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Anyway to tell whether PremiumPlus is oversold?

Anyway to tell whether PremiumPlus is oversold?

Old Apr 8, 19, 11:33 am
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Any way to tell whether PremiumPlus is oversold?

I have an upcoming flight where I am booked in PP with a GPU applied. Looking at Expertmode, the flight is listed as J3I0Y9. On the seat map, 8 J seats remain unclaimed and all of the PP seats are taken. Is there any way to tell whether J is really sold to 3 spots remaining or whether some of that space is being reserved for an oversold PP cabin?

Last edited by GBadger; Apr 8, 19 at 11:39 am
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Old Apr 8, 19, 11:40 am
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Originally Posted by GBadger View Post
I have an upcoming flight where I am booked in PP with a GPU applied. Looking at Expertmode, the flight is listed as J3I0Y9. On the seat map, 8 J seats remain unclaimed and all of the PP seats are taken. Is there any way to tell whether J is really sold to 3 spots remaining or whether some of that space is being reserved for an oversold PP cabin?
Use https://cablepick.net/united to see how many seats are booked into the J cabin.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 11:42 am
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Even better, change the date on your phone to get the "blocked" figure.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 11:45 am
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https://www.cablepick.net/united is also showing sold seats for PP
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Old Apr 8, 19, 12:00 pm
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Thanks all! The flight status is showing:
- Polaris: 45/50 booked
- Premium Plus: 24/24 booked (FULL)

So, given the flight is J3 and only booked 45/50, I'm assuming that means that there are some seats being held back, though there is no indication of any seats in J being "blocked". This is for UA999 (EWR-BRU) on Friday.

Some other interesting things:
- The seat map on the flight status tool shows an open PP seat (21E), while the seat map shown when searching for the flight through the united.com booking tool shows all of those seats as taken. Not sure what that's about. The other seats in the J and Y cabins seem to be consistent across the seat maps...
- The breakdown for the standby tab shows "Polaris First", "Polaris Business" and "Economy", even though the upgrade tabs are clearly for "Polaris Business" and "Premium Plus"
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Old Apr 8, 19, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by GBadger View Post
Thanks all! The flight status is showing:
- Polaris: 45/50 booked
- Premium Plus: 24/24 booked (FULL)

So, given the flight is J3 and only booked 45/50, I'm assuming that means that there are some seats being held back, though there is no indication of any seats in J being "blocked". This is for UA999 (EWR-BRU) on Friday.
Yes, they will be upgrading at least 2 passengers to J, barring any P+ cancellations / no-shows. The "blocked' seats would only show up in the app; on that same display, you'd see 45/50 blocked (+ 2 blocked).

Originally Posted by GBadger View Post
- The breakdown for the standby tab shows "Polaris First", "Polaris Business" and "Economy", even though the upgrade tabs are clearly for "Polaris Business" and "Premium Plus"
Somebody forgot to update a string in their application.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Yes, they will be upgrading at least 2 passengers to J, barring any P+ cancellations / no-shows. The "blocked' seats would only show up in the app; on that same display, you'd see 45/50 blocked (+ 2 blocked).


Somebody forgot to update a string in their application.
Makes sense -- I'm guessing that there are at least two people (me being one) who have GPUs applied for a P+ -> J upgrade. I won't hold my breath for any of those upgrades to clear before the gate to allow for Polaris Lounge access.
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Old Nov 27, 19, 7:16 pm
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So is it routine for UA to oversell PP given they know they'll be upgrades to J? I was very surprised when an agent told me yesterday when I was upfareing to PP, that for the 77W flight (24 seats available), there were 33 seats sold, and the system would allow them to sell up to 43 seats. Even the agent was very surprised when they read what they were allowed to sell to.
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Old Nov 27, 19, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by bioyuki View Post
So is it routine for UA to oversell PP given they know they'll be upgrades to J? I was very surprised when an agent told me yesterday when I was upfareing to PP, that for the 77W flight (24 seats available), there were 33 seats sold, and the system would allow them to sell up to 43 seats. Even the agent was very surprised when they read what they were allowed to sell to.
I guess a lot of GPU usage to go from PP to J and as long as J load is light ... UA will oversell. 20 oversell a lot, however.
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Old Nov 27, 19, 8:55 pm
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Originally Posted by bioyuki View Post
So is it routine for UA to oversell PP given they know they'll be upgrades to J? I was very surprised when an agent told me yesterday when I was upfareing to PP, that for the 77W flight (24 seats available), there were 33 seats sold, and the system would allow them to sell up to 43 seats. Even the agent was very surprised when they read what they were allowed to sell to.
Seems like they are very willing to oversell PP when there's room in J. I was just looking at TPE-SFO on December 8 as an example. PP is showing Full via the app with every seat selected, the upgrade list for J shows 3 blocked (presumably due to PP oversell), and PP is still O9ON9A9R4, so presumably they're willing to oversell PP by at least another 9 seats.
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Old Nov 27, 19, 8:59 pm
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Yes, UA would much rather oversell PP than clear upgrades from Y or let the seats go to NRSA.

There seems to be quite a bit of demand for the PP seats.
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Old Nov 27, 19, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by gcashin View Post
Seems like they are very willing to oversell PP when there's room in J. I was just looking at TPE-SFO on December 8 as an example. PP is showing Full via the app with every seat selected, the upgrade list for J shows 3 blocked (presumably due to PP oversell), and PP is still O9ON9A9R4, so presumably they're willing to oversell PP by at least another 9 seats.
I just looked for my specific flight (also TPE-SFO) and I see 36 (+9 blocked) for J, which corresponds exactly to how much the agent told me O was oversold by. Crazy it's still showing O9 ON9 A9 R6 and they're selling bottom barrel R fares.

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Yes, UA would much rather oversell PP than clear upgrades from Y or let the seats go to NRSA.

There seems to be quite a bit of demand for the PP seats.
So is the strategy then to book a R fare vs a GPU eligible Y fare (which seem to be similarly priced at least on the routes I've been searching)? That way you have better upgrade chances and if it doesn't clear you're at least in PP vs Economy?
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Old Nov 27, 19, 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by bioyuki View Post
So is the strategy then to book a R fare vs a GPU eligible Y fare (which seem to be similarly priced at least on the routes I've been searching)? That way you have better upgrade chances and if it doesn't clear you're at least in PP vs Economy?
Always. The upgrade odds are considerably better. The trick is finding flights with R inventory.
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Old Nov 28, 19, 12:19 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Always. The upgrade odds are considerably better. The trick is finding flights with R inventory.
I agree, but several of the SFO-TPE flights I've been looking at only have O and A fare PE for sale. (I can no longer find PZ space on this route, except many months out.) I'm amazed folks are willing to pay for these expensive tix. R is around $500 more than discount economy, and that is a reasonable surcharge for UA's PE product IMO. I'm not interested in paying for O or A just to improve my upgrade chances.
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Old Nov 28, 19, 12:20 am
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In the final hours, you can pull up the flight status and look at the standby and upgrade lists. It's kind of weird to see that a good fraction of the standby list is the same set of people on the upgrade list, and in the same pecking order. You can look at the seat map, and quickly determine how many on those lists will move up. It always means that many E+ seats suddenly get vacated at the time of boarding.
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