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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 Jun 15, 2023, 8:11 am
  #901  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: SQ, QF, UA, CO, DL
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
Doesn't matter how many times it's said, if it's not true.

1. The annual poll we conduct still finds broad satisfaction across the plus point user base.

2. I've personally booked over 20 international flights leveraging PZ/PN space this year -- including SFO-SIN (PZ), SFO-FCO (PN), SFO-LHR (PZ).
Stating PN/PZ has simply disappeared because everyone is buying J is just factually incorrect. There's plenty of PN/PZ space, but it's just consumed quickly by the millions of plus points circulating in the ecosystem. Once those are reduced, satisfaction across the plus point user base will grow further.
I appreciate the debate, so thanks to everyone for participating.

My experience has been almost no upgrade inventory available even when only two seats are assigned in business. People who are upgraded are automatically assigned seats so this is UA not releasing upgrade inventory.

I have also noticed when I apply pp for upgrades from Y they don't clear until a few days (or less) before the flight. However, if I apply upgrades to O,A or R they clear 1-4 weeks out. If UA is following their stated policy of upgrades (GS before any non-GS in Premium Economy) then the only explanation I can see is they are overselling Premium Economy, clearing my GS sponsored upgrades and then continuing to sell O, A and R. I think even for GS there is no certainty that upgrades will clear from Y to Polaris.
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 8:17 am
  #902  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
People expecting PZ space to be open "next year" are like Charlie Brown with the football at this point.
Seriously. People have been spouting this every single year since PQDs were first introduced over ten years ago, and it's consistently gotten worse, never better. As you note, it's based on a complete misunderstanding of the cause of low upgrade rates. This is the fully intended effect of UA training its customers in want F, buy F. If there are fewer elites, and fewer PP in circulation, UA will simply tighten the screws even tighter.
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 8:51 am
  #903  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Programs: UA 1k, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
Unitedís not really releasing anything early. Upgrades arenít being made available (if seats remaining) until w/i 48 hours of departure. Plus, w/ European travel bonkers this summer, no incentive for UA to forego revenue. Is Delta passing out upgrades in advance or is it just a more convenient carrier/alliance?
I fly out of PBI. I used to have direct flights to ORD, IAD, and IAH along with EWR.
Right now there is only EWR.

I spent years taking 2,3,4 legs to go somewhere , just to stick with United, but do not see the point anymore. My work is still not allowing flying , so I dropped from 1k to silver. Just gonna do this last trip to use up as many PP as possible. Hence the needing PZ as there is no way Silver will clear. Also need to google to find out what my options are regarding my 400k air miles I have.

Booked wife and 11 y/o daughter for 9th July going PBI-EWR-MUC-ATH , EWR-MUC had PZ2 , then I just paid $100 each to upgrade them to business on the MUC-ATH via LH. They come back in August so no PP for the LHR-EWR-PBI leg, however I booked them Premium Economy, their whole trip was $4,500 , so not too bad considering the Polaris outbound and Premium return. However, it did take literally 30+ hours of searching over many weeks , every day , to get that itinerary lol.
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 8:57 am
  #904  
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
2. I've personally booked over 20 international flights leveraging PZ/PN space this year -- including SFO-SIN (PZ), SFO-FCO (PN), SFO-LHR (PZ).
At the time of booking? Or cleared within T-24 / at the gate?

I’m not interested in upgrades that might clear.

ETA: Your very own poll shows, to quote you, "Record lows across all measured metrics." Poll: Satisfied With UA's 2022 (+Jan '23) PlusPoints Upgrade Program?

To quote you again, from the same thread, "They're just frustrating folks with their draconian 'PZ always = 0' current posture."

If PZ=0, and the flights are empty, then clearly the reason is not that people are scooping up these awards with the massive number of PlusPoints in circulation -- which wouldn't still be in circulation if they were being used. And, since all members have access to PZ space (Miles + Copay), there is no reason to think that this is some kind of one-off reaction to the massive number of PlusPoints in circulation. This is UA's new normal, it is markedly worse than it was even in 2019, and there is no reason to believe it will improve next year.
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Last edited by jsloan; Jun 15, 2023 at 10:53 am
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 11:49 am
  #905  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
This is UA's new normal, it is markedly worse than it was even in 2019, and there is no reason to believe it will improve next year.
No, there isn't, the fundamental reason being that UA believes it has succeeded in monetizing the premium cabins such that it no longer needs to actually provide upgrades but just dangle the prospect of upgrades to incent "loyalty" from elites.
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 11:57 am
  #906  
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United wants you to spend the $ to make status; United sells cheap TODs; United markets PE fares, to give you some confidence boost.

United is doing what is supposed to do, make money. You, as the passenger, will have to assess whether it's all worth it at the end of the day.
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 12:48 pm
  #907  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
At the time of booking? Or cleared within T-24 / at the gate? Iím not interested in upgrades that might clear.
100% at booking. Like you, no interest in battlefield upgrades.

Even brand-new routes, with no operating history, have PZ/PN available. I booked SFO-FCO 6 months out. I think it was PN8/PZ2 at booking.


Originally Posted by jsloan

Your very own poll shows, to quote you, "Record lows across all measured metrics."
Yes, but look at the absolute numbers.

1. 55% are using the majority of PPs.
2. 23% are using 100% of their PPs.
3. 43% of the people are satisfied with the PP program.

Sure, lower than in prior years, but far from the narrative that PPs are unusable.

This is because there are millions of PPs chasing these precious slots. That situation remedies itself this year. Note the lack of PQD promotions from UA since the initial one in Jan.

UA is no doubt culling the herd -- which will nicely correct the PP imbalance.
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 1:05 pm
  #908  
 
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
100% at booking. Like you, no interest in battlefield upgrades.

Even brand-new routes, with no operating history, have PZ/PN available. I booked SFO-FCO 6 months out. I think it was PN8/PZ2 at booking.




Yes, but look at the absolute numbers.

1. 55% are using the majority of PPs.
2. 23% are using 100% of their PPs.
3. 43% of the people are satisfied with the PP program.

Sure, lower than in prior years, but far from the narrative that PPs are unusable.

This is because there are millions of PPs chasing these precious slots. That situation remedies itself this year. Note the lack of PQD promotions from UA since the initial one in Jan.

UA is no doubt culling the herd -- which will nicely correct the PP imbalance.
I've been able to use a little more than 10% of my PPs (mostly for others). I fly business routes 90% of the time, and don't have the luxury of searching a 365-day window, desperately seeking any route that will allow me to burn some PPs. I try to apply them to every flight that I book and they don't clear, so I usually buy-up or change carriers. Premium Plus is a joke and it's not worth paying 2K for, but it looks like it's the gatekeeper for Asian UGs. I am no longer willing to pay UA's P+ price just so I can try to use my heretofore worthless PPs, so I am buying J-cabin fares internationally much of the time now. UA rarely has the cheapest J price anymore or the best routing, so I am flying other carriers. So what is my incentive to give UA my business? The UG rate isn't going to improve, and I'm honestly treated way better on DL (although I'm not trying to UG there, I'm buying the cabin I want).
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 1:19 pm
  #909  
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
100% at booking. Like you, no interest in battlefield upgrades.
Congratulations. Your success is at odds with most people's experiences, including mine. I've looked for SFO-SIN over three distinct time periods, any day of the week, ranging from 3 weeks to 9 months in advance, over a period of several weeks, and haven't seen a single seat appear in PZ. I did finally find PZ5 for IAD-HND and made that work, although I had to book NRT-GUM-HNL-and-pray on the way back. (And then when I searched for the next three weeks for NRT-XXX: nothing).

This has, by far, been the most difficult year to find PZ space in advance since I've become 1K. Yes, there are still occasional successes. But I've invested far, far more effort this year in finding PZ than I've ever had to do in the past.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
1. 55% are using the majority of PPs.
2. 23% are using 100% of their PPs.
3. 43% of the people are satisfied with the PP program.
Those numbers are all terrible, and are at odds with your narrative that PlusPoints are easily usable on this PZ space that people are supposedly sucking up before others can get to it. I used 100% of my PlusPoints. 20 of them got me upgraded on FNT-ORD. Big. Deal. (UA then extended them again, beyond July, after I'd already used them up planning on that date...). In other words, simply using PlusPoints is not a good metric. And the fact that 77% of people had leftover PlusPoints is damning.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
This is because there are millions of PPs chasing these precious slots. That situation remedies itself this year. Note the lack of PQD promotions from UA since the initial one in Jan.
This is wishful thinking that has been repeated, every year, ad nauseam, for at least a decade. It has no basis in reality. In fact, take a look at this thread from 2019, where you claimed that the changes in 2019 were going to make 2020 a banner year for upgrades: PN vs PZ -- Why such a difference? . Of course, you couldn't have predicted the pandemic, but whether you want to count 2022 or 2023 as post-pandemic, it's clear that these predictions have not come to fruition.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly
UA is no doubt culling the herd -- which will nicely correct the PP imbalance.
This is also wishful thinking. This year's numbers are easier to meet than 2019's (as in, I will make 1K without even trying this year, and for less money than I spent in 2019 when the PQD limit was $15K). UA has no incentive to reduce the number of 1Ks by any large amount. And even if they did, everyone has access to PZ space, not just 1Ks.
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 1:35 pm
  #910  
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I seem to recall reading the exact same prediction for the past two years from the same member about "culling the herd" and how upgrades will suddenly become bountiful "next year." And look where we are now.

Me? 300 PP sitting unused and mostly unusable.
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 1:42 pm
  #911  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Originally Posted by Kacee
Me? 300 PP sitting unused and mostly unusable.
Maybe you can give them away to the scores of FT members who are satisfied with the program?
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 2:15 pm
  #912  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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I have not been able to find any international PZ when I needed it so far. I am one of those that will only buy if an upgrade is available at booking - I will not waitlist. However, starting in the fall, I am starting to see some PZ TATL. If I can get a decent price in business one way and get an upgrade at booking on the other for around 2.5-2.7k, I would book that. It was pretty common to find that on UA years ago back before I was 1K, and I was fine with that. (By the way, you can get that kind of cash and miles price on BA almost any day.). Maybe travel in the second half of the year is starting to thin out a bit.
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 4:10 pm
  #913  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
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Flying SFO-BUR tomorrow and had been at 1 and 2 on the upgrade list until last night where someone from I think 7th moved up and took the lead. Some sort of instrument applied(I would hope PlusPoints and not miles) and it looks like they've been upgraded. Still sitting on the waiting list and not expecting to clear before the gate if at all(it's an E175 so not really that worried about it).

Last time we took this RT I think we got CPUd both ways.
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 4:39 pm
  #914  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
And the fact that 77% of people had leftover PlusPoints is damning..
I have eaten PPs EVERY year since the program began and will of course again this year. In fact it is even getting worse. Admittedly, contributing to my failure to use them is the fact that I have been slowly losing status with UA and my typical lack of flexibility with booking.
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Old Jun 15, 2023, 9:38 pm
  #915  
 
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Originally Posted by CaptJOB
Flying SFO-BUR tomorrow and had been at 1 and 2 on the upgrade list until last night where someone from I think 7th moved up and took the lead. Some sort of instrument applied(I would hope PlusPoints and not miles) and it looks like they've been upgraded. Still sitting on the waiting list and not expecting to clear before the gate if at all(it's an E175 so not really that worried about it).

Last time we took this RT I think we got CPUd both ways.
Wow! People burning plus points on San Francisco to Burbank is crazy!

We're in the home stretch, six more weeks of this sillyness. We have an email list at my firm of folks handing out July expiring plus points. My favorite thank you was from someone who responded, "Thank you so much for the plus points, my gardener was able to use them on a trip to Mexico City!"

I have nothing against gardeners, but their as* doesn't hurt from sitting on a cardboard seat 14 hours a week. United needs to stop the madness of elites (especially GS) handing out their plus points to non-family.
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