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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 Mar 13, 2023, 4:43 pm
  #721  
 
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Originally Posted by Slurve30
Herd has certainly not thinned. I am 2 of 11 this year on upgrades as a 1K, including some on some very high fares.

ORD-LAX (fail)
LAX-ORD (fail)
ORD-PHX (upgraded with PPs)
PHX-ORD (#48 as a 1K!!!! Granted this was the day after the Super Bowl)
ORD-DEN (upgraded via CPU on a high density 777 at 24 hours... surprise!)
DEN-SLC (fail)
SLC-ORD (fail on a B fare)
ORD-DEN (fail on a Y fare)
DEN-ORD (fail)
ORD-ATL (fail)
ATL-ORD (fail)
Ouch!
But as counter point;
EWR ORD cpu,
ORD LEX cpu,
LEX ORD cpu,
ORD PHL cpu,
EWR DEN cpu,
DEN - ORD cpu,
ORD EWR cpu,
EWR CLT cpu,
CLT ORD cpu,
EWR DEN RDM pp,
RDM - SFO EWR pp,
EWR MIA cpu,
FLL EWR cpu (was second on list but 1 stepped back to fly with GF.
I do have a slight advantage of being able to pick my flight times and dates.
Now the second half of last year my success rate was closer to 20%.
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 12:40 am
  #722  
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My 1K cousin is on UA 871 SFO-TPE on March 21. Booking class is W, waitlisted for PZ.

About 30 people are on business class upgrade list. He is only No. 20.

No chance of clearing since there are only 10 J seats remaining.

I am shocked. How could an 1K be ranked this low?
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 12:58 am
  #723  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
My 1K cousin is on UA 871 SFO-TPE on March 21. Booking class is W, waitlisted for PZ.

About 30 people are on business class upgrade list. He is only No. 20.

No chance of clearing since there are only 10 J seats remaining.

I am shocked. How could an 1K be ranked this low?
A 1K in W fare is behind:

Every passenger in PE, regardless of status
Every GS passenger
Every non-GS passenger on GS instruments
Every 1K on a V or higher fare.

On non-CPU flights, the majority of people on the upgrade list are GS or 1Ks, because they have the most PlusPoints. So this is exactly what I'd expect.
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 1:20 am
  #724  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
A 1K in W fare is behind:

Every passenger in PE, regardless of status
Every GS passenger
Every non-GS passenger on GS instruments
Every 1K on a V or higher fare.

On non-CPU flights, the majority of people on the upgrade list are GS or 1Ks, because they have the most PlusPoints. So this is exactly what I'd expect.
Yes I understand that.

Since the list is 30-people long, an 1K supported by upgrade instruments ranked at bottom 1/3 still shocked me.

The majority of people on upgrade list are GS or 1Ks? Not sure about that.

There might be a lot of people who are Plat, Gold, Silver and GM who use someone's PP or own miles.
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 1:32 am
  #725  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
Yes I understand that.

Since the list is 30-people long, an 1K supported by upgrade instruments ranked at bottom 1/3 still shocked me.

The majority of people on upgrade list are GS or 1Ks? Not sure about that.

There might be a lot of people who are Plat, Gold, Silver and GM who use someone's PP or own miles.
Either way, 2/3 of them are before your 1K cousin and closer to any seat in J. For better or worse, their fare classes+instruments+status outrank a little old 1K's.

David
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 1:52 am
  #726  
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Originally Posted by DELee
Either way, 2/3 of them are before your 1K cousin and closer to any seat in J. For better or worse, their fare classes+instruments+status outrank a little old 1K's.

David
Two observations

1) This further verified my belief that it's not worthwhile to chase UA status other than GS. An 1K could spend $24,000 a year, yet could still end up at the bottom 1/3 on the upgrade list and get stuck in coach. All other lower elites fare even worse (unless buying PE fare).

Take SFO-TPE as an example. You could just buy P fare for a little over $5,000 RT. 1K's main benefit is 320 PP for upgrading 4 trips. Why not just buy P fare for 4 trips? You spend less than $24,000.

AND you don't have to play the upgrade game.

2) I have never failed an upgrade as GS and I have taken it for granted. I feel the pain from 1K folks.
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 2:01 am
  #727  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
Two observations

1) This further verified my belief that it's not worthwhile to chase UA status other than GS. An 1K could spend $24,000 a year, yet could still end up at the bottom 1/3 on the upgrade list and get stuck in coach. All other lower elites fare even worse (unless buying PE fare).

Take SFO-TPE as an example. You could just buy P fare for a little over $5,000 RT. 1K's main benefit is 320 PP for upgrading 4 trips. Why not just buy P fare for 4 trips? You spend less than $24,000.

AND you don't have to play the upgrade game.

2) I have never failed an upgrade as GS and I have taken it for granted. I feel the pain from 1K folks.
UA's attitude is: you got it, you spend it and you'll get it.

That being said, if I had to spend $24K* of my own for TPAC or any international travel, I'd probably pick something else right now. And I'm sure as heck not spending my money toward the obnoxious 24K PQP figure.

Also, as a GS, you're spending 2x or more for that status.

David

*: which, after fees and taxes is somewhere close to $30K
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 8:42 am
  #728  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
Yes I understand that.

Since the list is 30-people long, an 1K supported by upgrade instruments ranked at bottom 1/3 still shocked me.

The majority of people on upgrade list are GS or 1Ks? Not sure about that.

There might be a lot of people who are Plat, Gold, Silver and GM who use someone's PP or own miles.
Keep in mind, the list is ranked by the highest status person on the PNR. So, a 1K taking a family of four along on vacation will all count as a 1K for this purpose.

I also suspect that most non-1Ks don't have a coterie of 1Ks around to give them PlusPoints. And most people don't use Miles + Copay awards because the copay is prohibitively high.

Originally Posted by kb1992
Two observations

1) This further verified my belief that it's not worthwhile to chase UA status other than GS. An 1K could spend $24,000 a year, yet could still end up at the bottom 1/3 on the upgrade list and get stuck in coach. All other lower elites fare even worse (unless buying PE fare).
Status isn't something that one should chase; it's best if it's something that happens organically from your existing travel -- or at least semi-organically. Last year, I probably paid about $500 in fares that I wouldn't have paid otherwise in order to reach 1K. However, this has been the worst year of PZ space I can remember. I'm getting a little tired of searching UA's entire TPAC network across multiple weeks and finding no confirmable upgrade space (and precious little for GS members either, unless you'd like to go to Auckland in the dead of Southern Hemisphere winter).

Originally Posted by kb1992
Take SFO-TPE as an example. You could just buy P fare for a little over $5,000 RT. 1K's main benefit is 320 PP for upgrading 4 trips. Why not just buy P fare for 4 trips? You spend less than $24,000.
I mean, sure, if your only goal were to fly SFO-TPE four times, then fine. Most of my travel is domestic, and I'm not inclined to give that up and spend my entire travel budget on international J.
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 12:22 pm
  #729  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
Since the list is 30-people long, an 1K supported by upgrade instruments ranked at bottom 1/3 still shocked me.

The majority of people on upgrade list are GS or 1Ks? Not sure about that.

There might be a lot of people who are Plat, Gold, Silver and GM who use someone's PP or own miles.
You're forgetting about the listed PE pax, all of whom will be ahead of a 1K, regardless of status. The addition of PE made it much more challenging for 1Ks to upgrade to Polaris from Y.
Originally Posted by kb1992
This further verified my belief that it's not worthwhile to chase UA status other than GS. An 1K could spend $24,000 a year, yet could still end up at the bottom 1/3 on the upgrade list and get stuck in coach. All other lower elites fare even worse (unless buying PE fare).

Take SFO-TPE as an example. You could just buy P fare for a little over $5,000 RT. 1K's main benefit is 320 PP for upgrading 4 trips. Why not just buy P fare for 4 trips? You spend less than $24,000.

AND you don't have to play the upgrade game.
Well yes. That's what I've been saying since UA introduced the new thresholds right before the pandemic. It's not worth chasing 1K.
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 1:08 pm
  #730  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee
You're forgetting about the listed PE pax, all of whom will be ahead of a 1K, regardless of status. The addition of PE made it much more challenging for 1Ks to upgrade to Polaris from Y.
When they started the marketing of PE, I think I remember someone from UA saying that PE wouldn't adversely impact 1K UG chances for Polaris. At the time, people were pretty positive on it. Now it's obvious that it was just another devaluation in disguise. 1Ks are at the bottom of the UG list unless they buy PE. So, increased revenue combined with decreased UG chances = greater profit for UA (i.e. more breakage of PPs + increased revenue).

Like I've said before, UA should just allow us to buy discounted fares with our PPs. Say, a 10% discount for 40, 20% for 80, and so on. That way, those of us that fly high business-traffic routes could get some use out of them. I don't like the idea of 1,000+ PPs expiring worthless in January '24, but I'm also unwilling to fly anywhere just to use up my PPs. I am going to travel where I intended to travel and not alter my plans to get an UG to nowhere. If it costs me more, fine. The nice thing about buying F/J is that you know far in advance that you'll be in a premium cabin.
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Last edited by zombietooth; Mar 14, 2023 at 2:46 pm
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 1:41 pm
  #731  
 
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Originally Posted by kb1992
My 1K cousin is on UA 871 SFO-TPE on March 21. Booking class is W, waitlisted for PZ.

About 30 people are on business class upgrade list. He is only No. 20.

No chance of clearing since there are only 10 J seats remaining.

I am shocked. How could an 1K be ranked this low?
One other factor is the demand to Taiwan is the highest I have ever seen for UA. Have flown SFO-TPE several times this year and was amazed how full the flights are. Two weeks out and all window business seats are gone. I have seen 35 people on the WL for Polaris upgrades.

I heard BR is going to flying 4X daily to LAX and 3X daily to SFO. Selfishly I would like to see LAX-TPE added by UA.
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 2:40 pm
  #732  
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1K on a B-fare (part of TPAC P fare) IAH-BOS yesterday ... not a chance
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 5:13 pm
  #733  
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Originally Posted by zombietooth
When they started the marketing of PE, I think I remember someone from UA saying that PE wouldn't adversely impact 1K UG chances for Polaris. At the time, people were pretty positive on it. Now it's obvious that it was just another devaluation in disguise.
IIRC, that discussion was about the ability to clear from Y to J, not the likelihood of clearing. DL has shut down the direct Y=>J upgrade, UA has retained it, though it's obviously become more challenging.
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 5:19 pm
  #734  
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As a 1K, buying PP, I'm 4/5 this year international and probably >75% last year for Polaris upgrades. Just buy PP and the worst case you're in a decent seat, usually you'll be upgraded is my view.
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 6:28 pm
  #735  
 
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Originally Posted by Doppy
As a 1K, buying PP, I'm 4/5 this year international and probably >75% last year for Polaris upgrades. Just buy PP and the worst case you're in a decent seat, usually you'll be upgraded is my view.
We are 2 for 3 going from PP to Polaris seats (EWR-LHR and SFO-EWR) and even on the exception (EWR-SFO) we were offered 1 upgrade so we really had 5 offered upgrades out of 6 attempts. We turned down the one seat offered because it was a daytime flight and we wanted to explore PP on a 787 10 together.
No luck on EWR-JAX and JAX EWR last week despite throwing Plus Points at it. First is too small on the aircraft used for it to be easy.
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