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Empty F seats even with CPU [2015 forward]

Empty F seats even with CPU [2015 forward]

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Old Mar 31, 19, 1:44 pm   -   Wikipost
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Old Jan 24, 15, 9:44 am
  #1  
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Empty F seats even with CPU [2015 forward]

YEG-ORD went out with 5/6 seats filled and 2 people on the upgrade list. I emailed about this and got the following response:

Thank you for contacting United Airlines Customer Care.
Please accept my apology for your disappointment in our upgrade policy. As a Premier 1K MileagePlus member, you can rightfully expect to an upgrade on the day of departure, provided your fare allows complimentary upgrades and seats in the appropriate fare class are available.

Please understand upgrades are inventory controlled based on available fare classes, one example of an upgrade fare class is the letter R to name just one of several. Flights may depart with an empty seat if an upgrade fare class is not available in the product inventory. The gate agent is the last authority to authorize a complimentary upgrade on travel and bases these decisions on product inventory rather than visual availability.
We recognize customers have a choice and we appreciate you chose United Airlines for your travel.
awu25 is offline  
Old Jan 24, 15, 10:18 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by awu25 View Post
YEG-ORD went out with 5/6 seats filled and 2 people on the upgrade list. I emailed about this and got the following response:....
Don't you just love responses that don't mean anything?
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Old Jan 24, 15, 11:00 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by awu25 View Post
YEG-ORD went out with 5/6 seats filled and 2 people on the upgrade list. I emailed about this and got the following response:

Thank you for contacting United Airlines Customer Care.
Please accept my apology for your disappointment in our upgrade policy. As a Premier 1K MileagePlus member, you can rightfully expect to an upgrade on the day of departure, provided your fare allows complimentary upgrades and seats in the appropriate fare class are available.

Please understand upgrades are inventory controlled based on available fare classes, one example of an upgrade fare class is the letter R to name just one of several. Flights may depart with an empty seat if an upgrade fare class is not available in the product inventory. The gate agent is the last authority to authorize a complimentary upgrade on travel and bases these decisions on product inventory rather than visual availability.
We recognize customers have a choice and we appreciate you chose United Airlines for your travel.
I had the understanding that the Upgrade "sweeps" by the computer in the background continue to run up until the checkin time cutoff limitation. After that, the GA has control about who gets upgraded and follows the "Upgrade Standby List" listed order.

I understood that "R" space has nothing to do with it. If persons do not show up to the gate area in enough time to board the plane, the GA will release those seats. Visual inspection that there are empty seats in First Class compared to what information the Gate Agent has in terms of what the scanner shows about which BPs have been scanned determines if there are indeed empty seats available in First Class.

My understanding is that in these cases, the GA or FA is supposed to come to Economy section to get the next person on the Upgrade Standby list and give them a 1st Class seat.

Is my understanding of the procedure correct? Is the message received from UA Customer Care totally incorrect?
Always1A is offline  
Old Jan 24, 15, 11:27 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by awu25 View Post
YEG-ORD went out with 5/6 seats filled and 2 people on the upgrade list. I emailed about this and got the following response:

Thank you for contacting United Airlines Customer Care.
Please accept my apology for your disappointment in our upgrade policy. As a Premier 1K MileagePlus member, you can rightfully expect to an upgrade on the day of departure, provided your fare allows complimentary upgrades and seats in the appropriate fare class are available.

Please understand upgrades are inventory controlled based on available fare classes, one example of an upgrade fare class is the letter R to name just one of several. Flights may depart with an empty seat if an upgrade fare class is not available in the product inventory. The gate agent is the last authority to authorize a complimentary upgrade on travel and bases these decisions on product inventory rather than visual availability.
We recognize customers have a choice and we appreciate you chose United Airlines for your travel.
This is insane and not true at all. How did this agent invent that ridiculous story?

Respond with "sorry, that is not right, can you please direct this to your supervisor?"
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Old Jan 24, 15, 1:03 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Always1A View Post
I understood that "R" space has nothing to do with it.
Correct. At the gate, the GA is supposed to fill any/all empty F seats using the upgrade standby list.

Availability of R, or any other fare bucket, has zero relevance.

Concur with mgcsinc, if for no other reason than to stop this customer care rep from spouting more nonsense.
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Old Feb 5, 15, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Correct. At the gate, the GA is supposed to fill any/all empty F seats using the upgrade standby list.
I haven't flown UAL for a few years (upset pmUAL million miler). I thought I would give it a try so flew ORD - CLT yesterday and CLT - ORD today. On today's flight I was sitting in the row behind first. Was first on upgrade list after clearing 3 others (didn't make it). Prior to door closing I asked FA if I could move up since one seat was empty and within minutes of leaving. Response was "NO!", dirty look and she walked away. The seat remained empty for the flight.

How is this allowed to happen and someone needs to wake up in customer service. Wrote an email and the auto reply was to "expect a response in 4-6 weeks". I can't imagine telling my customers that I will help them in 4-6 weeks...

Oh well, I tried...back to AA...
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Old Feb 6, 15, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by seagar View Post
I haven't flown UAL for a few years (upset pmUAL million miler). I thought I would give it a try so flew ORD - CLT yesterday and CLT - ORD today. On today's flight I was sitting in the row behind first. Was first on upgrade list after clearing 3 others (didn't make it). Prior to door closing I asked FA if I could move up since one seat was empty and within minutes of leaving. Response was "NO!", dirty look and she walked away. The seat remained empty for the flight.

How is this allowed to happen and someone needs to wake up in customer service. Wrote an email and the auto reply was to "expect a response in 4-6 weeks". I can't imagine telling my customers that I will help them in 4-6 weeks...

Oh well, I tried...back to AA...
I would at least complain to customer care... you would likely get some sort of ETC voucher. At least get something free out of it (give it to a friend). I have done a lot of domestic flying over the last few years, but have only had 1 instance where GA's did not fill a seat in F when there was an upgrade wait list. Sorry to hear about this...
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Old Feb 23, 15, 12:03 pm
  #8  
 
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CPU shennanigans based on seat map?

I flew SFO-YVR last night, and was #2 on the UG list prior to takeoff. Mrs. Transportprof was #3. There were plenty of other folks on the list behind us, too.

We kept our E+ seats and I didn't think much about it as the flight was fairly full.

But today, when I looked at the seat map (from UA's flight status and info tab), this is what I saw:



Do the two open seats in front mean that the gate agents, who seemed quite competent when we were boarding, never cleared the CPUs before departure? We left a few minutes early, so there should have been time to deal with this. I saw no on board reseating of last minute upgrades before the doors were closed.

I didn't go up to the front cabin to check out the occupancy, so I wonder whether the seat map is reliable, or whether something else might have been going on?

Thoughts on whether to follow up under this circumstance would be appreciated.
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Old Feb 23, 15, 12:05 pm
  #9  
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What did the App say about seats booked in F?
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Old Feb 23, 15, 12:08 pm
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In the future, if you are gonna obsessively check the mobile app prior to departure, be sure to alternate over to the 'upgrades' tab and see how many pax are booked / checked in out of the total cabin capacity. That load info (although not available as far in the future as it used to be) is super useful.
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Old Feb 23, 15, 12:10 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
What did the App say about seats booked in F?
I don't make a habit of checking the App once I'm seated on board flights, because Canada has quite high roaming charges for data on mobile phones. So I can't provide an answer to this question. But in the terminal, F seats were showing as fully booked.
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Old Feb 23, 15, 12:15 pm
  #12  
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FC seats show up as open on the seat map when FC passengers have not selected their seat. As suggested, you need to look at the upgrade tab to get an accurate view of how many FC seats are available.

Sometimes if the gate agents are in a rush, and some FC passengers do not show, they do not process the upgrade list in order to get the flight out in time.

If you care, write in to customer care (and potentially get a BS response like I did about how R space needs to be available) and maybe they'll throw you something
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Old Feb 23, 15, 12:17 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
I can't provide an answer to this question. But in the terminal, F seats were showing as fully booked.
There may have been last minute no-shows. Doesn't sound like shenanigans. Shenanigans is when it shows booked 6/8 and they never clear pax into the last two seats. Really rare on UA.

Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
Canada has quite high roaming charges for data on mobile phones.
Actually it's your carrier that sets the roaming charges. You might consider an international roaming plan if you travel frequently international. Verizon and AT&T offer plans for $20-25 per month.
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Old Feb 23, 15, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by awu25 View Post
FC seats show up as open on the seat map when FC passengers have not selected their seat. As suggested, you need to look at the upgrade tab to get an accurate view of how many FC seats are available.

Sometimes if the gate agents are in a rush, and some FC passengers do not show, they do not process the upgrade list in order to get the flight out in time.

If you care, write in to customer care (and potentially get a BS response like I did about how R space needs to be available) and maybe they'll throw you something
I did look at the Upgrade tab in the terminal up until boarding, and the front cabin was shown as fully booked, and with all seats selected.

Your scenario of no-shows is the most plausible. I guess it's not shenanigans to leave these seats empty, but there was time to deal with this, as we left early.

It seems a shame to have a 319 go out with a quarter of the front cabin empty when there were at least a dozen people on the upgrade list, but I'm not sure whether it's worth writing in to United about this. Would this have any chance of making future practices more CPU friendly?
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Old Feb 23, 15, 12:51 pm
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Twice in the last few months on UX flights out of SFO, I've had GAs not clear the upgrade list. Once, the GA just didn't clear it at all (I was #1 on the list, so the seat would have gone empty if I hadn't mentioned it to a FA) and once she cleared people manually, moving them up from Y but not processing it in the system (so F was full, but the system still showed empty seats). But, I've never had it happen on a mainline flight.

Tough to say which was the case here. The Upgrade tab right now shows that F was fully booked, but only 6 of 8 were checked in. So, probably two people were no shows and the GA didn't then clear the list. Either those seats went empty, or he/she cleared the list manually (though you should have been one of the people moved up) or possibly shenanigans.

I did write in the second time it happened to me and got some courtesy miles, but I had all the facts and I know for sure I should have gotten an upgrade and the GA upgraded someone else (either by mistake or intentionally). My new SPO out of SFO on UX flights is to wait to board until the end, if the list hasn't cleared. I'll then ask the GA about the list -- at least then they know someone is paying attention.
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