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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 Jan 22, 2024, 3:54 pm
  #1276  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: SEA/NYC/IAD
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Titanium, Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 2,010
Originally Posted by zymm
I think it's a combo of expirations and the unusually large number of cancelations and delays from the combo of the MAX grounding and weather. Elites are getting concentrated onto the remaining flights in such a way that there's really no such thing as off-peak for domestic travel right now. I've still had a few upgrades clear, notably on LAX-SFO yesterday where about half the plane was GS/1K preboards!
Quite honestly I'm just happy that UA was willing and able to re-accommodate me onto a flight one day earlier (and had another 757 available to swap in when the first one went mechanical). I even got an aisle E+ seat fairly far forward and the economy cabin went out maybe 90% full.

I don't know that I'd have had as smooth an experience on AS judging by the MAX9 thread over in that subforum.
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Old Jan 22, 2024, 4:04 pm
  #1277  
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pasadena, California
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It was only LAX-SMF, but mrs. iapetus, the iapetus jrs. and I all cleared at T-96h for our flight on January 12th. Nice way to kick off the year ...
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Old Jan 22, 2024, 9:20 pm
  #1278  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Redondo Beach, CA USA
Programs: UA 1KMM, Bonvoy LTE+A, HH D, Nat'l EE, Hertz Plat, Avis PC
Posts: 3,741
Originally Posted by exerda
My wife's CPU request, as a 1K, on Sunday morning's LAX-IAD on the 789 ended up at 33rd on the list (I, as a 1K using PP, was 11th). The overall list was something like 80 people. I expected a Sunday transcon flight to be a challenge, but that was mind-blowing.
My wife is on that flight tomorrow. #13 of 45 on the list as a 1K with PP applied; 1 J seat is available.

She and I are greatly looking forward to "the great GS purge" coming soon...
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Old Jan 22, 2024, 9:29 pm
  #1279  
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman
She and I are greatly looking forward to "the great GS purge" coming soon...
Don't hold your breath Whatever you think the great GS or 1K purge will be, it will have literally zero impact to what you are already seeing....
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Old Jan 22, 2024, 10:16 pm
  #1280  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Redondo Beach, CA USA
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Originally Posted by eightblack
Don't hold your breath Whatever you think the great GS or 1K purge will be, it will have literally zero impact to what you are already seeing....
Perhaps. There have been countless threads over the years about how "next year will be great" for whatever one's personal situation happened to be.

But I'm optimistic this time because of the significant number of people bawling and whining (I mean seriously, like, melting down) on the GS qualification thread because they fly on company discounted tickets and have earned GS for years but finally are not getting to double-dip on those benefits. They are all being "downgraded" to 1K and many are claiming to have shifted all their business away from UA.

If all of that is true, then I just don't see us dying as #1 or #2 on the upgrade list as many times as we did last year.
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Old Jan 23, 2024, 7:16 am
  #1281  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: ORF, RIC
Programs: UA LT 1K, 3 MM; Marriott Titanium; IHG Platinum
Posts: 7,089
Perhaps!!

Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman
Perhaps.

If all of that is true, then I just don't see us dying as #1 or #2 on the upgrade list as many times as we did last year.
UA will adjust the buy-up offers accordingly (based upon demand) to maximize the profits. So, your upgrade chance will remain approximately the same as last year.
Please report back after Feb. 1. Good luck.
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Old Jan 23, 2024, 11:02 am
  #1282  
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman
If all of that is true, then I just don't see us dying as #1 or #2 on the upgrade list as many times as we did last year.
In most cases, youre not losing out at #1 or #2 to people who are higher on the upgrade list. Youre losing out to people who are buying F, either directly or via a discounted buy-up. That will not change. The people who used to be GS, who arent GS anymore, will still buy those same F seats out from underneath you.

Dont kid yourself. UA is not in business to give upgrades for free when they could sell them instead.
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Old Jan 23, 2024, 11:30 am
  #1283  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: San Francisco
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Originally Posted by jsloan
In most cases, youre not losing out at #1 or #2 to people who are higher on the upgrade list. Youre losing out to people who are buying F, either directly or via a discounted buy-up. That will not change. The people who used to be GS, who arent GS anymore, will still buy those same F seats out from underneath you.

Dont kid yourself. UA is not in business to give upgrades for free when they could sell them instead.
For sure! Count me as one of the prior GS/1K UA pax who now pretty much is in the WFBF program. Perhaps that is good news in some ways to the UA bean counters but alternatively I am no longer beholding to UA. As long as they routing is similar or acceptable and the timing is right I find myself searching out the best deal on an F seat or, as in your example, buying up to F IF the buy-up offer is acceptable. I typically reserve those F seat purchases for longer flights/TCONs. I won't typically purchase an F seat on a SFO -LAX run or SFO - SEA unless I see a screaming deal. Back in the day when complimentary upgrades were more likely you could score an F seat on those shorter runs but as well all know those went they way of the buffalo.
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Old Jan 23, 2024, 11:39 am
  #1284  
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EWR - LAX K fare this week, late afternoon departure.

There are two later flights, one early evening and another one an hour later - both wide open for upgrades - PN9, PZ9, I9, IN9.

Switching to the later flight incurs a fare difference of $200+, but confirms into business right away. Better than $200+ & $750+ buy up into PE and J, respectively, on the current flight.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 7:42 am
  #1285  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Originally Posted by Nihon_Ni
I booked a ticket yesterday and managed to have 20PP clear immediately, and I'm waitlisted for my remaining 10PP for the return flight. I had one upgrade that didn't clear (I requested two and only got one, so the wife got to enjoy Polaris home from Hawaii) but otherwise every PP upgrade I've applied has cleared. The only upgrades I really cared about were the TPAC legs (5 for 5), so the rest was just icing.
My last trip as a 1K is later today, and yesterday my last PP upgrade request cleared on HNL-IAD to a Polaris seat on a non-Polaris flight. I feel fortunate to have used them all!

Polaris upgrade success: 100% (5/5): HND-ORD, SFO-HND, HND-IAD, EWR-HND, HND-ORD

Premium Econ upgrade success: 100% (4/4): EWR-FRA (2 seats), FRA-IAD (2 seats) - all cleared at booking


Non-Polaris upgrade success: 75% (6/8): HNL-IAD (Polaris seat), IAD-SFO, IAH-SAN, RIC-ORD, ORD-HNL (Polaris seat), HNL-IAD (Polaris seat)
Failed: HNL-IAD, EWR-IAH


CPU success: 47% (8/17)
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 7:54 am
  #1286  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: ORF, RIC
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Originally Posted by Nihon_Ni
My last trip as a 1K is later today, and yesterday my last PP upgrade request cleared on HNL-IAD to a Polaris seat on a non-Polaris flight. I feel fortunate to have used them all!

Polaris upgrade success: 100% (5/5): HND-ORD, SFO-HND, HND-IAD, EWR-HND, HND-ORD

Premium Econ upgrade success: 100% (4/4): EWR-FRA (2 seats), FRA-IAD (2 seats) - all cleared at booking


Non-Polaris upgrade success: 75% (6/8): HNL-IAD (Polaris seat), IAD-SFO, IAH-SAN, RIC-ORD, ORD-HNL (Polaris seat), HNL-IAD (Polaris seat)
Failed: HNL-IAD, EWR-IAH


CPU success: 47% (8/17)
I guess that you have schedule flexibility for some of your trips. IAD-HND is probably the easiest for upgrade, but I am surprised by the success of SFO/EWR/ORD-HND.
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 8:05 am
  #1287  
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Originally Posted by Nihon_Ni
My last trip as a 1K is later today, and yesterday my last PP upgrade request cleared on HNL-IAD to a Polaris seat on a non-Polaris flight. I feel fortunate to have used them all!
Wow nice year.

My last year as a 1K was by far my worst for upgrades. I gave away 210 PP here on FT (and I think the last 40 will expire unused unless there's a miracle and GF clears on PHX-IAH RT here at the end of the month). I might have had one or two CPUs. Didn't keep score, it was too dismal.

I'm obviously way down on UA and its skill at selling upgrades over upgrading elites, the overall lack of value in 1K, and the really poor onboard product.
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Old Jan 27, 2024, 2:56 pm
  #1288  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Indianapolis
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I think you have a point - when a person puts up $50-$100 to upgrade I understand UA is going to take the money. For the last 10-15 years as 1K I think I got upgraded nationally about 30% at best. On Internationals - much better odd using points - maybe 80% to Polaris (which is decent but service is not great). I did not get upgraded on the last 4 national flights last year as GS and I am flying on Monday - there are 5 empty seats right now - I spent over $50k last year - and its now about 40 hrs from the flight early Monday morning - the Upgrade is $399 which would make my IND_SFO return tkt about $1200 or $1600 if I also upgraded the return - I assume UA wd not sell an upgrade ticket for less that they are offering me - ??? this would be an interesting question. At this moment - first both ways is selling for $1258. The other thing I find frustrating with UA is that when I fly on the same schedule as an employee who has lower status that me, I am pretty certain UAs computer set the status as the lowest level of either party. I find this a pretty obnoxious practice.
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Old Jan 27, 2024, 4:29 pm
  #1289  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Originally Posted by jpr1953
I think you have a point - when a person puts up $50-$100 to upgrade I understand UA is going to take the money. For the last 10-15 years as 1K I think I got upgraded nationally about 30% at best. On Internationals - much better odd using points - maybe 80% to Polaris (which is decent but service is not great). I did not get upgraded on the last 4 national flights last year as GS and I am flying on Monday - there are 5 empty seats right now - I spent over $50k last year - and its now about 40 hrs from the flight early Monday morning - the Upgrade is $399 which would make my IND_SFO return tkt about $1200 or $1600 if I also upgraded the return - I assume UA wd not sell an upgrade ticket for less that they are offering me - ??? this would be an interesting question. At this moment - first both ways is selling for $1258. The other thing I find frustrating with UA is that when I fly on the same schedule as an employee who has lower status that me, I am pretty certain UAs computer set the status as the lowest level of either party. I find this a pretty obnoxious practice.
So have you contacted UA about how upset you are about this obnoxious practice? Like providing the actual examples to them? You are a GS and have some leverage - well more than me as a lowly 1K. I understand venting but you need to tell United not random strangers if you want something to change.

Personally I was able to use 290 out of 320 PlusPoints last year on TPAC and TATL flights. The 30 I could not use was due to due long upgrade list so I paid the upfare for one TATL flight. I travel on days when OPM flyers usually do not. But still peeved I was unable to use the last 30 and UA appears to have changed the long standing practice of extending them from January 31 to April 30.

They are not useless BUT if upfaring is my going forward strategy then status with United becomes irrelevant especially when you see reports of lower upfares for pax without status. Interesting business model and when the rules change smart folks change their strategies.
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Old Jan 27, 2024, 4:42 pm
  #1290  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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I barely got to use the PlusPoints I had last year as a lowly Plat. Ended up burning the last 20 on a SJO-IAH leg vs gambling on CPU.

Today I happened to check an upcoming LHR-IAH flight i paid in miles and was amazed to see PZ available and instant upgrade for 30 PP and $379. The ticket is going for 80k + $322 for saver Polaris, but I saved 50k miles by paying a couple hundred dollars extra in taxes (original ticket and the upgrade) and burning some pluspoints.

Prob my last trip to/from London for quite a while so at least I get a decent send off..
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