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Worth the risk to buy W fare to use Global Upgrade?

Worth the risk to buy W fare to use Global Upgrade?

Old Sep 5, 14, 7:07 pm
  #1  
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Worth the risk to buy W fare to use Global Upgrade?

I'm wanting to go LAX-BKK by way of NRT in March for my 40th. I want to use my global upgrades - but the agent on the phone says they cannot confirm upgrades at this time.

The K fare is $790 and the W fare is $1650. Do I risk paying an extra $700?
Any experience in buying W fare but not getting it??

I will be p*ssed to say the least if I spend extra and don't get the upgrade!!!

Thanks in advance for advise!!
bunners75 is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 7:17 pm
  #2  
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I would do more legwork and try to find confirmable space. What is your date of travel? And keep in mind there are many US-Asia routes for connection. SFO-ICN is usually a safe bet. But check out routes through TPE, KIX, and HKG (less likely) as well.


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zrs70 is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 7:39 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SJC, SFO, MRY
Programs: United 1K, Velocity Gold, HH Diamond, Priority Club Spire, Ambassador, Marriott Platinum
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Thumbs up One night in BKK

Originally Posted by bunners75 View Post
I'm wanting to go LAX-BKK by way of NRT in March for my 40th. I want to use my global upgrades - but the agent on the phone says they cannot confirm upgrades at this time.

The K fare is $790 and the W fare is $1650. Do I risk paying an extra $700?
Any experience in buying W fare but not getting it??

I will be p*ssed to say the least if I spend extra and don't get the upgrade!!!

Thanks in advance for advise!!
What an awesome way to celebrate the big 4 O! Enjoy.

Use advanced mode on united.com to look for R space so you won't be dependent on phone agents to check availability.

Welcome to Flyertalk.
PebbleBeach is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 7:41 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
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Plus do check the lowest Biz fares as sometimes you can be very pleasantly surprised
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 7:44 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by bunners75 View Post
I'm wanting to go LAX-BKK by way of NRT in March for my 40th. I want to use my global upgrades - but the agent on the phone says they cannot confirm upgrades at this time.

The K fare is $790 and the W fare is $1650. Do I risk paying an extra $700?
Any experience in buying W fare but not getting it??

I will be p*ssed to say the least if I spend extra and don't get the upgrade!!!

Thanks in advance for advise!!
I wouldn't risk it...I agree with what other posters have stated
dcpdxtrans is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 7:54 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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That is too big a difference for a chance in my opinion.
denuaflier is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 8:11 pm
  #7  
 
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Don't play lotteries from unlicensed dealers
LaserSailor is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 8:28 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: RNO, NV, USA.
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bunners75 - Check both LAX-NRT and SFO-NRT for upgrade availability (R space). You will not be able to upgrade the NRT-BKK leg, as that is flown by NH (since UA cancelled their NRT-BKK flight). Your flight is March. I would advise against buying a ticket now, unless you see confirmed upgrade space available. If you buy a W fare and do not get upgraded, then of course there will be no refund.

BTW - Welcome to FlyerTalk.
restlessinRNO is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 8:34 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Redwood City, CA USA (SFO/SJC)
Programs: Last 1K flight 1/21/11; fun while it lasted, 1P in 2011, Plat for 2012,13,14,15 & 2016. Gold in 17 &
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The dealer's stacked the deck; $1000 is too much differential for an iffy proposition. As others have said, look for something else. Make sure you've got the Tampermonkey script that shows upgrade inventory at a glance (bright bold green so it stands out). If you see a C fare at $3000, consider that you're going to get more RDMs out of it, and 1.5x PQMs. If you're in need of PQMs, that could be a big deal.

My single year as a 1K, I played the lottery a couple times, and lost. Thankfully, I only spent an extra $300/ticket or so ($300x4 though). It's just not fun watching the upgrade list and knowing, or not knowing but finding out, that you're going to end up being #1 or #2 after the lottery winners. It's just not a great feeling, unless you fly International often enough that you'll have plenty of other opportunities to use the GPUs
Originally Posted by restlessinRNO View Post
bunners75 - Check both LAX-NRT and SFO-NRT for upgrade availability (R space). You will not be able to upgrade the NRT-BKK leg, as that is flown by NH (since UA cancelled their NRT-BKK flight). Your flight is March. I would advise against buying a ticket now, unless you see confirmed upgrade space available. If you buy a W fare and do not get upgraded, then of course there will be no refund.
Ah, right you are! So the only real segment to upgrade is LAX-NRT, which could be done as a walk-up for probably $900 one-way. Don't do it. Find confirmable space in R or sit in Y and think about the great meal you could have for a lot less than the difference between a cheap fare and W.
Mike Jacoubowsky is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 8:48 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: RNO, NV, USA.
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I just checked and if you wanted to fly LAX-SFO-NRT-BKK there is lots (R9) of upgrade seats SFO-NRT March 10. So seats exist, you just have to search for them.

BTW Business class LAX-BKK in March is ~ $5,350 and up.
restlessinRNO is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 8:57 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Originally Posted by restlessinRNO View Post
BTW Business class LAX-BKK in March is ~ $5,350 and up.
You can get a really nice bike for that price, and its effect on your life will last a lot longer than a couple days in C.
Mike Jacoubowsky is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 10:20 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SFO
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Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
My single year as a 1K, I played the lottery a couple times, and lost. .
Same here. Not worth the gamble.
SFflyer123 is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 10:46 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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I would do it - works ~ 75%

I booked EWR-BKK back in March in W. The GPU on the outbound cleared in July. One leg of my return cleared in August, the second last week.

Am I glad that I paid the extra $600? Yes! Don't know if the odds change since you're in LAX, but given the probable thinning of the 1K herd next year, I like your chances.

This is the third time I've book W and cleared. Since this will be my last year as 1K (don't have the spend), I'm taking advantage.
Nikongirl is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 10:55 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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I generally won't pony up more than what ever the co-pay is for doing the upgrade with Miles instead of my GPU's. Now if the W fare is close to the Economy fare being offered, then its a no-brainer.
drowelf is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 10:56 pm
  #15  
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I only waitlist if I've been watching the flight and am confident it will clear. Basic rule is never waitlist blind unless you must take that particular flight. Particularly to NRT, since upgrades ex-SFO are so easy right now.

Originally Posted by Nikongirl View Post
IDon't know if the odds change since you're in LAX, but given the probable thinning of the 1K herd next year, I like your chances.
Ha. To the extent there is any "thinning," you can count on UA to reduce R availability accordingly.
Kacee is offline  

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