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UA SFO-AMS Half flight empty but no Business Saver

UA SFO-AMS Half flight empty but no Business Saver

Old May 2, 19, 9:12 am
  #1  
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UA SFO-AMS Half flight empty but no Business Saver

This is puzzling. I know UA often waits to open business saver to the last minute so I was watching this flight. It's still half empty in J class. At this point, pretty clear there is no way these seats will fill by the flight this afternoon yet not even one saver spot. Is this a glitch or something?

gadgetfreaky is offline  
Old May 2, 19, 9:42 am
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Not particularly unusual. Frustrating, yes, especially for all those upgraders in E+ ready for a seat in business.

If you want J class, I suggest going to the airport and getting ready to buy it at about T-2.
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Old May 2, 19, 9:47 am
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Not glitchy, just revenue management.

They might have some track record of selling some last minute tickets for this route, and would be worried about cannibalizing those sales if they have award inventory available.

If I needed to fly SFO to AMS tonight, and were responsible for my own travel $s, you bet I would be checking to see if I can burn miles instead of dollars for this one.
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Old May 2, 19, 9:57 am
  #4  
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It's a big change from say five years ago, but not at all unusual now.

Anyone who is waitlisted for an upgrade or for I space should clear into empty seats.

There are currently 17 NRSA on the business class waitlist, presumably most or all of them will wind up riding up front.
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Old May 2, 19, 11:00 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
It's a big change from say five years ago, but not at all unusual now.

Anyone who is waitlisted for an upgrade or for I space should clear into empty seats.

There are currently 17 NRSA on the business class waitlist, presumably most or all of them will wind up riding up front.
don't they make more money if they sell miles for it tho?
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Old May 2, 19, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
It's a big change from say five years ago, but not at all unusual now.

Anyone who is waitlisted for an upgrade or for I space should clear into empty seats. ...
One downside of UA waiting until the gate to upgrade to business class, rather than in advance, is loss of use of the Polaris Lounge. Another downside is choice of seat assignment.
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Old May 2, 19, 11:17 am
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It's still half empty in J class.
How do you know that?

Seatmaps are not a very reliable indicator.
I have seen it all. Flight with full seatmaps are empty. Flights with empty seatmap are full.
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warakorn is offline  
Old May 2, 19, 11:18 am
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This seems to be more common now as the last two flights where I was waitlisted with a GPU for an upgrade had 12+ open seats in J and the upgrades did not clear until the agents at the gate cleared the upgrade list right before boarding began. United must be counting on more people buying the upgrades on day of departure and it also limits the number of people in the Polaris lounge.
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Old May 2, 19, 11:19 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Anyone who is waitlisted for an upgrade or for I space should clear into empty seats.
We should be seeing these people on the waitlist shortly shouldn't we? But it's all just non-revs? This is just an indication of how much value UA places in opening up I space. I suspect this is more just redeemed miles value management than revenue management. They want people to redeem for standard awards vs saver awards and one to do that is just to not open saver awards.
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Old May 2, 19, 11:19 am
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At this point, pretty clear there is no way these seats will fill by the flight this afternoon yet not even one saver spot. Is this a glitch or something?
I believe UA will earn more money by not making saver award space available. Why? Passengers, who want to fly Business Class and have the money, are more likely to fork out real cash to buy a J-seat, if saver awards are not available. Same logic is applied by SQ, CX, LH and co.
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Old May 2, 19, 11:31 am
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Sfo-AMS 1Apr

I flew this back on April 1st. Almost the entire front cabin were non revs. It was like a united company party up there, everyone knew each other .
As a 1k on a cheap k fare I was offered a $1345 upgrade one way. No thanks.
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Old May 2, 19, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by gadgetfreaky View Post
don't they make more money if they sell miles for it tho?
Yes, but airlines play the long game. For a given flight, the airline should cut the price of seats down to a minimal amount, reflecting cost of fuel, meal, and ground/air servicing for the added passenger as it gets close to flight time, because better to sell the seat for $50 (or 5000 miles) than have it go empty. But they don't, because to do so would lead potential flyers to hold out on buying tickets until the price decreases, and the airline wouldn't be able extract the maximum revenue from that one flyer who really, really needs to fly to AMS today and will pay $9000 to do it.
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Old May 2, 19, 11:40 am
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It does appear to be all revs because the flight standby and upgrade standby lists are identical - this is indicative of all revs but perhaps no others on the flight have a high enough fare to qualify for an upgrade?
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Old May 2, 19, 11:58 am
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IMO, Belongs here: SFO-AMS go to seasonal even before service starts! & SFO-MUC goes to year round

-RM
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Old May 2, 19, 12:22 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by nigos View Post
It does appear to be all revs because the flight standby and upgrade standby lists are identical - this is indicative of all revs but perhaps no others on the flight have a high enough fare to qualify for an upgrade?
I assume you mean indicative of non-revs. It is rare for a revenue passenger to appear both on the upgrade list and the standby list.

Appears two upgrades have been cleared and two revenue passengers are above the many non-revs.
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