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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 19, 2023, 2:29 am
  #781  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Less PZ is a negative for every 1K who prefers to book upgrade space that can be confirmed at booking. If significant O/A/R oversells suck up PZ space, that’s a big issue for me, not because I’m necessarily trying to jump over them in a queue, but because I don’t have much interest in being in a queue in the first place.
Except there is nothing to suggest that the flights where PP is being oversold would otherwise be given advanced PZ space to upgrade passengers from Y except by exploitation of the loophole (ie. the flights where PP is being oversold aren't the flights that were getting advanced PZ in the first place).

In the alternative reality where PP isn't being oversold and the loophole doesn't exist: if PP is booked full and UA wants to sell more space in that cabin, they would release PZ, upgrades would be processed in the proper order moving PP people up, and thereby returning PP seats to inventory. It's the same net effect, except preserves the upgrade integrity as intended that PY passengers should go to J before Y passengers. Which overselling PP and not releasing PZ is the same thing. There's no evidence that PP is being oversold to the point of OP-UPs of non-status passengers occurring to the point that status passengers with a PZ request aren't getting it from Y (the one report we have seen from the non-status influencer who was op-up'd R->J, had nonrevs clear J as well).

And since seeing offers of a PP buyup vs. J buyup with a difference between the two as low as $100, if anything this is just another iteration of aggressive FCM.
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 9:19 am
  #782  
 
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Just booked MIA-ORD-MCI(March 24) -IAH(March 26) for the Sweet 16 and all 3 segments had PN/PZ availability. Used 20 PPs for MIA-ORD-MCI and bought up to F on MCI-IAH rather than use PPs since the price differential was small.

Last edited by st530; Mar 19, 2023 at 1:48 pm
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 9:28 am
  #783  
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Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
Except there is nothing to suggest that the flights where PP is being oversold would otherwise be given advanced PZ space to upgrade passengers from Y except by exploitation of the loophole (ie. the flights where PP is being oversold aren't the flights that were getting advanced PZ in the first place).
I mean, I dont know how we can measure that one way or the other. Its clear that the introduction of PE and the accelerated disappearance of PZ were, at least somewhat, contemporaneous. I dont think you can prove causality either way.
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 10:03 am
  #784  
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Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
Except there is nothing to suggest that the flights where PP is being oversold would otherwise be given advanced PZ space to upgrade passengers from Y except by exploitation of the loophole (ie. the flights where PP is being oversold aren't the flights that were getting advanced PZ in the first place).

In the alternative reality where PP isn't being oversold and the loophole doesn't exist: if PP is booked full and UA wants to sell more space in that cabin, they would release PZ, upgrades would be processed in the proper order moving PP people up, and thereby returning PP seats to inventory. It's the same net effect, except preserves the upgrade integrity as intended that PY passengers should go to J before Y passengers. Which overselling PP and not releasing PZ is the same thing. There's no evidence that PP is being oversold to the point of OP-UPs of non-status passengers occurring to the point that status passengers with a PZ request aren't getting it from Y (the one report we have seen from the non-status influencer who was op-up'd R->J, had nonrevs clear J as well).

And since seeing offers of a PP buyup vs. J buyup with a difference between the two as low as $100, if anything this is just another iteration of aggressive FCM.
I don't think any loophole is necessarily implicated in this discussion.

Here's a common scenario: a few weeks out, J moderately booked, say 36/50, O mostly booked, say 23/24, no one waitlisted. Historically, they would open PZ and hope to recoup revenue from someone booking flight to use instrument. Now they open A or R, oversell PE cabin by 8, blocking J to 44/50, and never open PZ. For someone wants to confirm PZ at booking, you're shut out except if you accept playing upgrade roulette (terrible game). Theoretically you could even have your Y-J upgrade request ignored if they do manage to sell 6 close-in J and then they have to resolve the O oversale, although I don't believe that happens in practice commonly.

Simply put, I don't see any reason to argue against the thesis that PE revenue management practices deteriorate PZ availability.
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 10:38 am
  #785  
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Here is an example.

3/21 BOS-SFO-SIN on W fare. PN=PZ=0

Out of curiosity, I checked how much it would cost to move to Premium Plus for SFO-SIN.




Measly $39.

Oh, Premium Plus is full from the seat map. Can't even select a seat.
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 11:20 am
  #786  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Less PZ is a negative for every 1K who prefers to book upgrade space that can be confirmed at booking. If significant O/A/R oversells suck up PZ space, that’s a big issue for me, not because I’m necessarily trying to jump over them in a queue, but because I don’t have much interest in being in a queue in the first place.
If P+ wasn't such a poor product, I wouldn't care so much. But going over the Pacific in P+ sucks (it's better than 10 across, but it's in no way a "premium" product).
What is the incremental value of 1K over Gold if you can't use your PPs? It used to be that other 1K perks were valuable, but no more. During IRROPS lately, I'm not getting any special treatment. I can't even get a hotel on a forced overnight anymore. I've had no CPUs in over a year. MREs are better than UA's premium cabin food offerings. The FAs have lost all motivation. What, exactly, is special about the 1K experience? If I am having to pay (or use an award) for J, it makes absolutely no difference which airline I fly.

Paid F/J on any carrier as a nobody = paid F/J on UA as a 1K.
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Last edited by zombietooth; Mar 19, 2023 at 11:27 am
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 11:23 am
  #787  
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Originally Posted by zombietooth
If P+ wasn't a poor product, I wouldn't care so much. But going over the Pacific in P+ sucks (it's better than 10 across, but it's in no way a "premium" product).
What is the incremental value of 1K over Gold if you can't use your PPs? It used to be that other 1K perks were valuable, but no more. During IRROPS lately, I'm not getting any special treatment. I can't even get a hotel on a forced overnight anymore. I've had no CPUs in over a year. MREs are better than UA's premium cabin food offerings. The FAs have lost all motivation. What, exactly, is special about the 1K experience? If I am having to pay (or use an award) for J, it makes absolutely no difference which airline I fly.

Paid F/J on any carrier as a nobody = paid F/J on UA as a 1K.
Well said.

By the way, you need to spend $24,000 to enjoy these 1K "benefits".

Unless you fly 54 segments (I know lot of people can't do that many segments!)
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 12:32 pm
  #788  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
Well said.

By the way, you need to spend $24,000 to enjoy these 1K "benefits".

Unless you fly 54 segments (I know lot of people can't do that many segments!)
Can't because of international or can't because it's beneath them to fly that many segments?

David
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 1:20 pm
  #789  
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Originally Posted by DELee
Can't because of international or can't because it's beneath them to fly that many segments?

David
I personally know seven GS/1Ks.

They mainly fly international.

None of them can do 54 segments per year. Not even close.

In my 20 years of flying with United/Northwest/Continental, the most segments I had were something like 30.
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 1:36 pm
  #790  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
I personally know seven GS/1Ks.

They mainly fly international.

None of them can do 54 segments per year. Not even close.

In my 20 years of flying with United/Northwest/Continental, the most segments I had were something like 30.
Well, if they (and you) are able to spend your miles and PPs (formerly RPUs and GPUs) successfully internationally and hit the relevant 1K and GS spends for PQPs, then you don't need the segments.

(Self note: As a (previous) domestic 1K, a quick look shows I was hitting from 73 to 120 segments annually on UA only between 2016 and 2019. Hit 43 and 36 for 2021 and 2022. But it is clear now that UA doesn't value me or my spend. But then I've branched out anyways to other airlines since 2020 and UA's move to PQPs.)

David
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 3:24 pm
  #791  
 
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Originally Posted by kb1992
I personally know seven GS/1Ks.

They mainly fly international.

None of them can do 54 segments per year. Not even close.

In my 20 years of flying with United/Northwest/Continental, the most segments I had were something like 30.
I imagine it's not an issue for GS qualifying on ludicrous spend. I'm willing to bet 1Ks flying international J are likely to hit the 24k spend mark assuming say, an international biz ticket every other month at $4000 a seat.
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 4:18 pm
  #792  
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Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
There's no evidence that PP is being oversold to the point of OP-UPs of non-status passengers occurring to the point that status passengers with a PZ request aren't getting it from Y (the one report we have seen from the non-status influencer who was op-up'd R->J, had nonrevs clear J as well).
Except there IS evidence of exactly this and I'm the one who posted it (albeit pre-Covid). I booked a US-Asia trip with EWR-NRT leg in PremPlus. I think it was "R" but possibly "A" class; not sure. I did NOT apply PlusPoints because I knew PremPlus was overbooked. Sure enough I got the OpUp and nobody in coach was upgraded to J. There was a second person who got OpUp'd with me and they had no status based on the printed BP that I could see. I think your statement is off about "non-status passengers" and should read "passengers without PP applied" because elite status doesn't matter. If PremPlus is oversold then those who are left holding the bag (e.g. without a seat assignment) will get J. Sometimes you just have to wait until boarding starts.

Fast forward to what started all of this, my FRA-IAD flight today. 9 blocked at about 24 hours with PremPlus fully booked and J down to J2 C1. As people presumably got out of PremPlus (cancelled?) then upgrades occurred and we wound up with 7 blocked, two cleared and me at #4 on the waitlist. The three above me were not waitlisted for PremPlus so either already in PremPlus or skipping that list. Eventually the flight was J0 (which means you can't tell exactly how many are blocked because the mobile app shows 'full') with 6 open on the seat map and PremPlus showing zero open. The J seat map eventually filled up. Guess where they came from? Oversold PremPlus cabin. They may or may not have status but absolutely none of them had PPs applied. Those of us in Y who were waiting for PZ never got it. That became irrelevant as the flight cancelled and everything went into chaos mode.

-RM
PS - yes, I know this is a small sample size.
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Last edited by RobOnLI; Mar 19, 2023 at 5:38 pm
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 5:52 pm
  #793  
 
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Originally Posted by kb1992
Update:

3/24 SFO-TPE is J2. I am waitlisted for PN as No. 4. Can't do T-72 push anyway.

I never imagined that this would not clear PP upgrade as GS.

Are lot of people going to Taiwan??? It used to be an easy upgrade!

Time to change plans.....
Originally Posted by fumje
Any chance it's O oversale reducing J inventory?
Originally Posted by RobOnLI
Except there IS evidence of exactly this and I'm the one who posted it (albeit pre-Covid). I booked a US-Asia trip with EWR-NRT leg in PremPlus. I think it was "R" but possibly "A" class; not sure. I did NOT apply PlusPoints because I knew PremPlus was overbooked. Sure enough I got the OpUp and nobody in coach was upgraded to J. There was a second person who got OpUp'd with me and they had no status based on the printed BP that I could see. I think your statement is off about "non-status passengers" and should read "passengers without PP applied" because elite status doesn't matter. If PremPlus is oversold then those who are left holding the bag (e.g. without a seat assignment) will get J. Sometimes you just have to wait until boarding starts.

Fast forward to what started all of this, my FRA-IAD flight today. 9 blocked at about 24 hours with PremPlus fully booked and J down to J2 C1. As people presumably got out of PremPlus (cancelled?) then upgrades occurred and we wound up with 7 blocked, two cleared and me at #4 on the waitlist. The three above me were not waitlisted for PremPlus so either already in PremPlus or skipping that list. Eventually the flight was J0 (which means you can't tell exactly how many are blocked because the mobile app shows 'full') with 6 open on the seat map and PremPlus showing zero open. The J seat map eventually filled up. Guess where they came from? Oversold PremPlus cabin. They may or may not have status but absolutely none of them had PPs applied. Those of us in Y who were waiting for PZ never got it. That became irrelevant as the flight cancelled and everything went into chaos mode.
This is very curious. It is hard to reconcile UA saying that business travel to Asia remains well below 2019 in volume, particularly in paid business, yet we hear of GS having problems getting upgrades on SFO-SIN and now SFO-TPE. I have been wondering if UA is overselling permium plus to such an extent that there are no or few upgrades left for day of departure.
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 7:41 pm
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Originally Posted by uanj
This is very curious. It is hard to reconcile UA saying that business travel to Asia remains well below 2019 in volume, particularly in paid business, yet we hear of GS having problems getting upgrades on SFO-SIN and now SFO-TPE. I have been wondering if UA is overselling permium plus to such an extent that there are no or few upgrades left for day of departure.
Well this 1K is watching their applied for upgrades like a hawk...I have them all applied for my international flights. I have one more international flight to be booked (for end of year) and the upgraded (or not) flights will determine if the last international flight is paid J on United or OAL. United is more but the fare differential offsets my perceived benefit of the PlusPoints differential benefit for 2024. Also, if I decide not to book with United for that last flight it means I will not be 1K for 2024, although will still make Platinum, and will cancel the United Quest card. Currently United, presumably, makes money from my Quest card. I currently just use my Amex Platinum card for Uber rides and would drop to a non-United visa card. As a 1.5MM I would still have access to Star Alliance lounges. I strive for 1K on my own money for the PlusPoints for international travel. I fly DL and Skyteam where Star Alliance is not available. As most know United is not the cheapest airline for international but if my PlusPoints work then they get my money (on the assumption the upgrades will happen).

Historically i have been able to use my PlusPoints and GPUs but it was touch and go in December 2022 where I did am OLCI buyup to PP for the upgrade to Polaris. I do play the upgrade lottery but mainly because i fly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and it usually is fine.

I very much recognize I am not United's customer of choice and had thought I would not be 1K after the large PQP increase but COVID arrived and here I am in 2023 still 1K...perhaps my last year...perhaps 2024 will my last year.
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Old Mar 19, 2023, 8:57 pm
  #795  
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Originally Posted by uanj
This is very curious. It is hard to reconcile UA saying that business travel to Asia remains well below 2019 in volume, particularly in paid business, yet we hear of GS having problems getting upgrades on SFO-SIN and now SFO-TPE. I have been wondering if UA is overselling permium plus to such an extent that there are no or few upgrades left for day of departure.
UA has constrained TPAC capacity and sending it through SFO. Flights out of LAX, DEN, etc. aren't scheduled anymore. If other airlines can fly non-stop, they can have part of UA's lunch and force it to compete. Which, as we know, it doesn't do very well.

David
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