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Bought a ticket with no seats available until check-in....should I upgrade?

Bought a ticket with no seats available until check-in....should I upgrade?

Old Oct 28, 19, 1:47 pm
  #1  
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Bought a ticket with no seats available until check-in....should I upgrade?

Title says it all. I just got a ticket for UA17 LHR-EWR on Wednesday in economy and there are currently no seats available in economy. I am being offered a $249 upgrade to Premium Plus. I'm a UA Silver and on my flight on this route I got a free upgrade to Polaris (but that was before the seatmap officially changed). So, should I pay for this upgrade or do I have any chance of getting a free upgrade if the flight is oversold?

I'd rather pay for an upgrade than end up in a middle seat, but I'd rather get a free upgrade than a paid one.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by giblet View Post
Title says it all. I just got a ticket for UA17 LHR-EWR on Wednesday in economy and there are currently no seats available in economy. I am being offered a $249 upgrade to Premium Plus. I'm a UA Silver and on my flight on this route I got a free upgrade to Polaris (but that was before the seatmap officially changed). So, should I pay for this upgrade or do I have any chance of getting a free upgrade if the flight is oversold?

I'd rather pay for an upgrade than end up in a middle seat, but I'd rather get a free upgrade than a paid one.
It is a daytime flight (6-7 hours?). The economy seat on B767 is not too bad (only one middle seat in a row). I would gamble it. OP should check in at exactly T-24 h and monitor the seat map every few minutes. E+ seats may open up at T-24h. Op upgrade for a Silver is not likely to happen very often. Since OP got it once, the odd would be against OP the second time around.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 2:07 pm
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For $249 for Premium Plus I would play safe. With my luck they would offer some middle seat guy the upgrade to J and I would be stuck in the middle...
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Old Oct 28, 19, 2:08 pm
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It's over by 5 into the J cabin and clearly overbooked in Y by at least that much (probably more given the slack in PE). However, with no available E+ seats it feels like there are going to be enough Gold and higher UA elites who will get the op-up before you. I would say your odds of an E+ seat are decent (also currently 8 blocked in E+, if you check in promptly you should be able to snag them) but an op-up is not likely as a Silver.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
It's over by 5 into the J cabin and clearly overbooked in Y by at least that much (probably more given the slack in PE). However, with no available E+ seats it feels like there are going to be enough Gold and higher UA elites who will get the op-up before you. I would say your odds of an E+ seat are decent (also currently 8 blocked in E+, if you check in promptly you should be able to snag them) but an op-up is not likely as a Silver.
I guess the question is, should I wait 14 hours to see what my seats options are (when I can check in) before deciding? Or will the PE seats will be gone by then?
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Old Oct 28, 19, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by giblet View Post
I guess the question is, should I wait 14 hours to see what my seats options are (when I can check in) before deciding? Or will the PE seats will be gone by then?
Depends a lot on how much you value the various options. There is a risk the PE buyup could disappear.

Personally I would take the buyup to PE but that's a little disingenuous since I would not have booked Y in the first place

I would rate you at 80% to get a non-middle E+ seat in one of the two-blocks if you are able to check in promptly, and maybe 35% otherwise. Op-up odds are very small.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Depends a lot on how much you value the various options. There is a risk the PE buyup could disappear.

Personally I would take the buyup to PE but that's a little disingenuous since I would not have booked Y in the first place

I would rate you at 80% to get a non-middle E+ seat in one of the two-blocks if you are able to check in promptly, and maybe 35% otherwise. Op-up odds are very small.
For $249 I'd take the buyup if it were me. If nothing else, it means you don't have to check for newly available seats every few minutes in the app from T-24. Because all economy seats are taken, no silvers can move to E+ (including you).

What's likely to happen is they'll process some upgrades to Polaris, and then maybe to Premium Plus, which will open some E+ seats, but who knows which ones and whether you'll be able to snag them. The good thing is on the 767 there's only 1 bad seat per row (4 aisles, 2 windows) so your chances are decent you'll end up in something not horrible.

I'd look at the $249 as piece of mind plus a marginally more comfortable seat that you can choose. Whether that's of sufficient value to you I don't know.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 3:57 pm
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Thanks for the advice. I purchased the upgrade. I got to fly in one of these seats when they were still part of economy and they are pretty nice. On a totally full flight I *guess* they are worth $249.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 4:00 pm
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I would buy up for that...
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Old Oct 28, 19, 4:16 pm
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The other thing about buying up is it probably puts you pretty high up on the list for op-ups into J as well. Probably not far enough (if there are 5 higher-status paid PE pax) but PE seems relatively lightly booked so who knows.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
The other thing about buying up is it probably puts you pretty high up on the list for op-ups into J as well. Probably not far enough (if there are 5 higher-status paid PE pax) but PE seems relatively lightly booked so who knows.
This is the other thing to consider. OP's op-up came before PE was a separate cabin. Now that it is, two things have happened: (a) they've right-sized the economy sales, so they won't oversell by as much, and (b) it's introduced PE passengers, all of whom would be op-upped to J before any Y passenger would. OP may have gotten the PE op-up for free; for $249, it's a guarantee of a PE seat and the possibility (albeit slight) of an op-up to J.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 4:20 pm
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Count me in as someone who thinks it's worth it. E+ to PE? Maybe not. But regular E to PE? Definitely.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by iapetus View Post
Count me in as someone who thinks it's worth it. E+ to PE? Maybe not. But regular E to PE? Definitely.
But this is the question, because I'm almost guaranteed E+ at check-in. Anyway, I upgraded and I'm happy I did because I'm traveling for an unpleasant reason so might as well make the trip slightly more bearable.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by giblet View Post
But this is the question, because I'm almost guaranteed E+ at check-in. Anyway, I upgraded and I'm happy I did because I'm traveling for an unpleasant reason so might as well make the trip slightly more bearable.
Count me in the group who would've done as you did and took the buyup to PE. I think for $35+/- an hour that's worth it for the better seat, legroom, and you might even get better service... well scratch that last one.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by giblet View Post
But this is the question, because I'm almost guaranteed E+ at check-in.
Hmm ... it's all academic now, but are you sure about that? It looks to me as though all E+ (and E) seats are currently spoken for. It's not hard for me to imagine a scenario by which that doesn't effectively change. Yes, there is currently upgrade space available, and you could theoretically snag a vacated E+ seat when someone gets upgraded. But your timing has to be just right ... relative to the upgrades happening; there might still be no E+ space available when you check in. And who knows when the upgrades will process?
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