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Upgrade Shenanigans? [Consolidated]

Old Feb 26, 2020, 3:53 pm
  #1  
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Originally Posted by RobOnLI
My guess is this is not shenanigans. You were likely showing as "not boarded" and it can be chalked up to a computer error.
-RM
OP here..It may have been a computer error, however: scanner showed the correct seat (1E) when I boarded, and app showed me as "on board". "Not boarded" will also not explain why when the GA came on board and saw my BP instead of following SP for duplicated seats, immediately forced a refresh that showed 11C (as if he knew what will happen) and told me that I had to go back while he "investigated". I think that if I did not have the foresight to take a screen shot of my original BP I am pretty sure that I would have rode in the back while the issue was "investigated". (BTW: when I said that if I had to ride in the back then downgrade compensation to the tune of $500 will be owed given that I had a confirmed seat upfront and the BP and email to back it up, the GA stated that "he did not know about that")..

The person that had a duplicated BP did no have a visible badge (and I did not check the standby list), so I cannot assert that he was a NR. What is strange is that I was not the only one upgraded during the day, and this person always stayed at the bottom of the visible upgrade list, even if there was no one else, and did not get upgraded until pretty much the boarding process was done and they were ready to close the door. Also, I was not the last person upgraded, there were at least 2 people upgraded after me (and not GS), so it is not clear why I was the "chosen one".
Perhaps another instance of a post PP broken upgrade process? But the entire affair left a bad taste.

Stay safe.
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Old Jan 30, 2021, 11:55 pm
  #2  
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I just had upgrade shenanigans happen and it was in my favor for a change. Flew out of IAD on Friday and was #3 for 1 seat on the upgrade list. As a 1K on a "G" fare I thought that might be about right. I only booked the flight four days before departure but I didn't see any movement on the list. And my destination was one where a lot of people love to burn points for upgrades. So #1 and #2 could have been GS or 1K on a higher fare or were using PlusPoints. Having resigned myself to sitting in a bulkhead coach seat I stayed at the TK lounge a little longer than normal and didn't make the jaunt over until my watch beeped that boarding had started. So I made my shuffle from the B gates through the A gates to the people mover that goes straight to D11. Some time during my walk I got an email saying I was upgraded. I queue jumped #1 and #2 and I have no idea why.

It's possible that:
1. #1 and #2 were a couple and declined since there was only one seat. Note: very different last names
2. #1 and #2 both declined the upgrade at the gate
3. The gate agent went rogue and processed by status instead of by priority...only if in the case #1 and #2 were not GS or 1K.

Thanks for the upgrade United. My first of the year in 3 flights so as a 1K I'm now 1/3 at 33%.

-RM
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Old Jan 31, 2021, 12:26 am
  #3  
 
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People often turn down upgrades to full F cabins in exchange for social distancing in an open Y cabin without any shenanigans. Was E+ full, or were there open centers? IAD is a hub, so 1 and 2 could have been on a late inbound connection. Given the alternatives listed by you and myself and lack of any shenanigan evidence, one would be hard pressed to use this example to bump a thread without any posts in it for a year, about shenanigans.
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Last edited by fastair; Jan 31, 2021 at 12:31 am
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Old Jan 31, 2021, 7:19 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by RobOnLI
Some time during my walk I got an email saying I was upgraded. I queue jumped #1 and #2 and I have no idea why.

It's possible that:
1. #1 and #2 were a couple and declined since there was only one seat. Note: very different last names
2. #1 and #2 both declined the upgrade at the gate [...]
Originally Posted by fastair
People often turn down upgrades to full F cabins in exchange for social distancing in an open Y cabin without any shenanigans. Was E+ full, or were there open centers? IAD is a hub, so 1 and 2 could have been on a late inbound connection. Given the alternatives listed by you and myself and lack of any shenanigan evidence, one would be hard pressed to use this example to bump a thread without any posts in it for a year, about shenanigans.
In addition to FastAir's very logical explanation (which I've seen happen for both #1 an #2, I've been the beneficiary of #1 myself at IAD (though the agent also asked me if I wanted the upgrade so seems a little odd that you were jut pushed through) keep in mind that "very different last names" isn't really a meaningful distinction in the 2020s -- my wife sensibly decided to keep her maiden name (though since I've had a hyphenated name since birth I thought it would be really funny if impractical to tack her name on (McP-KIN-CLI or KIN-CLI-MCP), having seen the difficulties I have with a singly hyphenated name, she sensibly vetoed that idea. Maybe 30% of our married mutual friends have changed surnames, the other 70% are in the "what's the point?" camp
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Old Jan 31, 2021, 7:26 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by fastair
People often turn down upgrades to full F cabins in exchange for social distancing in an open Y cabin without any shenanigans. Was E+ full, or were there open centers? IAD is a hub, so 1 and 2 could have been on a late inbound connection. Given the alternatives listed by you and myself and lack of any shenanigan evidence, one would be hard pressed to use this example to bump a thread without any posts in it for a year, about shenanigans.
Originally Posted by lincolnjkc
In addition to FastAir's very logical explanation (which I've seen happen for both #1 an #2, I've been the beneficiary of #1 myself at IAD (though the agent also asked me if I wanted the upgrade so seems a little odd that you were jut pushed through) keep in mind that "very different last names" isn't really a meaningful distinction in the 2020s
The plane was 100% full. Not an empty seat on it.

And i agree about last names. That's why it was listed as #1 on my list of potential scenarios.

And correct...I was pushed through without any questioning and it was right at the 30 minute mark. So maybe #1 and #2 already told the GA that unless they could both be upgraded that neither wanted it. That's entirely plausible but I wasn't at the gate before boarding started so I have no idea.

But if were #1 or #2 and got passed over I'd definitely be posting in this thread

-RM
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Old Jan 31, 2021, 10:42 am
  #6  
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My money is on 1. from the list. I have seen it happen!

Aside: my partner and I also have different last names, but we do take the upgrade even for one.
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Old Jan 31, 2021, 11:13 am
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Also, I've heard the true waitlist is different to that in the app. So you could've been #1!
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Old Jan 31, 2021, 11:23 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by sexykitten7
Also, I've heard the true waitlist is different to that in the app. So you could've been #1!
There used to be some discrepancies between the waitlist used by the computer and the one used by the gate agents, but from all my observations I think that has been reconciled to one 'true' list now.
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Old Mar 21, 2021, 3:10 pm
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Yesterday on my transatlantic, 6 people booked in Polaris.
20 mins after take off I saw a familly of 3 moving from Eco to Polaris with their bags, 5 mins later an other guy did the same. They all stayed in Polaris.
Wandering if it was a gift to Elites on an empty flight ?
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Old Mar 21, 2021, 3:12 pm
  #10  
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Was there an upgrade list? Did they sit in cleared seat locations?
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Old Mar 21, 2021, 4:37 pm
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This is the logic of most people here: An employee (or even someone who [i]appears to be an employee) is in First or Business Class. Therefore, shenanigans.
After all these pages, this sums up this entire thread.
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Old Mar 21, 2021, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by tuolumne
After all these pages, this sums up this entire thread.
And it can be very hard to tell "employee" from passenger -- I have a United jacket (Christmas present from my wife to make up for my not being able to fly as much as I'd like in 2020; apparently they were selling them in Newark), am lucky enough to be friends with employees throughout the system so often will have casual conversations when our paths cross and their duties allow and am almost always "non-rev business casual" when flying -- by many accounts I may look like an employee, even without the branded jacket -- but I've never worked for any airline much less UA*. Nor [with one possible exception each way] have I been the beneficiary or victim of upgrade shenanigans] I think there is a proportion of the audience that is looking for an easy target to hang disappointment with their own upgrade odds.

*- Had 9/11 not happened as I was thinking of entering the workforce/career trajectories it's entirely possible I would have followed a different path. I've always loved/been intrigued by the workings of the industry from my days as a toddler seeing my dad off at FAT on Sunday Evenings and welcoming him home Friday evenings, like my first flight, all brought to you by WestAir Communter Airlines, a United Express carrier -- where you didn't have to worry about upgrades, let alone shenanigans
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Old Mar 21, 2021, 8:17 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc
And it can be very hard to tell "employee" from passenger -- I have a United jacket (Christmas present from my wife to make up for my not being able to fly as much as I'd like in 2020; apparently they were selling them in Newark) ........
Wondering if my lightblue Polaris memory foam pillow *) I bring onto domestic flights gets me an "employee-look" as well.
*) legitimately obtained.
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Old Mar 21, 2021, 9:49 pm
  #14  
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Upgrade favoritism & shenanigans! 😮

We've been Bonvyed! 🙂 😉
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Old Jul 9, 2021, 10:53 am
  #15  
 
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This morning I flew DEN-SFO. I was #2 on the upgrade list, with front cabin booked 20/20 and checked in 19/20. I settled into my row 10 seat and the gate agent comes on the plane with a boarding pass for Mr. #1 on the upgrade list, who I noticed showed as cleared in the app. I heard #1 decline the upgrade, but did not hear his reason.

I got excited, since the app said I was next. However, instead of upgrading me, the staff member (not sure if gate agent or flight attendant) upgraded somebody else who was dressed in a United uniform and appeared to be a commuting pilot. I tried to get her attention but she either did not hear me or ignored me.

Shenanigans? Is there any circumstance where this situation would adhere to policy? Should I contact 1K voice, or would that just be a waste of my time?
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