Automatic Upgrade Request Inhibitor

Old Sep 4, 18, 6:15 pm
  #1  
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Automatic Upgrade Request Inhibitor

Hi fellow flyers--

I have what may seem like an unusual question, but hoping someone can help me anyway. I have managed to achieve premier status with Mileage Plus, and I enjoy most of the benefits, but there is one benefit which I do NOT want to use, but I can't figure out how to get rid of it. When I book I flight, I like to choose my own seat specifically...but with premier status, it seems like I am always automatically placed on the upgrade waiting list. I don't want that--I want the seat that I picked.

I've never actively asked for an upgrade or to be placed on an upgrade waiting list--it (the app) just tells me that I'm eligible and/so I'm automatically on the wait list. What I have done about this so far is to contact the Reservations desk and ask that I be taken OFF the upgrade wait list...and then they flip an "upgrade inhibitor" flag on my reservation.. But they said this is per reservation only, and cannot be done "permanently".

They told me that if I don't want to be placed on the upgrade waiting list, don't request it on the app during the check-in process...but I have combed the screens of the app (and the website), and there is no opt-in or -out section of the check-in process.

Is there anyone with more experience with this that can tell me what to do about this? Either tell me where in the app / site that I can opt-out, or who can I call or talk to to opt-out without calling reservations every single time.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old Sep 4, 18, 6:22 pm
  #2  
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I do not believe this is possible; as you have discovered, you can remove upgrade eligibility from a reservation by requesting that, but this cannot be the default state.

Do you know how often you might be upgraded otherwise? For most Premier levels and routes, the odds of an upgrade are relatively small. Even if you do get upgraded, it's going to be an extremely rare pax in your old Economy seat who won't want to swap with you.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 7:00 pm
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Just to be clear, UA will not remove your existing seat assignment just because you are on the waitlist—they will only change your seating assignment if you are upgraded. You are saying you do not want to be upgraded under any circumstances, and would prefer your economy seat over first?

There’s several reasons I can think of why someone might not want to be upgraded. Just wanted to confirm that’s what you meant.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 7:04 pm
  #4  
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no way to get yourself taken off the advance upgrade list (CPU) as a default as far as im aware. Calling in each reservation to request it is the only way Iím aware of.

When the agent referred to being able to do it at check in, thatís for the upgrade standby list - applicable if elites donít get upgraded in advance. Typically, if youíre eligible to go on that list and are on a PNR with more theman one person, youíll be asked at check in, as doing so will split the PNR, as only single person PNRs can be put on that list. As far as Iím aware, thereís no option for this if youíre traveling on your own, as your already on a single person PNR, and almost everyone wants that shot if itís available.

Youre provably in the minority - not wanting to get upgraded, so the system is rrally built for the majority.

Originally Posted by findark View Post
Do you know how often you might be upgraded otherwise? For most Premier levels and routes, the odds of an upgrade are relatively small. Even if you do get upgraded, it's going to be an extremely rare pax in your old Economy seat who won't want to swap with you.
IME, this is highly dependent on various factors including route, time of day, etc. Iíve also seen seats in Y get snapped up very quickly once they are released - these days, with oversold flights, BE only getting selection at the last minute, etc, people moving into vacant seats can happen very quickly.

If youíre a 1K traveling out of SFO at key peak business travel times, yeah, even for them CPUs are going to be tough. But traveling at non-peak times, or non-peak routes, or during the holidays, etc, there are certainly times when even silvers on low fares can score a CPU. I realize the tendency is to see how hard it is, since people are much more likely to complain when they donít get a CPU, and less likely to come back here to mention when they do. But it does happen, at all levels, but very dependent on situation.

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Old Sep 4, 18, 7:15 pm
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Can make reservation without MP #. But then again, why?
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Old Sep 4, 18, 7:35 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Iíve also seen seats in Y get snapped up very quickly once they are released - these days, with oversold flights, BE only getting selection at the last minute, etc, people moving into vacant seats can happen very quickly.
Yes, my point was that (especially for random good E+ seats snapped up at the last minute) most pax are quite receptive to the "I really wanted this specific Y seat, would you mind taking my seat in F?" request
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Old Sep 4, 18, 7:54 pm
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Originally Posted by onthesam View Post
Can make reservation without MP #.
That's the best option, though you also miss out on the other benefits (boarding priority, checked bags, etc).

Originally Posted by onthesam View Post
But then again, why?
I feel like we're living in Bizarro world...

Originally Posted by findark View Post
most pax are quite receptive to the "I really wanted this specific Y seat, would you mind taking my seat in F?" request
Which generates a whole bunch of posts like "but I was next on the upgrade list - I should get that seat".
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Old Sep 4, 18, 7:58 pm
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There is no way to automatically cancel the Premier upgrade request. Indeed as you've observed, the app and website offer no way to explicitly decline unless you book with a companion, and that is only if you have not been upgraded prior to check-in.

As far as I can figure, the options, if you are committed to not being upgraded, are to (1) call every time to have the request removed or (2) take matters into your own hands and ask someone to swap in the event you are upgraded.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:11 pm
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I don't know the odds, and I assume it's low, but you know that old saying..."when you least expect it..."

And you're right--if I DID happen to get upgraded, I'm sure I could swap with someone...but I'm not sure I would be able to swap back to the same seat that I had originally.

Yes, you understood my intent perfectly--I do not want to be upgraded under any circumstances, I would prefer to keep the seat that I selected during booking (in economy class--over a first class seat, business class, or even in a different economy section).

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 4, 18 at 8:24 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:15 pm
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I'm a MM so at least Gold each year (but never reach 1K). The only time I get a CPU is on short routes at really unfavorable times, like Sunday early morning DCA-ORD. If you're at silver level, this is not a real problem.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:19 pm
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I'm trying to figure out what economy seat is so special that someone insists on *it* over any seat in F.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:21 pm
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You're right, and I understand I'm definitely in the minority...but I was hoping there was some manual opt-out, or some secret way to beat the system.

So let me ask another question that I probably already know the answer to: can you opt-out of your upgraded status entirely? In other words, if I travel enough to qualify for a premier level, but I don't want it...can I refuse it or retroactively downgrade my status? Or am I automatically bumped up to a new level, and that's that?
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by DWAGENT View Post
You're right, and I understand I'm definitely in the minority...but I was hoping there was some manual opt-out, or some secret way to beat the system.

So let me ask another question that I probably already know the answer to: can you opt-out of your upgraded status entirely? In other words, if I travel enough to qualify for a premier level, but I don't want it...can I refuse it or retroactively downgrade my status? Or am I automatically bumped up to a new level, and that's that?
Also no, but I imagine one (perhaps long) phone call could see your status removed, in which case you'd not need to make any more calls.

That said, why not just not use a mileageplus account, if you are commited to not having status? Will you forgo that many award miles?
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:29 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by DWAGENT View Post
So let me ask another question that I probably already know the answer to: can you opt-out of your upgraded status entirely? In other words, if I travel enough to qualify for a premier level, but I don't want it...can I refuse it or retroactively downgrade my status? Or am I automatically bumped up to a new level, and that's that?
Sure, MileagePlus is an optional program. Donít join, or stop providing your frequent flyer number during the reservation process, and youíre extremely unlikely to get upgraded. And, if youíd prefer to have only the mileage earning and nothing else, you can ask for retroactive credit after the flight.

FYI: Seat assignments are never guaranteed. Thereís an entire thread on the board about seat changes occurring for no obvious reason. Youíre going to need to monitor your reservations no matter what you do.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:33 pm
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I'm struggling to think of a scenario where the best Y seat would be preferable to an F seat. That said, on the off chance that you would clear a CPU on any given route, I'm quite certain that whoever else stole your original much-coveted seat (presumably in E-, since you're also interested in giving up status entirely) would be happy to swap with you. The GA may well suspect insanity, but would probably help facilitate this if you asked nicely.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 4, 18 at 10:54 pm Reason: Snarky comment removed
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