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Upgrade Shenanigans? [Consolidated]

Old Nov 15, 2023, 5:11 pm
  #241  
 
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I've seen some late buy ups but never once boarded I must admit.
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 5:20 pm
  #242  
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman
I'll be eagerly awaiting some explanation for this one that does NOT involve shenanigans, because it sure smells fishy to me.
Shenanigans from somebody already on the plane? Nonsense. Some gate agent just thought, "sure, why not upgrade some other random person I don't know? After they've already boarded?"

It's probably another GS with PlusPoints. Unfortunately, the list doesn't always seem to be accurate -- which makes it worse than useless.
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 5:28 pm
  #243  
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Originally Posted by ChazzaBazza
So I am sitting on a flight to Seattle after boarding. I am one on the waitlist with GS plus points applied as it is fully booked but shows 15/16 checked in. It gets to t-25 minutes to departure and lo and behold the man beneath me on the upgrade list clears ahead of me. Can anyone shed light as to how this happens??
Were they also on the standby list at the same time? That would suggest a non-rev, although it wouldn't suggest how they could be ranked #2 ahead of so many other customers. Perhaps it was a displaced paid F customer?

I would write it in and try and get an explanation.
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 5:36 pm
  #244  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
Were they also on the standby list at the same time? That would suggest a non-rev, although it wouldn't suggest how they could be ranked #2 ahead of so many other customers. Perhaps it was a displaced paid F customer?

I would write it in and try and get an explanation.

No one on the standby list, and I dont think there was any planning or mal intent , just a screw up. I emailed into 1K voice about it. I also flagged down the gate agent as she walked by with a paper boarding pass to move another person to the now vacated seat about an explanation and showed her my screenshots.

She said oh that is extremely odd, let me check and came back 5 minutes before departure after going back to the gate desk followed by a lengthy conversation with the upgraded flyer that I was not privy too saying that there had been some kind of error.

she said there was nothing to be done which didnt exactly make me feel better. Anyways, Ive written a very lengthy email about all of this to 1K voice as mentioned and asked pretty sternly for an explanation. Fun times for all!
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 9:11 pm
  #245  
 
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Upgrade Shenanigans

I guess the question remains why do the GA have so much authority now over upgrades? Wasnt this supposed to be an automated process - seems now that the GA can release open Polaris seats at their discretion which IMO is completely wrong.
Most times they are too busy to release them.
I was on UA 1 to Singapore this past week and had a PE seat and was Nbr 1 on the list for days then as other people stated others got upgraded 'around them' while I still remained at 1
I boarded and finally got the upgrade only 5 mins before they closed the doors. Seems pretty fishy.
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 9:40 pm
  #246  
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Originally Posted by jraia
I guess the question remains why do the GA have so much authority now over upgrades? Wasnt this supposed to be an automated process - seems now that the GA can release open Polaris seats at their discretion which IMO is completely wrong.
Most times they are too busy to release them.....
Release to who?
Cash upgrades always go first. Agents will hold off running the upgrade waitlist to process cash upgrades.
When you get to the gate and you are too far down the waitlist to clear, people will purchase cash upgrades.

Additionally, there have been issues reported in the displayed waitlist versus what the agent / upgrade tool sees.

Do you know if the other passenger were clearing the waitlist or purchasing cash upgrades?
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 9:52 pm
  #247  
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Originally Posted by jraia
...Seems pretty fishy.
People buying upgrades is not fishy. I've bought upgrades when it was obvious I was sitting at a waitlist number higher than remaining seats - so yeah, I've jumped over number 1 on the list several times. I've done it while sitting in the boarding area.
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 10:18 pm
  #248  
 
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"Cash Upgrades" Even as a GS I have never seen the opportunity to 'buy up' to 1C or Polaris - maybe a couple of weeks prior to the flight but never on same day - that option is NEVER available on same day let along a few hrs before the flight. And I'm imagining that the GA has no clue or no authority to pick and chose who goes first.
There is definitely a problem in the system - I have over 800 plus points and can never get them applied for upgrades so there needs to be a better way.

Find that hard to believe and have never seen the ability to do this, especially 'while sitting in the boarding area'.
What I think may be happening is people are cancelling then rebooking at a higher class ticket - but pretty costly to do on same day of flying.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Nov 16, 2023 at 6:14 am Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 10:47 pm
  #249  
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Originally Posted by jraia
Find that hard to believe and have never seen the ability to do this, especially 'while sitting in the boarding area'.
What I think may be happening is people are cancelling then rebooking at a higher class ticket - but pretty costly to do on same day of flying.
I can assure you that TOD and HOD upgrades can be purchased day of departure. These upgrades are NOT re-bookings into higher fare classes. Re-faring into higher classes is actually more common in advance of the HOD buyups being released.

If you dont have PPs applied day of departure (or days prior to departure) all you have to do is click on open front cabin seat and it shows the HOD price. Of course some flight will not offer buyups if near sellout.

These upsells are part of the reason upgrades are getting harder. United is getting pretty good at monetizing the front cabin. Someone who isnt aware of available buyups can be at a disadvantage sometimes (and may think somethings is fishy )

Current buyup in days prior to a HNL-SFO is usually a predictable $400 - not a refare.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Nov 15, 2023 at 10:59 pm
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 11:17 pm
  #250  
 
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Seems like $400 is a cheap offer for upgrade that would potentially alienate the overall GS flyers that UA thinks that they are handcuffed to them.
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 4:11 am
  #251  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
It's probably another GS with PlusPoints. Unfortunately, the list doesn't always seem to be accurate -- which makes it worse than useless.
This is my theory. Its unclear to me whether this display list or GA list is more accurate per UA published rules, but it seems clear the lists dont match.

Presumably, its hard to us to gather more data because its only obvious something is wrong when a single upgrade goes to someone other than #1. Its not just TOD buyups, though. My post up thread is about my experience with my partner being UG to Polaris at #2 over #1 without a buy up.
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 6:36 am
  #252  
 
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Originally Posted by jraia
"Cash Upgrades" Even as a GS I have never seen the opportunity to 'buy up' to 1C or Polaris - maybe a couple of weeks prior to the flight but never on same day - that option is NEVER available on same day let along a few hrs before the flight. And I'm imagining that the GA has no clue or no authority to pick and chose who goes first.
There is definitely a problem in the system - I have over 800 plus points and can never get them applied for upgrades so there needs to be a better way.

Find that hard to believe and have never seen the ability to do this, especially 'while sitting in the boarding area'.
What I think may be happening is people are cancelling then rebooking at a higher class ticket - but pretty costly to do on same day of flying.
I have done this more than once. I've been tempted to do it more than I've actually done it -- virtually always in the gate area. Whether or not it's available depends on the Revenue Management humans and algorithms so it may not have been made available on the flights you were looking at (or for the fare class you were originally booked into or...)

For the cancel-and-rebook crowd depending on the underlying fare calculation and where in the ticket the segment falls it may not be that costly (but usually would be)

GA processed upgrades that don't involve a real money payment are, essentially, automated. If a GA wanted to pull shenanigans there are ways (that come to think of it may require a lead or higher's sine) that would not impact the UG list display -- but most agents deployed in the past ~10 years aren't trained on that anyway. And given the audit-ability of everything done under a sine there's really no upside for an agent to circumvent the list for their own purposes, particularly things the company may see as depriving them of a revenue opportunity
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 7:12 am
  #253  
 
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Update to my thread. I actually received a pretty prompt response it did not say much beyond the following:

I'm sharing your case with our Technology team to review the software we use for this.


Still, we understand your disappointment and want to make this right. I will send you a $400 electronic travel certificate. You can use this certificate towards the purchase of your next United or United Express flight.

Still seems to me there was an issue and the size of the ETC makes me think they know it, but honestly Im not complaining anymore. Middle next to me was empty in economy plus so Ill gladly take it.
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 8:05 am
  #254  
 
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Originally Posted by ChazzaBazza

Still seems to me there was an issue and the size of the ETC makes me think they know it, but honestly Im not complaining anymore. Middle next to me was empty in economy plus so Ill gladly take it.
I suspect the size of the ETC has more to do with your status, as is typical with United.
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 8:34 am
  #255  
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Originally Posted by escapefromphl
I suspect the size of the ETC has more to do with your status, as is typical with United.
It is higher still than ETC for more mundane issues like broken IFE/power, inop seat recline, etc. with 1K status. I agree with OP that in the number there is some acknowledgement of a more significant problem on their end.
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