Upgrade options for non-status fliers?

Old Sep 17, 19, 12:55 am
  #1  
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Post Upgrade options for non-status fliers?

I'm looking to get an economy/economy plus ticket from LAX/SFO - SYD in November 2019. Currently the United site is charging 5k+ for an upgrade to business. What are the odds of this upgrade price decreasing closer to the flight date/are there any good ways someone without status on United would be able to get points/find a way to getting a shot at getting an upgrade (via churning points/$, etc.)?
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:21 am
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Upgrade price may get lower. Or not. It might be offered at check-in at a much lower rate. Or not.
If you are a non-Status flyer, is there a reason you want to fly UA?
There are a lot cheaper options to fly business class LAX/SFO-SYD although not as convenient.
If you have time, and like seeing the world, https://www.google.com/flights shows a return ticket in business class for ~US$3500 with Xiamen Airlines, with some interesting (and long) connections on the way and on the return.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 6:46 am
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UA Upsell Offers to Business/First/PP at Purchase and Day of Departure (TOD)
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Old Sep 17, 19, 7:44 am
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find a friend with 1K status and ask him/her to upgrade you.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 8:43 am
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There is no way of predicting what may happen to the price of an UG. It may go up or down and it may become unavailable if the J cabin sells out.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 8:47 am
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From SFO to SYD I don’t see a cheap J seat in your future on UA. I’m pretty sure at the SFO hub these seats are largely filled with paying J pax.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
From SFO to SYD I don’t see a cheap J seat in your future on UA. I’m pretty sure at the SFO hub these seats are largely filled with paying J pax.
Which will also put a friend's GPU into the likely worthless column as OP would be at the bottom of the upgrade list as a non-status pax flying on someone else's GPU.

TPAC is one place where many employers which do not generally pay for J, will do so.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Which will also put a friend's GPU into the likely worthless column as OP would be at the bottom of the upgrade list as a non-status pax flying on someone else's GPU.
I thought that was the policy as well, but my friend (no status) was flying DEN-DFW last night using a RPU from his 1K family member. He was #2 on the upgrade list, with around 30 people total on the list.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
I thought that was the policy as well, but my friend (no status) was flying DEN-DFW last night using a RPU from his 1K family member. He was #2 on the upgrade list, with around 30 people total on the list.
May be RPU comes before CPU regardless of status????
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Old Sep 17, 19, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by CAPT Tee View Post
May be RPU comes before CPU regardless of status????
That actually makes sense. I wouldn't normally expect a 1K to waste a RPU on such a short flight. In my friends case, his brother has no need for RPU's as he lives out of the country, hence he gives them away each year.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 10:19 am
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Supported UG's come before the freebies. On the TPAC, that is not an issue as no CPU's.

Once upon a time, GPU's did inherit their owner's status and thus a GPU from a GS was a precious thing. No longer.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
That actually makes sense. I wouldn't normally expect a 1K to waste a RPU on such a short flight. In my friends case, his brother has no need for RPU's as he lives out of the country, hence he gives them away each year.
As above, any instrument upgrade trumps a CPU. Also, and this is from personal experience, I have thrown RPU/GPUs at every flight I booked over the last several years as between my wife and I we were burning them at the end of the year unused. I constantly threw them at SFO-LAX and you would be surprised how often I didn't even clear them as a 1K. SFO-LAS was another common one, also only occasionally clearing it. The only way a gifted instrument carriers the status of the donar of the instrument is if he/she is flying with the person (same PNR helps but isn't neccessary).

Last edited by nomad420; Sep 17, 19 at 10:59 am
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Old Sep 17, 19, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by tshirt View Post
find a friend with 1K status and ask him/her to upgrade you.
Alas only with 'W' or higher
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Supported UG's come before the freebies. On the TPAC, that is not an issue as no CPU's.

Once upon a time, GPU's did inherit their owner's status and thus a GPU from a GS was a precious thing. No longer.
This is not quite true, as a GS GPU still clears into PN instead of PZ, regardless of the status of the passenger using it.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:42 pm
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thanks all! I'll likely pay for economy plus now and hope there's some good day of departure offers if they're available.
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