GPUs, fare classes, "instant" clearance?

Old Nov 13, 17, 4:03 am
  #1  
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GPUs, fare classes, "instant" clearance?

Hi folks,

I apologise up front: I've tried reading the GPU thread, but I don't 100% get some of the nuance and what I can do here. Hoping someone can advise

Scenario: I'm flying a companion with me from LON to SFO.
I already have a business class ticket, and want to get them an economy ticket and upgrade to business.
I'm 1K, they have no status.

What are the mechanisms I could use to ensure an upgrade?
My understanding so far:
* If I get them a Y/B ticket, I could use miles to upgrade instantly with no co-pay.
* If I get them any other ticket, I could use miles and a co-pay but the upgrade isn't guaranteed (and honestly I don't think they'd get it given that the LHR-SFO flights are usually full in business).
* If R>0, I could use a GPU - but I don't know if it will be an instant clear, or if they'll be waitlisted at the bottom of the ladder for having no status?

Any advice appreciated
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Old Nov 13, 17, 4:16 am
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All of the upgrade means you described (GPU, miles, miles+copay) come from the same "R" inventory for clearing. The only difference is what you pay for the underlying airfare and the upgrade costs.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 4:59 am
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Originally Posted by Avleen Vig View Post
Hi folks,

I apologise up front: I've tried reading the GPU thread, but I don't 100% get some of the nuance and what I can do here. Hoping someone can advise

Scenario: I'm flying a companion with me from LON to SFO.
I already have a business class ticket, and want to get them an economy ticket and upgrade to business.
I'm 1K, they have no status.

What are the mechanisms I could use to ensure an upgrade?
My understanding so far:
* If I get them a Y/B ticket, I could use miles to upgrade instantly with no co-pay.
* If I get them any other ticket, I could use miles and a co-pay but the upgrade isn't guaranteed (and honestly I don't think they'd get it given that the LHR-SFO flights are usually full in business).
* If R>0, I could use a GPU - but I don't know if it will be an instant clear, or if they'll be waitlisted at the bottom of the ladder for having no status?

Any advice appreciated
All of the above scenarios are correct.
If R>0 and they are booked in a fare W or above the GPU will clear automatically regardless of status.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 5:40 am
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The only thing you can do to "ensure" they are in business with you is to buy them a business ticket. Any attempt to upgrade them is always going to be a lottery with a very real chance that your friend will end up in Y.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 6:17 am
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I have been successful calling the 1k line and give them a window of 4 days to find an instant upgrade (gpu) for my kids then I buy a business ticket on the same flight, they have the ability to look for R>0 over a range of dates
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Old Nov 13, 17, 6:47 am
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Originally Posted by alexperi View Post
The only thing you can do to "ensure" they are in business with you is to buy them a business ticket. Any attempt to upgrade them is always going to be a lottery with a very real chance that your friend will end up in Y.
I disagree. Finding R fares availability guarantees them a seat up front.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by Avleen Vig View Post
* If I get them a Y/B ticket, I could use miles to upgrade instantly with no co-pay.
* If I get them any other ticket, I could use miles and a co-pay but the upgrade isn't guaranteed (and honestly I don't think they'd get it given that the LHR-SFO flights are usually full in business).
* If R>0, I could use a GPU - but I don't know if it will be an instant clear, or if they'll be waitlisted at the bottom of the ladder for having no status?
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
All of the upgrade means you described (GPU, miles, miles+copay) come from the same "R" inventory for clearing. The only difference is what you pay for the underlying airfare and the upgrade costs.
This is correct. If there is R inventory, any of these approaches will clear immediately. If there is no R inventory, they will be prioritized on the waitlist after all passengers with status, and then based upon the fare code. In other words, if there is no R inventory, even a (quite expensive) Y/B ticket will have to go onto the waitlist for clearance.

OP -- I suspect you may have been confused by the "instant" upgrade terminology for Y/B/M fares for 1K. Those upgrades are only applicable on CPU-eligible flights (i.e., not transoceanic) and clear into PN -- meaning that they're still capacity-controlled.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
OP -- I suspect you may have been confused by the "instant" upgrade terminology for Y/B/M fares for 1K. Those upgrades are only applicable on CPU-eligible flights (i.e., not transoceanic) and clear into PN -- meaning that they're still capacity-controlled.
That is indeed what I was confused by :-)

So if there is R inventory, is having the fare required to be booked in W or better? AIUI, W is the highest "deep discount coach" fare.

Thanks all!
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Old Nov 13, 17, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by Avleen Vig View Post
So if there is R inventory, is having the fare required to be booked in W or better? AIUI, W is the highest "deep discount coach" fare.
If you want to use a GPU, yes. If you want to use miles, there is no minimum fare class, but a hefty co-pay for lower fare classes.

Note that LHR-SFO is a tough upgrade and you're not likely to see advance R.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by Avleen Vig View Post

* If I get them a Y/B ticket, I could use miles to upgrade instantly with no co-pay...
I don't believe this is correct. The Y/B instant upgrades that (I believe) you are thinking of does not apply on this route. You're still looking for R inventory for an upgrade w/ Y/B fares on non-CPU eligible routes, which includes SFO-LHR. The usual co-pay does not apply because it's a high fare class.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Nov 13, 17 at 9:59 am
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Old Nov 13, 17, 9:45 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
If you want to use a GPU, yes. If you want to use miles, there is no minimum fare class, but a hefty co-pay for lower fare classes.

Note that LHR-SFO is a tough upgrade and you're not likely to see advance R.
Yeah this was a worry. I was seeing a lot of P>9, PN=0, R=0 which I figured meant loads of GS upgrades are pending (or existing upgrades from Y/B?). Sadly I don't think I'm close to hitting GS for next year.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by Avleen Vig View Post
Yeah this was a worry. I was seeing a lot of P>9, PN=0, R=0 which I figured meant loads of GS upgrades are pending (or existing upgrades from Y/B?).
That's why buying a W fare and waitlisting a GPU is sometimes known as "playing the W fare lottery." You don't get a refund of the fare differential to cheapest economy if it doesn't clear.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by Avleen Vig View Post
Yeah this was a worry. I was seeing a lot of P>9, PN=0, R=0 which I figured meant loads of GS upgrades are pending (or existing upgrades from Y/B?). Sadly I don't think I'm close to hitting GS for next year.
It doesn't necessarily mean that GS (or 1K, or anybody else) upgrades are pending, just that they might be -- or, a GS could come along and book later and end up on the waitlist ahead of your companion. R > 0 means that any upgrade will clear immediately; PN9 R0 means that the GS waitlist is empty and is generally considered a positive sign than R space will eventually open.

Also, Y/B upgrades on LHR-SFO clear into R, the same as any other non-GS upgrade (and I doubt there are many, if any, Y/B fares booked for that route more than a week out). PN clearance for Y/B/(M) is only applicable for the CPU-eligible routes. Think of it as a potentially-accelerated CPU on applicable routes.
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Old Nov 2, 18, 9:53 am
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Miles & copay vs. GPU

Flying LAX-PVG in December. Is there any difference between priority for clearance on a G ticket with Miles and Copay upgrade ($600 each way plus 30K miles) vs. purchasing a W fare and using a GPU? Currently inventory is showing R0, However, United.com is allowing me to book a business saver for 70K miles each way even through it also shows I0.
Thanks!
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Old Nov 2, 18, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by 1cericks View Post
Flying LAX-PVG in December. Is there any difference between priority for clearance on a G ticket with Miles and Copay upgrade ($600 each way plus 30K miles) vs. purchasing a W fare and using a GPU?
The only difference is that the W fare will have priority over the G fare if the tiebreaker goes that far. Status, fare class, time of waitlisting.

Originally Posted by 1cericks View Post
Currently inventory is showing R0
I doubt it's showing R anything. R is not presently in use. Upgrades now clear into PZ.
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