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1Ks - please ask UA to make GPU's good on *ALL* fares, due to new co-pay deal

1Ks - please ask UA to make GPU's good on *ALL* fares, due to new co-pay deal

Old Nov 16, 08, 2:41 am
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1Ks - please ask UA to make GPU's good on *ALL* fares, due to new co-pay deal

The new changes that come into effect after July 1 2009, means the once enormous benefit of a SWU decreases dramatically for many 1Ks and GS.

Right now (and for many years past) you could book a 'W' ticket for most It'l routes, and be pretty sure there will be some NC inventory on the days you really want, or a day either side of when you mostly wish to fly.

Until now NON 1Ks/GS (even 1Ps) had no chance whatever of upgrading long haul in advance unless:

1. They bought a very expensive YBMH ticket, and used miles to upgrade
2. They used the very rarely seen CS one segment upgrade certs etc
3. They waited until day of flight and hoped UA offered the ~$500 upgrade per segment.

The new change means to a 1K or GS living in a place like Australia, there will be now VERY many times, little or no chance of a SWU clearing in advance - if at all.

With the 20 less x C seats on new config 747s, it is already proving to be upgrades on day of flight essentially for 1Ks, on near empty cabins, as occurred to us last week. 38 empty C seats and the upgrade cleared less than 24 hours before flight time. (And this was OLD config 747.) Had been PA wait-listed for 2 months

When Ma and Pa Kettle are able to book the very cheapest fare buckets, and then use some miles and some bucks to grab that NC upgrade inventory, up to 11 months in advance, on their once a year/decade vacation, the game will be a MESS trying to find an NC seat on many routes. (Of course there are over 50 MILLION members of MP that are not 1Ks - from 1P down.)

A 1K/GS still needs to buy a 'V' or 'W' fare or above, to use a SWU after July 1 unless we get the rules changed for using SWUs. These classes are often are DOUBLE the cost of 'S' or 'T' etc, that total non status Ma and Pa Kettles can now buy and upgrade, meaning the $ cost to them of a SYD-LAX is near the same as a 1K/GS using a SWU. Makes no sense for UA to do that.

I've been a 1K for 9 years and remember as many others members do when for years SWU's were good on ALL BUYABLE COACH FARE CLASSES.

I am urging 1Ks/GS to write UA or 1K Voice and ask that again be the case, when the SWUs are issued in January 2009 to most 1Ks.

OR ... change the rules of the co-pay so that only W and above fares are eligible. FAR more money to UA than the proposed system, and a more level playing field. i.e. a 1K "pays" for the upgrade with a hard won SWU .... non 1Ks "pay" with some cash and points.

In 2003 UA changed the rules to allow only YBMH fares for SWU use.

When UA changed the fare classes good for SWU that year there was a riot, and a VERY active bulletin board of 1Ks from here .... with full approval of Randy Petersen, was set up outside FT, and scared the pants off UA it seems - as HUNDREDS of 1K members signed up there and were very ANGRY.

In mid 2003 UA backed off that rule change due to this outcry, and indeed mailed all 1K's in mid 2003, 4 x paper "Sweet Spot" upgrade Certs good for ANY buyable fare class on UA or LH for It'l upgrade. (In addition to the usual 6 x SWU.)

So in very recent years, UA have backed off on SWU rules. UA have backed off this month on the 500 mile minimum rules for Elites counting as Status and account miles. So they DO change their mind if enough heat is generated from Elites.

I am urging all 1Ks/GS who agree with my POV, to contact UA and urge them to amend the wording for the next batch of SWU's, to allow upgrades on EVERY buyable coach fare type.

Non 1Ks will still need to co-pay and use miles - that's fine, but the wording change recognises that 1K's will face ENORMOUSLY reduced chances of getting a cleared upgrade, based solely on UA's new co-pay rules.

Let's face it, SWU's are the main reason most of us bother to reach 1K. Many years I've spent a LOT more money with UA just to ensure I got them.

If they do not change the fare classes for SWU's, I'll be just as happy to drop to 1P, spend $8,000 less a year with UA to do so, and simply burn some miles, and wear the co-pay when I need to fly.

On tickets from here to USA where there is sometimes $1,000 difference between 'S' and 'V', it is a no brainer.

How does UA win out of that? They get the same bucks more or less from me to fly Biz, on the flights I want, but I'd fly half as many trips a year, and spend half as much dough. DUMB move for UA.

As a 1P I'd still get the 100% miles bonus, exit row seats, RCC access, elite check-in etc.

Heck I might even start burning some of my million+ MP miles, and not paying for $2200 V class tickets - now there's a downside for UA.

Right now in this global economic mess, when massive entities like General Motors might founder, I'd bet WHQ wants to retain EVERY top level Elite they have, as those top few % of MP members give UA about 20% of their ticket dollars.

If it means them tweaking the wording of an upgrade Cert (to where it used to be anyway) .. I'll bet they look at it, if enough folks ask them to consider it.

Right now the SWUs are a long way off being deposited, so the time for some action is NOW.

Glen

------------------

From - www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=113792

(Historical note - the very last "PAPER" issue standard 1K Systemwide Upgrades (SWU) were valid mostly until March 31, 2004. (BP6U1K) They when issued VERY sadly did NOT allow International upgrades from fare classes other than (generally high priced) H, B, M, Y, C classes - and a much wider range of fare classes WITHIN North America.

The issue of these far more restrictive SWU's caused enormous discontent among 1Ks. Scores of FT threads were raging on the subject on FT. UA's only initial concession to the resulting RIOT was to add "D" (paid business) class to the It'l classes - and this was printed on back of most (but not all) "2003" mailed SWUs. SWU's mailed before they changed their mind (not very many) had the older wording.

In July 2003 FlyerTalkers were alerted that United were mailing EVERY person who was a current 1K as of a cut-off date in June - FOUR of a "new" type SWU, called "Sweet Spot" certs, Profile code PMO/UG-SWEET SPOT. (Allegedly mailed due to UA's sponsorship of the US Tennis Open.) These were in effect a transferable SWU allowing use with virtually EVERY buyable fare type in business and coach class. These were valid July 15, 2003 to February 29, 2004 on UA and LH flights.)


In 2004, UA for the first time went to ELECTRONIC "SWU's" - and all 1K's got 6 deposited into their accounts, and 'Million Milers' who were also 1K got an extra 2, and 1Ks who flew certain specific mile targets during 2003 got extras as well.
.

Last edited by ozstamps; Nov 17, 08 at 5:12 pm
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Old Nov 16, 08, 3:08 am
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When "Ma & Pa Kettle" upgrade their cheap fares, they're paying a co-pay, and so their contributing $ to UA. If you got your way here, you would be upgrading your cheap fares without co-pay, and thus contributing nothing to UA. The new system, as designed, makes sense to me, and I expect your "campaign" will fall on deaf ears.

Or are you saying you're willing to pay a co-pay with your SWU? That would be an appropriate charge, and then I would agree that SWU's should be good on all fares. But baring that, I don't see this going anywhere.
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Old Nov 16, 08, 3:17 am
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[Edited to delete undue personalization]

Right now as a 1K wanting to use a SWU, SYD-USA I pay around the same in $'s as a total non elite from here might pay to get an upgraded seat. You do not seem to understand that.

Right now, I am stuck with paying that $2300 for a 'V' ticket, whether the upgrade clears or NOT of course.

It may not clear if the non elites grabbed all the NC Inventory that once 1Ks had pretty much exclusive access to until day of flight.

If you think that makes sense, you are of course fully entitled to your view.

Originally Posted by ozstamps View Post

When Ma and Pa Kettle are able to book the very cheapest fare buckets, and then use some miles and some bucks to grab that NC upgrade inventory, up to 11 months in advance, on their once a year/decade vacation, the game will be a MESS trying to find an NC seat on many routes.

A 1K/GS still needs to buy a 'V' or 'W' fare or above, to use a SWU after July 1 unless we get the rules changed for using SWUs. These classes are often are DOUBLE the cost of 'S' or 'T' etc, that total non status Ma and Pa Kettles can now buy and upgrade, meaning the $ cost to them of a SYD-LAX is near the same as a 1K/GS using a SWU. Makes no sense for UA to do that.

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Nov 16, 08 at 12:42 pm Reason: See above
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Old Nov 16, 08, 3:24 am
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If I use my SWU after July 1st, 2009 Do I have to pay the CO-PAY too?

Thanks.
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Old Nov 16, 08, 3:27 am
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Originally Posted by Travelwithpet View Post
If I use my SWU after July 1st, 2009 Do I have to pay the CO-PAY too?
The short answer is no. (It's also the long answer).
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Old Nov 16, 08, 3:40 am
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Originally Posted by ozstamps View Post
[deleted by moderator to match deletion in original text]

Right now as a 1K wanting to use a SWU, SYD-USA I pay around the same in $'s as a total non elite from here might pay to get an upgraded seat. You do not seem to understand that.

Right now, I am stuck with paying that $2300 for a 'V' ticket, whether the upgrade clears or NOT of course.

It may not clear if the non elites grabbed all the NC Inventory that once 1Ks had pretty much exclusive access to until day of flight.

If you think that makes sense, you are of course fully entitled to your view.
I don't know why you feel entitled to pay less for an upgraded seat. Paying less is not a benefit of elite status. An airline's best customers are those that pay more, not less.

Also, stuck? Are you unable to upgrade with miles?


Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Nov 16, 08 at 12:44 pm Reason: See above
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Old Nov 16, 08, 3:44 am
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Originally Posted by Travelwithpet View Post
If I use my SWU after July 1st, 2009 Do I have to pay the CO-PAY too?

Thanks.
No, as pointed out (I hope!) 1Ks are already paying double in $$ the fare that some non elites are paying, in order to be able to upgrade. Double Jeopardy stuff.

That is why UA should IMHO relax the fare class restrictions, so that a SWU once again, offers a major benefit to their best clients.

Glen
.
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Old Nov 16, 08, 4:01 am
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(I'm not well-informed on the impending changes, so take this with a grain of salt...)

Random no-status passenger pays $700 all-in for a K fare LAX-SYD return. Pays $500 each way + 30k miles to upgrade to NC. Total spend = $1700 + 60k miles.

1K passenger pays $2100 all-in for W fare LAX-SYD return. Wants to use SWUs to upgrade to NC. Total spend = $2100 + 0 miles.

Who has a greater "right" to the NC seat, and who provides UA with more profit, both on that single flight and over the course of a year/five years/ten years?

Gotta say, I still don't understand how this miles+copay thing is going to work, but it would seem that SWUs should be given some consideration - the people who earn them consciously throw business UA's way that they could give to AA or anyone else.
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Old Nov 16, 08, 4:05 am
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Originally Posted by ozstamps View Post
No, as pointed out (I hope!) 1Ks are already paying double in $$ the fare that some non elites are paying, in order to be able to upgrade. Double Jeopardy stuff.
Really? You're paying double to upgrade with miles? Ah, ok. Must have missed that.

Originally Posted by ozstamps View Post
That is why UA should IMHO relax the fare class restrictions, so that a SWU once again, offers a major benefit to their best clients.
You get 6 more upgrades per year. That's a major benefit.

Also, 1K's aren't UA's best customers.
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Old Nov 16, 08, 4:07 am
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Originally Posted by BenjaminNYC View Post
I don't know why you feel entitled to pay less for an upgraded seat. Paying less is not a benefit of elite status. An airline's best customers are those that pay more, not less.

Also, stuck? Are you unable to upgrade with miles?

A good airline will keep attracting people to pay more.
If people want to pay more to take a poor service airline, I only can say those people are not smart.
Right, most 1ks are too smart to be good customers.
People who start RCC meeting are not good customers either because many people enter RCC without paying a fee.
Remember? "An airline's best customers are those that pay more, not less."

Last edited by pigx5; Nov 16, 08 at 4:29 am
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Old Nov 16, 08, 4:22 am
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Originally Posted by BenjaminNYC View Post
You get 6 more upgrades per year. That's a major benefit.
That's only true if they're usable. If the lowest SWU-upgradeable fare (W) costs more than the lowest published fare (K in the SYD example) + copay, then they're not really usable.

Originally Posted by BenjaminNYC View Post
Also, 1K's aren't UA's best customers.
Not sure how you could prove or refute this statement, so I'll ignore it until I get a revenue breakdown from UA in my email inbox...
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Old Nov 16, 08, 4:38 am
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Originally Posted by BenjaminNYC View Post
Also, 1K's aren't UA's best customers.
Well, I've just got to chime in given this statement.

Come on BenjaminNYC, let's not simply narrow our view of a 'typical' 1K to common perception around here of cheapest fare/maximum routing 1K. This is not always the case.

Surely, 1Ks are one of UA's best customers.

As far as suggestion to relax requirements for SWUs. I wouldn't necessarily discount it as I don't really see how it would affect UA's bottom line since IM could very well control the seats to the very last minute when C seats are for surely going to be empty anyways. With that said, I also have no problem with how it is right now as it remains to be a generous, beneficial set-up for sticking with UA.

Last edited by jef7; Nov 16, 08 at 4:44 am
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Old Nov 16, 08, 6:33 am
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Originally Posted by BenjaminNYC View Post
Really?
Also, 1K's aren't UA's best customers.
I must disagree with your statement. From my experience UA makes the most revenue from the typical 1K like me. Iím always buying B/Y fares and some time with a very short notice.
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Old Nov 16, 08, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by ozstamps View Post

I am urging all 1Ks/GS who agree with my POV, to contact UA and urge them to amend the wording for the next batch of SWU's, to allow upgrades on EVERY buyable coach fare type. .
.
Good onya ozstamps!
Great read! And as I have nothing else to do this Sunday arvo I`m writing 1K an email as we speak.
Hey, either they ignore it or might just take it into consideration.
Power to the 1K`s ...hehe
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Old Nov 16, 08, 7:00 am
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I can certainly see that those why buy higher fares just to use the SWUs would be aggrieved if their upgrades don't clear.

So the solution is simple - charge co-pay on SWU usage too. Then there would be a straight-forward comparative benefit to using miles to upgrade (the benefit aspect is the miles saved) and people won't complain about having to pay more for the ticket and their upgrades not to clear.
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