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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 Sep 25, 2023, 8:56 pm
  #1036  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP, Hyatt Glob, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Plat, Total Wine & More Reserve
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Originally Posted by technique
Nunber of flights? They are currently flying 5 flights a day, 2 widebody and 3 narrowbody.
I was thinking total seats. Seems like it used to be more, but I don't have the data to compare.

Originally Posted by Longboater
However, I was in 20A for each flight so it wasn't all too bad.
Not a bad fallback at all. But even the non-middle PE (sold as E+) seats are often tough to get unless booked weeks out.
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Old Sep 25, 2023, 9:10 pm
  #1037  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Originally Posted by econ
Not a bad fallback at all. But even the non-middle PE (sold as E+) seats are often tough to get unless booked weeks out.
I booked this back in June on a T fare both ways and wasn't even close to having a chance to upgrade using PP.
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Old Sep 26, 2023, 3:16 am
  #1038  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: United 1k, HH Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador and LT-Gold
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hey, it isnt all bad - I got a 1k CPU on a T fare upgrade on a mid-morning CLE-ORD flight at T-36
yippee..... they better have my Old Fashions and napkins with buttonholes....

my connecting ORD-MSY... I am 10th on the list with everything booked..... back to reality

I gave up on even using PP on anything in or out of DEN, SFO, LAX.....
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Old Sep 28, 2023, 1:17 pm
  #1039  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Our nation's capital
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I'd still get used to the fact that your PPs will expire. Year on year, I saw hundreds expire as a 1K. I found it well nigh impossible to use 80% of them, even when I threw them at silly domestic flights where the u/g didn't really matter.
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Old Sep 30, 2023, 5:53 am
  #1040  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Washington, D.C.
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Isn't this essentially Prisoner's Dilemma? If we all just wait and don't take the bait for "cheap" F upgrades when they are offered then we'd have a ton of PZ upgrades for free assigned T-24 instead of near zero every time? Airlines are reaping money from our inability to stick together
And yes, I'm 100% guilty of this. Several F seats available in my SFO-IAD flight next week but I just bought the $400 upgrade cause I know it will go to zero before any free upgrades are assigned.
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Old Sep 30, 2023, 6:32 am
  #1041  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: NYC
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On one of the many DL subreddit posts I saw one that mocked people suddenly being able to do basic math and act in their own best interests but we are all guilty of it. I had my PP all confirmed for the year but I cancelled some when a better non-stop flight became available and the cash upgrade was reasonable. I told myself that this was sensible because the upfare would help me retain 1K. I've just done it again so they'll likely expire unless some domestics work (and that is highly unlikely because they are 319s with few F seats to begin with).

Their main use for me remains for family bookings because no matter how reasonable the upgrade once you start multiplying by 4 it becomes more of an issue.
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Old Sep 30, 2023, 7:21 am
  #1042  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: LAX IAH AMS
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IAH-EWR 9/28 on a 763
2 GS on same PNR
Booked 3 months out with PP applied immediately
J7 @ T-96
J4 @ T-72 so could not push us both through

Did not clear.

Going back a few years before all of this madness ensued I would have NEVER had to put RPU/GPU (aka Plus Points) on a domestic flight. CPU would clear almost 100% of the time.

Now, I put PP on everything domestic and have a 70% success rate, I'd guess. Or I just pay for F, which is exactly what UA wants me to do lol.
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Old Sep 30, 2023, 9:09 am
  #1043  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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avi8tir - I agree, but what is the answer?
maybe being able the use PP for something else other than random upgrades on 1-2 hour flights?
maybe something a little more predictable?

-m
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Old Sep 30, 2023, 9:14 am
  #1044  
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Originally Posted by technique
Isn't this essentially Prisoner's Dilemma? If we all just wait and don't take the bait for "cheap" F upgrades when they are offered then we'd have a ton of PZ upgrades for free assigned T-24 instead of near zero every time?
Not really, no. It's common for there to be more people on the upgrade list than there are seats up front. The people paying the buy-ups aren't necessarily the ones who'd get upgraded if everybody kept their wallets in their pockets; in many cases, they're going to non-status passengers for whom the price is a much better deal. Consider, as a 1K, I already get 3x70 lbs for checked bags, priority boarding, and E+ seating at the time of purchase. Someone with no status has to pay for any of those. So whereas, for me, a $149 upgrade from AUS to ORD just pays for the difference between an exit row window and F, for a non-status passenger with a couple of bags to check who might have paid for E+ anyway, paying for the upgrade might be cheaper than paying for the services individually and sitting in E+.

Originally Posted by avi8tir
Going back a few years before all of this madness ensued I would have NEVER had to put RPU/GPU (aka Plus Points) on a domestic flight. CPU would clear almost 100% of the time.
A few years before all which madness? Are you talking 2012? FCM Is hardly new.
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Old Sep 30, 2023, 12:35 pm
  #1045  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: LAX IAH AMS
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Originally Posted by jsloan


A few years before all which madness? Are you talking 2012? FCM Is hardly new.
Up until the post-covid era. I never used an upgrade instrument on a domestic flight because I really never had to as GS. CPU was usually a guarantee.
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Old Sep 30, 2023, 2:58 pm
  #1046  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Not really, no. It's common for there to be more people on the upgrade list than there are seats up front. The people paying the buy-ups aren't necessarily the ones who'd get upgraded if everybody kept their wallets in their pockets; in many cases, they're going to non-status passengers for whom the price is a much better deal. Consider, as a 1K, I already get 3x70 lbs for checked bags, priority boarding, and E+ seating at the time of purchase. Someone with no status has to pay for any of those. So whereas, for me, a $149 upgrade from AUS to ORD just pays for the difference between an exit row window and F, for a non-status passenger with a couple of bags to check who might have paid for E+ anyway, paying for the upgrade might be cheaper than paying for the services individually and sitting in E+.
This is the reason that I always bought F on DL long before I got status with them. I always have to travel with 140-210 lbs of business equipment and, when you add in the additional costs for baggage, paid F actually becomes a decent deal most of the time.
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Old Sep 30, 2023, 3:22 pm
  #1047  
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Originally Posted by avi8tir
Originally Posted by jsloan


A few years before all which madness? Are you talking 2012? FCM Is hardly new.
Up until the post-covid era. I never used an upgrade instrument on a domestic flight because I really never had to as GS. CPU was usually a guarantee.
I do agree that the past two years have been the hardest ever for upgrades. I don't know why — more aggressive FCM?, revenge spending?, reduced frequencies? — but it does seem like we're in a new regime now. Sort of a tangent, but SDC has also become severely hollowed out as a benefit, because somehow they are just keeping everything full full full.
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Old Sep 30, 2023, 3:55 pm
  #1048  
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Originally Posted by fumje
I do agree that the past two years have been the hardest ever for upgrades.
It's a continuation of the pre-Covid trend. There was a break March 2020 into mid-2021, but it's just gotten worse and worse since then. It's due mostly to UA discounting F combined with holding off on upgrades until T-24. WFBF may have originated in the DL forum, but it's come home to rest on UA. (The thing is though, that F on UA isn't really worth much of a premium, as I was reminded on a typically crappy UA flight last night PHX-SFO on a tired old 739 with rock hard F seats when my partner was denied a second item from the snack basket.)
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Old Sep 30, 2023, 4:03 pm
  #1049  
 
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Kacee - I think you and I have discussed this topic previously - specifically the "value of F"
or more specifically, what is the math that gets used to determine whether it is worth BF?
for example:
OPM - sure, if someone else will pay for it - especially, regardless of the cost, then go for it - but nothing is ever free
Distance - the longer the flight, obviously the a better experience might be worth it
Cost - I look at this a $/hour of flying - for some reason 100/hr for an upgrade (i.e. SFO-HNL/OGG) is about my limit
Meals - are you spending >$100 for a F meal vs a snack?
Seat - yes, F is better than E+... but is it really that much better, especially if you can get an empty middle seat or the entire row?
earlier boarding? - depends on if you get pre-board (GS, 1k, military, etc)

maybe I am just getting comfortable sitting in E+
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Old Sep 30, 2023, 4:05 pm
  #1050  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Not really, no. It's common for there to be more people on the upgrade list than there are seats up front. The people paying the buy-ups aren't necessarily the ones who'd get upgraded if everybody kept their wallets in their pockets; in many cases, they're going to non-status passengers for whom the price is a much better deal. Consider, as a 1K, I already get 3x70 lbs for checked bags, priority boarding, and E+ seating at the time of purchase. Someone with no status has to pay for any of those.
I agree with this. Whenever I book for my non-status current husband or our extended family when they are traveling alone it's usually far enough out that I can get a reasonable P or Z fare. That way they can check a bag if they want to, they can pick a seat, you know they'll get a drink on even the shortest flight, early boarding group and if things go wrong it's better to have Premier Access / Skyteam Elite or whatever than not have it. You don't need to give a single airline $25-$35k, you can pay as you go. You never worry about waitlists or hope for something other than your ticketed class of travel. Come to think of it when I write it like this someone should book my travel too and it would probably be a lot more rational.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 30, 2023 at 4:42 pm Reason: repaired quote
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