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Why Are GPU Required for GUM-HNL Flights? {now 20 PlusPoints}

Why Are GPU Required for GUM-HNL Flights? {now 20 PlusPoints}

Old Feb 13, 15, 1:52 pm
  #1  
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Why Are GPU Required for GUM-HNL Flights? {now 20 PlusPoints}

I realize that this route, GUM-HNL, fairly recently changed to GPU only route but my question is why??

I have flown this route twice recently, and both times half the front cabin at least, are non-rev's

UA sells it as "Business First" when clearly its not, its the same 777 barcalounger seats that fly from most hubs to HNL, all of which only require a RPU to upgrade. Also GUM is US territory, so not even INTL

So the question is why ask for a GPU on this route, I mean a RPU should be more than sufficient.

The service on this route is amazing btw, but that should not require a GPU

Last edited by whitethunder; Feb 16, 15 at 12:05 am
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Old Feb 13, 15, 2:01 pm
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Originally Posted by whitethunder View Post
I realize that this route, GUM-NRT, fairly recently changed to GPU only route but my question is why??

I have flown this route twice recently, and both times half the cabin at least, are non-rev's

UA sells it as "Business First" when clearly its not, its the same 777 barcalounger seats that fly from most hubs to HNL, all of which only require a RPU to upgrade.

So the question is why ask for a GPU on this route, I mean a RPU should be more than sufficient.

The service on this route is amazing btw, but that should require a GPU
GUM - HNL is one of those odd routes where it's considered domestic in terms of onboard service, but international in terms of upgrades.
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Old Feb 13, 15, 3:30 pm
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Even more strange considering EWR-HNL is a longer flight, has flatbed seats, and is RPU.
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Old Feb 13, 15, 6:25 pm
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Originally Posted by whitethunder View Post
Also GUM is US territory, so not even INTL
Although I concede that CBP says this:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...s.-territories

In fact, GUM-HNL is INTL as it involves another immigration and customs inspection (other than Guam itself).

Originally Posted by whitethunder View Post
So the question is why ask for a GPU on this route, I mean a RPU should be more than sufficient.
Simply because it is a TPAC route (crossing the international date line).
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Old Feb 14, 15, 12:48 am
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Do they ever offer cash upgrades on this route? If so any idea what the going rate is and is it worth it? I see they make you buy your food in economy.
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Old Feb 14, 15, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
In fact, GUM-HNL is INTL as it involves another immigration and customs inspection (other than Guam itself
IIRC, just customs. immigration (with global entry) is done at GUM, including another screening at the gate. guam has their own customs authority, so upon arrival in HNL you only go through US customs.
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Old Feb 14, 15, 2:23 am
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
Do they ever offer cash upgrades on this route? If so any idea what the going rate is and is it worth it?
Yes - IME, less than $1000.

Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
I see they make you buy your food in economy.
It is not a bad thing actually. Meal services are not that great anyway.

Originally Posted by riphamilton View Post
IIRC, just customs. immigration (with global entry) is done at GUM, including another screening at the gate. guam has their own customs authority, so upon arrival in HNL you only go through US customs.
I consider your "another screening" is a part of CBP's immigration.

Here is my explanation: VWP covers a few countries. Guam-CNMI VWP covers more than VWP. Because of that, they are people who are Guam-CNMI VWP eligible but VWP ineligible. Since aliens are needed to be screened for admissibility again, it is an immigration checkpoint.
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Old Feb 14, 15, 10:09 am
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GUM-NRT does NOT require a GPU. It allows for CPUs.

Agree that GUM-HNL shouldn't require a GPU for upgrades. The service is domestic and application of upgrades normally equates to the service provided. I think there concern is that if it went CPU there are a lot of elites on Guam and it would deter people from paying premium fares although I'm hard pressed to find many who pay for premium fares on that route anyways....
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Old Feb 14, 15, 10:22 am
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I think you're attributing more thought to United than they put into it themselves. I don't think they thought any harder than "Not 50 states, and really, really far".
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Old Feb 14, 15, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by Miles Ahead View Post
I think you're attributing more thought to United than they put into it themselves. I don't think they thought any harder than "Not 50 states, and really, really far".
LMAO.
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Old Feb 14, 15, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by Miles Ahead View Post
I think you're attributing more thought to United than they put into it themselves. I don't think they thought any harder than "Not 50 states, and really, really far".
UA considers this an inter-continental flight. Same rationale as the northern South America routes (such as IAH/EWR-BOG) which now require a GPU. Obviously the decision is not based on the flight's service level, but rather the mere geographics.
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Old Feb 14, 15, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
UA considers this an inter-continental flight. Same rationale as the northern South America routes (such as IAH/EWR-BOG) which now require a GPU. Obviously the decision is not based on the flight's service level, but rather the mere geographics.
Then how do you explain the rationale that SGN-HKG, a 900-mile 737 intra-Asia flight requires GPU while GUM-HKG is CPU eligible?
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Old Feb 14, 15, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by cloudybw View Post
Then how do you explain the rationale that SGN-HKG, a 900-mile 737 intra-Asia flight requires GPU while GUM-HKG is CPU eligible?
As Kacee said:

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
...but rather the mere geographic.
GUM-HKG is a Oceania flight. Except GUM-HNL and MAJ-HNL, all flights in the region are CPUable. Even GUM-CNS is still CPUable.

SGN/SIN-HKG is a intra-Asia flight.

It is a straight geographical issue.

Beside:

1. Asia has been removed as CPUable to increase revenue.

2. SGN/SIN-HKG are mostly continuation of a U.S.-bound flight.
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Old Feb 15, 15, 10:41 am
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Supply, demand, competition, and revenue are the answers to all questions that start with "Why does United ... ?"

The yield managers at UA clearly think that they can get some GPUs on this route, and GPUs are (at least in some respects) equivalent to revenue.

There isn't any relationship between the "class of service" -- whether it's international or domestic, and the legal status of the route. I guess what I'm saying here is that if UA was convinced they could sell a bunch of super-nice flatbed seats at really high prices on an intra-Wisconsin flight from Milwaukee to Madison, they'd do it in a heartbeat!
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Old Feb 15, 15, 11:20 am
  #15  
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Don't torture yourself about the word "international". HNL-GUM is domestic and GUM-NRT is international. But, UA is free to define these terms for its own services as it chooses. All kinds of carriers do that with services within North America, e.g., US-Mexico and the like.

The rationale for why UA does not do freebies on HNL-GUM is simply supply & demand. Same thing with as to why UA serves 2 Y meals on EWR-LHR, but none on EWR-LAX/SFO and so on.

Despite OP's two experiences, the route is one where there are many businesses which will pay for premium cabin Mainland US - TKY, but with a cap. Because Mainland-HNL-GUM-NRT is cheaper than the various non-stops (and service standard lower too) those with caps will pay for premium using the slow boat only. No reason to compete against yourself by giving away what you can sell.
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