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Advice on upgrading a UA PE/"R" ticket on Lufthansa in 2020

Advice on upgrading a UA PE/"R" ticket on Lufthansa in 2020

Old Nov 12, 19, 10:43 am
  #1  
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Advice on upgrading a UA PE/"R" ticket on Lufthansa in 2020

My family of 4 is flying ORD-FRA-CPT and then JNB-FRA-ORD in August of 2020. We booked fare class "Premium Economy (R)". Would like to look at upgrading my wife and myself to business and then possibly the kids to Premium Economy seats.
We booked through United website so as of now, we don't even have seat assignments. Wife and I are both currently Silver, but will both be Gold by Mid December.

Would GREATLY appreciate any advice on how to best secure an upgrade...do I do it now, or wait until 2020?
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Old Nov 12, 19, 10:46 am
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How were you intending to upgrade? There are not a lot of options to upgrade Lufthansa flights.. the only one that comes to mind for your itinerary would be to bid or pay a cash upgrade directly to LH. Not sure how easy that is to do when booked as a codeshare.

If you are not outside of the 24-hour window, I would strongly recommend canceling and booking these flights directly with Lufthansa. It will make any cash upgrades easier to handle and also you will earn ~3,978 PQP if ticketed by LH which is almost certainly more than you would earn on a United ticket.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
How were you intending to upgrade? There are not a lot of options to upgrade Lufthansa flights.. the only one that comes to mind for your itinerary would be to bid or pay a cash upgrade directly to LH. Not sure how easy that is to do when booked as a codeshare.

If you are not outside of the 24-hour window, I would strongly recommend canceling and booking these flights directly with Lufthansa. It will make any cash upgrades easier to handle and also you will earn ~3,978 PQP if ticketed by LH which is almost certainly more than you would earn on a United ticket.
We are outside the 24 hour window, and for some reason, the price was $1050 booking through United and $1393 if you booked on Lufthansa...so that's why we did it this way.
I was hoping that with the new program we could use miles and/or cash to upgrade.

Also, can I get seat assignments ahead of time? Do I need to call Lufthansa for this?
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Old Nov 12, 19, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by bsdstone View Post
We are outside the 24 hour window, and for some reason, the price was $1050 booking through United and $1393 if you booked on Lufthansa...so that's why we did it this way.
It's likely that deep discount PE wasn't available on the Lufthansa code, but it was available on the UA code.

Originally Posted by bsdstone View Post
I was hoping that with the new program we could use miles and/or cash to upgrade.
You will not be able to use United miles to upgrade this flight.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post


You will not be able to use United miles to upgrade this flight.
Really? I thought that was part of the new "enhancements" coming next year...bummer!
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Old Nov 12, 19, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by bsdstone View Post
Really? I thought that was part of the new "enhancements" coming next year...bummer!
As a Platinum, once they replace RPUs with PlusPoints, you would have had enough points to upgrade one Lufthansa flight segment, if you had booked a qualifying fare. However, the deepest discount Premium Economy fare, R (maps to LH N) is not upgradeable. This hasn't changed from 2019.

The LH N class is also not upgradeable with MileagePlus miles, and that also hasn't changed.

If these flight segments were operated by United, you would have been able to upgrade them, but the United / Lufthansa partnership excludes this lowest PE fare.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by bsdstone View Post
I was hoping that with the new program we could use miles and/or cash to upgrade.
You've purchased a fare class that cannot be upgraded.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by bsdstone View Post
We are outside the 24 hour window, and for some reason, the price was $1050 booking through United and $1393 if you booked on Lufthansa...so that's why we did it this way.
Round-trip? Let me go pick my jaw up off the floor... yeah, that is a reasonable difference. Do note however that you are losing out on something like 3,000 PQP by doing this if you care at all about status qualification next year.

Originally Posted by bsdstone View Post
I was hoping that with the new program we could use miles and/or cash to upgrade.
You need to have at least an LH E (UA A) fare in order to use miles to upgrade, and then would still need to the LH flight code, plus each segment would be a separate request. Not really an economical approach.

Originally Posted by bsdstone View Post
Also, can I get seat assignments ahead of time? Do I need to call Lufthansa for this?
Only with extreme difficultly. LH no longer offers free advance seat reservation (ASR) on any PE fare unless you are LH SEN or LH HON

It will cost EUR 100 per pax per direction to assign seats (45 for TATL and 55 to South Africa), and I don't know the current status on LH being able to process payment on an 016 ticket or assign seats on a codeshare flight.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 12:06 pm
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UGH...looks like it's stowage for my crew! Haha
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Old Nov 12, 19, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by bsdstone View Post
My family of 4 is flying ORD-FRA-CPT and then JNB-FRA-ORD in August of 2020. We booked fare class "Premium Economy (R)". Would like to look at upgrading my wife and myself to business and then possibly the kids to Premium Economy seats.

We booked through United website so as of now, we don't even have seat assignments. Wife and I are both currently Silver, but will both be Gold by Mid December.

Would GREATLY appreciate any advice on how to best secure an upgrade...do I do it now, or wait until 2020?
UA thread---> How to upgrade with UA miles on Star Alliance carriers
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Old Nov 12, 19, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
...LH no longer offers free advance seat reservation (ASR) on any PE fare unless you are LH SEN or LH HON

It will cost EUR 100 per pax per direction to assign seats (45 for TATL and 55 to South Africa), and I don't know the current status on LH being able to process payment on an 016 ticket or assign seats on a codeshare flight.
I was able to get ASR for the PE leg (not the Y leg) on an 016 tocket for the LH flights. I was surprised. I registered with LH and then added the flight. The flight is for next July.

It is the PE fare code where I am unable to use PlusPoints.

I am wondering if creating an account with LH is the key to getting the ASR. I have not registered for Miles & More nor did I pay a fee.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 2:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
I was able to get ASR for the PE leg (not the Y leg) on an 016 tocket for the LH flights. I was surprised. I registered with LH and then added the flight. The flight is for next July.

It is the PE fare code where I am unable to use PlusPoints.

I am wondering if creating an account with LH is the key to getting the ASR. I have not registered for Miles & More nor did I pay a fee.
How far back? Both

ASR Fees for All Economy and Premium Economy Fares on Long Haul

and

https://www.lufthansa.com/us/en/sitz...meconomy-class

would seem to imply otherwise.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 2:31 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
The problem is the OP's fare is not eligible for *A mileage upgrade (or as a PointsPlus upgrade).
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Old Nov 12, 19, 5:03 pm
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R/N fare definitely requires payment for ASR onLH. The charge is $60 for a TATL segment. The last time I flew, the section was half empty. I fly on the same date next summer and I am debating if it is worth the cost. Will need to wait and see. As long as I get a window and aisle, I don't really care where, but it would be horrible to get two middle seats.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 7:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
I am wondering if creating an account with LH is the key to getting the ASR. I have not registered for Miles & More nor did I pay a fee.
No, I've had a M&M account for a couple of years and it hasn't helped with ASR. I flew PE on LH last month and was able to select my seat but I booked before they made the change.
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