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[Consolidated] Chance of upgrade clearing on my flight

[Consolidated] Chance of upgrade clearing on my flight

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Old Jul 31, 19, 11:36 pm
  #1456  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 36
Chances of EWR-MAD upgrade

Flying EWR-MAD on Oct 3 (Thursday)
1K, V fare, GPU waitlisted
Current equipment is 777-200, with 2 cabins, 28 Polaris seats. Assume upgrade is very unlikely (8 seats already booked on seat map).
1K Desk says TATL equipment gradually being re-configured, likely will be 3 cabins by Oct (44 Polaris, 21 Premium plus). Itís a red-eye, so upgrade would be very welcome.

Any idea of the timeline for refitting planes on this route?
With expanded Polaris, PP seating, should I consider upgrading to Q fare class to improve priority for upgrade?
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Old Aug 1, 19, 12:42 am
  #1457  
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Originally Posted by optimom View Post
Flying EWR-MAD on Oct 3 (Thursday)
1K, V fare, GPU waitlisted
Current equipment is 777-200, with 2 cabins, 28 Polaris seats. Assume upgrade is very unlikely (8 seats already booked on seat map).
1K Desk says TATL equipment gradually being re-configured, likely will be 3 cabins by Oct (44 Polaris, 21 Premium plus). Itís a red-eye, so upgrade would be very welcome.
That's bad information. EWR-MAD is currently a 77G route. Those aircraft are not being reconfigured. I did read somewhere though that the 77Gs will be replaced on this route with 764 or 763 after the summer season is over. That will make the upgrade odds slightly less awful (but still not very good). It's also good news if you get stuck in Y, as the 763/64 are the most comfortable Y cabins in the UA fleet.
Originally Posted by optimom View Post
With expanded Polaris, PP seating, should I consider upgrading to Q fare class to improve priority for upgrade?
I would not ever recommend an upfare within the same cabin in the *hope* of increasing upgrade odds - that's the epitome of good money after bad.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 1:02 am
  #1458  
 
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Hi all - let me know what you think of this one..

Post Thanksgiving Saturday - SFO-SYD UA 863. Current standing: J9 JN9 C9 D9 Z0 ZN0 P0 PN0 PZ0 IN0 I0 Y9 YN9 B9 M9 E9 U9 H9 HN9 Q9 V9 W9 S9 T9 L9 K9 G9 N9 XN9 X9. 46 (out of 48) C seats unassigned, 787 Dreamliner.

Friday after - SYD-SFO UA 870. Current standing: J9 JN9 C9 D9 Z0 ZN0 P0 PN0 PZ0 IN0 I0 Y9 YN9 B9 M9 E9 U9 H9 HN9 Q9 V9 W9 S9 T9 L0 K0 G0 N9 XN0 X0. Also 46 (out of 48) C seats unassigned, 787 Dreamliner.

Alas, as you can tell, no Premium Economy on these Dreamliners.

1K Million Miler flying solo, hoping to use GPUs. Q fare already selected. Haven't done a SYD run in many many years so I forget what it's like. I know this is still almost 4 months out, just trying to gauge if it's worth trying.

Thx as always!

Last edited by Jamester; Aug 1, 19 at 1:04 am Reason: Formatting
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Old Aug 1, 19, 7:17 am
  #1459  
 
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Those are peak days of the week for business travel, although the Thanksgiving weekend might cut into it a little (flying Thanksgiving Day would be much better). With Z0, United thinks the flights are in demand. Not sure what you mean by "worth trying" though -- would you not go to SYD otherwise?
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Old Aug 1, 19, 8:20 am
  #1460  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Timing of clearing of UA upgrades--one domestic one international

Hi everyone,

Hope this email finds you well--not sure where exactly to post this and didn't find answers in the forums--apologies if these are widely known phenomena.
I have a question regarding how soon folks have gotten upgraded with 1) miles only (domestic) and 2) miles plus $$ (to polaris on international flight).
i am a premier platinum (i know, not that important in united's eyes) flying from IAD to SFO in a little more than 24 hrs, and as of right now i am still awaiting upgrade even though there are 6 (six) open seats available on the 777. the PN is 0 for that flight--so i am unclear as to when united will actually release the seats, and wanted to get the expert community's opinion.
the second flight is in about 48 hrs from SFO to HKG--for that one i did a combo of miles (for premium econ) and miles +$$ (for polaris)--and there, i am still waiting for the upgrade. there are 5 (five) polaris and 5 (five) premium econ (the purple seats) still open.

i guess my question to the community is when do these upgrades clear? i would have thought that for sure the domestic one i would have gotten one of the 6 available spots, especially close to 24 hours before departure. is it possible that united will NOT upgrade me at all but instead give the seats to other upgraded folks (who did not pay with miles or $), if the seats aren't sold?

many thanks for your time and your experiences!

best wishes
kcw
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Old Aug 1, 19, 9:08 am
  #1461  
 
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Those are peak days of the week for business travel, although the Thanksgiving weekend might cut into it a little (flying Thanksgiving Day would be much better).
Thanks findark, I was hoping most of the business travelers might sit out the long distance travel the week after Thanksgiving (but I suppose those with year end deadlines would make a go at it anyway). I know that coming back into the States during the weekdays after Thanskgiving seems a bit easier to upgrade.

Originally Posted by findark View Post
Not sure what you mean by "worth trying" though -- would you not go to SYD otherwise?
It just means my dates are flexible (although I can't travel ON T-Giving Day) and can move this around for better chance. Sounds like I need to stick with midweek travel (and avoid Fri thru Mon) and watch the Z inventory as a rough indicator? Although I wonder if UA would pretty much zero out the Z's on most days anyway though.

Thx!
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Old Aug 1, 19, 9:11 am
  #1462  
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Originally Posted by Kevcwang View Post
i guess my question to the community is when do these upgrades clear? i would have thought that for sure the domestic one i would have gotten one of the 6 available spots, especially close to 24 hours before departure. is it possible that united will NOT upgrade me at all but instead give the seats to other upgraded folks (who did not pay with miles or $), if the seats aren't sold?
Upgrades can be processed at any time prior to departure, including once you've already boarded.

That said, you won't clear IAD-SFO unless several people miss their flight. That flight's inventory is 47/50 -- the seat map isn't always accurate -- and they will sell the last three seats between now and departure: either to people buying last-minute first class tickets, people changing from another flight, or people buying cash upgrades that United offers during check-in.

Even if they don't, the chance that you're in the top 3 of the upgrade list at departure is slim; you'll be behind all Global Services members, plus any 1K members who used an instrument, and any platinum members who used an instrument and are on a higher fare class than you.

Your SFO/HKG flight is trickier. It's booked 59/60 in business class and 19/24 in Premium Economy. I don't know that we have good information yet about clearance rates to PE. (Again, you won't clear to business class unless there are a lot of misconnects). However, I suspect they may convince a few people to buy up to PE, since business won't be an option. You might clear at check-in, but my guess is that, if you clear, it won't be until the gate.

(Note that you can actually clear after you board; the gate agents will come on to give you a new boarding pass, or you can watch in the app to see if you're moved).

Good luck!
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Old Aug 1, 19, 9:37 am
  #1463  
 
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Originally Posted by Jamester View Post
I was hoping most of the business travelers might sit out the long distance travel the week after Thanksgiving (but I suppose those with year end deadlines would make a go at it anyway). I know that coming back into the States during the weekdays after Thanskgiving seems a bit easier to upgrade.
Some will, but for those who need to be in Australia that week, the Saturday night flight is probably going to be their choice since it gets in on Monday morning. The week that all the US-based business travelers will sit out is the week of Thanksgiving so I would find it more likely to see abnormal loads the weekend before.

Originally Posted by Jamester View Post
It just means my dates are flexible (although I can't travel ON T-Giving Day) and can move this around for better chance. Sounds like I need to stick with midweek travel (and avoid Fri thru Mon) and watch the Z inventory as a rough indicator? Although I wonder if UA would pretty much zero out the Z's on most days anyway though.
Day-of-week flexibility is critical for ANZ flights, but they're not that hard overall to upgrade - I've used 8 GPUs over the last two years and been quite happy with the results. For example, if you could wait until Tuesday 3 December, SFO-MEL is PZ9. Friday's LAX-SYD is PN2 which is a fighting chance. There is a big capacity dump to the region at the moment so overall odds are good, but not if you jump right into peak patterns
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Old Aug 1, 19, 9:49 am
  #1464  
 
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Day-of-week flexibility is critical for ANZ flights, but they're not that hard overall to upgrade - I've used 8 GPUs over the last two years and been quite happy with the results. For example, if you could wait until Tuesday 3 December, SFO-MEL is PZ9. Friday's LAX-SYD is PN2 which is a fighting chance. There is a big capacity dump to the region at the moment so overall odds are good, but not if you jump right into peak patterns
Thanks findark, that all makes perfect sense. I forgot about the LAX and MEL possibilities, so I will look. Speaking of ANZ, in the past I have found SFO-AKL to be really hard to upgrade using GPUs (but it was probably when I was still a "lowly" Platinum, inheriting GPU from someone else). I found AKL-SFO to be much easier (since AirNZ is undoubtedly a much nicer airline). I should pay attention to the day of week, seems like.

Much appreciated again!
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Old Aug 1, 19, 9:59 am
  #1465  
 
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Originally Posted by Jamester View Post
Thanks findark, that all makes perfect sense. I forgot about the LAX and MEL possibilities, so I will look. Speaking of ANZ, in the past I have found SFO-AKL to be really hard to upgrade using GPUs (but it was probably when I was still a "lowly" Platinum, inheriting GPU from someone else). I found AKL-SFO to be much easier (since AirNZ is undoubtedly a much nicer airline). I should pay attention to the day of week, seems like.

Much appreciated again!
IME AKL is mostly a holiday destination and is usually a pretty easy upgrade.. rumor was that the 77W is scheduled more for cargo than pax. But yes, day of week matters, and I would always grid out all of the flights between the continents where you want to travel over all your possible days to get a sense of the inventory picture

In my experience the most common upgrades are LAX-MEL followed by SFO-AKL and LAX-SYD (the SFO-MEL flight is new since I last flew this route and they did cut LAX-SYD below daily) in both directions. But absolutely check in on all of SFO/LAX/IAH-SYD/MEL/AKL for your dates.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 12:42 pm
  #1466  
 
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thanks jsloan! i guess i will brace for economy minus (well, "plus" by united standards but i guess better than nothing!)
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Old Aug 2, 19, 9:46 am
  #1467  
 
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Had to move my trip to Australia by a couple days and lost my MUA as a result. Trying to decide whether I could still clear -- if not I'll just do the entire RT on Delta since if I'm in Y the whole way would rather take advantage of being PM and put the miles and MQD in the bank towards my PM requalification.

This is what IAH - SYD is showing for the date in question -- about 9 days out:

J9 JN9 C9 D9 Z9 ZN9 P9 PN6 PZ0 IN0 I0 Y9 YN9 B9 M9 E9 U9 H9 HN9 Q9 V9 W9 S9 T9 L9 K9 G9 N9 XN9 X9

PN6 is encouraging as is P9 but without clearing on the spot my MUA as a Silver will be low on the list if it goes to the gate and there are GPUs or other MUAs from anyone else at play
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Old Aug 2, 19, 9:57 am
  #1468  
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
PN6 is encouraging as is P9 but without clearing on the spot my MUA as a Silver will be low on the list if it goes to the gate and there are GPUs or other MUAs from anyone else at play
That's about as encouraging an inventory display as you could see, shy of PZ > 0.

Although you can no longer view future flight status on the web, you can do it on your phone if you set the date to the future. (It may mess with your calendar, so keep that in mind). Seeing how many booked seats there are would be the last piece of the puzzle.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 10:02 am
  #1469  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
That's about as encouraging an inventory display as you could see, shy of PZ > 0.

Although you can no longer view future flight status on the web, you can do it on your phone if you set the date to the future. (It may mess with your calendar, so keep that in mind). Seeing how many booked seats there are would be the last piece of the puzzle.
Oh good call -- didn't know about that workaround thank you!

App is showing 22/48 booked -- no one on waitlist (though don't think they would show here yet even if on waitlisted GPU)
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Old Aug 2, 19, 10:05 am
  #1470  
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
Oh good call -- didn't know about that workaround thank you!

App is showing 22/48 booked -- no one on waitlist (though don't think they would show here yet even if on waitlisted GPU)
You're correct that they wouldn't show up on the waitlist yet. However, 22/48, nine days prior to departure, would give you a good chance, IMO. Obviously, it'd be better if you were higher status, and there are no guarantees, but if the sell 15 more seats, and you're tenth on the waitlist, you'd still clear.

The biggest concern would be if there were a flight cancellation and UA had to route a bunch of new passengers onto that flight. That's part of the nature of waitlisting, though. :/
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