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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 Sep 11, 19, 5:34 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 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.

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)



Is it a good deal? User j2simpso maintains a spreadsheet to help you make that determination.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 3:15 pm
  #946  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Bay Area
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Question Advice needed: PZ Class Waitlist SFO-SIN

Hi all, need your expert advice here:

Business associate is a 1K MM, have SFO-SIN this Wednesday eve (UA 2), waitlisted for PZ upgrade using GPUs, party of 3 on W fare (with split PNRs, same priority as hers I presumed, but her 2 travel companions are Premier Gold).

We've been watching the seat map a few times daily and as of today, 5 Biz seats left (unassigned). There were 7 last night but 2 must have been buy-up from this morning. On Friday 1K desk said her party of 3 are on the very top of the upgrade list and "it looks good". But of course it's nerve-wrecking until then.

There's 1 (one) P class buy-up fare left (at around $1800), and the rest must be Z class (at a whooping $3000-4000!). Her party is already on Z class inbound (SIN-SFO) so all set there.

Any advice whether she should bite the bullet and buy-up? Given the 17hr 20 min flight, my guess is those on the waitlist below her party must've gotten nervous and decided to buy up, therefore trumping her party.... And United is certainly counting on that scenario and holding off on her upgrade.

And if she decided to buy-up, what would happen with her 2 travel companion, do they stay on the priority list as 1K or as Premier Gold? Trip originally purchased on a single PNR (under her 1K status) - and she split them about 2 weeks ago - should've done that a long time ago I suppose. Lessons learned.

Thanks in advance!
Jamester
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Old Jan 27, 19, 3:24 pm
  #947  
 
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If you can afford it and itís worth it to you to be in Business class, then you should buy up. If you leave it to chance, then any emergency business trip, let alone anyone else buying up, will remove the remaining inventory.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 3:25 pm
  #948  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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I would buy up. Actually, if you book early enough and travel mid week the P class fares have been around $4,500 return. Not that this helps much now.

That flight is long long long. But i think its only 14 hours coming back.

UA2 Does leave at 10AM, so you can board well rested and just pass the day along with movies and food. Better than the night flight in my view.

My final thought is buy up if you can not take the 14 hours awake. If you can take it, take the gamble. Just remember that January has a lot of GPUs in the system. All the folks who got them last year, and all the people who have them expiring.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 3:29 pm
  #949  
 
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Having endured the old LAX-SIN route in J...I can't fathom what it'd be like in Y. Also, don't bet on getting upgraded...
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Old Jan 27, 19, 3:31 pm
  #950  
 
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Originally Posted by Jamester View Post
Business associate is a 1K MM, have SFO-SIN this Wednesday eve (UA 2), waitlisted for PZ upgrade using GPUs, party of 3 on W fare (with split PNRs, same priority as hers I presumed, but her 2 travel companions are Premier Gold).
UA2 is SIN-SFO. I assume you mean UA1, SFO-SIN? Here's the flight status: link. It's booked 44/48. The chances of them getting upgraded in advance are essentially zero. They might get upgraded at the gate, but the chances are you're hoping for bad weather causing a bunch of missed connections.

In the future, don't bother calling to ask about waitlist status. The agents aren't supposed to tell you, will often make something up just to get you off of the phone, and it's all highly variable anyway. A GS could book four tickets tomorrow, apply GPUs, and suddenly they're fifth on the list.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 3:37 pm
  #951  
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Originally Posted by PsiFighter37 View Post
..I can't fathom what it'd be like in Y...


yet thousands of people do just fine, every day....
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Old Jan 27, 19, 3:38 pm
  #952  
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Originally Posted by Jamester View Post
Hi all, need your expert advice here:

Business associate is a 1K MM, have SFO-SIN this Wednesday eve (UA 2), waitlisted for PZ upgrade using GPUs, party of 3 on W fare (with split PNRs, same priority as hers I presumed, but her 2 travel companions are Premier Gold).

We've been watching the seat map a few times daily and as of today, 5 Biz seats left (unassigned). There were 7 last night but 2 must have been buy-up from this morning.
Seat maps aren't actual loads. You can have a seat assignment without a ticket, and a ticket without a seat assignment.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 3:59 pm
  #953  
 
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
UA2 is SIN-SFO. I assume you mean UA1, SFO-SIN? Here's the flight status: link. It's booked 44/48. The chances of them getting upgraded in advance are essentially zero. They might get upgraded at the gate, but the chances are you're hoping for bad weather causing a bunch of missed connections.

In the future, don't bother calling to ask about waitlist status. The agents aren't supposed to tell you, will often make something up just to get you off of the phone, and it's all highly variable anyway. A GS could book four tickets tomorrow, apply GPUs, and suddenly they're fifth on the list.
Yes, sorry it's UA1 (SFO-SIN), the 10:40pm one.

Wow, thanks so much for everyone's super quick advice on this, and yes, it would be hard to do this in Y (esp. since one in her party has a bad back). And great point for all these expiring GPUs raining down in January (as that's exactly what she's trying to do too).

I went ahead and got her on the phone with the 1K desk to buy up, so her party is now safe. She's got 3 different fares (2 from the P bucket, 1 from the Z bucket)...$1800, $1950 and $2300. Surprised that they (1K desk) would just say what you want to hear when you call (on the waitlist status).

And for future reference (and I'm sorry if these are common knowledge and I'm just a little behind):

1. If 3 people on the same PNR (made by a 1K) added to the list for using GPUs (or MUA/miles) - is there an advantage of splitting the PNR (by calling 1K desk) immediately after the booking, vs. splitting the PNR like a few weeks before the trip? I know the time added to the waitlist is a factor, just wanted to see where she might have done wrong here - she didn't know to split the PNR until 2 weeks ago and her flight was booked back in October.

2. Or does all these logic just not matter at all when it comes to SFO-SIN since it's such a long flight with premium-class paying pax?

Thanks again everyone!
Jamester

Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Seat maps aren't actual loads. You can have a seat assignment without a ticket, and a ticket without a seat assignment.
Thanks mduell, that has been my mantra too, although lately I have noticed that anyone who is upgraded (or have purchased a Biz seat) are automatically assigned a seat. I know that in the past (I want to say 5-6 yrs ago) you could clear an upgrade and have no seat assignment (and if I recall that was prevalent for flights out of Asia), which made it a lot harder to guess. I'll keep that in mind though, at least all the 1K desk rep have been giving consistent info in terms of how many seats are available (and it matches what's on the seat map). Thx!

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 27, 19 at 4:07 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jan 27, 19, 4:15 pm
  #954  
 
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Originally Posted by Jamester View Post
1. If 3 people on the same PNR (made by a 1K) added to the list for using GPUs (or MUA/miles) - is there an advantage of splitting the PNR (by calling 1K desk) immediately after the booking, vs. splitting the PNR like a few weeks before the trip? I know the time added to the waitlist is a factor, just wanted to see where she might have done wrong here - she didn't know to split the PNR until 2 weeks ago and her flight was booked back in October.
Split immediately if you want the best chance of clearing at least one upgrade. Don't spilt if you're not willing to upgrade part of the party while the rest sit in Y.

1a - Check for PZ space regularly, since the upgrade list doesn't always seem to process.

Originally Posted by Jamester View Post
2. Or does all these logic just not matter at all when it comes to SFO-SIN since it's such a long flight with premium-class paying pax?
SFO-SIN and vv is one of the most difficult upgrades in the system, because everyone with an instrument will use it on that flight, and plenty of people are willing to pay for J on a route of that length, especially at current prices.* If you have some flexibility, you can sometimes find PZ space and bypass the waitlist -- but when I've looked, it's been on the order of a couple of PZ seats per month.

* UA and SQ are engaged in a fare war on US-Singapore flights. Neither one of them really wants to sell J seats at $4000 RT, but that's where they're pricing discount seats, each hoping the other one blinks.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 4:47 pm
  #955  
 
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Speaking of upgrade offers for SFO-SIN: for my flight in March, I'm being offered $13,471 from S on SFO-SIN and $4,664 for SIN-SFO.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 6:49 pm
  #956  
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post


yet thousands of people do just fine, every day....
Thousands of people probably get (picking something at random) root canals every day too. It's an entirely survivable experience, sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a particularly pleasant one.
iluv2fly, Boraxo, n198ua and 1 others like this.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 7:00 pm
  #957  
 
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
Thousands of people probably get (picking something at random) root canals every day too. It's an entirely survivable experience, sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a particularly pleasant one.
I actually booed SFO-SIN in march as a K fare to get over the pacific and come back Cathay First on the NYE mistake fare, with all these negative comments I think I am in for a work of hurt lol
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Old Jan 30, 19, 7:43 pm
  #958  
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Flying RDU-DEN this weekend and was booked into a W fare. With it being operated by an A319, and there only being three seats left, I decided to look at the various upgrade options. UA.bomb offered me a $192 fee to move into F which I felt was reasonable for a four hour flight. Additionally, it immediately reissued the ticket into P class, so the combination of a dinner, free alcohol, wider seat and more EQMs seemed worth the price.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 11:37 pm
  #959  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Just bought my tickets for a family vacation this summer and thought I'd check to see what the upsell offers might be even though I've already requested to use GPUs. I found the upsell offer for DEN-FRA hilarious -- no, No, and NO.

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Old Jan 31, 19, 12:29 am
  #960  
 
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Originally Posted by FriendlySkies View Post
Flying RDU-DEN this weekend and was booked into a W fare. With it being operated by an A319, and there only being three seats left, I decided to look at the various upgrade options. UA.bomb offered me a $192 fee to move into F which I felt was reasonable for a four hour flight. Additionally, it immediately reissued the ticket into P class, so the combination of a dinner, free alcohol, wider seat and more EQMs seemed worth the price.
I agree, I'd spend the $192 on this. Have a nice flight.
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