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Why the Delayed Processing of Upgrades if there are no-shows?

Why the Delayed Processing of Upgrades if there are no-shows?

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Old May 15, 19, 2:15 pm
  #1  
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Why the Delayed Processing of Upgrades if there are no-shows?

Forgive my ignorance if this has been explained before but it happens to me all the time where I am number 1 or 2 on the upgrade list and there are clearly more than that not checked in as boarding starts (but booked full). Why do they wait for you to get all the way on-board, and then upgrade you...which then you have to try move your carry-on (or fight your way back to get it upon arrival)? You canít even check in if you havenít already after boarding has started (in my past experience), so why wouldnít they just clear the open spots of those who are not checked in and do the upgrades at boarding, vs the whole chaos of boarding and moving seats?
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Old May 15, 19, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by rickwestrate View Post
You canít even check in if you havenít already after boarding has started
Yes, you can, and thus you've answered your own question.
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Old May 15, 19, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by rickwestrate View Post
Forgive my ignorance if this has been explained before but it happens to me all the time where I am number 1 or 2 on the upgrade list and there are clearly more than that not checked in as boarding starts (but booked full). Why do they wait for you to get all the way on-board, and then upgrade you...which then you have to try move your carry-on (or fight your way back to get it upon arrival)? You can’t even check in if you haven’t already after boarding has started (in my past experience), so why wouldn’t they just clear the open spots of those who are not checked in and do the upgrades at boarding, vs the whole chaos of boarding and moving seats?
Depending on the flight, check-in can be as late as T-30 and boarding can start at T-40, T-45. If you have bags, check-in cutoff is earlier but no way for the GA to know that.

Additionally, those on connecting flights, UA trends to get a little extra to get to the gate and for a domestic flight will wait to closer to T-15 before taking and re-assigning the seat. Again well after boarding.

How often does this happen to you -- 50%, 20%, 10%, 5%, ... of your flights ??? upgraded after seated in economy?
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 15, 19 at 2:33 pm Reason: question
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Old May 15, 19, 2:32 pm
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One can certainly decline an upgrade if the hassle of changing seats is just too overwhelming. The next person on the list might be happier to take on the daunting challenge.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; May 15, 19 at 2:47 pm
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Old May 15, 19, 2:33 pm
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I've SDC'd onto a flight on a first class ticket at T-20 before. I'm sure I'm not the only one--it's a great way to cut down a long connection when your arriving flight is early.
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Old May 15, 19, 2:43 pm
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The GAs are often quite busy in the last 45 minutes before departure, and clearing your upgrade may not be their #1 priority.
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Old May 15, 19, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
One can certainly decline an upgrade if the hassle of changing seats is just too overwhelming. The next person on the list might be happier to take on the daunting challenge.
LOL, you took the words from my mouth/keyboard! I can't even count how many times this has happened to me. The carry on thing can be an issue I guess but I typically have minimal carry on with me.
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Old May 15, 19, 6:49 pm
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The solution is to simply flag OP's account with a note not to UG him after boarding. Just go directly to the next person on the list.
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Old May 16, 19, 3:47 am
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I am going to side with the OP on this one. A lot of the time, it just seems to slip the GAs mind.

I have witnessed it many times, when the GA is doing nothing for 5 minutes prior to the start of boarding and still doesn't clear upgrades.

Assuming GA is not busy, good idea to just go up and say something like "I am 1st on your upgrade list. Would it be easier for you if I stay in the gate area instead of boarding right away?"

9.5 times out of 10, they will run the upgrade list and give you the new boarding pass right then.
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Old May 16, 19, 4:59 am
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
I am going to side with the OP on this one. A lot of the time, it just seems to slip the GAs mind.

I have witnessed it many times, when the GA is doing nothing for 5 minutes prior to the start of boarding and still doesn't clear upgrades.

Assuming GA is not busy, good idea to just go up and say something like "I am 1st on your upgrade list. Would it be easier for you if I stay in the gate area instead of boarding right away?"

9.5 times out of 10, they will run the upgrade list and give you the new boarding pass right then.
The other option for the brave is to just stow bags in F upon boarding despite the terrible initial optics of doing so. I admit I have done that a couple times in this identical situation. Only when I was 99% sure how it would play out, which it of course did. An FA may scuttle such a plan, but I had my speech rehearsed lol. I know one could argue that this means a paying F customer then has a problem, but that’s now how it plays out usually - especially when you consider that the last row of F bags can easily spill into the first row of Y as needed.

I have also declined the upgrade a couple times on ~1hr flights if the overhead issue just wasn’t worth dealing with.

Last edited by HeadInTheClouds; May 16, 19 at 5:06 am
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Old May 16, 19, 5:14 am
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Yet another option is not to UG people who have boarded. Your option is to wait at the gate until F is boarded full and then board. Fishing people upstream at the end of the boarding process can be disruptive and cause delays.

I don't believe that many GA's forget to process UG's and, if they do, are reminded of the issue quite vociferously. But, GA's have many tasks to perform and sometimes those can override UG's as the latter are not a priority when compared to other issues which sometimes arise.

However, this should be a matter of uniform policy so that both passenger and GA expectations are the same and are understood.
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Old May 16, 19, 8:48 am
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Do they come find you at your seat to tell you you've been upgraded, or do you get a notification on the UA App?
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Old May 16, 19, 8:55 am
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If I had a dollar for the amount of times I was #1 on the list, anticipating a battlefield UG, only to have the door close with me still in the back, well...

In those rare cases that I'm pretty certain I'll clear a battlefield UG after boarding, I'll just stow my bag over the bulkhead in Y if I'm not already sitting there. If/when I clear, I'll move the bag to empty space in F (if same exists) or leave it, able to retrieve it without much trouble on arrival.
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Old May 16, 19, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Yet another option is not to UG people who have boarded. Your option is to wait at the gate until F is boarded full and then board. Fishing people upstream at the end of the boarding process can be disruptive and cause delays.

I don't believe that many GA's forget to process UG's and, if they do, are reminded of the issue quite vociferously. But, GA's have many tasks to perform and sometimes those can override UG's as the latter are not a priority when compared to other issues which sometimes arise.

However, this should be a matter of uniform policy so that both passenger and GA expectations are the same and are understood.
I agree that this is an option, but it's not an option I would be in favor of. You'd be stuck deciding between getting decent carry-on stowage or the likely-to-clear upgrade. Seems like the current (generally-followed) process of upgrading people right before the door closes works best.

Regarding the OP's question -- I do agree that it would be nice if they processed upgrades right at the check-in cut-off, but I understand that due to how the timing works out, that this could be difficult.
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Old May 16, 19, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by SwaBiz View Post
Do they come find you at your seat to tell you you've been upgraded, or do you get a notification on the UA App?
Generally, both.
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