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Skip the waitlist (STW) questions. (New Promo thru 31 July 2023?)

Old Apr 25, 2021, 3:48 pm
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Last edit by: Lux Flyer
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
Yes it's a limited time promo in many CPU markets to help people use PlusPoints before they expire at the end of July. For flights through July 31st it should be offering StW when requested at least 2 weeks in advance (as opposed to typical 30 days for international).

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...questions.html

Edit: here's the promo details they will email to you if you ask
Skip Waitlist
From time to time, our 1K members are able to use additional PlusPoints to receive a confirmed upgrade when traveling on select international long-haul flights.

When Skip Waitlist is available, youre able to either request an upgrade on our standard waitlist using fewer PlusPoints, or use additional PlusPoints to skip the waitlist and confirm your upgrade right then and there, even if upgrade inventory is closed.

Skip Waitlist availability on international long-haul flights will vary; to be eligible, you must be traveling on an eligible fare*, and request your upgrade at least 30 days from departure

*Eligible fare classes include O, A, and R (for United Premium Plus to United Polaris business); Fare classes Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, W (for Economy to United Polaris business); Fare classes Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, (for Economy to United Premium Plus).
T&Cs
  • The earning Premier member may use PlusPoints for upgrade requests for themselves or to sponsor others with the exception of Skip Waitlist upgrade requests, for which the earning Premier member must be traveling. Although the earning Premier member may use PlusPoints to request upgrades for others, PlusPoints are not transferable to other members.
  • PlusPoints used for Skip Waitlist upgrades are not refundable or transferable to other flights in the event of itinerary changes. A PlusPoints upgrade on a changed itinerary will require additional PlusPoints.
  • Skip Waitlist upgrades wont be available for corporate and agency account travelers who are using upgrades from a Corporate Upgrade Bank account.
While previous just deep South America had STW available, it was first reported 14 June of availability selectively worldwide available tile 15 Sept 2021. Unknow if this will be extended in the future.

When is STW available?
First UA needs to decide the route is eligible and then ZN seems to be the key inventory requirement.
PN or PZ is not required (if they were the regular amount would be sufficient)
Appears to be no special/separate GS STW inventory

STW has generally been limited to deep South America except for a short period in late summer 2021 when some TATL STW was offered, never to be seen again.
New Promo 20 June 2023 till 31 July 2023 (to use expiring PlusPoints?)

Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
So thanks to this promo and playing around with various flights the past day. I think there's enough data for how StW works, with the major deciding factor if it's offered being if UA has "enabled" StW for the market in question.

For StW it needs these 6 things:
Inventory (ZN for business/first; /ON for PremEcon), advance purchase met (30 days international, 14 days CPU market [promo]), eligible fare (W+ to Polaris, non-BE for PP/first), eligible market, and redeeming account is 1k/GS, redeeming account travelling on the PNR.

The StW segment(s) will confirm into PZ/RN, if there are other non-StW eligible segments in the line-of-flight they are considered "paid for" by the StW pricing and will waitlist as part of the request/process as any other waitlisted upgrade.

To summarize the different scenarios:

To find StW
-Redeeming account must be GS/1K and must be travelling on the PNR
-PlusPoints being used to StW must not expire prior to the flight (oldest, eligible PlusPoints taken first)
-Cannot have pending upgrade WL request

To Polaris
  • ZN inventory
  • 30+ days in advance
  • Fare class: non-award, published W or higher
  • Eligible market (only appears to be GRU, GIG, EZE, SCL, and LIM as of June 2023)
  • Cost per person; 140 PlusPoints from economy/110 PlusPoints from premium economy
  • Confirms into PZ
To Premium Plus
  • ON inventory (yes, it appears when StW is offered to PremiumPlus, it is effectively allowing last seat inventory)
  • 30+ days in advance
  • Fare class: any non-BE published revenue fare
  • Eligible market (only appears to be GRU, GIG, EZE, SCL, and LIM as of June 2023)
  • Cost per person; 70 PlusPoints
  • Confirms into RN
To First/non-Polaris/non-premium transcon business [June/July 2023 promo]
  • ZN inventory
  • 14+ days in advance/flight prior to or on July 31st (effectively July 17th is last day to book)
  • Fare class: any non-BE published revenue fare
  • Eligible market (basically CPU markets, see promo announcement)
  • Cost per person; 70 PlusPoints
  • Confirms into PZ
Refunds/Changes
-Voluntary: forfeits the upgrade and PlusPoints
-Involuntary: PlusPoints can be redeposited if not able to be accommodated in upgraded cabin
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Skip the waitlist (STW) questions. (New Promo thru 31 July 2023?)

Old Dec 6, 2019, 2:10 am
  #121  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Originally Posted by avi8tir
Disappointing if it won't apply to all routes. I'd pay 4x for SFO-SIN to skip.
1. Kirby loving your comment! He gets $18-$24K from you in exchange for 2 Polaris seats to SIN. Your entire annual allocation of +P is consumed!

2. I'm loving your comment! Those 320 +P you're burning won't go to some soccer team in the form 16 RPUs.

I'm liking the feel of this new program. I predict many will exhaust their +P well before year-end, every year!

Last edited by spartacusmcfly; Dec 6, 2019 at 6:15 am
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 6:23 am
  #122  
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
1. Kirby loving your comment! He gets $18-$24K from you in exchange for 2 Polaris seats to SIN. Your entire annual allocation of +P is consumed!
Which could well be two more Polaris seats than OP got before.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
2. I'm loving your comment! Those 320 +P you're burning won't go to some soccer team in the form 16 RPUs.
Look at all of the statements about people being unable to clear instruments, or having tons of points expiring. The idea that anyone's upgrades were being materially hurt by non-status passengers on RPUs is, and has always been, pure fantasy. Sure, that might have happened in some one-off case, and it might still happen for members who are generating $100K+ PQP on all-J purchases. But it never moved the needle, and it still won't.
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 6:44 am
  #123  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Look at all of the statements about people being unable to clear instruments, or having tons of points expiring.
Old news. This historic log jam was caused by:

1. The absurd number of RPUs accumulated by GS/1Ks. These will be completely flushed from the system by Feb 1, 2020.

2. Low spend 1Ks sucking up demand for GPUs. These folks were recently handed their eviction notice and will be completely flushed from the 'upgrade eligible ranks' by Feb 1, 2021.

The days of folks handing out upgrades to friend/colleagues like breath mints are over. Most folks won't earn over 400 +P in a single year and they'll guard them closely!

God bless Kirby. Well executed plan to bring 'upgrade usability' back to the UA world!
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 6:52 am
  #124  
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
1. The absurd number of RPUs accumulated by GS/1Ks. These will be completely flushed from the system by Feb 1, 2020.
We've been over this. The number of certificates doesn't matter if they don't clear, or if they only clear when a CPU also would have cleared.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
2. Low spend 1Ks sucking up demand for GPUs. These folks were recently handed their eviction notice and will be completely flushed from the 'upgrade eligible ranks' by Feb 1, 2021.
Bad news; I fully intend to reach 1K by spending less last year than I had to spend this year. Furthermore, this won't make a bit of difference if those people do what UA wants, which is to buy J seats.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
The days of folks handing out upgrades to friend/colleagues like breath mints are over. Most folks won't earn over 400 +P in a single year and they'll guard them closely!
It. Doesn't. Matter.

People are not losing out on upgrade space because of GSes giving upgrades to softball teams. People are losing out on upgrades because UA is selling the seats. Thet changes that they've made are designed to get them to sell more seats, not less. Therefore, there will be less upgrade availability, overall, than there has been in the past.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
God bless Kirby. Well executed plan to bring 'upgrade usability' back to the UA world!
"Upgrade usability" is the last thing Scott Kirby cares about. To the extent that he gets involved in low-level frequent flyer program changes -- which I suspect isn't very much -- he's interested in trying to figure out how to leverage MileagePlus to sell more tickets, not to provide more free upgrades.

If anyone at UA expected these changes to be revenue-negative, they'd never have seen the light of day.
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 6:54 am
  #125  
 
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
Well executed plan to bring 'upgrade usability' back to the UA world!
If your assumptions are indeed true, there would be nothing stopping UA/Kirby of throttling back upgrade availability to counter this supposed new 'upgrade usability'.
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 6:59 am
  #126  
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Originally Posted by narvik
If your assumptions are indeed true, there would be nothing stopping UA/Kirby of throttling back upgrade availability to counter this supposed new 'upgrade usability'.
I think there's a fundamental difference of opinion about what the purpose of the upgrade program is. If you believe that the purpose is to grant upgrades, then I can understand how some people might think it's broken. If you believe that the purpose is to increase revenue, it's not broken. I'm firmly in the latter camp.

The only way that I expect you'd see upgrade rates rise meaningfully is if UA found that they were hemorrhaging HVFs. Absolutely none of the available data suggests that: they wouldn't be moving to a spend-based system with 18K/24K thresholds if they losing a bunch of revenue from malcontent 1Ks.
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 7:17 am
  #127  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
99.999% sure, yes, starting with the fact that I haven't seen any reports of extremely steep numbers of points for open PZ space yet today.


This is the first report that I've seen. I can't verify it, though, since I haven't re-qualified for next year.

140 is about what than I expected (I figured 120 or 160). And seeing it with PN0 would dispel the notion that it's limited to access to PN inventory; to me, that suggests that ZN is likely the bucket of interest.
Why ZN and not P out of curiosity?
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 7:20 am
  #128  
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Originally Posted by getagb
Why ZN and not P out of curiosity?
Simply UA's propensity to base award and upgrade inventory out of their own hidden buckets.

Incidentally, Kacee seems to have confirmed that ZN>0 is a necessary (but not sufficient; as it's not offered on every route) criterion for StW.
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 8:39 am
  #129  
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Originally Posted by Kacee
3. The website's upgrade search function is extremely, painfully slow.
But do you get banned by their DDOS screen every five searches too?

Originally Posted by jsloan
Simply UA's propensity to base award and upgrade inventory out of their own hidden buckets.

Incidentally, Kacee seems to have confirmed that ZN>0 is a necessary (but not sufficient; as it's not offered on every route) criterion for StW.
Yeah, it prevents you from setting an EF alert for upgrade space or otherwise scraping the GDS for upgrade statistics.
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Last edited by findark; Dec 6, 2019 at 9:03 am
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 8:53 am
  #130  
 
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
1. Kirby loving your comment! He gets $18-$24K from you in exchange for 2 Polaris seats to SIN. Your entire annual allocation of +P is consumed!

2. I'm loving your comment! Those 320 +P you're burning won't go to some soccer team in the form 16 RPUs.

I'm liking the feel of this new program. I predict many will exhaust their +P well before year-end, every year!
He gets $18-24k in exchange for $18-24k in travel. The GPU's are a perquisite.
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 9:25 am
  #131  
 
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Originally Posted by narvik
If your assumptions are indeed true, there would be nothing stopping UA/Kirby of throttling back upgrade availability to counter this supposed new 'upgrade usability'.
I fail to see how throttling upgrade availability reduces the amount of upgrades being given.

It only reduces the amount of UG given *before* T-60. The same seats now filled with upgraders will still be empty, and then assigned at the gate to be cleared off the waitlist -- unless the suggestion is the waitlist *will not* be cleared.

Without processing UG prior to the gate, perhaps there will be lower business fare buckets open longer, barring that, how does United sell more seats vs. giving them away as the doors close? Is the theory that folks will splurge on HOD or the like?
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 9:32 am
  #132  
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Originally Posted by ryman554
Is the theory that folks will splurge on HOD or the like?
That's not really a theory, it's a demonstrated (and by UA, desired) consequence of restricting advance upgrades. UA has increasingly been holding back advance CPUs in order incent sell buy-ups. The same pattern is increasingly seen on long-haul international as well.
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 9:35 am
  #133  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee
That's not really a theory, it's a demonstrated (and by UA, desired) consequence of restricting advance upgrades. UA has increasingly been holding back advance CPUs in order incent sell buy-ups. The same pattern is increasingly seen on long-haul international as well.
TOD upgrades are often a great bargain. If I had a bunch of PP's I would probably skip the waitlist occasionally when I absolutely couldn't risk being in Y and buy TOD's most of the time.
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 10:28 am
  #134  
 
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Originally Posted by dilanesp
TOD upgrades are often a great bargain. If I had a bunch of PP's I would probably skip the waitlist occasionally when I absolutely couldn't risk being in Y and buy TOD's most of the time.
This is exactly going to be my strategy.

TOD's are the best thing to ever happen on the HNL-SFO route. Instead of very rarely sitting up front on a CPU or very rarely clearing a RPU or GPU the buyup's to sit up front a lie flat generally run $310, which is modest in my opinion and cheaper than buying F outright. Instead of having my 6 GPU's and 2 RPU's expire since I can't ever get them to clear on the route I fly - I'll save them for my occasional HNL-EWR flights to skip the waitlist.

Just having an opportunity to use these points where they would otherwise expire is good, at least for me.
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Old Dec 6, 2019, 10:51 am
  #135  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer
I'll save them for my occasional HNL-EWR flights to skip the waitlist..
UA has stated that StW will only be available on Polaris routes.
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