Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

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

Old Jan 27, 2024, 4:51 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Print Wikipost

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

Old Aug 30, 2022, 6:33 pm
  #376  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: United 1k, HH Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador and LT-Gold
Posts: 1,759
My friend - who doesnt even have a MP account, who I bought a CLE-LAX econ tix and used PP got upgraded (3rd on the list with seats left) - and yet, when I am looking at similar flights in the future and some SFO and/or LAX to OGG or in/out of DEN over the next 1-2 months, everything in F is already booked.....of course it does not help that UA downgraded DEN-OGG from a nice Polaris 777 to a 757 (I remember easy UG during COVID of ORD-DEN in polaris without even trying....).


I recall hearing about in the past, airlines (and probably UA?) would reserve at least a few seats for upgrades - now everything is up for sale for a price.....
mfirst is offline  
Old Aug 30, 2022, 6:50 pm
  #377  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Houston TX
Programs: UN 1K MM, Marriott-LT TitanElite, Hyatt Glob; HH-Gold
Posts: 74
Adding friend to upgrade list

I'm 1K flying EWR to CDG on Friday with my Platinum friend using my Plus Points. When I called to see where we were on the upgrade list last weekend, I was told United was blocking 6 seats. Today, it looks like they have released those and now show 10 available. so now I need help since it is "possible" we could clear.
I'm #7 on upgrade list. My friend is 1#6. I haven't done this in a long time (since my husband and I are both 1K) ANY advice on how I ask her to be put next to me on Upgrade list? I've had success with non-members long ago but seems that the agents push back if the friend has status. I'm told they are already on the upgrade list. YEARS ago, when it was Continental, the code used to be C1K that the agent at the gate could put in to let my companion move next to me on the upgrade list. Anyone have success doing this? Can it be done anywhere earlier in the process other than by the gate agent at the boarding gate to Paris?
Babymule is offline  
Old Aug 30, 2022, 11:42 pm
  #378  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Programs: UA 1K 1MM (finally!), IHG AMB-Spire, HH Diamond
Posts: 60,354
Originally Posted by Repooc17
Wouldn't have helped anyway. Only 2 or 3 people got upgraded at the end. I would have wasted my money for buying a slightly fancier seat for 4 hrs.
I guess I donít understand the remedy you want then. Stop selling J fares 2 weeks out to keep 20 seats open for S fares using PlusPoints? What else?
uanj likes this.
uastarflyer is offline  
Old Aug 31, 2022, 1:30 am
  #379  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: United 1k, HH Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador and LT-Gold
Posts: 1,759
Let me suggest a different concept - the potential decreasing "value" or desire of F among frequent fliers/elites/etc.
Specifically - what is the real value of F over E+ pr PP?
For example, I have made several recent flights between OGG and the mainland (in both directions at <$250 each way, I might add) - sure the DEN-OGG in a polaris 777 was nice - but the 5-6 hour flights in a 737-max has left me questioning the value proposition of F. Sure, if UA wants to give it to me for free (CPU or PP) then that is fine - but as others have pointed out, what is the value of the marginal extra space (leg room, recline) and overall soft product. As more of us FF get used to sitting in the back, maybe we start to realize (like free agency) that it just isnt worth the extra $$$ for a few hours of less discomfort. Is the $500 extra for F in SFO/LAX-OGG worth it, even if those seats were available (and the flights I am looking at now appear to have very few, if anything open - and when they are, they are very expensive....)

In line with the title of this tread - are we really missing the Dodo?
....and what impact is that going to have on the value of the MP program and UA bottom line if over time more and more realize that the thrill of sitting up front isnt worth it when there are cheap seats to be had, especially for the road warriors who just want to get from point A to point B with as least misery as possible?
JNelson113, CMK10 and uanj like this.
mfirst is offline  
Old Aug 31, 2022, 5:19 am
  #380  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AS 75K, DL Silver, UA Platinum, Hilton Gold, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Platinum + LT Gold
Posts: 10,879
Originally Posted by uastarflyer
I guess I donít understand the remedy you want then. Stop selling J fares 2 weeks out to keep 20 seats open for S fares using PlusPoints? What else?
Did you read my original post? It was T-24 (hours), at check-in.
Repooc17 is offline  
Old Aug 31, 2022, 5:32 am
  #381  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: ORF, RIC
Programs: UA LT 1K, 3 MM; Marriott Titanium, LTP; IHG Platinum
Posts: 7,172
Originally Posted by Babymule
I'm 1K flying EWR to CDG on Friday with my Platinum friend using my Plus Points. When I called to see where we were on the upgrade list last weekend, I was told United was blocking 6 seats. Today, it looks like they have released those and now show 10 available. so now I need help since it is "possible" we could clear.
I'm #7 on upgrade list. My friend is 1#6. I haven't done this in a long time (since my husband and I are both 1K) ANY advice on how I ask her to be put next to me on Upgrade list? I've had success with non-members long ago but seems that the agents push back if the friend has status. I'm told they are already on the upgrade list. YEARS ago, when it was Continental, the code used to be C1K that the agent at the gate could put in to let my companion move next to me on the upgrade list. Anyone have success doing this? Can it be done anywhere earlier in the process other than by the gate agent at the boarding gate to Paris?
Unfortunately, it is not possible for Instrument (PlusPoints, in your case) supported upgrade unless your friend is on the same reservation. If your friend did not purchase Premium plus, upfare to this cabin will help to move up on the waiting list. Good luck!
Kmxu is offline  
Old Aug 31, 2022, 7:33 am
  #382  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 11,809
Originally Posted by uastarflyer
I guess I donít understand the remedy you want then. Stop selling J fares 2 weeks out to keep 20 seats open for S fares using PlusPoints? What else?
That seems great to me. But only on my flights, please.
uastarflyer, uanj and Kacee like this.
fumje is offline  
Old Aug 31, 2022, 7:47 am
  #383  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,625
Originally Posted by mfirst
.....
In line with the title of this tread - are we really missing the Dodo?
....and what impact is that going to have on the value of the MP program and UA bottom line if over time more and more realize that the thrill of sitting up front isnt worth it when there are cheap seats to be had, especially for the road warriors who just want to get from point A to point B with as least misery as possible?
There are other factors, not just thrill, ...
-- having enough space to work inflight
-- age, body wear and tear, and years of travel, the willingness to accept the inconveniences of the cheap seats
Babymule and tcdtcd like this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Aug 31, 2022, 8:10 am
  #384  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2,306
Originally Posted by mfirst
- but as others have pointed out, what is the value of the marginal extra space (leg room, recline) and overall soft product. As more of us FF get used to sitting in the back, maybe we start to realize (like free agency) that it just isnt worth the extra $$$ for a few hours of less discomfort. Is the $500 extra for F in SFO/LAX-OGG worth it, even if those seats were available (and the flights I am looking at now appear to have very few, if anything open - and when they are, they are very expensive....)
I would suggest, given the difficulty of people being able to get upgrades as it is, there is a large population who does find the additional money to be worth it to have the "marginal extra space and overall soft product". They wouldn't be having such success with selling FC if people didn't value that. And clearly from the lack of upgrades being made available, they are having no difficulty selling F.

A paid J passenger has access to basically everything you're getting from your status, except for the priority phone line support (which even then, aside from IRROPs, I wonder how much of that time is consumed by premiers having agents try to find them flights they can confirm their upgrade on...). UA has clearly gone the way of WFBF, and they're having no difficulty seeing success with such a business decision.
SPN Lifer likes this.
Lux Flyer is offline  
Old Aug 31, 2022, 8:23 am
  #385  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton ♦ , Hyatt Carbonado, Wyndham ♦, Marriott PE, "Stinking Bum" elsewhere.
Posts: 5,109
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
I would suggest, given the difficulty of people being able to get upgrades as it is, there is a large population who does find the additional money to be worth it to have the "marginal extra space and overall soft product". They wouldn't be having such success with selling FC if people didn't value that. And clearly from the lack of upgrades being made available, they are having no difficulty selling F.

A paid J passenger has access to basically everything you're getting from your status, except for the priority phone line support (which even then, aside from IRROPs, I wonder how much of that time is consumed by premiers having agents try to find them flights they can confirm their upgrade on...). UA has clearly gone the way of WFBF, and they're having no difficulty seeing success with such a business decision.
I've said it many times before:
Paid J on any carrier as a nobody equals paid J on UA as a 1K.

I am a WFBF customer, and I will pay for it on every long haul because I never manage to get a PP UG. 2 hours or less, I can handle in Y. In addition, I don't care about the soft product at all. All I want is a comfortable seat with decent pitch. If, miraculously, the F/J food improves, maybe I'll start eating it again. As of now, I buy food to take on every flight, domestic or international.
findark and nomad420 like this.
zombietooth is offline  
Old Aug 31, 2022, 8:26 am
  #386  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: PHX
Programs: AS 75K; UA 1MM; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott LTP; Hilton Diamond (Aspire)
Posts: 57,192
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
There are other factors, not just thrill, ...
-- having enough space to work inflight
-- age, body wear and tear, and years of travel, the willingness to accept the inconveniences of the cheap seats
This, a million times.

Same reasons I so intensely dislike flying WN.

As for absence of Dodo sightings, my Friday night SFO-PHX has been J6 for the past two weeks. The last two days it's suddenly dropped to J2 with no upgrades showing. I'm #5 on the WL. Would pay the $149 to buy-up but I'll likely be taking an earlier flight on WN due strictly to schedule.
Kacee is offline  
Old Aug 31, 2022, 5:42 pm
  #387  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Saipan, MP 96950 USA (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands = the CNMI)
Programs: UA Silver, Hilton Silver. Life: UA .58 MM, United & Admirals Clubs (spousal), Marriott Platinum
Posts: 15,574
Originally Posted by zombietooth (Post # 385)
I am a WFBF customer, and I will pay for it on every long haul because I never manage to get a PP UG. 2 hours or less, I can handle in Y.
The "Want First, buy First" (WFBF) philosophy does seem effective for those with the means to do so.

Its widespread adoption will undoubtedly enhance UA revenues, to the detriment of those seeking to use MileagePlus upgrade benefits on high- or moderate-demand routes.
jsloan likes this.
SPN Lifer is online now  
Old Aug 31, 2022, 7:55 pm
  #388  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 22,045
Originally Posted by SPN Lifer
The "Want First, buy First" (WFBF) philosophy does seem effective for those with the means to do so.
Well, to be fair, part of the reason that it's effective is that UA (and airlines in general) have lowered the entry point for J/F fares considerably. Between TODs and differential pricing, UA has found the flexibility to charge a price that people are seemingly willing to pay.

The CPU program was started because domestic F cabins were going out empty. If you were designing MileagePlus today, you probably wouldn't bother including CPUs; you'd come up with something else, like upgrade dollars (e.g., fly X miles, get $200 in upgrade dollars that can be banked and used toward a sticker-type upgrade).

Now, that said, I'm 4/4 on CPU clearances this coming weekend, all of which were between T-96 and T-90; I've got two more segments on Tuesday that'll go 1-for-2. So I'm glad personally that CPUs exist, but I won't pretend that my experience is typical.
jsloan is offline  
Old Aug 31, 2022, 9:32 pm
  #389  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: United 1k, HH Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador and LT-Gold
Posts: 1,759
All true and as Iíve mentioned before, the wfbf approach is good if there are seats to buy. As a 1k, I canít even get J and sometimes lucky to get the Econ + seats I like. All this makes it easier to be a free agent especially when I can get a better route schedule. Which then brings us back to the issue of ideas to improve on the aspect of the MP program this is suffering. Such ua is doing better now with full flights and such, but loyalty does matter when things are rough or when I need to fly to a place in which I have options and there are open seats
mfirst is offline  
Old Sep 1, 2022, 2:27 am
  #390  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2,306
Originally Posted by mfirst
Such ua is doing better now with full flights and such, but loyalty does matter when things are rough or when I need to fly to a place in which I have options and there are open seats
I'd argue the opposite. I don't think even loyalty to an airline is enough to keep an airline afloat if things get rough. I think the airlines know that, and the pandemic helped prove it to reinforce that idea. This same line kept getting said prior to COVID, and when COVID came and put airlines in a terrible position, it wasn't the loyalty they fostered with their premier members that kept them afloat, it was government support and credit card programs. And even in this time of rebounding travel, it hasn't necessarily been the loyal travelers, given how many are needing their status extended.

While yes, the pandemic was an extreme case, I don't think it is a far cry that if we were to hit an economic slow down and flight schedules have to be slashed again to frequencies and non-desirable time, that the "loyal" flyers aren't going to go single handedly be what props the airline up.
SPN Lifer likes this.
Lux Flyer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.