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Refused to add 1K to upgrade standby list on reward ticket

Refused to add 1K to upgrade standby list on reward ticket

Old Nov 5, 12, 2:20 pm
  #1  
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Refused to add 1K to upgrade standby list on reward ticket

Before you ask, yes, I have an Explorer card; yes, the flight was ticketed from my account, and yes it was in XN class.

I was flying EWR-CLE on Friday, and not only did I not get an upgrade...I wasn't even on the Standby list. At the airport, the agent refused to add me to the list because she said reward tickets aren't available for upgrades .... I didn't push it. It was a short flight and I didn't feel like getting into it (its been a rough week at EWR) But why wasn't I automatically added to the list at checkin? I assume CPU was not running on my reservation either.

By the way, my confirmation said both segments were eligible for a complimentary upgrade and that they had been requested.

The return segment (which was on the same PNR) was upgraded just fine.

The only thing I can think of that may have played a part in this was that my flight to CLE had the same flight number as an arriving FLL-EWR flight (I guess that one is marketed as FLL-CLE as a direct?).

Otherwise, this flight was no different than any other reward ticket I've booked this year...upgrades, or at least being on the standby list have been a non-issue.

Any thoughts?
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Old Nov 5, 12, 2:32 pm
  #2  
 
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XN vs X. this is the problem, I had it once too, and they refused to fix or acknowlege it.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 2:34 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by pbd456 View Post
XN vs X. this is the problem, I had it once too, and they refused to fix or acknowlege it.
I don't think so, because I've been upgraded on XN tickets IIRC.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 2:40 pm
  #4  
 
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My understanding is that award tickets do not qualify for upgrades. I have been similarly refused in the past due to that reason.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 2:48 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by bakster21 View Post
My understanding is that award tickets do not qualify for upgrades. I have been similarly refused in the past due to that reason.
If you have one of the "new" cards they do (or if you're GS)

Of course, it appears this benefit has been poorly/inconsistently communicated to airport reps
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Old Nov 5, 12, 3:19 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by bakster21 View Post
My understanding is that award tickets do not qualify for upgrades. I have been similarly refused in the past due to that reason.
Your understanding is wrong. If you paid the fee with a qualifying Chase card, award tickets are indeed eligible for upgrade. Within your elite status, you will be upgraded after paid fares.

OP - I called 1k line and they put me on list. Probably a better chance with them than with airport personnel.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Nov 5, 12 at 3:37 pm
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Old Nov 5, 12, 3:33 pm
  #7  
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Yeah, this is a common problem. Few people are aware of this benefit.

I had one recently, a 5-segment reward trip, where 3 out of 5 upgraded via EUA ahead of time. Checkin didn't add me to the list on the remaining 2. EUA cleared one of the remaining two before getting to the airport, leaving only one to reconcile.

SFO agent was unfamiliar with it, but called in. Helpdesk was also unfamiliar with it, and then she started asking me how I got all these upgrades on an award ticket. I told her to hang up on the Helpdesk, since I didn't want my four (4) upgrades to be revoked by some rogue Helpdesk agent, creating some bigger problem.

She then figured it out and typed for a few minutes and got me on the list.

The previous time, I received no EUAs, and no additions to the list. Nobody on the phone could help, and the airport couldn't help, despite a 3-agent SHARES huddle (3 agents, 1 phone, 1 green screen).

This is one of UA's most poorly executed benefits. And given how poorly UA executes most things, that's pretty bad...
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Old Nov 5, 12, 3:33 pm
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Had something similar happen to my mom. I was on a revenue ticket and was upgraded. She was a gold and there were open seats in F after all upgrades. I had called at check in and the UA phone rep had confirmed that she was on "the secret airport list" for upgrades.

Told a GA at boarding the situation. They said there was nothing they could do and she wasn't on the list.

She was not on the official wait list and this was deemed normal by UA over the phone. Boarding happens and I see that the GA is now shenanigan upgrading relatives of employees traveling in F. I stop a GA that is on the plane and tell her again the situation and that there are two open seats in F behind me and my mom should be upgraded.

She told me that they were going to move up a pair of uniformed military from the back and there was nothing she could do. I said "it's nice to know that you are picking and choosing who you want from the back to be upgraded but when a customer is supposed to be you won't choose them". She just walked away.

Emailed We Care on behalf of my mom (and requested a one-way domestic upgrade) and they said that there was an anomaly, but they weren't sure what happened offered 10k miles. I replied and asked specifically about the GA shenanigans and they said that they weren't able to successfully determine what happened that day, but that she should have been upgraded and that she was getting 10k miles.

TLDR: It doesn't matter what level of proactiveness you take, they can't do anything about it.

Added note: She did get an EUA two days later without any interaction on our part.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 3:43 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by wcalvert View Post
Had something similar happen to my mom. I was on a revenue ticket and was upgraded. She was a gold and there were open seats in F after all upgrades. I had called at check in and the UA phone rep had confirmed that she was on "the secret airport list" for upgrades.

Told a GA at boarding the situation. They said there was nothing they could do and she wasn't on the list.

She was not on the official wait list and this was deemed normal by UA over the phone. Boarding happens and I see that the GA is now shenanigan upgrading relatives of employees traveling in F. I stop a GA that is on the plane and tell her again the situation and that there are two open seats in F behind me and my mom should be upgraded.

She told me that they were going to move up a pair of uniformed military from the back and there was nothing she could do. I said "it's nice to know that you are picking and choosing who you want from the back to be upgraded but when a customer is supposed to be you won't choose them". She just walked away.

Emailed We Care on behalf of my mom (and requested a one-way domestic upgrade) and they said that there was an anomaly, but they weren't sure what happened offered 10k miles. I replied and asked specifically about the GA shenanigans and they said that they weren't able to successfully determine what happened that day, but that she should have been upgraded and that she was getting 10k miles.

TLDR: It doesn't matter what level of proactiveness you take, they can't do anything about it.
Just another reason to call in a non-appearance on the list as soon as possible, and definitely before showing up at the airport. There is no "secret list" after you check in. You are either on the list you can see for flight status or you're not going to get a chance for the upgrade. Plain and simple.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 3:55 pm
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This has happened many times - I actually wrote to Customer Experience describing the challenges I had discussing this with agents, indicating the front line training issue. I received a response apologizing and outlining the steps that were being taken to resolve this - sure enough, next time at my home airport in the UC and at the gate, I saw a "reminder notice" pinned up.

In short, if you have this problem, the full instructions were sent out to all agents in a Customer Service Update (CSU), on June 19, 2012.

With an agent who wishes to check the award ticket upgrade policy, they can use the system DRS code "GG CHASE" to verify the benefit. To then find the system command instructions to add you to the upgrade list, they can they use DRS code "GG UP CODE".
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Old Nov 5, 12, 4:00 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by bakster21 View Post
My understanding is that award tickets do not qualify for upgrades. I have been similarly refused in the past due to that reason.
You might want to read this on the UA site
Upgrading award tickets

Premier members who are primary cardholders for certain Chase-issued credit cards are eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades when traveling on award tickets on United-operated flights. The following credit cards qualify for this benefit:

MileagePlus Explorer
MileagePlus Explorer for Business
OnePass Plus
World MasterCard for Business
Presidential Plus
Presidential Plus for Business
MileagePlus Club Card
MileagePlus Club Business Card

Complimentary Premier Upgrades on award tickets will be sorted as indicated in the "Upgrade Confirmation Priority" section above, and prioritized after the lowest paid fare class within each Premier level. This benefit does not apply to companions traveling on award tickets.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 4:40 pm
  #12  
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Just to prove how inconsistent this program is:

Recently booked a OW award ticket LAX-ORD-DCA the day before departure. Both segments booked in XN class. I waited a couple of hours before doing online checkin. When I did it, my ORD-DCA was booked into R class (first class). When I was at LAX, my name was not on the TV screen showing the upgrade list. But since there was a couple of dozen names on the list, I knew it wasn't worth the effort to put my name on the list. So, when I got into ORD, I wanted to spend the night in Chicago. I went to the kiosk. Pulled up the choices for the next day, and picked a flight. It was in coach, but booked into Y class. I printed a receipt to see if was for sure. First fight showed XN, new flight showed Y. I still have to wait a couple of days to see if I'll get flight credit since the flight was two days ago. But again, my name was not on the FC upgrade list. I really don't know how this system worked. How can it process an upgrade for me automatically, but then not add my name to the upgrade waitlist?
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Old Nov 5, 12, 4:57 pm
  #13  
 
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This is very hit and miss. It used to be the XN/X thing, but that seems to have been fixed, however, I find that if you don't get upgraded during the upgrade windows - then it won't happen. When you check in a T-24 I have NEVER had it add me to the upgrade standby list. I am sick of talking to the GA's about it, as they still don't know. Last flight I had was last week - not added to SB list. Sent a message after the fact and they gave me some miles as compensation.....
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Old Nov 5, 12, 5:22 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by zigenbock View Post
?..I find that if you don't get upgraded during the upgrade windows - then it won't happen. When you check in a T-24 I have NEVER had it add me to the upgrade standby list. I am sick of talking to the GA's about it, as they still don't know. Last flight I had was last week - not added to SB list. Sent a message after the fact and they gave me some miles as compensation.....
I was upgraded from the T-24 wait list last week. The key (until the GAs get with it) is to get your name on the list by what ever means possible. In my case, I called the 1k line and they got me on the list after I checked in. An earlier poster provided the entries needed for an agent who needs help. Do it before you get to the airport.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 5:40 pm
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Inconsistency

The inconsistency is driven by the Gold/1K/etc lines. UA policy as it relates to upgrades is clear, AWARD TRAVEL = NOT ELIGIBLE. No questions or grey area. period.

The only way around this has nothing to do with eligibility, or the CPU policy. That the fees are paid using the range of eligible UA branded Chase cards and the card presented upon check-in.

Apples and Oranges, unrelated to each other. Award ticket = Not eligible for CPU. Chase branded card = eligible for upgrade for award reservations.

I don't make the rules and agree that it is back a$$wardl but, it is what it is.
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