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Is UA overbooking F if there are upgraders?

Is UA overbooking F if there are upgraders?

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Old Dec 12, 17, 3:41 am
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Is UA overbooking F if there are upgraders?

Had two situations occur in the past few days that lead me to wonder if UA is overbooking F, and in particular if there are already processed upgrades.

- on Saturday morning, a companion and I were traveling on separate PNRs but upgraded with my RPUs. We woke up to find that my companion (a Silver) had lost his seat assignment next to me. Cabin was full and GS agent said cabin was now oversold. When we got to the airport the GS agent was able to get him a seat (I think by bumping someone else but not sure)

- this morning again traveling with a companion, this time HE was upgraded with an RPU but I had taken my chances. App showed F as full, but app was also offering a buy-up and EF showed F1. 90 minutes before departure UA opened P space which dropped the buy-up offer to TOD levels so I took it.

Iíll of course report back if he is bumped again, but why would app show full but UA still be selling a seat?

On the first flight, the person who took my companionís original seat assignment board very last and was escorted aboard by an agent so it could have just been a special circumstance, but Iím curious what f anyoneís seen anything like this.
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Old Dec 12, 17, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by villox View Post
- on Saturday morning, a companion and I were traveling on separate PNRs but upgraded with my RPUs. We woke up to find that my companion (a Silver) had lost his seat assignment next to me. Cabin was full and GS agent said cabin was now oversold. When we got to the airport the GS agent was able to get him a seat (I think by bumping someone else but not sure)


This one is consistent with FAM -- last minute booking that overrides everything including seat selection. Actually, the surprising bit if it's a FAM is the part about being escorted on -- usually they keep a low profile. Was the passenger's appearance and behavior onboard consistent with FAM (no drinking/sleeping)?

Originally Posted by villox View Post
- this morning again traveling with a companion, this time HE was upgraded with an RPU but I had taken my chances. App showed F as full, but app was also offering a buy-up and EF showed F1. 90 minutes before departure UA opened P space which dropped the buy-up offer to TOD levels so I took it.
I believe I've seen this happen when Y is overbooked. F seats will be blocked from upgrades, but not from sale. So, if Y is overbooked by 1, but they're willing to overbook by 3, they'll block 1 seat in F but continue to sell Y2 and F2 (although both numbers go down if either Y or F is purchased). On the app, the blocking will show up as "Booked: 6 (+1 blocked)" -- but only when seats are available. Once the total number of occupied plus blocked seats = cabin capacity, it just shows "Full" with no information about whether some of those seats are actually blocked.

Of course, I could be totally wrong about this situation...
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Old Dec 12, 17, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by QBK View Post
This one is consistent with FAM -- last minute booking that overrides everything including seat selection. Actually, the surprising bit if it's a FAM is the part about being escorted on -- usually they keep a low profile. Was the passenger's appearance and behavior onboard consistent with FAM (no drinking/sleeping)?


I believe I've seen this happen when Y is overbooked. F seats will be blocked from upgrades, but not from sale. So, if Y is overbooked by 1, but they're willing to overbook by 3, they'll block 1 seat in F but continue to sell Y2 and F2 (although both numbers go down if either Y or F is purchased). On the app, the blocking will show up as "Booked: 6 (+1 blocked)" -- but only when seats are available. Once the total number of occupied plus blocked seats = cabin capacity, it just shows "Full" with no information about whether some of those seats are actually blocked.

Of course, I could be totally wrong about this situation...
- In the first case, no, the passenger brought on board looked extremely groggy/tired and slept the entire flight. Did not look like a minor which rules that out. Best I could guess is that it was some sort of high value customer.

- In the second case that would make sense but it did not say (+1 blocked) and there WAS a seat unassigned, 3A, which I took when I bought up.
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Old Dec 12, 17, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by villox View Post
- In the second case that would make sense but it did not say (+1 blocked) and there WAS a seat unassigned, 3A, which I took when I bought up.
It won't say "+1 blocked" if that fills the cabin. If there are 8 seats, it will say "6 +1 blocked" but never "7 +1 blocked;" the latter case just displays as "Full."
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Old Dec 12, 17, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
It won't say "+1 blocked" if that fills the cabin. If there are 8 seats, it will say "6 +1 blocked" but never "7 +1 blocked;" the latter case just displays as "Full."
Ah, that makes sense. So that would definitely explain the second case.
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Old Dec 12, 17, 10:46 am
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Could it have been a diplomat instead of a marshal?
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Old Dec 12, 17, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by AugustusM View Post
Could it have been a diplomat instead of a marshal?
I don't believe it was. This was a Saturday morning flight from LGA-ORD. I've never had my companion lose an upgrade (especially one that had been confirmed for weeks) other than in an aircraft swap situation, and I don't know what GS did to get it back for him (we were the only two upgraders in the cabin, so if they downgraded someone it would have been paid F). The fact that he person was the last to board and escorted as well as looked extremely exhausted (slept from taxi to touchdown) let me to believe it was a special circumstance that will remain unsolved.
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Old Dec 12, 17, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by QBK View Post
believe I've seen this happen when Y is overbooked. F seats will be blocked from upgrades, but not from sale. So, if Y is overbooked by 1, but they're willing to overbook by 3, they'll block 1 seat in F but continue to sell Y2 and F2 (although both numbers go down if either Y or F is purchased). On the app, the blocking will show up as "Booked: 6 (+1 blocked)" -- but only when seats are available. Once the total number of occupied plus blocked seats = cabin capacity, it just shows "Full" with no information about whether some of those seats are actually blocked.

Of course, I could be totally wrong about this situation...
IME, a Ďblockedí seat isnít available for sale either. So if youíve got a 739 with, say, Booked:16 (+ 2 blocked), theyíll only be selling 2 in F. Iíve found when itís due to overbooked flights in Y, the number of blocked might flexuate. And also, they typically wonít clear uogrades into the blocked seats, and will just upgrade at the gate, though sometimes Iíve also seen RM remove the block to upgrade folks in advance to alleviate the overbooking (in fact, Iím not sure why they donít do this more often, especially during the holidays where Iím assuming that most folks arenít looking to book into F.
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Old Dec 12, 17, 11:56 am
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Personally, this sounds like a Y oversold situation. Where Y+F = x and plane capacity -X = 1-2

Same thing happened when we flew back from Hawaii this summer. Y teetered on oversold for about a week and they constantly went back and forth between +2 and +4 blocked in F and from Y1/F1 to Y2F2 for sale over the past few days before checking in.
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Old Dec 12, 17, 12:18 pm
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Saw a situation like this earlier this week. First was showing "Full" for two days before departure, but with six (out of twelve) open seats on the seat map. Day before, three upgrades cleared, and someone else must have cancelled because all of a sudden it was 11/12 booked and three upgrades cleared. The rest went to buy-ups or other last minute flight changes/purchases.
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