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 Oct 4, 2023, 6:21 pm
  #1081  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: IAH/EWR-LGA/MIA
Programs: UA Global Services 3.2 MM, Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Titanium Elite, AA Exec Plat, BA Gold
Posts: 2,572
Am I the only who noticed that Matthew — who started this “dodo” thread last year — just claimed to be batting 1.000 so far this year on international PP upgrades as a lowly 1K?

https://liveandletsfly.com/united-mi...lus-blueprint/
marks88 likes this.
st530 is offline  
Old Oct 4, 2023, 6:30 pm
  #1082  
Moderator: Trip Reports
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: UA GS-2MM, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 3,775
Originally Posted by st530
Am I the only who noticed that Matthew — who started this “dodo” thread last year — just claimed to be batting 1.000 so far this year on international PP upgrades as a lowly 1K?

https://liveandletsfly.com/united-mi...lus-blueprint/
I am a lowly 1K and have cleared every upgrade in the last 2 years. Admittedly I am buying premium economy and my primary route is DEN-MEL. I have made 6 round trips to Oz since Dec 2022. Even cleared with my 2 kids on 12/22 (admittedly it went down to the wire and we cleared at about 90 mins prior). Kids also cleared DEN-NRT this summer (again they were in Premium Economy). I honestly cant fault the system and I use every PP every year.
SPN Lifer, uanj, st530 and 1 others like this.
eightblack is offline  
Old Oct 4, 2023, 10:16 pm
  #1083  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Washington, D.C.
Programs: AA PLT (MM), UA 1K, Marriott Ti, IHG Diamond
Posts: 929
Dreamcrusher here. Just in case anyone flying sfo-iad thinks there is any hope of a PP upgrade, I was with a GS who was #1 on the list at t-24 with 5 free out of 20 seats and did not clear. Every seat was purchased by boarding time, including the one I sat in which I paid $400 for when there was 12 empty seats at T-72 cause I knew that as a 1K I'd be #7 at best.
technique is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 4:17 am
  #1084  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: SQ, QF, UA, CO, DL
Posts: 3,104
Originally Posted by exerda
I took some screen shots on the trip out to BTV, where at check-in my wife (a 1K via my MM status) was offered an upgrade for $80 on EWR-BTV, whereas I was offered the same upgrade, on a slightly higher fare class, for $579. We were both waitlisted on PP applied from my account.

All I can figure is that UA's algorithms looked at my spend patterns and decided I often pay for F, and she rarely buys tickets (usually flies on miles), and made her what it felt was the more likely offer. Crunched the numbers on those probabilities vs. anticipated revenue delta, and set hers roughly where the probable incremental revenue was roughly the same. If it had been a transcon instead of EWR-BTV, with proportionally-adjusted by flight duration buyups, it might have even worked.
Fares have dramatically changed in the last 18 months. I used to buy international tickets with the domestic flights combined but it has become far cheaper to destructure the itinerary and buy separate one-ways domestically. A lot of my flights are under two hours so I don't care much if I am in F or Y. I travelled with a business colleague in September and we booked around 8 flights on UA. All of my buy-ups were significantly higher than if I cancelled my ticket and rebooked buying cheapest available FC. I share an earlier IAD-FLL upgrade offer that was nearly 2000 and I had another one, IAD-EWR, at 1200. (Not that it matters much, much but our DL flights had much cheaper buy-up offers.)

Perhaps not surprisingly my colleague had much lower buy-up offers but I did not book his tickets so I cannot say what he paid for them. I am moving closer, however, to believing that as a GS I am being charged more. The algorithms aren't working on me, I am not biting. I am sure they are selling the seats but not at what they are asking me to pay.

Originally Posted by mfirst
exerda - why should UA tweak their algorithms to your best interests when they appear to be working quite well for their best interesting - meaning, the seats in F are full.
but, I do tend to agree with you..... and maybe in the end, I am just getting worn out by all of this since it appears to random and out of my control.

If I am traveling for work on OPM - the ticket that gets purchased is typically in a fare class that I have zero control over - and while I might get a buy-up offer, that comes out of my own pocket (non-reimbursable) - and even if someone else is paying, sometimes it just isnt worth the silly amounts that they want for moving a few feet closer to the front door?

Is spending $69 for a buy-up on a sub-90 min flight worth it?

-m
I would jump for joy if I saw a buy-up under 100! Does this really happen?

Originally Posted by jsloan
None of this would be nice. Let me translate that for you: "Please try to improve your ability to extract as much of my money as possible."

Besides FCM going away, which isn't happening, what would be nice would be for UA to agree that offering personalized pricing is worse for their reputation than not doing so, and to offer everyone the same price. For a long time, UA seemed to do this; while there were occasional anecdotes from somebody who was "sure" that somebody else must have gotten a really good price that they'd never seen, there weren't any confirmed reports, and there were lots of counterexamples. Now, however, it seems undeniable that UA is offering personalized pricing, and they need to tread carefully. Personalized pricing is borderline scandalous -- it feels dishonest, and it seems to stir fairly strong emotion. Amazon famously tried it in 2000 and had to discontinue it immediately as customer backlash was intense. In the airline world, people are more used to paying different prices for the same product, but it's still dangerous; while you obviously don't feel that UA was trying to take advantage of you, not everyone in your position would feel the same sympathy toward a company that just tried to charge them 7x what they were charging someone else, at the same time, for the same thing.
Originally Posted by jsloan
Exactly. Giving your best price to a new customer, rather than to an existing customer, is a strategy that's common in, say, the cell phone and cable TV industries -- and who doesn't love their cell phone or cable companies? AT&T even had to run an entire ad campaign about how they were offering the same price to new or existing customers, as too many people must have been going from carrier to carrier every time they saw an attractive promo.

If UA really wants to extract every last dollar from its customer, but in a way that's not as brazen as what you've described, they should set a common upgrade price, and then, at check-in (which is where these deep discounts normally seem to show up), offer a sliding scale based upon status, e.g.: 10% off for Silver, 20% for Gold, 30% for Plat, 40% for 1K, 50% for GS. "We value your business and understand that some customers may not want to wait for their complimentary upgrades to clear; as a courtesy, we're offering you a special X% discount if you'd like to purchase a buy-up now." As we've discussed recently on this thread, the upgrade is less valuable as your status increases anyway, so this is represents better economic alignment -- but it's also better emotional alignment too.
I have some concern that UA is laready testing this on certain products, namely upgrades, hopefully they will not go any further.
uanj is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 7:01 am
  #1085  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Programs: UA*1K MM SK EBG LATAM BL
Posts: 23,440
Originally Posted by uanj
I am moving closer, however, to believing that as a GS I am being charged more. The algorithms aren't working on me, I am not biting. I am sure they are selling the seats but not at what they are asking me to pay.
Since all GS/1K are generally flying on OPM, it is understandable for United to try to extract more money from them. Its a smart move.
People are a lot happier to part with money when its not theirs, or whats a couple hundred on a ticket you didnt pay for in the first place, or when the whole thing is a deductible business expense.
rankourabu is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:09 am
  #1086  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: SQ, QF, UA, CO, DL
Posts: 3,104
Originally Posted by rankourabu
Since all GS/1K are generally flying on OPM, it is understandable for United to try to extract more money from them. Its a smart move.
But it's not smart. They are charging more for the upgrade than if I cancel the ticket and repurchase it in first.
SPN Lifer likes this.
uanj is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:13 am
  #1087  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: PHX
Programs: AS 75K; UA 1MM; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott LTP; Hilton Diamond (Aspire)
Posts: 57,201
Originally Posted by uanj
But it's not smart. They are charging more for the upgrade than if I cancel the ticket and repurchase it in first.
Well UA wins if you do that, because then they've got your old money and your new money. Better just to upfare the current ticket.
Kacee is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 9:47 am
  #1088  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 22,055
Originally Posted by rankourabu
Since all GS/1K are generally flying on OPM, it is understandable for United to try to extract more money from them. It's a smart move.
No, no it isn't. It's a great way to lose customers. It's extremely short-sighted.

Sure, many (not "all") GS/1Ks are flying on OPM, but nobody likes to be cheated, even when it's not their money. Do something that seems unfair, get caught doing it, and you risk losing that customer to your competition.
jsloan is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 9:53 am
  #1089  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: NJ
Programs: UA Silver, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 605
Originally Posted by uanj
Fares have dramatically changed in the last 18 months. I used to buy international tickets with the domestic flights combined but it has become far cheaper to destructure the itinerary and buy separate one-ways domestically. A lot of my flights are under two hours so I don't care much if I am in F or Y. I travelled with a business colleague in September and we booked around 8 flights on UA. All of my buy-ups were significantly higher than if I cancelled my ticket and rebooked buying cheapest available FC. I share an earlier IAD-FLL upgrade offer that was nearly 2000 and I had another one, IAD-EWR, at 1200. (Not that it matters much, much but our DL flights had much cheaper buy-up offers.)

Perhaps not surprisingly my colleague had much lower buy-up offers but I did not book his tickets so I cannot say what he paid for them. I am moving closer, however, to believing that as a GS I am being charged more. The algorithms aren't working on me, I am not biting. I am sure they are selling the seats but not at what they are asking me to pay.
I would not be surprised if you were being charged more on average unfortunately, I've been seeing these datapoints over on the AA thread as well regarding upgrade offers in the app. Of course would require more research such as different people buying the same fare class with different statuses at the same time, but I just wouldn't be surprised for it to be true.
SPN Lifer and uanj like this.
Warriorconcept is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 10:14 am
  #1090  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: IAH/EWR-LGA/MIA
Programs: UA Global Services 3.2 MM, Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Titanium Elite, AA Exec Plat, BA Gold
Posts: 2,572
Originally Posted by Warriorconcept
I would not be surprised if you were being charged more on average unfortunately, I've been seeing these datapoints over on the AA thread as well regarding upgrade offers in the app. Of course would require more research such as different people buying the same fare class with different statuses at the same time, but I just wouldn't be surprised for it to be true.
Not sure how relevant this datapoint is, but I just purchased MIA-IAH-FLL roundtrip Oct 12-16, didn't bite at the $1,040 lowest round-trip F fare, so spent $380 on Y, then got offered instant buy-ups to F for $689 for each segment (i.e., $1,758 total roundtrip F, or $718 more than the lowest roundtrip F fare I just declined). Hard to believe a kettle would be offered those buy-up prices, but who knows.,
SPN Lifer likes this.
st530 is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 11:19 am
  #1091  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Programs: UA*1K MM SK EBG LATAM BL
Posts: 23,440
Originally Posted by jsloan
No, no it isn't. It's a great way to lose customers. It's extremely short-sighted.

Sure, many (not "all") GS/1Ks are flying on OPM, but nobody likes to be cheated, even when it's not their money. Do something that seems unfair, get caught doing it, and you risk losing that customer to your competition.
Doubtful. Most will probably actually relish the opportunity to pad their PQDs
Also, what competition? How many GS/1K are truly in a position to fly the competition, either contractually thru their workplace, or because of location/flying patterns?

And yes I am currently seeing a higher upgrade price ($125) on my short E175 segment than my wife who inputted her Aeroplan number instead of her 1K number ($99)
rankourabu is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 11:34 am
  #1092  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 22,055
Originally Posted by rankourabu
Doubtful. Most will probably actually relish the opportunity to pad their PQDs
Some will. I suspect that "most" GS/1Ks are not purchasing upgrades with OPM, though. If F travel is permitted by policy, they'd just buy the F ticket.

Originally Posted by rankourabu
Also, what competition? How many GS/1K are truly in a position to fly the competition, either contractually thru their workplace, or because of location/flying patterns?
All of them in NYC, Chicago, or LA, just as a start...
zombietooth likes this.
jsloan is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 12:15 pm
  #1093  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton ♦ , Hyatt Carbonado, Wyndham ♦, Marriott PE, "Stinking Bum" elsewhere.
Posts: 5,109
Originally Posted by st530
Not sure how relevant this datapoint is, but I just purchased MIA-IAH-FLL roundtrip Oct 12-16, didn't bite at the $1,040 lowest round-trip F fare, so spent $380 on Y, then got offered instant buy-ups to F for $689 for each segment (i.e., $1,758 total roundtrip F, or $718 more than the lowest roundtrip F fare I just declined). Hard to believe a kettle would be offered those buy-up prices, but who knows.,
I have a no-status contractor that flies with me sometimes on jobs (booked in E-), and he consistently gets offered low-ball UGs e.g. SF0-EWR for $299- when I am seeing $899- after removing my PPs on the same flight.
SPN Lifer, gutt22, uanj and 1 others like this.
zombietooth is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 12:32 pm
  #1094  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Programs: UA 1K 1MM, AA Gold, Marriott Titanium, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 717
Originally Posted by zombietooth
I have a no-status contractor that flies with me sometimes on jobs (booked in E-), and he consistently gets offered low-ball UGs e.g. SF0-EWR for $299- when I am seeing $899- after removing my PPs on the same flight.
same fare class?
VWang1111 is online now  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 12:38 pm
  #1095  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton ♦ , Hyatt Carbonado, Wyndham ♦, Marriott PE, "Stinking Bum" elsewhere.
Posts: 5,109
Originally Posted by VWang1111
same fare class?
My fare class is always higher. I sometimes buy him BE and use my baggage allowance for his bag.
zombietooth 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.