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Upgrade Shenanigans? [Consolidated]

Old Oct 12, 2023, 7:46 am
  #196  
 
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Originally Posted by fumje
I am sceptical that is a good-but-nonobvious reason (like the crew rest issue) for not running the upgrade in this case, since it appears that the request for O was also not fulfilled, and that cabin also shows several empty seats. Maybe there were a ton of inop seats, but that feels too unlikely to be an explanation. I think it's more likely the gate agent was messing something up, but I also can't see a motivation for doing it intentionally.
Initially i also believed maybe inop seats, but typically in my experience, when looking at the upgrade waitlist and available seats I see a Booked XX - then a Blocked 1 or whatever number of seats that are blocked off.
Moreso to the mysterious case, after looking at the screenshot i took yesterday, i had also waitlisted her for PP, there were also 6 PP seats that went out empty and she was number 4 on that list. Nefarious or not, things are not adding up!

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Oct 12, 2023 at 8:49 pm Reason: repaired quote
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 9:15 am
  #197  
 
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Originally Posted by BZRORG
A new frustrating experience for me. My elderly mother is/was traveling on UA925 from LHR/IAD today. I had previously applied plus points to her reservation. Flight delayed 3+ hours due to crew not having proper rest. Understandable. I had let her know that most likely they would upgrade her at the gate, and reminder her to hang around until boarding had commenced. When she inquired at the gate, they told her that it would be the typical $400+ 20,000 milles (i am not sure if that is even correct) but the point is they disregarded that she was on the upgrade wait list supported by my pluspoints! The flight went out with 5 Polaris seats with her #3 on the list. I am pretty livid that they would pull a stunt like that
I never take chances with upgrades for my folks, so I buy a business class ticket to start with (one less thing to worry about).
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 10:00 am
  #198  
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I find you might have to coach a Les-experienced flyer how to monitor an upgrade chance.

Show them how to see the upgrade list
How to see the number of booked vs unhooked seat
How/when to approach the GA when you should be certain to get an upgrade.
In case of IRROPS, even more important to monitor/communicate in a certain way.

it shouldnt be necessary, but sometime you do have to push UA to do things right. Once the door closes - too late.

I cant obviously be sure, but I dont think your mom actually communicated the situation correctly. GAs, if reminded, almost always do the upgrades.
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 10:27 am
  #199  
 
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Not necessarily any shenanigans, just a bit of a weird experience where for days (up until this morning), I was #2 on the waitlist on MIA-IAH later today, then about an hour ago a name that wasn't previously on the waitlist got the last upgrade while two more new names also suddenly appeared ahead of me (and the former #1, who is now #3). Never seen that before. IRROPs?
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 10:35 am
  #200  
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Originally Posted by st530
Not necessarily any shenanigans, just a bit of a weird experience where for days (up until this morning), I was #2 on the waitlist on MIA-IAH later today, then about an hour ago a name that wasn't previously on the waitlist got the last upgrade while two more new names also suddenly appeared ahead of me (and the former #1, who is now #3). Never seen that before. IRROPs?
Yes, IRROPS sounds the most likely, although it's also possible that last-minute GS passengers booked, or somebody applied PlusPoints who hadn't previously. (Sure, MIA-IAH isn't a big PlusPoints route, but it's better than having them expire...)
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 10:59 am
  #201  
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
I find you might have to coach a Les-experienced flyer how to monitor an upgrade chance.

Show them how to see the upgrade list
How to see the number of booked vs unhooked seat
How/when to approach the GA when you should be certain to get an upgrade.
In case of IRROPS, even more important to monitor/communicate in a certain way.

it shouldn’t be necessary, but sometime you do have to push UA to do things right. Once the door closes - too late.

I can’t obviously be sure, but I don’t think your mom actually communicated the situation “correctly”. GAs, if reminded, almost always do the upgrades.
In reality, sure, doing all of that is a good recipe. And while I can certainly imagine that mom didn't use the precise language we alumni of Flyertalk University ( ) would, I don't think it should be incumbent upon the pax to say the magic words to the GA to get the upgrade list processed correctly.

If there's a valid reason to hold back on the upgrade, such as inop seat, crew rest, etc., the GA should be able to say so, rather than something confusing about four 1Ks in Y and random amount of miles + money needed. I don't think it's mom's fault that the upgrade didn't happen.
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 11:33 am
  #202  
 
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Another scenario could just be someone switching to an earlier flight.
Happened to me recently. I arrived early and saw 1 seat left on an earlier flight, so I ran to the gate and grabbed it before they had a chance to clear the list.
#1 was very upset and yelling at the GA, calling shenanigans. He actually used that word so I was curious if it was a Flyertalker. Oh well.
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 11:38 am
  #203  
 
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Originally Posted by BZRORG
A new frustrating experience for me. My elderly mother is/was traveling on UA925 from LHR/IAD today. I had previously applied plus points to her reservation. Flight delayed 3+ hours due to crew not having proper rest. Understandable. I had let her know that most likely they would upgrade her at the gate, and reminder her to hang around until boarding had commenced. When she inquired at the gate, they told her that it would be the typical $400+ 20,000 milles (i am not sure if that is even correct) but the point is they disregarded that she was on the upgrade wait list supported by my pluspoints! The flight went out with 5 Polaris seats with her #3 on the list. I am pretty livid that they would pull a stunt like that
The gate agent apparently assumed that an elderly woman (without her own MP status?) approaching the podium couldn't possibly have applied PP & that is why she told her about the money+miles upgrade possibility. I wonder what the outcome would have been if it were a middle-aged man in a business suit & tie who had approached the podium to inquire about upgrading?
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 11:44 am
  #204  
 
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Originally Posted by chavala
#1 was very upset and yelling at the GA, calling shenanigans. He actually used that word so I was curious if it was a Flyertalker. Oh well.
Was I also gesticulating wildly?

I was on a trip with one of my direct reports who doesn't fly as much as I do and I slapped a last minute upgrade on his Silver status butt with one seat left at the gate. He went from like # Not Worth It At All to #1 and he cleared. The now #2 guy hovering at the counter for the upgrade was, uh, not pleased.
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 11:48 am
  #205  
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Originally Posted by fumje
I don't think it's mom's fault that the upgrade didn't happen.
I agree. It sounds more like the gate agent skipped the upgrade process, either due to forgetfulness or due to a rush to get the delayed flight out.

Originally Posted by physioprof
The gate agent apparently assumed that an elderly woman (without her own MP status?) approaching the podium couldn't possibly have applied PP & that is why she told her about the money+miles upgrade possibility. I wonder what the outcome would have been if it were a middle-aged man in a business suit & tie who had approached the podium to inquire about upgrading?
Probably exactly the same, but isn't it fun to impugn people we don't know?

I doubt fumje's mother was the first elderly woman ever to use PlusPoints out of London.
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 11:51 am
  #206  
 
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Originally Posted by st530
Not necessarily any shenanigans, just a bit of a weird experience where for days (up until this morning), I was #2 on the waitlist on MIA-IAH later today, then about an hour ago a name that wasn't previously on the waitlist got the last upgrade while two more new names also suddenly appeared ahead of me (and the former #1, who is now #3). Never seen that before. IRROPs?
I might be one of troublemakers here, but I have several times applied +Ps when I can tell I wont make it at my current spot on the list...
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 11:54 am
  #207  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
I agree. It sounds more like the gate agent skipped the upgrade process, either due to forgetfulness or due to a rush to get the delayed flight out.


Probably exactly the same, but isn't it fun to impugn people we don't know?

I doubt fumje's mother was the first elderly woman ever to use PlusPoints out of London.
What alternative explanation than the assumption they don't have PPs applied is there for telling someone with PPs applied what the cash+miles upgrade offer is?
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 12:01 pm
  #208  
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Originally Posted by physioprof
What alternative explanation than the assumption they don't have PPs applied is there for telling someone with PPs applied what the cash+miles upgrade offer is?
Perhaps the GA didn't even look at the passenger's recrd or upgrade list and just quoted the cost to upgrade.
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 12:03 pm
  #209  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
I find you might have to coach a Les-experienced flyer how to monitor an upgrade chance.

Show them how to see the upgrade list
How to see the number of booked vs unhooked seat
How/when to approach the GA when you should be certain to get an upgrade.
In case of IRROPS, even more important to monitor/communicate in a certain way.

it shouldnt be necessary, but sometime you do have to push UA to do things right. Once the door closes - too late.

I cant obviously be sure, but I dont think your mom actually communicated the situation correctly. GAs, if reminded, almost always do the upgrades.
You are 100% right, my mother is not the best with instructions, and I am not sure what exactly was said; however, I gave her what i thought would be the salient points prior to going into the meeting:
1. Instructions on monitoring the upgrade wait list, at the time of check in she was #13 with 18 seats available. I mentioned that things were looking good barring any unforeseen circumstances
2. That I had used my pluspoints and had already paid the premium departure tax for her, so there should be no extra fees involved
3. The upgrade would likely only happen at the gate, so dont meander around the airport
4. If you see seats still available in polaris (not by the seat map but where it shows capacity/booked/checked in and boarding starts/about to start let the gate agent know you are on the upgrade list and see if you should board with your group or hold back.
This is where she was told she could upgrade for the $copay + miles and she said no thanks. Was the delivery flawless from her part? I am 100% sure it was not, but with the above it should have been enough to prompt the GA.

After I got out of my meeting and saw a message that they didnt upgrade her i immediately called her to ask her to call for the purser and or gate agent. This transpired while the door was still open, and i had her word for word explain to the purser what the situation was and had her show him the upgrade waitlist and ask for the GA. He then went back and forth with the gate agent and eventually came back and relayed the message from the GA that her ticket was not eligible for an upgarade, and there were 4 1ks that were not upgraded, and maybe this works for domestic flights but not for international and basically tough luck. It really shouldn't be this hard!

Ive sent an email to 1k voice - lets see what they have to say. I will keep you all updated if anyone cares once i receive an reply.
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Old Oct 12, 2023, 12:04 pm
  #210  
 
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Originally Posted by Xyzzy
Perhaps the GA didn't even look at the passenger's recrd or upgrade list and just quoted the cost to upgrade.
Exactly!
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