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BusinessFirst on intl flight only 40% full

BusinessFirst on intl flight only 40% full

Old Mar 4, 14, 10:26 pm
  #1  
Used to be 'IAD22066'
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BusinessFirst on intl flight only 40% full

So I understand that United doesn't give free upgrades on intl flights. Mrs IADDCA is headed to Europe and the plane is <40% full. There are enough empty seats in BusinessFirst to upgrade all but one person in EconomyPlus. If you don't have a bunch of people walk up paying full fare at the last moment or using their miles for an upgrade, do all of these BusinessFirst seats just go empty?
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Old Mar 4, 14, 10:29 pm
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In my experience, they go out empty.
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Old Mar 4, 14, 10:32 pm
  #3  
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Definitely go out empty, unless Y is oversold.

Unlike domestic flights, they'd rather the seats go empty than get people in the habit of hoping for a complimentary upgrade.

That being said, UA will take any revenue they can get...Watch for diminishing upgrades for cash, which may or may not get cheaper as flight time grows closer.
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Old Mar 4, 14, 10:34 pm
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Moving people who haven't used miles or otherwise paid for an upgrade would dilute the value of the product for those who actually paid. United doesn't even upgrade a nonrevenue space available passenger unless they've listed for F or J, and paid the service charge of applicable.
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Old Mar 4, 14, 10:40 pm
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I'm surprised to see that you can't even "Buy Up to United BusinessFirst". Is this a result of having checked in already? Only 20 seats out of 40 in BusinessFirst have been booked.
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Old Mar 4, 14, 10:44 pm
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If nothing else they are getting an idea of how many people will NOT pay for their crappy premium product. Make first class (or business) worthwhile and maybe people will pay. But I for one refuse to pay United for their grossly inferior product. Complimentary upgrade? Sure. But pay for it? Not a chance.
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Old Mar 4, 14, 10:52 pm
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Like posted above, they will go empty unless they have non-revs to fill them. Yes the non-revs will have to list/pay for F or J, but even if they don't they will usually be moved into the cabin at boarding for free if the gate agent feels like doing it.

I agree with letting them go empty though, why give it away to revenue passengers who paid little for their tickets and have them sit next to someone who paid $5000?
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Old Mar 4, 14, 11:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Wayside View Post
Moving people who haven't used miles or otherwise paid for an upgrade would dilute the value of the product for those who actually paid. United doesn't even upgrade a nonrevenue space available passenger unless they've listed for F or J, and paid the service charge of applicable.
They paid for their F seat, why does someone else getting the seat next to them for free cause the buyer harm? When I'm sleeping on TATLs, do they hand signs above us for the provenance of our seat?

People pay all kinds of different fares. Is the guy who paid full F the king of first class able to look down on all the Z fares, corporate deals and upgrades?

I wasn't aware there was a caste system in first class.....
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Old Mar 4, 14, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by IADDCA View Post
So I understand that United doesn't give free upgrades on intl flights. Mrs IADDCA is headed to Europe and the plane is <40% full. There are enough empty seats in BusinessFirst to upgrade all but one person in EconomyPlus. If you don't have a bunch of people walk up paying full fare at the last moment or using their miles for an upgrade, do all of these BusinessFirst seats just go empty?
technically United does give CPUs on intl flights, just not the routes that have businessfirst and 3 cabin flights. I've been upgraded many times on EWR-CUN.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 12:06 am
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they really need to work on improving their buy-up offers then. I have a 3 hour flight on US from PHL-MIA and received three buy up offers by email, first at $179, then $159, now $139 at 2 days prior lol.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 12:32 am
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Originally Posted by IADDCA View Post
So I understand that United doesn't give free upgrades on intl flights. Mrs IADDCA is headed to Europe and the plane is <40% full. There are enough empty seats in BusinessFirst to upgrade all but one person in EconomyPlus. If you don't have a bunch of people walk up paying full fare at the last moment or using their miles for an upgrade, do all of these BusinessFirst seats just go empty?
How do you know that "the plane is < 40% full"?

You cannot judge by the seat map. In addition, depending how far away the flight is, UA could still sell those seats.

Nonetheless, check your itinerary to see if they are offering any buy-ups for a reduced price and it an offer matches your price point, take it.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 12:58 am
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I flew IAD-KWI and C was more than half empty. Another 1K was crossing 1MM on the flight and tried unsuccessfully for a comp upgrade.

I was thankful I had other seats to select in C as my original seat did have a seat mate, and he wreaked of cigarette smoke. Fourteen hours of that would have been awful.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 1:57 am
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Originally Posted by PushingTin View Post
They paid for their F seat, why does someone else getting the seat next to them for free cause the buyer harm? When I'm sleeping on TATLs, do they hand signs above us for the provenance of our seat?
If you knew you could cheaply obtain J/F, you might be more inclined to book Y and upgrade, leading to reduced J sales for the airline.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 2:41 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by IADDCA View Post
So I understand that United doesn't give free upgrades on intl flights. Mrs IADDCA is headed to Europe and the plane is <40% full. There are enough empty seats in BusinessFirst to upgrade all but one person in EconomyPlus. If you don't have a bunch of people walk up paying full fare at the last moment or using their miles for an upgrade, do all of these BusinessFirst seats just go empty?
From my limited experience of SQ, CX, they rarely, if ever, give out upgrades. It keeps the cabin more exclusive and presumably therefore something of a status symbol. I know, I know, the quality of their First Class is without doubt better than UA but it's not going to help the feeling of a bit of exclusivity if after you've bought a UA ticket in F you find you could have simply walked into it for free just because no one else wanted it.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 3:34 am
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If Mrs IADDCA wanted to sit up front. Pay for it.
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