LHR - ORD High J dont understand the upgrades

Old Aug 19, 19, 10:39 am
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LHR - ORD High J dont understand the upgrades

Hi, On Friday Aug 23 flight UA959 the plane is a reconfigured High J with the 46 Polaris seats. I have been watching seating and fares pretty regularly thinking an upgrade would come down in price. Today i see it skyrocketed from around 800 to 6000. I don't understand. The business class seatmap shows 28 open seats. I see a ton of fares open in expert mode (still trying to understand this better.) It doesn't make any sense that this would skyrocket in price. Any thoughts (BTW, I am very excited that i have a seat in the PE section that was sold as E+)
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Old Aug 19, 19, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by billchristoff View Post
Hi, On Friday Aug 23 flight UA959 the plane is a reconfigured High J with the 46 Polaris seats. I have been watching seating and fares pretty regularly thinking an upgrade would come down in price. Today i see it skyrocketed from around 800 to 6000. I don't understand. The business class seatmap shows 28 open seats. I see a ton of fares open in expert mode (still trying to understand this better.) It doesn't make any sense that this would skyrocket in price. Any thoughts (BTW, I am very excited that i have a seat in the PE section that was sold as E+)
Once in a blue moon you see that. I think itís a software error but who knows. I have an ORD-PSP and a PSP-ORD flight in November booked in Y. Both are showing in excess of $3,900 to upgrade in the app. Mind you, you can buy the r/t in J for $2,500. Itís got to be a software error.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by AirbusFan2B View Post


Once in a blue moon you see that. I think itís a software error but who knows. I have an ORD-PSP and a PSP-ORD flight in November booked in Y. Both are showing in excess of $3,900 to upgrade in the app. Mind you, you can buy the r/t in J for $2,500. Itís got to be a software error.
This is my guess too. After booking a NRT flight I was offered to buy up to J for $19,000. LOL.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 11:30 am
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Maybe UA doesnít want last-minute buyers in on a cheap buy up from a coach fare Instead of bending Ďem over for a last minute J fare. I assume buy up price will plummet by check in if cabin still undersold.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 11:47 am
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Probably also holding the last seats until last minute in case of an equipment swap... The upgrade price is based on shown inventory.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 1:08 pm
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Quite frequently, the upfares do not seem to be rationally priced. They can also wildly fluctuate and continue to do so before departure.

While the seat map is a good indicator of flight loads, there are people who do not select seats, although that's much more common in coach. The flight is currently showing available fare classes J9 JN9 C9 D9 Z9 ZN9 P9 (which means they will sell at least 9 business seats) and PN0 PZ0 (which means no seats are available for upgrades using certificates or miles (+ co-pay)).

It's highly likely the price will return to a more rational amount, especially when time for check-in.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by FlytheTail View Post
It's highly likely the price will return to a more rational amount, especially when time for check-in.
The upgrade prices do seem to be loosely tied to inventory; it's possible that this flight was previously PN > 0, so the upgrade price spiked. Mostly, though, I don't bother trying to understand UA's upgrade pricing strategy. That way lies madness.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
The upgrade prices do seem to be loosely tied to inventory; it's possible that this flight was previously PN > 0, so the upgrade price spiked. Mostly, though, I don't bother trying to understand UA's upgrade pricing strategy. That way lies madness.
"Loosely" indeed, but the pricing variance is quite extreme. Case in point: I have a flight next month ORD-SFO. A week ago it showed J=6 and I could upgrade for $249. It's now J=4 and the upgrade price is $3,332. A one way fare in J for that same flight is $2,157. So while it is tied to inventory, the increase seems absurd.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by FlytheTail View Post
"Loosely" indeed, but the pricing variance is quite extreme. Case in point: I have a flight next month ORD-SFO. A week ago it showed J=6 and I could upgrade for $249. It's now J=4 and the upgrade price is $3,332. A one way fare in J for that same flight is $2,157.
I don't think it's based on the J inventory, but rather the lowest open bucket. (And, again, loosely ). So, if it were J6 .. PZ6, that'd (probably) be a lower offer than J6 .. PZ0.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 2:47 pm
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Doesn't UA always let you buy an upgrade by paying the fare difference? If UA is still selling cheaper business class fares, it should be possible to upgrade by that method, hopefully with no argument about waiving any change fees.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Doesn't UA always let you buy an upgrade by paying the fare difference?
Yes.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 2:59 pm
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IME, it's always tied to P/C/D/J bucket availability. Makes no sense in the OP's example if they are bracing for oversells in Y and op-ups to J. But probably don't want to sell any more seats on the flight if Y is sufficiently overbooked. UA is really trying hard to avoid IDBs...
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Old Aug 19, 19, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by billchristoff View Post
The business class seatmap shows 28 open seats. I see a ton of fares open in expert mode (still trying to understand this better.)
Do you actually mean fares, or do you mean booking class availability? The latter is necessary but not adequate, you'd also need an eligible fare to compute the differential from. The cheaper fares may have AP requirements so they're not available.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 8:03 pm
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My experience with the really insane upgrade offers has been that they're screwing up and offering it for the fare difference between whatever Y fare was booked and full F/J fares, even when there are discount (e.g. C/D/Z/P) available for significantly less. And yes, I've had the offer of an insane, 5-figure upfare; for me, it was on a TATL booked in P, when they were selling A (this was when A was a discount F bucket), IAD-CDG, for $16k or so. LOL at that!
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Old Aug 20, 19, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by UAL250 View Post
This is my guess too. After booking a NRT flight I was offered to buy up to J for $19,000. LOL.
That's nothing. I had the option of upgrading my daughter TXL-EWR a few months ago from a W fare (sitting in E+) to Polaris for $28,500, with three weeks to go before the flight.
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