Logic behind delaying upgrades to the gate?

Old Sep 12, 19, 12:30 pm
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Logic behind delaying upgrades to the gate?

Hi there!

I'm a 1K who's booked on a flight tomorrow. I just checked in, and looking on the upgrade list, only 4/12 seats in first class are booked.

Why does United wait so long to confirm upgrades? It doesn't seem likely that they'll get 8 more first class bookings on this route in the next day?
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Old Sep 12, 19, 12:33 pm
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Without knowing the route, are IROPs perhaps due to weather likely?
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Old Sep 12, 19, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by LXFlyer View Post
Hi there!

I'm a 1K who's booked on a flight tomorrow. I just checked in, and looking on the upgrade list, only 4/12 seats in first class are booked.

Why does United wait so long to confirm upgrades? It doesn't seem likely that they'll get 8 more first class bookings on this route in the next day?
If your flight is on a UAX ERJ-175, this has been my experience this year as well. There was a discussion about it quite recently (in the past two or three months) but I cannot remember the thread.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by LXFlyer View Post

I'm a 1K who's booked on a flight tomorrow. I just checked in, and looking on the upgrade list, only 4/12 seats in first class are booked.

Why does United wait so long to confirm upgrades? It doesn't seem likely that they'll get 8 more first class bookings on this route in the next day?
They are exhausting all options to sell those seats - whether it be outright sale, a buyup from economy, or even an award mileage sale.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 12:38 pm
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$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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Old Sep 12, 19, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by StuckinITH View Post
If your flight is on a UAX ERJ-175...
Observation of ample seat availability and no/few upgrades inside T-24 is not aircraft type limited.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:13 pm
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Flipped around, what's the logic of doing it any earlier than at the gate (or perhaps a few hours out)? Yeah, I get that elites would prefer to know ASAP, but in the end how much do you distinguish between an upgrade at T-48 and an upgrade at the gate? One glass of cheap wine and it's irrelevant.

And while 4/12 is extreme, I do really wonder why they tend to go to 10/12 at T-24 in a lot of cases and 11/12 at T-3, if not 12/12. Any time there are irrops or even just a misconnect it has the potential to create a further mess with downgrades and such (and I'd really not want to lose an upgrade where I get some E- middle instead of an E+ aisle desirable seat.)
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:22 pm
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Like pretty much all the changes we don't like, this is all about money. Specifically, selling the seats rather than upgrading elites.
Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
I get that elites would prefer to know ASAP, but in the end how much do you distinguish between an upgrade at T-48 and an upgrade at the gate?
That's not the comparison. It's how much do you distinguish between upgrade in advance and no upgrade at all? Because that's often the practical effect.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by StuckinITH View Post
If your flight is on a UAX ERJ-175, this has been my experience this year as well. There was a discussion about it quite recently (in the past two or three months) but I cannot remember the thread.
Not been my experience with the ERJ-175. My last two flights on one of those, BZN-LAX, LAX-SBA, I cleared at exactly the 48 hour Gold upgrade window. Those were in July and August, respectively.

So I think it depends a lot on the route.

Last edited by tstauck; Sep 12, 19 at 3:58 pm Reason: typo
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:37 pm
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OP has not told us what type of flight, how he is supporting the UG (or whether it is a freebie), and how he knows how many seats are for sale.

But, for whatever reason, if there are any seats available and UA believes that it can either sell them or that it will need them to acomomodate paid F in IRROPS, why on earth would it do these UG's before the gate?

There is, in fact, a compelling argument not to do any freebies before the gate because if they can be sold that is better than handing them out.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by LXFlyer View Post
....
Why does United wait so long to confirm upgrades? ....
Then previously there was
Frustrated by the CPU sweeps -- UA should upgrade everyone at the gate
short notice First class
Filling the F cabin too early?
United favors upgrades over paid first?

It does seem UA can not get a happy medium

But there are last-minute ticket buyers, UA knows that history better than we do
plus UA is trying to monetize / sell upgrades
and irrops protection can be a factor

But there are clear competing forces.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by LXFlyer View Post
Hi there!

I'm a 1K who's booked on a flight tomorrow. I just checked in, and looking on the upgrade list, only 4/12 seats in first class are booked.

Why does United wait so long to confirm upgrades? It doesn't seem likely that they'll get 8 more first class bookings on this route in the next day?
Don't even get me started on this. I have had nearly all of my upgrades this year at the gate with several even after boarding . I have posted about this several times this year. I would add that the majority of these are instrument upgrades as well. The answer is fairly simple, UA is selling the tickets in anyway they can down to the wire. TODs, mileage awards, walk up F, gate sales, etc.... While frustrating for me it is what it is. Unfortunately, and not to be flippant, but get used to it.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:41 pm
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I have seen a number of people complain on FT about the inability to purchase F a couple of days out as no F seats are available.

If I were United I would be wanting to monetize outright sale of F seats.

Yes, elites would like to know they are going to get the upgrade but I believe elites would be far less concerned if United stopped the cheap TODs which is ar the expense of their elites.

As a 1K member I understand United is in the business of making money and I have no issue with receiving my upgrade close to boarding or at time of boarding. My gripe is the cheap upfare available to non elites - that just "cheapens" the experience for everyone and actually makes it some ways more desirable to be a non elite flyer....
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
That's not the comparison. It's how much do you distinguish between upgrade in advance and no upgrade at all? Because that's often the practical effect.
If I don't get the upgrade because someone on paid F had to switch flights I'm not troubled by the practical effect. If I don't get the upgrade because of a TOD offer, well, that's frustrating because I'd rather UA not monetize things to others they had given me for free. But that's just the same debate over that issue we've been having.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Flipped around, what's the logic of doing it any earlier than at the gate (or perhaps a few hours out)? Yeah, I get that elites would prefer to know ASAP, but in the end how much do you distinguish between an upgrade at T-48 and an upgrade at the gate? One glass of cheap wine and it's irrelevant.
Oh, I didn't realize UA didn't serve food in first-class. In some other airlines when you get upgraded you get a meal, so you don't have to worry about eating beforehand.
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