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Unusual Scenario About to Play Out with Oversold Y, Op-Ups, UGs, Non-Revs, etc.

Unusual Scenario About to Play Out with Oversold Y, Op-Ups, UGs, Non-Revs, etc.

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Old Jul 11, 18, 5:03 pm
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Unusual Scenario About to Play Out with Oversold Y, Op-Ups, UGs, Non-Revs, etc.

Mods, feel free to move if this doesn't deserve its own thread, but I couldn't figure out where to put it.

We're at T-minus-less-than-2 for UA 818 EZE-IAH tonight (11 July). The flight has been an oddball for some time. As of yesterday, Polaris was only booked 8/50 (very much an outlier looking at loads in the days right after, and based on my own experience on this flight). Yet Y has also been booked full for quite some time. A few days ago, the number of blocked C seats showed 13 (presumably for Y oversale) yet has been steadily climbing higher, including during the day today, and is now up to 28 blocked C seats. C's number of booked seats has ticked up throughout the day and is now at 18 (presumably many of these are from HODS at check-in). Between the 18 booked C and 28 blocked C, there's only 4 C seats left. Meanwhile, the standby list is 8, and I assume it's all non-revs, as the same 8 names are on both the standby list and the upgrade list.

A few questions: will UA continue to book Y seats on an oversold flight so long as C has seats remaining? That's the only explanation I suppose for why the # of blocked C seats continues to rise even as Y has been booked full for days.

Assuming things stay as they are, how does UA deal with the non-revs? There will be 4 seats remaining on the aircraft. Do the 4 out of 8 lucky non-revs get double-processed into Y and then C (thereby jumping over booked Y's who might otherwise get op-upped), or do they only get the last 4 Y seats after the other Y's are op-upped into the empty C seats, thereby creating Y space for the standby non-revs to clear into?

More generally, have others seen such a high blocked-to-booked C ratio on a large aircraft on a popular business route (which I could consider IAH-EZE to be)? I guess I could see it happening on a leisure route, but I've never thought of this flight as much of a leisure route (could well be wrong about that though).
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Old Jul 11, 18, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by st530 View Post
A few questions: will UA continue to book Y seats on an oversold flight so long as C has seats remaining? That's the only explanation I suppose for why the # of blocked C seats continues to rise even as Y has been booked full for days.
Yes. Usually up to about (J - 2) or so; it's a revenue decision based on whether effectively selling a J seat for a medium Y fare is worth it for the particular flight.

Originally Posted by st530 View Post
Assuming things stay as they are, how does UA deal with the non-revs? There will be 4 seats remaining on the aircraft. Do the 4 out of 8 lucky non-revs get double-processed into Y and then C (thereby jumping over booked Y's who might otherwise get op-upped), or do they only get the last 4 Y seats after the other Y's are op-upped into the empty C seats, thereby creating Y space for the standby non-revs to clear into?
Eligible upgrades, followed by op-ups, will be run until every confirmed passenger has a seat assignment. Then any standbys will be cleared. If the net result of the confirmed pax is Y full, 4 empty in J, and nobody else eligible for an upgrade, then 4 NRSAs will go out in J.

ed. oddly the flight status reports full in J and Y both, but they are still selling J inventory: J9 R9 I8 Y0. I can only assume that the flight is booked at least level but they are willing to bump a Y pax for a J sale (even an IN award though??)
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Old Jul 11, 18, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
oddly the flight status reports full in J and Y both, but they are still selling J inventory: J9 R9 I8 Y0. I can only assume that the flight is booked at least level but they are willing to bump a Y pax for a J sale (even an IN award though??)
The R part makes sense . . . UA would prefer to take a GPU or miles + co-pay vs. giving a free op-up. I8 is a bit harder to explain.
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Old Jul 11, 18, 5:49 pm
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UA seems to have forecast the situation very well. At 35 minutes before departure the last of the Y seats have been allocated. 26 BF passengers checked in, 24 seats showing available on the seat map. 9 NRSA waitlisted (for BF, total of 12 for any seat).

This morning UA was showing 11/50 seats sold (including award, processed upgrades).

Last edited by SoFlyOn; Jul 11, 18 at 5:59 pm Reason: updating
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Old Jul 11, 18, 5:52 pm
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The reason for the dramatic increase in loads at the end of the week, is because of the start of the Argentine public schools winter recess
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Old Jul 11, 18, 5:57 pm
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The calculus for UA -- or any carrier -- is always whether it is worth selling a given seat for a given price. Little surprise that UA would effectively sell a mid-Y seat into a J seat (the net impact of overselling by 1 in Y and an OPUP).
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Old Jul 11, 18, 6:00 pm
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At T-20 minutes, 29 checked into BF, NRSA still waiting ...

T-17 minutes 32 showing checked into BF, so there must be gate upgrades being processed. No NRSA showing as being processed yet.

T-13 minutes NRSA are being cleared

T-8 minutes all 9 NRSA cleared. 7 BF seats showing available.

At T-0 minutes 2 NRSA removed from the cleared list and back onto the waitlised list. 9 BF seats showing available ...?

Flight closed at T+10 min. Wailists removed. 9 BF, 0 Y seats unoccupied.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 12, 18 at 2:31 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jul 11, 18, 7:04 pm
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Originally Posted by st530 View Post
Yet Y has also been booked full for quite some time. A few days ago, the number of blocked C seats showed 13 (presumably for Y oversale) yet has been steadily climbing higher, including during the day today, and is now up to 28 blocked C seats.
When UA blocks seats, do they always do it at a 1:1 ratio or would they do something like 1J:2Y overbooked? That would allow them to keep selling J while still hedging against bumps.
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Old Jul 11, 18, 7:12 pm
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From my experience when you get an update fromY you don't show on the upgrade list. In fact a flight from NRT-LAX last week had approximately 15 to 20 people whom were upgraded from Y to J and no one appeared on the UG list. Flight had 22 blocked seats that morning and also oscillated from 18 to 24 seats blocked throughout the day
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Old Jul 11, 18, 8:15 pm
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There was absolutely nothing unusual about this. This happens all the time in instances when the airline knows there will be limited J demand but lots of Y demand. You'll see it in the summer time to Europe from the US when there's less business travel but more demand for family vacations and whatnot, and apparently here, where Argentines are now on a school break. This stuff plays out every single time with lots of regularity on every single airline. You just happened to notice it, for whatever reason. In general, they'll clear all eligible upgrade into J, make sure all confirmed revenue customers are accommodated (some will be upgraded if there aren't any seats left in Y and there are some in J), and process all NRSA in order of seniority/ priority once all revenue customers are accommodated.
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Old Jul 11, 18, 8:32 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Yes. Usually up to about (J - 2) or so; it's a revenue decision based on whether effectively selling a J seat for a medium Y fare is worth it for the particular flight.



Eligible upgrades, followed by op-ups, will be run until every confirmed passenger has a seat assignment. Then any standbys will be cleared. If the net result of the confirmed pax is Y full, 4 empty in J, and nobody else eligible for an upgrade, then 4 NRSAs will go out in J.

ed. oddly the flight status reports full in J and Y both, but they are still selling J inventory: J9 R9 I8 Y0. I can only assume that the flight is booked at least level but they are willing to bump a Y pax for a J sale (even an IN award though??)
Why not have IN open? Until that point the flight still had J seats to sell over and above whatever OpUps were going to occur and factored into the load. UA would gladly take 40K miles out of someone's account to hop on that flight in "J". It's still a "paid" seat, just in this instance a UA account has 40K less miles.

-RM
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Old Jul 11, 18, 8:34 pm
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Originally Posted by jasondc View Post
TYou'll see it in the summer time to Europe from the US when there's less business travel but more demand for family vacations
And to Asia around school holiday times. There are a couple weeks per year where several of the TPACs are virtually guaranteed op-ups for a 1K.
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Old Jul 11, 18, 9:12 pm
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Jasondc nailed it. Nothing unusual at all here. The algorithm worked pretty darn well.
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Old Jul 11, 18, 9:43 pm
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Originally Posted by st530 View Post
Assuming things stay as they are, how does UA deal with the non-revs? There will be 4 seats remaining on the aircraft. Do the 4 out of 8 lucky non-revs get double-processed into Y and then C (thereby jumping over booked Y's who might otherwise get op-upped), or do they only get the last 4 Y seats after the other Y's are op-upped into the empty C seats, thereby creating Y space for the standby non-revs to clear into?
Priority on the C seats is paid > upgrades > non-rev > fly it empty > op-up
They will op-up as necessary to fit the paid passengers on the plane and will leave non-rev's at the gate to do so, though.

They are likely to offer discounted upgrades under these conditions, though.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 6:25 am
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oh yes! That too! very good!

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
And to Asia around school holiday times. There are a couple weeks per year where several of the TPACs are virtually guaranteed op-ups for a 1K.
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