SFO-BOS in F cabin -- pricing

Old Jan 16, 15, 11:34 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by blueman2 View Post
(bolding mine)

Be careful. There are several different terms used, and they each mean something different. Yes, the Fare is P (or A in some cases). Yes, this puts you in the first class cabin. BUT if you look at the 'rules' box before buying the ticket, you will see that the "Fare Class" is L or something similar (which is an economy fare class) and the "Fare Basis Code" is something similar to LAA14AGN. This is why sometimes during irrops, an agent will refuse to put you into confirmed first class. They see the Fare Class and see an Economy letter. They are wrong, of course, but based on reports, it has happened to several people.

I say buy with confidence, but also be ready to HUCA if needed (again, with confidence!)
I tried going the website, selecting "Business/BF" and specifying "A" as fare code, and still get quoted the UPDI fare of LAA14AHN.

Short of calling in, I don't know if one can force a true A-fare
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Old Jan 16, 15, 11:42 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by jetsetEWR View Post
Short of calling in, I don't know if one can force a true A-fare
On domestic routes, even the D, C, J, and F fares offered by .com typically have an economy basis.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I have seen Z-UPs that book into A on international GF routes. IAH-BOG is also an UP/UPDI route, operated with an international 752 (although they don't label it BF).
Most South American destinations have UPDI fares, even ones that have full-fledged BusinessFirst service like LIM and GRU.

They exist to a lesser degree on TATL as well. For example, P1NC90E/UPDI is a GlobalFirst fare (or rather, BusinessFirst fare with instant upgrade to GlobalFirst) published for SFO-LHR (although they publish DRCUP90E and AOAX90V/UAF with the same price, substantially similar rules, and the same booking class as well). I don't know of any TPAC examples, but I don't doubt that they exist or will some day soon.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by blueman2 View Post
I am loving these UPDI fares. Just booked FLL-SFO for $492. And it was the very last seat in F cabin. Coach was $256. As others have said:

1) usually must book 2 weeks out
2) only valid for a limited number of city pairs (mostly to or from a major hub). There is a list of them somewhere but I cannot recall where.

I have noticed AA and Delta offering similar F fares on similar routes.

I think this is a smart strategy for UA. Not 1K friendly, but for me it makes sense.
Completely agree. I jumped on a cheap DL F fare for my mother-in-law ATL<>BOS a few weeks ago. The cheapest economy r/t fare was $400, while F was $560, making it a no-brainer. Worth every penny to hear her talk about it later. (She hasn't flown in 20 years, and had never been in first class.)

That's about what the extra space is worth, to my mind. Here's hoping UA's profit maximizers are starting to see the light as well. I fly SFO<>BOS often, and like the idea of deciding for myself whether the upgrade is worth a few bucks, rather than play the CPU lottery as a measly Gold.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Eric Westby View Post
I fly SFO<>BOS often, and like the idea of deciding for myself whether the upgrade is worth a few bucks, rather than play the CPU lottery as a measly Gold.
Thanks to lack of significant competition, SFO-BOS is supposedly one of the hardest ones to clear, even with instruments. CPU is as close to impossibility as one can get.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by jetsetEWR View Post
Thanks to lack of significant competition, SFO-BOS is supposedly one of the hardest ones to clear, even with instruments. CPU is as close to impossibility as one can get.
Not true -- admittedly I fly at very awkward times to increase my chances, but my CPU rate as a Gold in 2014 was over 60%, even on rock-bottom K fares.

I've gotten to know UA 433 very well, as that's the one on which I can practically guarantee I'll be in F.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 3:16 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Eric Westby View Post
Not true -- admittedly I fly at very awkward times to increase my chances, but my CPU rate as a Gold in 2014 was over 60%, even on rock-bottom K fares.
I'm partial to the 6 am SFO departure. I can hardly ever sleep on planes, but I board this flight in such a zombie state that I often pass out before takeoff and wake up over the Plains.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Has this actually happened to you recently?

In IRROPS, there is always the possibility you will have to wait longer than you like for an F seat on another flight. That is a different issue.
I was on a DUP fare booked in A from CDG-ORD-DCA. The CDG-ORD went mx and I was rebooked into P CDG-IAD. I was asked for a refund of the fare difference as I could have originally booked a P fare for ~40% less. I was told by refunds that I had a business fare with a free upgrade and was ultimately given an insulting refund of something like $150 to go with my assembly line J flight to IAD.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 3:55 pm
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Originally Posted by johnden View Post
If you primarily purchase super discounted Y, UA would rather you fly AA They can sell those seats to kettles on kayak WITHOUT having to pay out elite benefits.

I know it sucks to lose something we took for granted. But business is business. As long as 1K/plat high Y fares and GS get reasonable upgrades, I see this as a positive for UA profit.
I fly international in paid F and C. When I fly domestic, I take the fare the booking engine offers me. When it is close to departure, it may be YBM, but a few days out or more it is a lower booking class.

My expectation and experience going back 2-years ago was that I would receive upgrades on my domestic tickets, which was a fair trade-off to me for giving UA my international business, which is by far the bulk of my travel.

Last year as a 1K, my upgrade rate on domestic flights--not hub to hub flights, I might add--was around 10%. That is unacceptable to me when I can still get a 90% upgrade rate on AA.

The result is that UA lost my ~$45,000 a year business so they could make $79.00 by selling the seat in domestic F to a Kettle. More insulting is that the upgrade prices I were offered were $169.00. That is flat out gouging your elites.

To me, that is a short-sighted business plan. Business is business, and when faced with business like that, I walk.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by kevanyalowitz View Post
I was on a DUP fare booked in A from CDG-ORD-DCA. The CDG-ORD went mx and I was rebooked into P CDG-IAD. I was asked for a refund of the fare difference as I could have originally booked a P fare for ~40% less. I was told by refunds that I had a business fare with a free upgrade and was ultimately given an insulting refund of something like $150 to go with my assembly line J flight to IAD.
I'd be somewhat less than thrilled as well. Were there GF seats available that they would not give you?
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Old Jan 16, 15, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Always Flyin View Post
The result is that UA lost my ~$45,000 a year business so they could make $79.00 by selling the seat in domestic F to a Kettle. More insulting is that the upgrade prices I were offered were $169.00. That is flat out gouging your elites.

To me, that is a short-sighted business plan. Business is business, and when faced with business like that, I walk.
While I'm very much in favor of sensibly pricing domestic F fares and upgrades, the part of your post that resonated most with me was the absurd notion that UA is pricing upgrades for elites above the price offered to GMs for the same flight. If true, it's just offensive.

Is there consensus that this is definitely happening? Or just anecdotal evidence?
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Old Jan 16, 15, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by johnden View Post
If you primarily purchase super discounted Y, UA would rather you fly AA They can sell those seats to kettles on kayak WITHOUT having to pay out elite benefits.

I know it sucks to lose something we took for granted. But business is business. As long as 1K/plat high Y fares and GS get reasonable upgrades, I see this as a positive for UA profit.
Originally Posted by Eric Westby View Post
While I'm very much in favor of sensibly pricing domestic F fares and upgrades, the part of your post that resonated most with me was the absurd notion that UA is pricing upgrades for elites above the price offered to GMs for the same flight. If true, it's just offensive.

Is there consensus that this is definitely happening? Or just anecdotal evidence?
Absolutely true and the price differential I cited was personally experienced when checking in for a flight with a co-worker who has no status.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Eric Westby View Post
Is there consensus that this is definitely happening? Or just anecdotal evidence?
It's definitely happening. There is not consensus on whether it's intentional or a really unfortunate IT bug. (I very strongly believe the latter, though some equally strongly believe the former.)
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Old Jan 16, 15, 7:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Has this actually happened to you recently?

In IRROPS, there is always the possibility you will have to wait longer than you like for an F seat on another flight. That is a different issue.
Not IRROPS but a schedule change. In October on a P fare with an underlying V basis code (which I did not know about initially). UA downgraded the aircraft to a 145 with no first (its amazing how far they are flying these birds these days). I wanted to swap to a different routing with F and it required a HUCA and then a discussion with a supervisor as I was told constantly the ticket I has was economy with an upgrade. After 45 mins I had a new routing, but despite all this, the one short leg I still had in a 145 was in V and not full Y as it should have been (with implications for PQM and RDM earning).
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Old Jan 16, 15, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I'd be somewhat less than thrilled as well. Were there GF seats available that they would not give you?
The CDG-ORD is the only 3-cabin flight of the day. They offered me a flight 24 hours later or the 2-cabin flight. I of course took the 2-cabin, especially assuming I would get a sizable discount. The IFE ended up being broken in the B'F' seat I was rebooked into. Lesson learned.
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