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The way of the Dodo? - 1K upgrades, PP or CPU

Old Jan 27, 2024, 4:51 pm
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The way of the Dodo? - 1K upgrades, PP or CPU

Old Apr 27, 2022, 6:07 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: AA Plat, UA 1K>Plat>moving to Silver
Posts: 2,117
I have 3 TATLs booked for the second half of the year. All currently booked with business class saver awards on other airlines. (I have tons of miles, including from trips cancelled in 2019.) I would have bought on UA if I could have used my PPs to upgrade at booking. I’m occasionally watching the first one in June and would cancel my award flights, get the miles back and buy with cash and PPs if it becomes available last minute - but I bet it won’t.

Last edited by Artpen100; Apr 28, 2022 at 6:06 am
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 6:09 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: United 1k, HH Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador and LT-Gold
Posts: 1,704
I guess the other question - much like the Dodo - is BF upgrades on domestic flights all that big of a deal anymore?
sure there are objective differences - and while I doubt I would ever turn down an upgrade.... maybe for a 2-3 hour (let alone <2 hour) flight, for me it really isnt that big of a deal

-m
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 6:11 pm
  #18  
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Plat, Marriott Gold
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
UA has been far too generous w/ extensions past two years. People who didn't fly much are clogging the lists. Luckily, they didn't get PPs, so that's the way to clamber over them (as application of your PPs showed). As I've said before, UA should have prioritized those who earned over extendees for upgrades w/i each Premier level.
Excuse my skepticism that there were masses of people not flying in '21 that are suddenly flying now enough to impact upgrade rates meaningfully.

FCM is what's filling F seats in a meaningful way, not extended 1Ks.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 6:13 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: United 1k, HH Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador and LT-Gold
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mduell- I think most of us agree with you..... it would be interesting to see, compared to historical data, what the percentages of complementary upgrades are. The other extinct animal in all of this are the t>24 upgrades for Elites...... upgrade at 96 hours? ha ha - now that is funny......
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 6:22 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: UA 1K & 2MM, Bonvoy Titanium & LTP, HH Gold, Accor Silver, Hertz PC, Avis PC
Posts: 2,361
This is the new world order it appears. I'm applying plus points to everything and still missing more than I'm hitting.

I think as Kacee said above UA's aggressive pricing is a key factor here. Relatively cheap options in domestic F, and a lot of lower fares available for coach - I've been in S and T more this year than in the last 30 put together I think. All that said, it's still jarring to be in the teens on an upgrade list with PP applied!
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 6:24 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: EWR
Programs: UA 1K, DL DM
Posts: 256
Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
UA has been far too generous w/ extensions past two years. People who didn't fly much are clogging the lists. Luckily, they didn't get PPs, so that's the way to clamber over them (as application of your PPs showed). As I've said before, UA should have prioritized those who earned over extendees for upgrades w/i each Premier level.
Yep, I agree. But then again they needed to fight to retain customers for whenever travel returned. Its hard to blame any business making decisions trying to preserve itself during all of this, even in hindsight.

Things will normalize, eventually. Its never as good or as bad as it seems. When they do, perks will become more valuable. Til then, WFBF my friends
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 6:42 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX
It's pretty crazy...was flying LAX-ORD on 789 and I was 19/40 on upgrade list. Too many 1Ks!

I knew I would not clear so I applied PP and jumped up to #3 (and did clear).

Also missed a CPU on LAX-SFO-MSY on a L fare (left at #1 from SFO-MSY, but #14 from LAX-SFO) and DEN-LAX, L fare (I was around #9 on the list)
Consider yourself lucky to get PP cleared.

Often GS can't even get upgraded using PP.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 7:02 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: UA-1K MM, AA-Gold, DL-Silver, AS-MVP
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I guess it depends on the route and time of day. I flew EWR-MCO today on a 738, CPU cleared 96h out. From what I could tell, the flight only had 1 GS and 2 1K. Flight was still showing at least 7 seats available 24h before departure. Granted this was a Wednesday afternoon flight to a leisure destination.

I have 3 more CPU eligible flights next week which I have 0 expectations that my upgrade will clear. And the lack of PZ availability on international fights is also annoying.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 7:11 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC / TYO / Up in the Air
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Originally Posted by hirohito888
I guess it depends on the route and time of day. I flew EWR-MCO today on a 738, CPU cleared 96h out. From what I could tell, the flight only had 1 GS and 2 1K. Flight was still showing at least 7 seats available 24h before departure. Granted this was a Wednesday afternoon flight to a leisure destination.

I have 3 more CPU eligible flights next week which I have 0 expectations that my upgrade will clear. And the lack of PZ availability on international fights is also annoying.
Consider yourself lucky in the "shoulder season" -- in the winter that would never happen! My wife and I travel to Florida about 10 times per year for leisure -- and I go 20+ times to FLL / MIA for business -- and we never risk an upgrade (except for the summer when it's easy)... My success rate for business (we fly Economy only for business travel domestically) to Florida is less than 10% -- even with PP -- there is just too much demand for premium cabins -- and UA makes it pretty cheap -- so that upgrades really are almost impossible.... Now in August -- it's wide open lol...
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 7:23 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by hirohito888
I guess it depends on the route and time of day. I flew EWR-MCO today on a 738, CPU cleared 96h out. From what I could tell, the flight only had 1 GS and 2 1K. Flight was still showing at least 7 seats available 24h before departure. Granted this was a Wednesday afternoon flight to a leisure destination.

I have 3 more CPU eligible flights next week which I have 0 expectations that my upgrade will clear. And the lack of PZ availability on international fights is also annoying.
IME, Flights to Florida, Mexico etc. are easier to get CPU since most F pax are not business people.

Try SFO/LAX-ORD/BOS/IAD...... Often GS won't clear upgrades!
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 7:28 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by kb1992
IME, Flights to Florida, Mexico etc. are easier to get CPU since most F pax are not business people.

Try SFO/LAX-ORD/BOS/IAD...... Often GS won't clear upgrades!
Not sure what your origin is -- but from EWR the flights to any Florida airport are some of the hardest upgrades in the system - IME -- in the winter.... Two weeks ago my GS wife booked two months out and knew she had zero chance of an upgrade to MCO on a business trip -- and sure enough it never happened...
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 7:34 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: EWR
Programs: UA 1K, DL DM
Posts: 256
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan
Not sure what your origin is -- but from EWR the flights to any Florida airport are some of the hardest upgrades in the system - IME -- in the winter.... Two weeks ago my GS wife booked two months out and knew she had zero chance of an upgrade to MCO on a business trip -- and sure enough it never happened...
confirmed. Im EWR-TPA every other week on business times (6:30am EWR>TPA), and its exclusively WFBF. Has been for a year-plus
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 7:41 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Originally Posted by threecap
confirmed. Im EWR-TPA every other week on business times (6:30am EWR>TPA), and its exclusively WFBF. Has been for a year-plus
EWR-TPA/MCO used to be a guaranteed CPU for me. I think my rate was 100% over 7 years pre-COVID - No more. I buy F now but still watch the UG list out of morbid curiosity and often see the cabin completely sold out a week in advance. My how things have changed.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 8:07 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: PHL
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I think its many factors.
  • Less available seats
    • More people flying now
    • Probably more people buying F due to pricing relative to Y
    • Less flights overall (on some routes), means less seats to go around
  • More competition
    • UA practically giving away status last year (more 1Ks and +P)
    • +P extensions means people sitting on more than usual
    • Less Intl travel also means more use on domestic flights
Similar for intl. More people flying, Less planes, PZ at all time lows
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 8:07 pm
  #30  
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There are definitely specific time period each year where upgrades are easier to score than other periods; there are also specific routes to consider, specific day of the week, specific hours of the day. Being flexible is almost required, but some luck should also be considered.

My most common routes between NYC and LA/SF, used up a lot PPs during non-peak flying periods. These days, I am flying a bunch on AS, which has been pretty easy scoring F upgrades; often getting upgraded at the normal window for my level.
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