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Upgrade Shenanigans? [Consolidated]

Old Nov 16, 2023, 8:43 am
  #256  
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Originally Posted by jraia
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.
It was $325 for years. In the past few years, UA has become really good at filling seats up front. Upgrades are down by a lot (GS less than other), but UA seems to have no problem in annoying Premiers if they can get money for seats instead of giving away a lot of upgrades. I think all the Premiers are still around, in spite of this. They are now applying PPs where CPUs were routine/expected. They are buying upgrades. They are buying First. The degradation of the GS program shows that UA is realizing that they can cut back on expected benefits, annoy Premiers, and still see record revenues.
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 8:45 am
  #257  
 
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I have noticed a complete paucity of PN space lately. The routes I book used to have about 30%. Now it's 0.

My rate for clearing off the waitlist has also been Zero lately. The last 4 or 5 times, I've been at the top of the list and watched as all the available seats slipped away in the last 2 or 3 hours.

Presumably these are last-minute buyups. Yet, as a GS, I never have a chance at them. This is really poor on United's part, as I think a lot of GSes are realizing their PPs are worthless.....
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 8:52 am
  #258  
 
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Exclamation Exactly

Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
It was $325 for years. In the past few years, UA has become really good at filling seats up front. Upgrades are down by a lot (GS less than other), but UA seems to have no problem in annoying Premiers if they can get money for seats instead of giving away a lot of upgrades. I think all the Premiers are still around, in spite of this. They are now applying PPs where CPUs were routine/expected. They are buying upgrades. They are buying First. The degradation of the GS program shows that UA is realizing that they can cut back on expected benefits, annoy Premiers, and still see record revenues.
This is exactly my current scenario. I'm NYC based 1K, and I never get a CPU (I say this because I never roll the dice anymore) I put PP on all my flights, and get it maybe 75% of the time. Or I end up as 1 or 2 on the UP list. I also look at paid upgrade depending on the flight length and aircraft type. I've spent over $600 for NYC-IAH for Polaris on a 767 or as little as $90 for EWR-BOS. Really depends. But I'm resigned to the fact that 1K gives my early boarding and Econ+, ticket flexibility etc. But if I want to sit up front, I now need to pay for it.
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 9:06 am
  #259  
 
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Originally Posted by porciuscato
Presumably these are last-minute buyups. Yet, as a GS, I never have a chance at them. This is really poor on United's part, as I think a lot of GSes are realizing their PPs are worthless.....
One thing after I posted my earlier reply that I think a lot of people may not realize: If you have any segments waitlisted for any reason -- including for PP (or MUA) -- you will not be able to do a buy-up even if the cabin is wide open and other people on the flight can -- you'd have to cancel the waitlisted segments to be able to receive a buy up offer.

I think it's a stupid (revenue impacting) decision on UA's part because there have been times when I've been waitlisted for a PP and at least willing to entertain the idea of a buy-up -- and in my people watching at clubs I've seen others in the same position but the only way to find out is to drop off of the WL, check, and then hope you can re-add it.
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 9:08 am
  #260  
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc
...you'd have to cancel the waitlisted segments to be able to receive a buy up offer...
Yes, would be nice if buyup price shows when clicking on seat, even if PPs applied.
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 9:47 am
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But if you do this, don't you lose your place in line for PP? Maybe too risky for a long haul segment.
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 9:50 am
  #262  
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Originally Posted by 1KNYC
But if you do this, don't you lose your place in line for PP? Maybe too risky for a long haul segment.
Not really any more. Time of Request is the 8th/9th factor in waitlist priority. It was a more major factor until about a year ago, but no longer.
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 9:50 am
  #263  
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Originally Posted by 1KNYC
But if you do this, don't you lose your place in line for PP? Maybe too risky for a long haul segment.
AFAIK, only against others at same status level w/ same fare basis, so a significant drop in standing isn't likely.
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Old Nov 16, 2023, 9:58 am
  #264  
 
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
Yes, would be nice if buyup price shows when clicking on seat, even if PPs applied.
I think the problem is as implemented the WL confuses the faring/pricing engine -- The first part of that business logic goes "Huh, there's already a segment in the premium cabin, so premium cabin to premium cabin = $0" and the second part is "$0 can't possibly be right, so don't make an upgrade available"

I've indirectly seen this in human form a long time ago (+/-2012, pre-1K) where, as far as I can tell an agent at the counter waitlisted me (essentially for an OpUp) without me knowing about it on anniversary trip. At the club I had asked about buying up, the agent did a lot of typing followed by a "something is weird here, call reservations". Reservations did a bit of typing, put me on hold a couple times then came back and told me that the computer was telling them it would be $0 and she knew that couldn't be right so no upgrade for me. Only after that call did I notice I was on the UG list...
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Old Mar 16, 2024, 12:41 pm
  #265  
 
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Today at 1:04PM I was #1 on the upgrade list with 1 seat open. 10 minutes later, the person who was #2 was upgraded ahead of me. Is this shenanigans or possibly a buy-up? I think a buy up wouldnt appear on the upgrade list.

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Old Mar 16, 2024, 12:46 pm
  #266  
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Originally Posted by getagb
Today at 1:04PM I was #1 on the upgrade list with 1 seat open. 10 minutes later, the person who was #2 was upgraded ahead of me. Is this shenanigans or possibly a buy-up? I think a buy up wouldnt appear on the upgrade list.
Very likely a buyup as they saw they were likely to die on the list.
Buyup sometimes do should up on the upgrade list, especially last minute ones, but sometimes not. Probably a matter of how the GA handles the upgrade.

Additionally, there have been some discrepancies in the display of those with higher priority -- such as displaced passengers.
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Old Mar 16, 2024, 1:23 pm
  #267  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Very likely a buyup as they saw they were likely to die on the list.
Buyup sometimes do should up on the upgrade list, especially last minute ones, but sometimes not. Probably a matter of how the GA handles the upgrade.

Additionally, there have been some discrepancies in the display of those with higher priority -- such as displaced passengers.
Departure time was 1:54, so if the upgraded occurred "10 minutes after" 1:04, a buy-up is by far the most likely scenario -- that or last-minute PlusPoints applied. It really depends on what inventory was and, to a lesser extent, where MCC, A was in the cabin. AUS-ORD upgrade prices typically don't drop much below $149 -- which I wouldn't pay to get out of 21F but which I might pay to get out of 28B.

Also -- and I don't know if it happened on this flight or not -- but I've seen at least one flight in the past year or so where there were two different upgrade lists between the app and the web, and the one that was on the web appeared to be the one that got used... but once you have two lists, what good are any of them?
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Last edited by jsloan; Mar 17, 2024 at 10:12 am Reason: Typo one -> once
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Old Mar 17, 2024, 9:30 am
  #268  
 
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Originally Posted by getagb
Today at 1:04PM I was #1 on the upgrade list with 1 seat open. 10 minutes later, the person who was #2 was upgraded ahead of me. Is this shenanigans or possibly a buy-up? I think a buy up wouldnt appear on the upgrade list.
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Very likely a buyup as they saw they were likely to die on the list.
Buyup sometimes do should up on the upgrade list, especially last minute ones, but sometimes not. Probably a matter of how the GA handles the upgrade.

Additionally, there have been some discrepancies in the display of those with higher priority -- such as displaced passengers.
I think we have all seen over the years that more people are buying into first. I know business associates who watch the upgrade list closely and if they are not likely to clear will take any reasonable buy-up. And I am sure the airlines approve of this behavior. #1 on the upgrade list with only one seat left is often unlikely to clear.
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Old Mar 17, 2024, 10:13 am
  #269  
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Originally Posted by uanj
I think we have all seen over the years that more people are buying into first. I know business associates who watch the upgrade list closely and if they are not likely to clear will take any reasonable buy-up. And I am sure the airlines approve of this behavior. #1 on the upgrade list with only one seat left is often unlikely to clear.
Oh, absolutely. There are two reasons the upgrade list is public: (1) to prevent shenanigans by gate agents, and (2) to encourage people either to aim for a higher status or to purchase F outright / purchase a buy-up.
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Old Mar 17, 2024, 10:15 am
  #270  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Oh, absolutely. There are two reasons the upgrade list is public: (1) to prevent shenanigans by gate agents, and (2) to encourage people either to aim for a higher status or to purchase F outright / purchase a buy-up.
BINGO!
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