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"Upgrade certificates (GPUs & RPUs) are useless nowadays"

"Upgrade certificates (GPUs & RPUs) are useless nowadays"

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Old Feb 27, 19, 3:57 pm   -   Wikipost
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:01 am
  #766  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: AVP & PEK
Programs: UA 1K MM, Hertz PC
Posts: 1,765
Is it possible that business class IS completely free on those dates?

(Flight is UA806, I believe, not 808)
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:05 am
  #767  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Programs: mileage plus
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Is it possible that business class IS completely free on those dates?

(Flight is UA806, I believe, not 808)

Yes, 806 - thanks for the correction.
That would be bizarre. That's my principal airport and I have never seen back to back flights with completely empty Business Class.

Moreover, even more bizarre is that on three days in one week, the grayed out economy inventory are the same set of SEVEN SEATS?

Last edited by dbulkeley; Jan 11, 19 at 7:07 am Reason: Acknowledging an error
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:08 am
  #768  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Originally Posted by dbulkeley View Post
Moreover, even more bizarre is that on three days in one week, the grayed out economy inventory are the same set of SEVEN SEATS?
I can't duplicate that....let me see if I can post some screen grabs....

Seatmap is similar but not identical on those three dates.


There's obviously something wrong there though. Aircraft is listed as:

Aircraft:

  • Boeing 737-800
  • Capacity: 166 (16 United First®, 150 United Economy®)
  • Cruise speed: 530 mph
Likely the reason there's no business class seats "taken".

Last edited by narvik; Jan 11, 19 at 7:15 am
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:12 am
  #769  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 7,423
Originally Posted by dbulkeley View Post
Moreover, even more bizarre is that on three days in one week, the grayed out economy inventory are the same set of SEVEN SEATS?
That's not bizarre at all. Those seats are blocked for assignment at the gate. (Edit: OP pointed out this was an error, so my assumption is an error also).

However, I do agree that the display is broken. It's not showing the upgrade list on the flight status page. I hope this is merely due to the introduction of Premium Plus on the flight, but I'm not sure.

That said, I don't understand the problem here. On 5/13 and 5/15, UA 806 from ICN to SFO is showing as PZ9 -- an upgrade would clear immediately. On 5/16, it's PZ0 and you'd be waitlisted.

OP: Activate expert mode, search segment by segment, and accept that you're likely going to have to waitlist the domestic segment, and there's a good chance that one won't clear. On 5/13, for example, one GPU would upgrade ICN-SFO and IAH-EZE; you'd just have to waitlist SFO-IAH.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:13 am
  #770  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
I can't duplicate that....let me see if I can post some screen grabs...
Grrrr - you're absolutely right, vis-a-vis the economy inventory. When I launched the cable pick tool in multiple tabs and THEN clicked on seatmap, the data all reverted to the last day queried.

Thanks for your keen eye.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:15 am
  #771  
 
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Originally Posted by dbulkeley View Post
Grrrr - you're absolutely right, vis-a-vis the economy inventory. When I launched the cable pick tool in multiple tabs and THEN clicked on seatmap, the data all reverted to the last day queried.
Ah.

Yes, that's a longstanding issue with United.com, going back to the Continental days. The flight status page doesn't work properly if you have multiple copies open in different tabs or browser windows.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:30 am
  #772  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Originally Posted by dbulkeley View Post
Grrrr - you're absolutely right, vis-a-vis the economy inventory. When I launched the cable pick tool in multiple tabs and THEN clicked on seatmap, the data all reverted to the last day queried.

Thanks for your keen eye.
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Ah.

Yes, that's a longstanding issue with United.com, going back to the Continental days. The flight status page doesn't work properly if you have multiple copies open in different tabs or browser windows.
Yes, all the tabs share one session cookie or something. (Tangent: perhaps that is the inspiration for the practice described here: Is United now serving half cookies in First Class? .)

If, in any particular tab, you click the 'update result' button, it will bring the focus back to that tab, so that any future information loaded will correspond to the flight it last displayed.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:55 am
  #773  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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The UA system for revenue management and making PZ available continues to mystify me. I am familiar enough with revenue management to know how much thought goes into it, but also that that does not guarantee it is getting it right in the real world. Out of curiosity, I looked at some TATL flights for work in late March that I had looked at all December. Regardless of connection, at the time, the price was always $9K+, which it had never been in the past, and there was no PZ anywhere, any connection. So I bought BA PE and upgraded with Avios to business for about $2.6K (seat not as good, but okay, and food (now) and lounges are better). Today there is lots of PZ (on connections, but that is fine) on both legs. While the least J price is still $9K+ for both legs. Do they think people who buy J for work will be traveling a lot from the US to London and Brussels the week before Brexit? Are they just keeping it high so they don't have to discount it as much for corporate contracts? I doubt that will work, actually. But anyway, in my case, it lost them the sale. I have also bought two other discount J TATL RT in May and June for $2.7K and $2.9K on UA (with no PZ available then, either, but at that price I will pay cash).

At any rate, I am starting to wonder if I will get to use any of my GPUs for international travel this year.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 8:05 am
  #774  
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Took me about 6 weeks of searching but if you have flexibility and can travel tues/weds/thurs then you should be OK

Me and the wife really wanted to go to India this year, so I searched everyday for flights to DEL/BOM and finally discovered a few right at the 11 month out mark when sales of tickets opens up. Nothing at all on way back unfortunately so had to return via SIN (which is also a very tough UG but was open on a thursday)

As for my RPU's I again looked everyday for open PZ space and found some to and from CUN for winter vacation, again tues/weds dates but works for us.

You just have to be patient, search each city pair individually (like EWR-LHR, EWR-FRA, IAD-BRU, etc etc) until you find open space then try to find a return, keeping in mind mid-week is the best shot

Good luck and hopefully everyone keeps trying until they find something !!
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Old Jan 11, 19, 9:06 am
  #775  
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Originally Posted by Artpen100 View Post
? Are they just keeping it high so they don't have to discount it as much for corporate contracts? I doubt that will work, actually.
This. It is very conceivable that corp contracts dictate some of that pricing/availability. Taking 40+% off those fares makes them suddenly more competitive.
Unfortunately, this does not help loyal individual & small business customers (incl myself, and probably many FTers on this board).
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Old Jan 11, 19, 9:13 am
  #776  
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Originally Posted by Artpen100 View Post
Are they just keeping it high so they don't have to discount it as much for corporate contracts?
Originally Posted by cesco.g View Post
This. It is very conceivable that corp contracts dictate some of that pricing/availability. Taking 40+% off those fares makes them suddenly more competitive.
Offering only expensive fare classes close in has been SOP on certain routes for some time. UA figures that anyone buying business class that close in is price insensitive. Their data probably support that conclusion.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 1:08 pm
  #777  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Offering only expensive fare classes close in has been SOP on certain routes for some time. UA figures that anyone buying business class that close in is price insensitive. Their data probably support that conclusion.
Yes, but I happen to have flown these routes around these dates for the last several years, and know that more typically in the past that on UA both cheap J and R (now PZ) were widely available up till a month or so before. This time, the prices have been really high (not just $6K high, but over $10K) since at least 4 months before. So I suspect their software tells them something different this year, but have a hunch they have made some wrong assumptions. The recent appearance of PZ two months out is one reason I think so. Another is that it is out of line with many of the other airlines using their own revenue software. Personally, I would predict that TATL flying will be down the week before and after Brexit (especially LHR connections). I mean, if you need to have a meeting, you would probably push it out a little if you could to let things settle. But we shall see.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 4:38 pm
  #778  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Originally Posted by Artpen100 View Post

At any rate, I am starting to wonder if I will get to use any of my GPUs for international travel this year.
+1
Didn't use a single one this year on an international flight nor my wife. I did clear several on domestic routes mostly to Hawaii during the volcano when tourism was way down and that was it. I don't see using any in 2019 either. I will eat approx.10 GPUs this year (2018 issue) I still have several in play but as of now NONE have cleared..
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Old Jan 13, 19, 2:28 pm
  #779  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: HNL
Programs: Hilton Diamond, Hawaiian Platinum, Starwood Platinum, United 1K
Posts: 36
2019 Global Certificates Useless

My partner and I have been loyal 1K passengers for over 15 years. The regional and global upgrade certificates have recently been our only incentive to keep our 1K loyalty (now the pre group 1 boarding being another). I just got off the phone with reservations in a mutually frustrating effort to find an upgradable fare between Hi and Taipei. I gave her the flexibility of a month to find an available flight week. She finally came up with one where I would need to fly to SFO, overnight, then fly to Taipei, returning via Narita to Hawaii. The SFO - Taipei and Taipei - NRT, were the only upgradable legs. The fare was $4,040.00 coach B Class. We decided to check out other options. It seems like Untied Airlines has raised its upgradable fares this year, and made it almost impossible to use these awards on pre-purchased flights. Upon searching other airlines, we’ve discovered that they offer far lower “business class” fares, than United’s upgradable “coach fare”. So we will be using another carrier. We were thinking that if United’s “upgrade certificates” usage continues it’s dismal decline, that we would start using other airlines for our business and firstclass travel. We would probably loose our 1K status, but it doesn’t seem to give us much perks, anyway. I am curious if anyone else have switched, and if you were happy or disappointed with the decision.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 2:47 pm
  #780  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: RNO, NV, USA.
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humu - I believe you can join a growing chorus of 1K pax upset over UA's higher international prices and increasing difficulty using GPUs. In view of the increase in requalification PQD to $15K, one reasonably questions the value of achieving 1K status.
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