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OK thanks

Somehow I feel that this can be better communicated to keep expectations inline with reality. On the return, which is also a B fare, there isnt the yellow "U" and corresponding upgrade text. I'm not sure their algorithm on when they show this vs not.

Paul
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Old Apr 1, 12, 12:09 pm
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The little yellow "U" icon is supposed to indicate that there is, in fact, the appropriate inventory for the instant upgrade. I can't say for certain whether it's working correctly all the time, but this is not something that ever came up as an issue in the past.

That said, you still need to request the upgrade during the booking process. There are legitimate reasons why people DON'T want the upgrade at booking, namely those who need an eTicket receipt in coach for T&E reimbursement.

You can keep an eye on the flight, and if a seat opens, you can go online and try to confirm the upgrade at that point.
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Old Apr 6, 12, 7:42 pm
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YBM Instant Upgrades

I was under the impression that if I booked a YBM fare, and there was room in first, I would get an instant upgrade. Twice since March 3rd I've booked one of these fares and ended up in coach. I figured there were lots of GS or people ahead of me and that was life.

I just booked another flight in M and decided to go fishing around. What I realized is that I have to go in to the seating chart and request the instant upgrade. Voila - the upgrade goes through and I'm in first class (which is good since there were only 4 center seats left in coach).

Live and learn...
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Old Apr 6, 12, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by bldr1k View Post
I was under the impression that if I booked a YBM fare, and there was room in first, I would get an instant upgrade. Twice since March 3rd I've booked one of these fares and ended up in coach. I figured there were lots of GS or people ahead of me and that was life.

I just booked another flight in M and decided to go fishing around. What I realized is that I have to go in to the seating chart and request the instant upgrade. Voila - the upgrade goes through and I'm in first class (which is good since there were only 4 center seats left in coach).

Live and learn...
Glad you figured it out. This was mentioned in a few YBM threads post 3/3. Never hurts to have a reminder though.
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Old Apr 6, 12, 7:58 pm
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[QUOTE=bldr1k;18349090]I was under the impression that if I booked a YBM fare, and there was room in first, I would get an instant upgrade. [QUOTE]

Don't you also have to make sure that there is PN availability if a B/M or JN availability if Y?

I made a point of this because, on an upcoming flight of mine, there are 5 seats free in F if you look at the seatmap, but if you try to buy that segment, it's not available for sale.
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Old Apr 6, 12, 8:19 pm
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Originally Posted by bldr1k View Post
I just booked another flight in M and decided to go fishing around. What I realized is that I have to go in to the seating chart and request the instant upgrade. Voila - the upgrade goes through and I'm in first class (which is good since there were only 4 center seats left in coach).
Yeah, that is not the most intuitive. Hopefully it gets rolled into the Redeem Upgrade page.

I keep ending up with two seats when I buy in M/B/Y and apply a GPU. I end up with a seat in PN and R because of the Instant Upgrade :-) Gate fixes this, but if you care about which seat you want, it is best to call in ahead to correct this.
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Old Apr 6, 12, 8:28 pm
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Originally Posted by bldr1k View Post
I was under the impression that if I booked a YBM fare, and there was room in first, I would get an instant upgrade. Twice since March 3rd I've booked one of these fares and ended up in coach. I figured there were lots of GS or people ahead of me and that was life.

I just booked another flight in M and decided to go fishing around. What I realized is that I have to go in to the seating chart and request the instant upgrade. Voila - the upgrade goes through and I'm in first class (which is good since there were only 4 center seats left in coach).

Live and learn...
Thanks for sharing the lesson with us. I missed that in the other thread.
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Old Apr 6, 12, 8:30 pm
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Originally Posted by redwoman View Post

Don't you also have to make sure that there is PN availability if a B/M or JN availability if Y?

I made a point of this because, on an upcoming flight of mine, there are 5 seats free in F if you look at the seatmap, but if you try to buy that segment, it's not available for sale.
This is correct. Make sure PN is available before you buy a B or M (if 1K) and JN if you buy Y. Then make sure to request the instant upgrade before purchasing. You can even pick your seat after the upgrade goes through before purchasing.
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Old Apr 6, 12, 8:55 pm
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I think it is the case that the instant upgrade icon will only display in the flight search for flights where the upgrade will work. If the relevant class (PN or JN) isn't available then the icon shouldn't be there. But in any case it is safest to select the upgrade during the booking and before you pay.
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Old Apr 7, 12, 3:23 am
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Booking via 3rd party and instant

I have to book via Carlson for work, so I go in after the fact and choose seats. I've had to call each time to get the instant y/b/m upgrade pushed through since system conversion. Interested to know if anyone has self-service upgraded when they see the icon on their segment? Would you mind detailing the steps? Next time this happens I'll try and "explore" the page options more thoroughly. Thanks.
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Old Apr 7, 12, 5:09 pm
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Quick question. If I book a Y fare UA metal, but as a code share flight number am I still eligible for Instant Upgrade. I'm flying to NZ and will be flying UA841 (NZ9149) as one leg in Y.
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Old Apr 8, 12, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by alex_b View Post
Quick question. If I book a Y fare UA metal, but as a code share flight number am I still eligible for Instant Upgrade. I'm flying to NZ and will be flying UA841 (NZ9149) as one leg in Y.
Historically, yes, though I haven't heard examples going either way since 3.3.
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