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UA Upsell Offers to Business/First/PP at Purchase and Day of Departure (TOD)

UA Upsell Offers to Business/First/PP at Purchase and Day of Departure (TOD)

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Old Mar 20, 20, 7:13 am   -   Wikipost
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UA will generally offer cash upgrades from any non-Basic Economy fare for UA operated flights, these can be offered:
- At the time of purchase
- Before travel in the itinerary view
- At check-in (computer, smartphone, airport)
- You can inquire with an agent anytime (including at the gate)
The price can vary, as it appears multiple processes are used -- occasionally yielding strangely high offers. Always cross-check on what the fare difference (up fare) might be and consider instead Buy up to higher fare class w/o change fee? {GG BUYUP}

Awards tickets may be offered similar cash upgrade but only at check-in

For Check-in offers, these can vary post initial check-in, so check back closer to departure.

Such upgrades will be eligible for all the benefits of a premium cabin ticket, UA makes no distinction on how a passenger premium cabin ticket was obtained.

Generally, fees for upgrades are non-refundable if you voluntarily cance. If UA cancels or fails to provide the upgrade, the fees will be refunded. On voluntary changes, the agent may transfer to the changes flight but that is not standard policy.

True up-fares (ADD/COLLECT) are transferable if the appropriate inventory space is available.

Fees paid for upgrades now {2020) earn PQPs
Will the upgrade earn PQDs or bonus PQMs see the wiki of Some Paid Upgrades Count Towards PQD & mileage bonus and some DON"T!
On how pricing is structured, see A Comprehensive Look at Domestic First Class Monetization (FCM) on United

Previous Threads:
UA Upsell Offers to Business/First at Purchase and Day of Departure (TOD) [Archive]

2016 Upsell Offers to Business/First (UFC/PCU) Questions/Discussion (Paid Upgrades)
2015 Upsell Offers to Business/First (UFC/PCU) Questions/Discussion (Paid Upgrades)
2014 Upsell Offers to Business/First (UFC/PCU) Questions/Discussion (Paid Upgrades)
2013 "Upsell Offers to Business/First (UFC/PCU)" Questions/Discussion (Paid Upgrades)

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Old Nov 19, 18, 7:14 pm
  #856  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Midwest USA, Asia
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Originally Posted by bigwings8 View Post
Today I was #3 for 3 seats left with an hour before boarding. 2 min before boarding starts, they havenít cleared the list, so I walk over and politely ask if theyíre going to clear upgrades. ďWe dont clear upgrades until half an hour before departure in case someone wants to buy up during check in,Ē was the response I got.

So boarding begins 10-15 minutes before the upgrade list clears? So then I should just stand and wait by the counter and not board while I wait for the upgrade?


That seems like an outlier. Maybe a lazy agent was hoping purchased upgrades would cause them less work. Most clear the list before boarding.

I wrote in when a GA didnít clear #1 into an open seat. I was #3 and had no chance so boarded. I wrote in on principle after I realized what happened. (Flight had come in full and FA confirmed no seat problem.)

Consider writing in with your concerns. Keep it short.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 8:37 pm
  #857  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by bigwings8 View Post
So boarding begins 10-15 minutes before the upgrade list clears? So then I should just stand and wait by the counter and not board while I wait for the upgrade?

I can accept that they wait until boarding *begins* to clear upgrades. Itís their prerogative to try to sell seats and make some extra $$. But waiting until after groups 1 and 2 (and preboarding) means that the people who get upgraded have to relocate to the front of the cabin after taking their seats.
This operating procedure became standard when CO took over running the airline after the merger. Lasted for several years but was abolished a couple of years ago in my experience. Must have been a GA on a bad day longing for the CO days. Itís asinine for the reasons you stated. I would write in about it.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 1:32 am
  #858  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Example:

Seeing as you don't even understand how the process works, your conclusions are not really sound.

CPUs can be difficult these days, but they definitely happen.
You are wrong, Global Services would still show on the upgrade list. The seats disappeared after the check in cutoff so it could not have been a SDC.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 7:52 am
  #859  
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Originally Posted by bigwings8 View Post
So boarding begins 10-15 minutes before the upgrade list clears? So then I should just stand and wait by the counter and not board while I wait for the upgrade?
Yes, and it has for years. While some GAs will start clearing before boarding, that’s against policy. Forget TODs; prior to the check-in window closing, they could sell a full F seat.

Your options, as have been pointed out, are to wait to board or to go ahead and board and then move forward when the upgrade comes through. I’ve only seen one report in the last couple of years of someone being skipped because they had already boarded; that’s definitely not policy. The GA will come on with upgraded boarded passes as necessary, or you can move up when you see your upgrade come through on the app.

Originally Posted by aero0729 View Post
You are wrong, Global Services would still show on the upgrade list. The seats disappeared after the check in cutoff so it could not have been a SDC.
The upgrade list has been broken for weeks, and it appears to be even more broken than usual recently. I wouldn’t necessarily draw any conclusions from what you described. In fact, it’s extremely difficult to do a TOD purchase after check-in cutoff, so I don’t know that it could have been a TOD either.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 9:06 am
  #860  
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Originally Posted by aero0729 View Post
You are wrong, Global Services would still show on the upgrade list. The seats disappeared after the check in cutoff so it could not have been a SDC.
Actually, the "upgraded" list function is currently broken and the display cannot be relied upon to tell you anything.

But continue on in ignorance
Originally Posted by bigwings8 View Post
Thanks UA.
You got upgraded. End of story.

And as noted, it's not at all uncommon for GAs to wait until the check-in cut-off to process upgrades. I can remember many times in the pre-merger days hanging around the counter until after boarding had completed to pick up my upgraded F BP. I don't recall ever being angry about that or considering it "crappy service."
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Last edited by Kacee; Nov 20, 18 at 9:13 am
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Old Nov 20, 18, 11:55 am
  #861  
 
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Originally Posted by SFOdelayed View Post


Didnít you previously say that you deliberately chose to book some segments on LH either last year or the year before? And I recall you were pretty close.

Luckily UA flies direct to pretty much everywhere I need to go so I donít have to go out of my way to consolidate spend.
I did book some flights with LH actually it was now 3 years ago and at the time didn't fully realize the dollars spent had to be exclusively ALL UA metal and yes that probably cost me GS that year with a UA dollar spend of around $42K and at least another $15K on *A. As I recall some of my first posts to FT where about just this issue. Oh well live and learn, this year I won't even be close with a spend rate sub $40K. I have done very little 4Q travel this year with no international flights in the 4Q.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 3:00 pm
  #862  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Unfortunately, last-minute travelers definitely get caught up in the mix here. On flights when UA will clear upgrades in advance ó which isnít all of them, but which does happen ó it can lead to higher-status, late-purchasing passengers sitting in Y while lower-status passengers sit in F. Iím not sure why they do it that way, but itís been going on for years and UA hasnít done anything about it, so itís obviously not much of a priority for them.
For a while, UA was only clearing 1Ks in advance unless IM had left R>2 (which was pretty rare) and then running the rest of the list down to F2 around T-24. The only deviations I've seen from that have been even more restrictive, so not sure how well they hold on to this. The overall trend is definitely true though, especially is those last 2 seats go to non-upgrades something over 50% of the time IME. If I haven't cleared by T-24, I don't expect to.

Originally Posted by bigwings8 View Post
So boarding begins 10-15 minutes before the upgrade list clears? So then I should just stand and wait by the counter and not board while I wait for the upgrade?

I can accept that they wait until boarding *begins* to clear upgrades. Itís their prerogative to try to sell seats and make some extra $$. But waiting until after groups 1 and 2 (and preboarding) means that the people who get upgraded have to relocate to the front of the cabin after taking their seats.
IME, most GAs will run the upgrade list immediately before calling boarding. Some deviate a little on either side, as I think they're supposed to wait until check-in closes, which is technically after most flights would start boarding. You don't need to be present to get an upgrade -- they will go onto the plane if you've already boarded, or inform you when you scan the old Y BP (assuming you were in the lounge when the list was run).
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Old Nov 20, 18, 3:21 pm
  #863  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
IME. If I haven't cleared by T-24, I don't expect to.
Yes, and a corollary is, if I buy inside T-96, and they've already run a sweep, I'm probably not going to clear, especially on a discount fare.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 6:08 am
  #864  
 
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Lhr-lax ua935 11/21

$829 via app, kiosk, and gate agent. Didnít bite as have full row to myself.
All biz fare buckets incl. PZ were 9ís right up until departure. Cleared about 13 NRSAís
L fare on Swiss ticket stock so wasnít able to see options in UA app until the inbound LX flight had pushed back and closed out
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Old Nov 21, 18, 10:56 am
  #865  
 
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Originally Posted by nomad420 View Post
I did book some flights with LH actually it was now 3 years ago and at the time didn't fully realize the dollars spent had to be exclusively ALL UA metal and yes that probably cost me GS that year with a UA dollar spend of around $42K and at least another $15K on *A. As I recall some of my first posts to FT where about just this issue. Oh well live and learn, this year I won't even be close with a spend rate sub $40K. I have done very little 4Q travel this year with no international flights in the 4Q.
What I've read is that the above alone is insufficient and that the spend also needs to be in the higher revenue fare buckets. Would be interesting to find out if there are instances of someone who flew a LOT in deep discount fares, reached the unpublished spend target, but still wasn't eligible for GS.
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Old Nov 23, 18, 9:44 am
  #866  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post

You got upgraded. End of story.

And as noted, it's not at all uncommon for GAs to wait until the check-in cut-off to process upgrades. I can remember many times in the pre-merger days hanging around the counter until after boarding had completed to pick up my upgraded F BP. I don't recall ever being angry about that or considering it "crappy service."
1kvoice seemed to agree with my original sentiment: I wrote in and said that I thought beginning boarding before clearing upgrades was operationally inefficient and a less than optimal experience to GS and 1k who board and then switch seats. I also mentioned not getting to use the bathroom. They apologized, passed my feedback onto the crew / gate agent for that day, and gave me a travel cert.

If they had said ďour policy is to wait until checkin closes to clear upgrades,Ē then I could have accepted that reasoning too (though I still would have thought it inefficient in all but money-making aspects).
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Old Nov 23, 18, 9:57 am
  #867  
 
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Originally Posted by cyclogenesis View Post
First time I have seen such a juicy offer.
Got $689 on LHR-SFO for 11/24. Said I was #5 on the list with two seats remaining. Mulled it over for a bit. When I went back it was $699 and the only window seat left was gone but I smashed that Buy button. Well worth it for nearly 12 hours when I have to fly back out 24 hours later, even in a middle seat.
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Last edited by JAaronT; Nov 23, 18 at 11:01 am
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Old Nov 23, 18, 10:43 am
  #868  
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Watched the price from when I booked until I was at the gate, never dropped below $200, for EWR-AUS today. Full economy, 9 booked first (up until this week there had been 3 booked). 11 upgrades cleared. As well as 4 standby (all into economy plus).
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Old Nov 23, 18, 4:09 pm
  #869  
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Just received the upsell email for an upcoming flight:
For your upcoming flight to Minneapolis, you have the chance to purchase an upgrade to our premium cabin. The experience begins in the airport, where you'll receive two free checked bags, Premier Accessģ and the opportunity to board first. On board, enjoy extra space to relax, complimentary beer, wine and spirits, and more.*
And yes, I have an instrument waitlisted. Which I fully expect will clear. (And, as 1K, I already get three free bags, Premier Access, pre-boarding, and complimentary beverages.) Thanks so much for the carefully targeted marketing, United.
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Old Nov 23, 18, 4:56 pm
  #870  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Thanks so much for the carefully targeted marketing, United.
No kidding!
At least they seem to have finally stopped offering "extra legroom with an upgrade to E+ with Bundle 1" during the booking process for persons eligible.
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