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Another year of disappointing Platinum status

Another year of disappointing Platinum status

Old Nov 30, 18, 7:48 am
  #1  
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Another year of disappointing Platinum status

For the 3rd year in a row, I have been a premier platinum and been upgraded just once. Once in 3 years and that on an ATL-IAD ERJ. I fly the 777-200 on Tuesdays or Wednesdays monthly between IAD and SFO, an aircraft with 48-50 business class seats and I miss the upgrade by 25-35 people every time. Are there so many paying, GS or 1K passengers flying on these mid-week flights?
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Old Nov 30, 18, 8:00 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by DLrunner View Post
For the 3rd year in a row, I have been a premier platinum and been upgraded just once. Once in 3 years and that on an ATL-IAD ERJ. I fly the 777-200 on Tuesdays or Wednesdays monthly between IAD and SFO, an aircraft with 48-50 business class seats and I miss the upgrade by 25-35 people every time. Are there so many paying, GS or 1K passengers flying on these mid-week flights?
Yes. IAD and SFo are two major hubs. So I would expect a boatload of 1Ks if I ever flew this route (many of whom miss the cut themselves if they donít buy-up or pay for the business class fare).
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Old Nov 30, 18, 8:04 am
  #3  
 
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You're flying an elite heavy route with a lot of paid premium pax. You're rarely, if ever, going to be upgraded on an IAD/SFO flight as a Platinum. Maybe on an odd connecting flight but that would be time consuming. Platinum is not a particularly useful status anymore. It's either Gold or 1K.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 8:09 am
  #4  
 
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Yes. I'm one of those 1K passengers, sorry. I fly when work asks (mid-week, non-mid week, weekend) and I apply my RPUs to flights out of IAD. Even then I sometimes clear and sometimes don't. It's a hit or a miss even for me on an instrument. And if you're ever curious about how many 1Ks are on a flight, can't you just watch pre-boarding? For my flight today, it was around 20 people all boarding when pre-boarding was called. Add another 3 for GS and yes, that sounds about right that you're 25 down in the list being Platinum.

Being Silver Spring based, why don't you fly out of BWI? Your upgrade percentages BWI-LAX/SFO will be much better. I even got them as a Gold my first year with UA before I hit 1K status.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 8:12 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
Yes. I'm one of those 1K passengers, sorry. I fly when work asks (mid-week, non-mid week, weekend) and I apply my RPUs to flights out of IAD. Even then I sometimes clear and sometimes don't. It's a hit or a miss even for me on an instrument. And if you're ever curious about how many 1Ks are on a flight, can't you just watch pre-boarding? For my flight today, it was around 20 people all boarding when pre-boarding was called. Add another 3 for GS and yes, that sounds about right that you're 25 down in the list being Platinum.

Being Silver Spring based, why don't you fly out of BWI? Your upgrade percentages BWI-LAX/SFO will be much better. I even got them as a Gold my first year with UA before I hit 1K status.
Not as many direct flights to SFO from BWI and they are all 737s, so fewer First Class seats. I really do not see that many people pre-boarding, which increases my frustration.

Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
Yes. I'm one of those 1K passengers, sorry. I fly when work asks (mid-week, non-mid week, weekend) and I apply my RPUs to flights out of IAD. Even then I sometimes clear and sometimes don't. It's a hit or a miss even for me on an instrument. And if you're ever curious about how many 1Ks are on a flight, can't you just watch pre-boarding? For my flight today, it was around 20 people all boarding when pre-boarding was called. Add another 3 for GS and yes, that sounds about right that you're 25 down in the list being Platinum.

Being Silver Spring based, why don't you fly out of BWI? Your upgrade percentages BWI-LAX/SFO will be much better. I even got them as a Gold my first year with UA before I hit 1K status.
Actually I am 75 down the list.... 50 people who are in Business class and then 25 people ahead of me in the upgrade list who do not make it. Being 76th on the totem pole on a mid-week flight as a platinum just feels wrong.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Nov 30, 18 at 12:43 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Nov 30, 18, 8:22 am
  #6  
 
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Don't take this the wrong way but I don't think you should expect complimentary upgrades anymore - it seems like UA has adjusted their strategy where the only elites that will be consistently upgraded are Global Services. 1Ks should be grateful for their complimentary snack boxes/global upgrades, Platinums should be grateful for their 8 E+ seats/regional upgrades, and Golds should be grateful for international lounge access.

As a consumer, I think it's fair to expect UA to monetize the first class cabin. Whether they are doing a good job at it (day of departure buy-ups, degradation in catering, and handling of IRROPs for paid first passengers) is a different debate.

Originally Posted by DLrunner View Post
Actually I am 75 down the list.... 50 people who are in Business class and then 25 people ahead of me in the upgrade list who do not make it. Being 76th on the totem pole on a mid-week flight as a platinum just feels wrong.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 8:32 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by 764toHI View Post
Don't take this the wrong way but I don't think you should expect complimentary upgrades anymore - it seems like UA has adjusted their strategy where the only elites that will be consistently upgraded are Global Services.
It's very route-specific. Flying hub-to-hub is terrible for upgrades, which is why someone suggested OP fly from BWI instead. My upgrade percentage is perfectly acceptable as a 1K, and it was decent as a Platinum. (It's not what it was as a CO Platinum in 2003, granted, but times change).
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Old Nov 30, 18, 9:08 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by 764toHI View Post
Don't take this the wrong way but I don't think you should expect complimentary upgrades anymore - it seems like UA has adjusted their strategy where the only elites that will be consistently upgraded are Global Services. 1Ks should be grateful for their complimentary snack boxes/global upgrades, Platinums should be grateful for their 8 E+ seats/regional upgrades, and Golds should be grateful for international lounge access.

As a consumer, I think it's fair to expect UA to monetize the first class cabin. Whether they are doing a good job at it (day of departure buy-ups, degradation in catering, and handling of IRROPs for paid first passengers) is a different debate.
"liked" for accuracy, not sentiment. But, yeah, even as a plat I look at upgrades as a nice occasional thing, not an expectation. Of course it's disappointing when one sees an open F cabin at booking that slowly fills down to that last seat retained for misconnects and GS. But by that point I'm resigned to my E+ seat and pull out a drink coupon.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 9:10 am
  #9  
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In my experience, SFO is the hardest. The upgrade list in almost always in the 50s or 60s, if not more, and it seems like the plane is well over half filled after line 1 boards.

all my recent flights are essentially 100% full. If every single ORD-EWR flight, for example, is filled how does UA decide when to add more seats?
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Old Nov 30, 18, 9:22 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by DLrunner View Post
Not as many direct flights to SFO from BWI and they are all 737s, so fewer First Class seats.
You're choosing a route that's well known to be among the most difficult in the system for better upgrade chances?
Originally Posted by DLrunner View Post
Actually I am 75 down the list.... 50 people who are in Business class and then 25 people ahead of me in the upgrade list who do not make it. Being 76th on the totem pole on a mid-week flight as a platinum just feels wrong.
You're not 75th on the totem pole for upgrades, you are behind probably 45 pax who have paid for F, three who were upgraded, and 25 higher status pax who also died on the waitlist. Doesn't that tell you something about what you are competing against? An expectations adjustment may be in order.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by DLrunner View Post
Not as many direct flights to SFO from BWI and they are all 737s, so fewer First Class seats. I really do not see that many people pre-boarding, which increases my frustration.
Fewer direct flights, yes (I think there's 1 or 2). Fewer first class seats, yes. But you're missing out key information. WAY fewer elite travelers. Elite travelers and/or corporate travels like nonstop. It's why we fly nonstop IAD-SFO/LAX more than BWI-SFO/LAX.

I promise you my upgrade rate as a gold is higher out of BWI nonstops than out of IAD nonstops as a 1K to the west coast. The elite presence is significantly less, no matter that there are fewer first class seats.

Also, I wouldn't get frustrated. UA is clearly selling those seats if you're not getting upgraded and there are 1K,GS, or even Plat with higher fare classes than you on those flights (proof since you're 25 down the upgrade list). The mantra, even for GS members is, if you want to sit in business/first, you pay for business/first.

There's no other way to put this. It shouldn't be 'right or wrong' that you're 25th on an upgrade list as a Platinum. It's a fact. We're sorry that there are people who travel more than Platinum members or who buy higher fares than you on your flights, we emphasize, all of us really do. But it's a fact and we can't change it. Right or wrong.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 9:24 am
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I'm Plat out of SFO and I'm consistently about halfway down the upgrade list, and the upgrade list is usually long, long, long. I think I got two upgrades this year, one on a New Years Day early morning flight from DCA -> ORD, and the other a Friday night red eye SFO -> BNA. I was able to use both my RPUs, one out of Aruba, and the other into MEX. If you want upgrades, status match to Alaska 75k, I was something like 90% on upgrades on AS this year, including TCONs.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 9:27 am
  #13  
 
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You are taking the wrong flights. The westbound is at 5:30pm. This IAD-SFO is timed to be a connector for all of the TATLs that are arriving into IAD at 3:00pm. Altogether, these have hundreds and hundreds of J seats -- and to the extent these guys have through fares to the west coast, they will be taking all of the J. Is it that you see a lot of J seats available for CPU on this flight, but you are just too low on the list to score one? Or is it that only a handful of CPUs are doled out at the gate? I would guess the latter. I'm sorry, but you are trying to hit a trifecta. You want to take a flight at the peak time, you want to score a lie-flat for only the "cost" of the CPU, you choose to fly from a hub (IAD) rather than an outstation (BWI), If you want to improve your CPU chances, you need to take flights that not everyone else is also trying to take.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 9:41 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by G702TT View Post


Yes. IAD and SFo are two major hubs. So I would expect a boatload of 1Ks if I ever flew this route (many of whom miss the cut themselves if they donít buy-up or pay for the business class fare).
Even as a 1K, I was lucky to get an upgrade on ANY route--so left and went to AA. I AM at 94% this year as an Exec Plat.....and the people are much more pleasant, for the most part!
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Old Nov 30, 18, 9:57 am
  #15  
 
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This thread title should be changed to "Why don't I get upgraded IAD-SFO" or just merged with one of the myriad of threads already going about hub-to-hub upgrades being non-existent for elites.

OP is wrong to assume they are 76th on the list. Not all 50 business class flyers are elites who were above the OP's status. Many of them are lower level elites or just not elite at all and their company booked them on United.

-RM
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