Use United miles for Luftansa upgrade?

Old Apr 25, 13, 3:28 pm
  #1  
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I am booked on a Lufthansa flight -booked by United- to leave SFO on August 31st, economy class B. I have been trying to get an upgrade on this flight ever since I booked the ticket. I call the Star Alliance desk at United, they put the request to Lufthansa, and the reply is always "no upgrade available".
I am beginning to wonder what benefit it is to have Lufthansa in the Star Alliance if they don't give upgrades to Star Alliance members.

Anyone know what is going on?

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Jun 6, 13 at 8:24 am Reason: three cross-posted threads merged
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Old Apr 25, 13, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by cosimdm View Post
I have been trying to get an upgrade on a Lufthansa flight using my United miles. The flight is in August. United keeps telling me none are available. How do I get an upgrade?
Thanks.
First I assume you have booked in B or Y for an upgrade to business or a non-discounted business for an upgrade to first. To upgrade there needs to be award space in the requested cabin, this may not happen until a few days before the flight, if at all. You can search for this space using united award search. If you find it you can use the website to use your miles to upgrade:


https://www.united.com/web/en-US/apps/reservation/flight/upgrade/sauaawardUpgrade.aspx
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Old Apr 25, 13, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by cosimdm View Post
I have been trying to get an upgrade on a Lufthansa flight using my United miles. The flight is in August. United keeps telling me none are available. How do I get an upgrade?
Thanks.
The answer to this question is simple. You keep going back to the UA *A upgrade page and try again and again or you keep calling to try and upgrade again and again. Day after day until it goes through, your flight departs or you simply get fed up and give up.

And persistance pays off, as you'll see higher up in this thread in replies, checking daily right up until a couple days before departure resulted in one of my recent upgrades clearing to my shocking, and pleased, surprise.
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Old Apr 25, 13, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by cosimdm View Post
I have been trying to get an upgrade on a Lufthansa flight using my United miles. The flight is in August. United keeps telling me none are available. How do I get an upgrade?
Thanks.
You asked the same question here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20640681-post982.html

Originally Posted by cosimdm View Post
I am flying on a UA/Lufthansa flight from SFO/MUNICH,ISTANBUL in August.
I have around 450,000 UA frequent flyer miles. I keep calling the Star Alliance desk and am told there are no upgrades or they won't be released until right before the flight. Lufthansa won't talk to me.
What should I do?
Many thanks.
You're going to get the same answer -- or lack of a simple answer because there isn't one.
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Old May 20, 13, 9:31 pm
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You can only upgrade using miles if there are award seats ("I" class) available. So if there's none available, you won't be able to upgrade.
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Old May 21, 13, 10:35 pm
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Originally Posted by vroom View Post
You can only upgrade using miles if there are award seats ("I" class) available. So if there's none available, you won't be able to upgrade.
And you must have a Y or B fare to start. The Star Alliance upgrade program is nice in theory but terribly expensive to actually make use of.
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Old Jun 4, 13, 3:50 pm
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Star Alliance upgrade inventory comes out of the same place as award inventory. So a quick check for whether or not a *A upgrade on a B fare will go through is whether or not united.com will sell you a Saver business-class award seat on that LH flight.

Frustratingly, *A awards have no waitlist and need to be placed 24 hours in advance, so if they only open up inventory at T-24, you are out of luck.

If you don't want to be constantly polling, Expertflyer will sell you a monthly subscription that includes availability alerts that would probably send you an e-mail within an hour or two of space opening up (provided that you are very careful to set it up to look for the right inventory — it can be tricky).

There is plenty of saver business-class availability on LH, but you are currently tied to a *specific flight* on a *specific day* in peak travel season, which can be dicey for revenue-management reasons. Inventory may open up any time from now to the travel date, with a particular bias towards the 24-48 hours before travel. Keep checking.
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Old Jun 4, 13, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by cosimdm View Post
I am booked on a Lufthansa flight -booked by United- to leave SFO on August 31st, economy class B. I have been trying to get an upgrade on this flight ever since I booked the ticket. I call the Star Alliance desk at United, they put the request to Lufthansa, and the reply is always "no upgrade available".
I am beginning to wonder what benefit it is to have Lufthansa in the Star Alliance if they don't give upgrades to Star Alliance members.

Anyone know what is going on?
Is it booked as a codeshare? If so, you have to wait until day of departure for possibility of upgrade.
If you have an LH flight number, then read this thread from UA forum http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...=star+upgrades

Last edited by UAPremExecflyer; Jun 4, 13 at 4:02 pm Reason: added day of departure
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Old Jun 4, 13, 7:13 pm
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Originally Posted by cosimdm View Post

I am beginning to wonder what benefit it is to have Lufthansa in the Star Alliance if they don't give upgrades to Star Alliance members.
The primary benefits include ability to use miles to book award seats on alliance carriers, ability to earn award and elite qualifying miles on alliance carriers, reciprocal lounge access, additional baggage allowance, and elite access at check-in and security. These are substantial benefits and (at least for me) far outweigh the theoretical ability to upgrade on an alliance carrier.
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Old Jun 6, 13, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
Star Alliance upgrade inventory comes out of the same place as award inventory. So a quick check for whether or not a *A upgrade on a B fare will go through is whether or not united.com will sell you a Saver business-class award seat on that LH flight.

Frustratingly, *A awards have no waitlist and need to be placed 24 hours in advance, so if they only open up inventory at T-24, you are out of luck.

If you don't want to be constantly polling, Expertflyer will sell you a monthly subscription that includes availability alerts that would probably send you an e-mail within an hour or two of space opening up (provided that you are very careful to set it up to look for the right inventory it can be tricky).

There is plenty of saver business-class availability on LH, but you are currently tied to a *specific flight* on a *specific day* in peak travel season, which can be dicey for revenue-management reasons. Inventory may open up any time from now to the travel date, with a particular bias towards the 24-48 hours before travel. Keep checking.

The 24 hour rule is flexible. I think with some carriers the seats are more difficult to ticket and so they have this rule. I have been upgraded on Lufthansa within 24 hours, DO NOT try to do it online within 24 hours. If it's available it will charge the miles and not ticket. Then you have to call, get it tickets and get charged again and then have the miles refunded.
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Old Jul 6, 14, 10:08 am
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LH upgrade using GPU

This is the only active thread I can find, all others are PMUA. So here's my question:

I have a LH flight coming up from SIN-FRA, booked on V fare. So I'm eligible to use GPU (paper certificate already in hand) for an upgrade opportunity at check in. I have done this only once before (to try out the LH 747-intercontinental) but I checked in on UA first for the connecting flight so I had to go to the gate an hour or so before the LH departure to try my luck.

This time, I originate on LH and I can check in online 24 hours ahead of flight. Is there a way to let LH know I would like to request an upgrade using GPU. If yes, how to I do this? If no, can I submit this request at the ticket counter or do I have to wait until I get to the departure gate?

Incidentally, what are the LH rules for upgrading using their Miles & more or other upgrade instruments? I'm just wondering how low on the totem pole I am.

Thanks.
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Old Jul 6, 14, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by Dinky SAN View Post
.....

This time, I originate on LH and I can check in online 24 hours ahead of flight. Is there a way to let LH know I would like to request an upgrade using GPU. If yes, how to I do this? If no, can I submit this request at the ticket counter or do I have to wait until I get to the departure gate?

....
This thread is about mileage Star Alliance upgrades on LH, better thread to research your questions is http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...t-process.html. Especially check the wiki.

The use of GPUs can only be done at airports -- it can be done a few hours before departure at checkin counter, transfer counters, ....
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Old Jul 17, 14, 5:57 pm
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Question Use United miles for Luftansa upgrade?

checking for upgrades using revenue buckets, noticed "available cabins" on Luftansa flights SFO-FRA. Is there any way to upgrade on Luftansa using United points?
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Old Jul 17, 14, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by pbh220 View Post
checking for upgrades using revenue buckets, noticed "available cabins" on Luftansa flights SFO-FRA. Is there any way to upgrade on Luftansa using United points?
If you buy Y or B class fares on Lufthansa , you can upgrade using united miles as a star alliance upgrade if upgrade space is available. Will be more expensive than buying a business class seat outright.
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Old Jul 17, 14, 6:03 pm
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You can upgrade a Y or B fare using the *A Upgrade program. It is ridiculously expensive and just redeeming outright for a business class award might be a better deal (though with the increase in those rates it is not quite as clear-cut as it once was).

Or if you purchase a V fare or higher you can try your luck with a GPU at the departure gate.

Also, unless you are searching for an award routing and show the LH flight it likely isn't actually eligible for an upgrade. *A upgrades book in to the "I" bucket which is the same as biz awards.
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