Upgrade Shenanigans? [Consolidated]

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Old Jun 6, 19, 3:06 pm
  #631  
 
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Originally Posted by N104UA View Post
Did they call him by name or did they go up to him? I can't tell you the number of times a GA goes to 7A instead of 8A for the UG?

Also did it show the guy behind you was upgraded on the app? Seems to me it could have been an honest mistake.
Called by name as he was walking down the aisle ---- hadn't even gotten to his seat yet. (The agent was standing in the aisle behind me and the fellow had just passed the dividing wall between first and coach.) He did not show as upgraded on the app, only clearing standby. The app at the time the door closed showed F full, 7 of 8 checked in and no upgrades. My own view is that the gate agent was just trying to get the flight out and didn't follow the right procedures.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 11:25 am
  #632  
 
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I believe I might have been the recipient of some shenanigans recently. I am gold and mostly fly CLE > ORD. This is a pretty elite-heavy route and I'm always somewhere halfway on the list. Never been upgraded this route (not that I care for an hour flight anyway).

A few weeks back I was flying back on a ERJ145 and was seated in 1A on a U-bucket fare. I get through security at ORD and the first gate in front of security was nearing the end of group 4 boarding a CLE flight that was delayed. I walk up to the gate, hand the agent my ticket and ask if there are any seats left. She looks at the ticket and says "Yes, but there are no first class seats" I just said "That's fine" and was puzzled since I wasn't in first class and didn't say anything to that effect to her. While she was getting my new ticket I figured she saw "1A" on the ticket and assumed an F seat. I said "It's one of the small planes, so it's not really first class anyway." to which she says "Right, right."

She gets me a new ticket for 8D and I board second-last, before a non-rev sitting in 8E next to me. As I'm settling in, the second agent (one I didn't talk to) comes up to me and says: "Mr. Moo?" "Yes" "We have a seat up front for you." I take my things and get in my new F seat. I was puzzled, so I looked at the list on the App. F shows booked full, no names cleared on the list of about 30. Not only that but I didn't even see my name on the list. Not really sure what happened, but I'm almost certain that seat was not meant for me.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 11:49 am
  #633  
 
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Originally Posted by mrmoo View Post
I believe I might have been the recipient of some shenanigans recently.... Not really sure what happened, but I'm almost certain that seat was not meant for me.
Sounds like a simple mistake. Agent thought you were in F (1A) and booked you in F-displaced-to-Y on the new flight, a seat opened up and you were given it incorrectly.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 12:32 pm
  #634  
 
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
Sounds like a simple mistake. Agent thought you were in F (1A) and booked you in F-displaced-to-Y on the new flight, a seat opened up and you were given it incorrectly.
Okay, I can see that, I suppose that makes sense.
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Old Jun 10, 19, 10:23 am
  #635  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I was on a DEN-AUS flight on Sunday where 3F was occupied but was shown as open on the seatmap after departure. I surmised that his boarding pass didn't scan properly.

More amusingly -- sort of -- was an IAH-MCO flight I was on a couple of weeks ago, where they came on board and attempted to upgrade a passenger only to find the seat occupied. There was some confusion; they asked for the passenger's boarding pass and ID, then eventually let him fly.

When I got off of the plane, I saw him talking to the gate agent at MCO. It turns out that he was going to ORD...

So, the seat map is supposed to be accurate after departure, but it isn't always...
Offloads of checked-in pax seem to frequently go sideways, and I think part of it is because the D0 focus means that a lot of GAs will move the pax around without doing anything in the computer with the intention of "cleaning it up" after closing the door.

A little while back, I was the beneficiary of reverse shenanigans when my mom was flying on my RPU. She was number 1 and boarded in her Y seat; flight was checked in 1 short, and departed showing an empty seat in F ("full", checked in 1 short, seat marked available). However, she says the GA came on board and brought her up to that seat. Nonetheless, the system clearly showed it empty, as I got the RPU back.
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Old Jun 10, 19, 11:39 am
  #636  
 
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Originally Posted by mrmoo View Post
I believe I might have been the recipient of some shenanigans recently. I am gold and mostly fly CLE > ORD. This is a pretty elite-heavy route and I'm always somewhere halfway on the list. Never been upgraded this route (not that I care for an hour flight anyway).

A few weeks back I was flying back on a ERJ145 and was seated in 1A on a U-bucket fare. I get through security at ORD and the first gate in front of security was nearing the end of group 4 boarding a CLE flight that was delayed. I walk up to the gate, hand the agent my ticket and ask if there are any seats left. She looks at the ticket and says "Yes, but there are no first class seats" I just said "That's fine" and was puzzled since I wasn't in first class and didn't say anything to that effect to her. While she was getting my new ticket I figured she saw "1A" on the ticket and assumed an F seat. I said "It's one of the small planes, so it's not really first class anyway." to which she says "Right, right."

She gets me a new ticket for 8D and I board second-last, before a non-rev sitting in 8E next to me. As I'm settling in, the second agent (one I didn't talk to) comes up to me and says: "Mr. Moo?" "Yes" "We have a seat up front for you." I take my things and get in my new F seat. I was puzzled, so I looked at the list on the App. F shows booked full, no names cleared on the list of about 30. Not only that but I didn't even see my name on the list. Not really sure what happened, but I'm almost certain that seat was not meant for me.
When I see the reports like this I miss the transparency that was available for all upgrades being listed, including those that happened at time of booking, not merely at the gate (although based on this report not even then in some circumstances).

I have been on a couple of international long haul flights in the past two weeks with GPUs applied and 2 or 3 seats available in Polaris at T-60 mins (albeit showing Fully Booked) and folks on the STBY list and have died at #1 and #2 on the Upgrade list and the names of the STBY pax disappearing - usually see them with a seat assignment next to their names. I assumed the STBY pax did not make the flight but the lack of transparency does not make the assumption necessarily correct.

Not saying there were shenanigans but I was obviously watching the upgrade list like a hawk especially as we were at T-60 mins for an international flight. T-45 mins still same number checked in and at T-30 mins but by T-15mins all seats gone but no one received an upgrade. I was surprised as definitely past international check-in time at T-60 mins.

The recent problems with the upgrade program, a couple of personal experience with the upgrade system and I believe all is not well in the upgrade world so not necessarily shenanigans but something does not seem right at the gate.

The previous system of transparency made it much easier to "trust and verify" vs the current "trust" only approach taken by United.
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Old Jun 10, 19, 12:45 pm
  #637  
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
...
The previous system of transparency made it much easier to "trust and verify" vs the current "trust" only approach taken by United.
That was only true for CPU flights. In the past, the non-CPU flights were very similar to today's system.
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Old Jun 10, 19, 1:16 pm
  #638  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
That was only true for CPU flights. In the past, the non-CPU flights were very similar to today's system.
Oh I had thought my GPU flights showed this in the past. My bad.

Irrespective I do think United should have better transparency in this area in regard to upgrades.
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Old Jun 10, 19, 3:02 pm
  #639  
 
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
Oh I had thought my GPU flights showed this in the past. My bad.

Irrespective I do think United should have better transparency in this area in regard to upgrades.
​​​​​​How would you suggest they give you more transparency? What would make you say, okay now I see why my UG didn't clear
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Old Jun 10, 19, 3:12 pm
  #640  
 
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Originally Posted by N104UA View Post
​​​​​​How would you suggest they give you more transparency? What would make you say, okay now I see why my UG didn't clear
Because on my two recent flights I felt the chance of the upgrade was looking good at T-30mins on an international flight and find it hard to believe they went to TODs at that time or SDCs.

However, my nature I am all about transparency as I like to understand reasoning for decisions.

However, it seems I may be in the minority and that is okay. I know GPUs as a 1K are a lottery - you want Polaris then purchase it. In 2020 as a Platinum with no GPUs, upgrades will no longer be my concern. Looking forward to those great TOD offers I currently do not receive since I have a GPU applied for the flight.
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Old Jun 10, 19, 3:29 pm
  #641  
 
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Yesterday, I was on UA 421 EWR-BOS. This is an elite-heavy flight, with two pages of names on the upgrade list, but, lo! mine was at #2 ! It was booked at 19/20 and checked in at 18/20 for a long time, because it was delayed. At T-20, Mr. #1 was cleared, and Mr. 19/20 apparently checked in, as the board was showing Full/Full, and I was left high and dry. Prior to that, I had been watching the list closely since I was in E- and wanted a softer seat to nap. The thing that makes the situation odd is that this flight's departure was delayed by nearly two hours (scheduled 8:30 PM departure, actual 10:20 PM departure although the board showed 10:05 up until boarding began at 9:50).

So, did Mr. 19/20 really check in that late? At EWR where getting through security alone needs at least 20 minutes? Or did something else happen? Now it's a short flight and I napped in E- just fine, so I'm mostly curious because I don't have a good explanation for what happened. Any ideas?
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Old Jun 10, 19, 3:49 pm
  #642  
 
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Originally Posted by jpezaris View Post
So, did Mr. 19/20 really check in that late? At EWR where getting through security alone needs at least 20 minutes? Or did something else happen? Now it's a short flight and I napped in E- just fine, so I'm mostly curious because I don't have a good explanation for what happened. Any ideas?
Sounds like SDC, IRROPS, missed connection, etc. to me. Someone was already in F and already at the airport, they didn't buy a ticket on the flight from scratch. Extreme speculation: they were in F, missed their connection, put in Y on the 9:59pm flight....saw your flight was leaving at the same time and had 1 F seat, moved to yours).
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Old Jun 10, 19, 3:58 pm
  #643  
 
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
Because on my two recent flights I felt the chance of the upgrade was looking good at T-30mins on an international flight and find it hard to believe they went to TODs at that time or SDCs.

However, my nature I am all about transparency as I like to understand reasoning for decisions.

However, it seems I may be in the minority and that is okay. I know GPUs as a 1K are a lottery - you want Polaris then purchase it. In 2020 as a Platinum with no GPUs, upgrades will no longer be my concern. Looking forward to those great TOD offers I currently do not receive since I have a GPU applied for the flight.
You didn't answer my question, what would transparency look like to you? What information would you want UA to provide for you to say "okay I understand why I didn't get my upgrade"?
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Old Jun 10, 19, 4:25 pm
  #644  
 
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Originally Posted by N104UA View Post
You didn't answer my question, what would transparency look like to you? What information would you want UA to provide for you to say "okay I understand why I didn't get my upgrade"?
I would say the question is already answered. Full transparency. This person got into this seat for this reason. Delta is very bad about this as well. Their standby lists includes everyone, including basic economy passengers without seat assignments. There is no way to tell who is who or why this or that happened. Just my 2 cents..
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Old Jun 10, 19, 4:32 pm
  #645  
 
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UA984, CDG > SFO, June 6th - Premium Plus @ T-24 has 7 seats available, #2 on upgrade list (Polaris almost full and a no hope as usual), @ T-20 bumped to #7 as 5 names added, shortly thereafter the "new" 5 clear into PP. A quick check of fare classes showed PZ = 0 and the seat map shows no change - I was in a middle seat and hoping to move - no seat assignments opened up. Strange me thinks, did 5 PZ seats magically open - I was watching like a hawk and at check-in PZ = 0. #1 clears in PP just before boarding and then someone from the Polaris list clears into the last seat, they were never on the PP upgrade list, they must have declined that option but somehow jumped ahead of my GPU after Polaris filed up. Left at #1 - at least the GA was able to find me an aisle seat. Got to see the FA seat map while she was doing drinks service and none of the "5" were showing any status - only 3 1Ks in PP and 2 were cleared at the gate. How do pax without status get added to upgrade lists ahead of 1Ks using GPUs? That's not how I read the priority list. Asked the FA if they were non-revs but she wouldn't answer. Emailed 1KVoice and got a generic response ignoring the problem. Upgrade shenanigans? I think so.
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