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Confused about upgrade option: mixed premium plus / economy to Polaris

Confused about upgrade option: mixed premium plus / economy to Polaris

Old Sep 8, 2022, 5:14 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Programs: Flying: VA; Buying: AA, AS, AV, BA, UA!
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Confused about upgrade option: mixed premium plus / economy to Polaris

Confused might not be the right word, but seeking clarification.

I have a 6 segment itinerary from MEL to EDI rtn, stopping over in the US each direction (LAX and EWR). The overall fare basis is Premium Plus (beginning with A) as are the trans pacific sectors (A). Originally the rest of the itinerary was in economy (B). However as the LAX-EWR and EWR-LAX sectors are operated by 787-10 I have paid a fairly minimal cash upgrade to Premium Plus (O). So the itinerary is all over the place...I have sectors in A, O & B class!

Now I'm looking at further upgrade options I see when I'm logged in to my Mileage Plus account. LAX-EWR-EDI (and not as separate sectors) is being offered at 20k miles plus $0 copay (I assume no copay due to Premium Plus, even though EWR-EDI is in Economy (B) ).



I have no status (or miles currently, but I can buy some in promo) with UA. Currently I have my Virgin Australia Velocity number against the booking which will get me some benefits.

So 3 questions:
  • Can I waitlist this upgrade using UA miles and keep my VA FF against the booking?
  • In this case, I assume it will be all or nothing in terms of upgrade across the 2 sectors?
  • I have read that Premium Plus tops the priority for upgrade, how might that be impacted by the transatlantic sector being economy (B)?
Sorry if this is a bit long winded but any advice is appreciated before I invest in some miles.
wheresmybagba is offline  
Old Sep 8, 2022, 7:20 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington, DC
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Originally Posted by wheresmybagba

So 3 questions:
  • Can I waitlist this upgrade using UA miles and keep my VA FF against the booking?
  • In this case, I assume it will be all or nothing in terms of upgrade across the 2 sectors?
  • I have read that Premium Plus tops the priority for upgrade, how might that be impacted by the transatlantic sector being economy (B)?
Sorry if this is a bit long winded but any advice is appreciated before I invest in some miles.
1) You might have to call in - I don't know if this is possible. But can you get the benefits anyway at check-in (checked luggage, lounge access)?
2) No, you can be upgraded on both, either, or neither. You will be charged the full upgrade price if either one clears. (But for 20k miles getting just one is probably a good value, but that's for you to determine)
3) That's correct - your upgrade priority would be lower for TATL segment because O, A, R fares will be prioritized first.
drewguy is offline  
Old Sep 8, 2022, 8:46 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by drewguy
1) You might have to call in - I don't know if this is possible. But can you get the benefits anyway at check-in (checked luggage, lounge access)?
2) No, you can be upgraded on both, either, or neither. You will be charged the full upgrade price if either one clears. (But for 20k miles getting just one is probably a good value, but that's for you to determine)
3) That's correct - your upgrade priority would be lower for TATL segment because O, A, R fares will be prioritized first.
True, except I believe EWR-EDI for the foreseeable future is operated on 752, which means no P+ cabin and no OAR fares. So B will still be high on the fare ranking (but of course status ranking has priority over fare, here).
fumje is offline  
Old Sep 8, 2022, 4:49 pm
  #4  
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Thanks for both your responses. I will probably go ahead and buy 50k miles in promo and waitlist for upgrade on LAX-EWR-EDI (20k) and EWR-LAX-MEL (30k + $450). Although the latter concerns me more...it sounds like it is possible that only EWR-LAX would be upgraded at 30k + $450? If that were the case I'd rather it didn't happen as I could make better use of those miles.
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Old Sep 8, 2022, 5:00 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Houston, TX
Programs: UA silver, Bonvoy silver
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Originally Posted by wheresmybagba
Thanks for both your responses. I will probably go ahead and buy 50k miles in promo and waitlist for upgrade on LAX-EWR-EDI (20k) and EWR-LAX-MEL (30k + $450). Although the latter concerns me more...it sounds like it is possible that only EWR-LAX would be upgraded at 30k + $450? If that were the case I'd rather it didn't happen as I could make better use of those miles.
The transcon would be the worst sector to be upgraded as the soft product is the same in PP and Business
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Old Sep 8, 2022, 5:01 pm
  #6  
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Also, keep in mind that upgrades are waitlisted based on status first, so by not having status, you'll be on the bottom of the list.

As for your other question, you can call and request to upgrade only the transoceanic segment and not the domestic portion to avoid spending all the miles + co-pay for the transcon flight.
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PTahCha is offline  
Old Jan 8, 2023, 1:42 pm
  #7  
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Just an update on this. First of all, the main thing...I had no issues at all having the booking associated with my Mileage Plus account but keeping my Virgin Australia FF number against the booking...and then requesting the upgrades.

In the end I requested upgrades for:
  • MEL - LAX (from Premium Plus (A) to Polaris) 30k miles + $450
  • EDI - EWR (from Economy (B)) 20k miles
  • EWR - LAX - MEL (from Premium Plus (O/A) to Business / Polaris 30k miles + $450
In the end I opted not to upgrade on LAX-EWR or EWR-EDI because it was pretty clear both flights would be very full.

The upgrades for MEL - LAX and LAX - MEL both cleared several days before departure. I just scraped in for EWR - LAX and was upgraded at the gate.

Pretty happy with this outcome! The only issue is that the sectors that upgraded to PZ have failed to credit to my VA account (whereas other fights credited in 1-2 days) so I will need to chase for the credit for original paid fare.
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