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Downgraded? What happened to my (companion) upgrade today?

Downgraded? What happened to my (companion) upgrade today?

Old Aug 6, 13, 2:39 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: IAH mostly.
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Downgraded? What happened to my (companion) upgrade today?

Can someone please explain what happened to my son and I today? My son is six years old, I don't know if that is relevant or not.

Last week we booked a last minute trip MAF-IAH-BOS. E-fare class. I am UA Plat.

Checked in online Thursday morning and both CPU's cleared at T-24. Departed last Friday 8/2. Had a great flight.

All good so far.

Yesterday I checked in at T-24 for the ERJ flight back to IAH. It was not yet 24 hours from the IAH-BOS leg, but we were #1 and #2 on the upgrade list online after check-in. There were 5 empty seats in First and advanced mode showed R=4. I figured we were in good shape.

Now here is where it gets strange.

At T-24 yesterday, I got the notification email, but when I logged on to check, the PNR had been split and I was the only one upgraded. First class was now showing full and my son was now #1 on the list.

He was still #1 on the list when we boarded at IAH this morning. My old seat was empty, so we boarded the plane and I sat with him in my original seat to see if someone might not show up and he would clear a battleground. And if he didn't, I would just give my boarding pass to the third person in the row and let her just have my seat in F so we could have a row to ourselves.

After we had been sitting a few minutes, the gate agent started walking down the aisle with several boarding passes in her hand. She stopped at our row, but instead of handing my son a new F boarding pass, she handed me a new boarding pass for my original E+ seat. She then walked a few rows back and gave a boarding pass to some other guy for my first class seat, the one that had cleared yesterday.

Can someone tell me what the heck happened?

1.) Why didn't my son clear as my companion if we were #1 and #2 on the list? There were a couple of other "pairs" on the list behind us and they did clear.

2.) How was I downgraded after the fact?

3.) How mad about all of this should I actually be?

Thanks.
cottonmather0 is offline  
Old Aug 6, 13, 2:43 pm
  #2  
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I imagine your son never cleared. And it is not permitted for a minor and guardian to sit separately.

On companion upgrade "returns", I have found (tons on this in the companion upgrade thread) that the companion is at a much lower ranking (behind all other folks in the same status) than in the outbound (right behind the Premier member).

If there were still folks on the UG list, this all makes sense. Your son would've been the last "Plat" upgraded.

Now if the list all cleared.....

Last edited by aacharya; Aug 6, 13 at 5:40 pm
aacharya is offline  
Old Aug 6, 13, 2:47 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
Your son would've been the last "1K" upgraded.
The OP said he's Plat.
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Old Aug 6, 13, 2:54 pm
  #4  
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I am platinum.

I understand the minor policy and figured it was something like that.

What I don't understand is how he was #2 on the list behind me but never cleared.
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Old Aug 6, 13, 2:56 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
.... On companion upgrade "returns", I have found (tons on this in the companion upgrade thread) that the companion is at a much lower ranking (behind all other folks in the same status) than in the outbound (right behind the Premier member). .....
This is the crazy thing about the present system -- there are at least two systems and we have anecdotal info the two lists are prioritized differently. But if the OP and son were #1 and #2 on the gate list, which system was used to bypass the son? and did the factor the son was a minor invalidate the upgrade request or ????

It is nice to have the gate waitlist but in times like this the confidence and transparency of the system goes out the window.
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Old Aug 6, 13, 2:58 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by cottonmather0 View Post
I am platinum.
What I don't understand is how he was #2 on the list behind me but never cleared.
List only shows checked-in passengers, most likely 1K changed onto your flight or someone bought an upgrade at check in..
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Old Aug 6, 13, 3:25 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
I imagine your son never cleared. And it is not permitted for a minor and guardian to sit separately.
Well, this is definitely not the case.... how many threads are on FT about how parents and children are given boarding passes all over the plane and no one will help them?
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Old Aug 6, 13, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
and did the factor the son was a minor invalidate the upgrade request or ????
I was traveling on award tickets with my small kids last year. The web site showed the CPU-eligible logo on each leg of the reservation that could be upgraded (some were COPA). When I checked in, the system asked if I had anybody under 13 in our party, which I checked yes. We did not appear on the upgrade list.

I assumed that was because the kids made us ineligible, but I don't know that for sure.

That said, I have been upgraded in the past when traveling with the kids, but I don't think they were asking the question about 13-year-olds in your party at that time.
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Old Aug 6, 13, 4:00 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by cottonmather0 View Post
CYesterday I checked in at T-24 for the ERJ flight back to IAH. It was not yet 24 hours from the IAH-BOS leg, but we were #1 and #2 on the upgrade list online after check-in. There were 5 empty seats in First and advanced mode showed R=4. I figured we were in good shape.

Now here is where it gets strange.

At T-24 yesterday, I got the notification email, but when I logged on to check, the PNR had been split and I was the only one upgraded.
When you checked in, it should have asked if you wanted to split the reservation and standby for the upgrade. Did it ask that and did you say yes?
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Old Aug 6, 13, 4:21 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
When you checked in, it should have asked if you wanted to split the reservation and standby for the upgrade. Did it ask that and did you say yes?
Nope and nope.
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Old Aug 6, 13, 4:40 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Quimbydog View Post
Well, this is definitely not the case.... how many threads are on FT about how parents and children are given boarding passes all over the plane and no one will help them?
You are confusing two entirely separate issues. The requirement is that the parent & child be seated in the same cabin, not that they be seated next to each other.

The bottom line problem here is that OP is only Plat. People ahead of him include anybody in F changing to the flight in question as well as any GS or 1K and any elite, including Silver on a Y/B fare. The list he saw includes checked in pax. Only takes one of the above walking up to the GA and that seat is gone.
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Old Aug 6, 13, 5:40 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Quimbydog View Post
Well, this is definitely not the case.... how many threads are on FT about how parents and children are given boarding passes all over the plane and no one will help them?
For someone new here, that's a bold assertion to make.

The OP and son would have been in separate cabins - hence separately.
aacharya is offline  
Old Aug 6, 13, 6:11 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
And it is not permitted for a minor and guardian to sit separately.
This is applicable in this case because the child is 6, but children 12 and up can fly UA without anyone accompanying them.
channa is offline  
Old Aug 6, 13, 10:57 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
This is applicable in this case because the child is 6, but children 12 and up can fly UA without anyone accompanying them.
True. But different rules apply when the parent is on the flight. Like no exit rows for parents even if children are elsewhere.
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Old Aug 6, 13, 11:25 pm
  #15  
 
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Not that it "fixes" the issue, but filling out the online customer service form has yielded pretty consistent results for me and my traveling companions on similar situations.

I had luck when gate agent in Denver (gotta love the legacy UA staff) removed me from the upgrade list right before clearing the four remaining seats on DEN-IAH. I was standing next to the podium when my name disappeared off the TV monitor and the next four people had the seats up front. I questioned what happened and the gate agent claimed that she had been calling my name for 20 minutes. I as standing right there and since when are upgrades "must be present to win"? Filled out the form, and Customer Care provided some compensation.

Another friend (no status) was upgraded to F on IAH-LHR with boarding pass in hand only to be given a downgrade to BF when he handed it to the gate agent when boarding the plane. His F seat went unused on the flight and his online submission to Customer Care was answered quickly with pretty fair compensation.

My mother (again, no status) also was successful with Customer Care after UA cancelled a connection when a FA didnt show up to work. Again, pretty fair compensation along with the normal "stranded" items (hotel, food vouchers).

I am no expert of the upgrade policies especially when it comes to minors, but it seems that one area of vast improvement since the merger seems to be the "We're Sorry" feature of UA.
owie69 is offline  

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