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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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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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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 Mar 20, 19, 1:51 am
  #1006  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: SFO/SJC/OAK
Programs: OZ Diamond (*G), Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,166
Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
There have been some recent reports though of some uncommonly low international offers ($599 for a TATL).
Exactly what I've noticed. Prices going down on international routes (especially at check-in) and going up on domestic routes.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 12:33 am
  #1007  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 84
Hope this question is not too elementary. I have an Economy seat on a domestic flight in a few days. I want to upgrade to a seat in First by paying, not with miles. At the moment the price to upgrade is $157 per segment. At the moment there's still a good supply of seats available, or at least unassigned, in First. Will the price go down if I wait and try to buy it from the machine at the airport, the morning of the flight? Or will people have been upgraded into those seats by then?
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Old Mar 23, 19, 5:39 am
  #1008  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Programs: BA Bronze, United 1K, HH Gold, SPG Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 3,468
Originally Posted by Flyz View Post
Hope this question is not too elementary. I have an Economy seat on a domestic flight in a few days. I want to upgrade to a seat in First by paying, not with miles. At the moment the price to upgrade is $157 per segment. At the moment there's still a good supply of seats available, or at least unassigned, in First. Will the price go down if I wait and try to buy it from the machine at the airport, the morning of the flight? Or will people have been upgraded into those seats by then?
Since you don't say your origin and destination it's hard to assess or even tell you if that's a good price and you should jump on it. Remember that other passengers may see that offer and take it. The usual metrics that I read here on FT, $60 per hour of travel is good.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 5:52 am
  #1009  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 84
I'm not asking so much whether that's a good price — more whether, if seats are still available the morning of the flight (flight leaves at 6:30 am), the price will go down in the last few hours before takeoff. Or are people automatically upgraded that morning, so no seats will be left when I arrive at the airport?
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Old Mar 23, 19, 6:09 am
  #1010  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Programs: BA Bronze, United 1K, HH Gold, SPG Platinum, Marriott Platinum
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Originally Posted by Flyz View Post
I'm not asking so much whether that's a good price more whether, if seats are still available the morning of the flight (flight leaves at 6:30 am), the price will go down in the last few hours before takeoff. Or are people automatically upgraded that morning, so no seats will be left when I arrive at the airport?
You never know. Sometimes they leave two First Class seats that they only upgrade at the gate. Those might go to passengers that SDC into that flight or that purchase the TOD or to upgrades. Sometimes, there are no First Class seats left at all. If I even think that I would like to take a TOD, I do prefer to take it at the earliest time to get a better seat and not the last ones. There is no assurance that price will go down, sometimes they do go up. That's why I gave you the metrics.

If your flight is less than 3 days from now you can check the flight status on the United website to see how many First Class seats are sold. If the flight is further away you can check the number of First Class seats sold on the future flight status on www.cablepick.net/United.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 6:52 am
  #1011  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 84
Interesting. Well, a few hours ago there were only two seats left in First, and all of a sudden there are five. Same upgrade price. I'll keep my eye on things and see what happens. Thanks.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 7:04 am
  #1012  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by Flyz View Post
Interesting. Well, a few hours ago there were only two seats left in First, and all of a sudden there are five. Same upgrade price. I'll keep my eye on things and see what happens. Thanks.
Understand that the price may go up as well as down.

Upgrade prices appear to be based roughly on inventory, which you can see if you activate Expert Mode and search for the flight in question. (There's a thread on Expert Mode on the board). United's domestic first fare classes are, in order from most to least expensive, J JN C D Z ZN P PN PZ IN I. The further down the list that you see the last non-zero value, the lower the upgrade offer is likely to be. (There are no guarantees). So, if you see J5 JN5 C5 D4 Z2 ZN2 P1 PN1 PZ1 IN1 I1, your upgrade offer probably won't get any lower. If it's J5 JN5 C5 D4 Z2 ZN0 P0 PN0 PZ0 IN0 I0, it might.
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Old Mar 25, 19, 7:28 pm
  #1013  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 3
IAD - PDX, $260 to upgrade from S fare at T-24 check-in. I took it. No option to upgrade before that, and I'd been eyeing that 4B seat for days. Was 16/20 yesterday but 18/20 when I checked in.

I'm not usually a premium fare type, and I haven't had status for yearsb. My recent back issues can make sitting excruciating, and my last two flights were night and day between Y and J.

Still curious. Did I get an okay deal or pay out the ear?
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Old Mar 25, 19, 7:45 pm
  #1014  
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by Calliopetcat View Post
IAD - PDX, $260 to upgrade from S fare at T-24 check-in. I took it. No option to upgrade before that, and I'd been eyeing that 4B seat for days. Was 16/20 yesterday but 18/20 when I checked in.

I'm not usually a premium fare type, and I haven't had status for yearsb. My recent back issues can make sitting excruciating, and my last two flights were night and day between Y and J.

Still curious. Did I get an okay deal or pay out the ear?
I'd call it par for the course. That's a very reasonable price for the upsell, but not a steal. I would do it every time, but your wallet may vary
findark is online now  
Old Apr 2, 19, 6:28 pm
  #1015  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 3,359
Hello again,

Just thought I'd let everyone know that the UpSell Offers Spreadsheet has been updated to this point. Simply click the ToD Offers tab to see all offers up to this point. Also note that this spreadsheet has more than just UpSell offers, it also has GPU, RPU offers and the like which may also inform your decision on whether to roll the dice with a GPU or take the ToD offer.

Sadly, I'll be away from FT for the next couple of weeks/months as I continue my studies in the UK. If anyone is interested in carrying the mantle of UA spreadsheets/tools, feel free to PM me. Otherwise, expect these tools to be updated around Fall of this year.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Apr 3, 19, 11:31 am
  #1016  
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Posts: 12,584
Was pleasantly surprised to find online offers for an upcoming itin with DCA-IAH offered for $168 and IAH-SFO for $208. These prices are still a bit above my over/under but seem reasonable. Alas RPUs are waitlisted
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Old Apr 3, 19, 12:42 pm
  #1017  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 788
Some of my reports may have been lost all the other posts but for travel in May, I've seen the following buy-up offers since first purchasing my tickets (i.e., buy-up offer hasn't changed since Jan 30th when I bought my tickets):

IAH-BOS, $208
BOS-DEN, $216

On Nov 25 2018, I paid $153.69 to upgrade my next-day HNL-SFO flight from Q class (waitlisted for CPU) to Z class (confirmed domestic F). At the time I found the offer and confirmed the purchase with CS, even she remarked "that's a great fare!"

I was getting upgrade offers for my DEN-FRA flight in June ranging from a couple thousand to about 8000 until I applied a GPU. Haven't received a cash buy-up offer since a couple days after applying a GPU (which still hasn't cleared).
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Old Apr 6, 19, 6:43 am
  #1018  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AY+ Gold
Posts: 125
For my last 4 intercontinental flights between Europe and USA the "offer" was always above 1000 USD. No, thank you.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 6:52 am
  #1019  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: UA Plat, BA Gold
Posts: 1,534
IAD-AUS and return, 189 each way at T-48.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 3:18 pm
  #1020  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SBA
Programs: UA Gold 1MM, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, Hertz PC
Posts: 572
SEA-SFO $133, SFO-SBA $90, both from a W fare. $184 difference between coach and First buying it outright, so about $40 more after purchase.
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