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What time should the battlefield upgrade list be cleared?

What time should the battlefield upgrade list be cleared?

Old Apr 29, 19, 5:25 am
  #1  
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What time should the battlefield upgrade list be cleared?

My understanding is that it should be at T-30...aka when check in closed but I have increasingly seen it done when boarding is beginning.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 6:12 am
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Is there actually a rule on specific timing? I don't know that there is.

But generally I think the working method is to clear the waitlist into open seats about 5 minutes before boarding, and then to do on board upgrades to fill any misconnected seats. Of course some agents do things differently.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 6:36 am
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Yesterday, I was taking a flight on an EMB-175 from EWR. There were two unbooked FC seats and I was first on the SB list. The GA didn't clear the list before starting pre-boarding. When she called 1K's, I walked up to the BP reader and asked the GA if she was planning to clear the waitlist. She confirmed I was first on the list and told me to go ahead and scan my Y BP and then take one of the open FC seats. I did, and kept refreshing the upgrade list on the app until finally I saw my name clear about 10 minutes later.

Theoretically, someone could have done a TOD purchase of that seat before the FA got to clearing the list, which would have made things interesting. I'm with the others who say the list should be cleared at least 5 minutes before pre-boarding.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 6:44 am
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Originally Posted by tarheelnj View Post
Yesterday, I was taking a flight on an EMB-175 from EWR. There were two unbooked FC seats and I was first on the SB list. The GA didn't clear the list before starting pre-boarding. When she called 1K's, I walked up to the BP reader and asked the GA if she was planning to clear the waitlist. She confirmed I was first on the list and told me to go ahead and scan my Y BP and then take one of the open FC seats. I did, and kept refreshing the upgrade list on the app until finally I saw my name clear about 10 minutes later.

Theoretically, someone could have done a TOD purchase of that seat before the FA got to clearing the list, which would have made things interesting. I'm with the others who say the list should be cleared at least 5 minutes before pre-boarding.
Similar thing happened to me last year on a 175. 4 open FC seats when they called preboarding. Myself & another 1K asked the GA when the were going to clear the upgrade list since we were both sitting @ the top of the list. They had forgotten and cleared us right away. The interesting thing was that they must have panicked and pushed the wrong buttons. I was cleared into C instead of PZ for that segment and was able to SDC my next segment into C from an economy fare
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Old Apr 29, 19, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Is there actually a rule on specific timing? I don't know that there is.
Agree. If there are unsold seats, they can theoretically clear them any time. But if they're waiting for misconnects, they have to close the flight, and that's T-15 on domestic. In any event, much depends on the GAs' workload.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 8:06 am
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"Standard" policy AFAIK is to clear into unsold seats any time after T-60 (when the flight is usually removed from sale), and then again after T-15 when no-shows are offloaded. (Same goes for the standby list.)

However, reality is that GAs tend to be very busy and they do it when they get around to it.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
"Standard" policy AFAIK is to clear into unsold seats any time after T-60 (when the flight is usually removed from sale), and then again after T-15 when no-shows are offloaded. (Same goes for the standby list.)

However, reality is that GAs tend to be very busy and they do it when they get around to it.
exactly. I don’t necessarily know that I want it to be a hard and fast rule, either. There’s plenty of downside to that, too.

If a GA has a hard timer to hit for clearing upgrades, they’d stop processing other, more urgent things.

Every flight is unique and there’s always some situation or another to be dealt with. Anything from misconnects to standbys to - yes - passengers with a car seat for the Polaris cabin that can’t be used because the seat angle of the Polaris seats is beyond maximum allowable by the FAA for car seats.

(I actually got to witness this one 2 weeks ago. Mom wouldn’t let them send the car seat to the cargo hold, because “you’re going to break it!!” That was fun.)

anyway - my point is that, as much as we all enjoy upgrades, sometimes there are more pressing things that a GA has to deal with. I’d rather they have the latitude to do so, than give them yet another hard and fast clock. Too many of those are what create automatons and remove the creativity of the employee (which is, after all, what all of us working folk actually crave — being allowed to do our jobs the best way we know how.)
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Old Apr 29, 19, 8:23 am
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Afterthought add-on: at outstation airports with contract staff working multiple airlines, there may be more significant deviations from the norm, such as asking prospective upgradees to wait to board (a la DL).
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Old Apr 29, 19, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
"Standard" policy AFAIK is to clear into unsold seats any time after T-60 (when the flight is usually removed from sale), and then again after T-15 when no-shows are offloaded. (Same goes for the standby list.)
I believe it's actually T-30, not T-60, for a domestic flight. That's also when they would offload passengers who failed to check-in.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I believe it's actually T-30, not T-60, for a domestic flight. That's also when they would offload passengers who failed to check-in.
That looks right - I can still buy a ticket on an SFO-LAX leaving in 32 minutes. I probably have seen GAs do it at 45 or 55 when they show up to the podium, but that just goes to show how much it's based on whatever order the GA gets to things.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 10:24 am
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It makes little sense to clear the list significantly before boarding begins and clearing misconnects really should not occur before T-15 (domestic). But, I'm not aware of a policy.

Whether your UG clears at T-35 or T-45 does not affect much if anything for the upgraded passenger. But, disappointing a last minute change or SDC for a paid F passenger who wants to make a change hurts the brand. Playing games with likely misconnects who make it to the gate is also a problem for those misconnects and, in the case of inbound connections from the EU, creates all kinds of compensation and duty of care issues.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It makes little sense to clear the list significantly before boarding begins and clearing misconnects really should not occur before T-15 (domestic). But, I'm not aware of a policy.

Whether your UG clears at T-35 or T-45 does not affect much if anything for the upgraded passenger. But, disappointing a last minute change or SDC for a paid F passenger who wants to make a change hurts the brand. Playing games with likely misconnects who make it to the gate is also a problem for those misconnects and, in the case of inbound connections from the EU, creates all kinds of compensation and duty of care issues.
I think "open" seats and seats that open because of misconnects should be different. Open seats should be cleared shortly before boarding, although IME that's almost always when I have seen them done. Not great to wait until after boarding has begun because it requires people to move. Misconnects should be offloaded only at the last possible moment for the reasons you state - not sure from operational standpoint when that is, but any upgrades into those seats obviously require a move. I suppose there's a slight challenge that the misconnect could show up in the couple of minutes between when the GA says "seat open" and the person actually hauls up from Y to J/F.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Whether your UG clears at T-35 or T-45 does not affect much if anything for the upgraded passenger. But, disappointing a last minute change or SDC for a paid F passenger who wants to make a change hurts the brand.
As a frequent paid F passenger, meh. How often are you really trying to change on to a flight within 45 minutes of actual departure? I assume the general motivation for clearing upgrades a little earlier is to ensure a timely departure, and I'll trade a few percentage points of D:0 for the one time I try to hop on the earlier flight halfway through boarding and can't because the u/g list was run.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 12:39 pm
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The issue is not how often, but the fuss caused when GA's act too soon.

Simply better to wait until T-14 and have the UG ready to go, than to disappoint a passenger who thought he had an UG or a passenger who paid for F (or was already UG) and ran a 4-minute mile to make the gate cutoff.

This is particularly so in a system where people check in online and thus, AA has no idea whether they are 50 feet away from the gate or home asleep with no intention of flying, until T-15. passes.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
As a frequent paid F passenger, meh. How often are you really trying to change on to a flight within 45 minutes of actual departure? I assume the general motivation for clearing upgrades a little earlier is to ensure a timely departure, and I'll trade a few percentage points of D:0 for the one time I try to hop on the earlier flight halfway through boarding and can't because the u/g list was run.
Often, actually. Many times if I'm on the cusp for making a flight after a client meeting, I'll book the later one and if things work out, get to the airport and SDC to the earlier one. I do it all the time - several times a month, actually.
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