You may now upgrade United flights...

 
Old Apr 6, 2003, 9:11 am
  #1  
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You may now upgrade United flights...

http://www.usairways.com/dividendmil...s_dm_on_ua.htm

Program Overview

Dividend Miles members can upgrade one class of service, on the day of departure, when traveling on United using 500-Mile Upgrades.
Each 500-Mile Upgrade is valid for 500 miles of travel and multiple certificates will be required for travel over 500 miles. A minimum of one 500-Mile Upgrade is required per segment.

500-Mile Upgrades can be purchased at any United airport ticket counter, departure gate, or Red Carpet Club.

500-Mile Upgrades are available at a cost of $325 for a set of four coupons. Preferred members may purchase a set of four coupons for $200. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Upon check-in, advise the agent that you are using a 500-Mile Upgrade.

United 500-Mile Upgrades are valid for one year from the date issued.

United reserves the right to limit quantities.

500-Mile Upgrades cannot be deposited into either a Dividend Miles or Mileage Plus upgrade bank.


------------------
Thank you for choosing Continental Airlines, a proud member of the SkyTeam Alliance.
avek00 is offline  
Old Apr 6, 2003, 9:35 am
  #2  
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I read this the other day and it seems to basically say that I can buy and use United upgrades on a United flight, just as I always could, except I can only use them on day of departure.

I suppose it removes that arduous task of actually obtaining a Mileage Plus number (anyone not already have one?), but I see nothing about using US e-upgrades on United flights, CP upgrades, etc.

If I can book a flight on United, upgrade with UA e-upgrades in advance (vs. day of departure if I book as a US codeshare), and accrue miles on US, what benefit does this give me?

The only scenario I see is a price differential where booking with US is cheaper.
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Old Apr 6, 2003, 10:01 am
  #3  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by CPRich:
If I can book a flight on United, upgrade with UA e-upgrades in advance (vs. day of departure if I book as a US codeshare), and accrue miles on US, what benefit does this give me?

The only scenario I see is a price differential where booking with US is cheaper.
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On the face of it, it looks like there is no benefit for MP members, but it's a benefit for UA in that UA P2, P1, and 1K members will be accomodated in advance, followed by US preferred members who otherwise never stand a chance of getting upgraded. If you were to buy a US ticket on UA metal that was cheaper because of a codeshare, I'm guessing your UA status would't be of any help, and you'd be in the US pool; will that go by US status?

UA will reap some $ benefits from the extra revenue the upgrades cost the US ff members. This could put a crimp in how available operational upgrades are for UA ff'ers.

Will
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Old Apr 6, 2003, 10:23 am
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http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum51/HTML/004706.html
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Old Apr 6, 2003, 11:37 am
  #5  
 
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Please read my post in the above-linked thread for my opinion on why it is really, really good that US Airways flyers can only upgrade United flights on day of departure.

Some more details/situations, all from the point of view of a US Airways elite:

1. Flying on a United operated flight either ticketed by United or by US Airways. Purchase 500-mile UA upgrades and upgrade at check-in.

2. Flying on a United-ticketed flight operated by US Airways. In this case, you can only upgrade at check-in. However, you can upgrade using the same "media" you would as though you were flying on US Airways normally (i.e., unlimited for CP and US E-Upgr's for GP/SP).

There are many reasons why a US flyer would do scenario #1. For my trip to Seattle next week, United's connections in Chicago and Denver shave over three hours off the travel time of a US Airways connection in PIT or PHL. One of the flights is a widebody, too. I'm confirmed in Economy Plus aisles, and can upgrade to First Class at the gate. I'm more than happy. (Not to mention that my upgrade on United won't be that much more difficult than on US Airways, because United's First Class cabin on the 767 has 40 seats, compared to 12 on the A319).

Scenario 2? Well, I'd never do that. I've found several cases where the United codeshare is cheaper than booking the US flights from US, but the difference has never been more than $30. That's definitely worth it to me for being able to upgrade at 3 days instead of travel day.

As far as United, I'm really pleased with them. Even though they've cut back onboard service, they still offer tasty snacks on most 2hr+ flights (the US snack basket is still better for the shorter flights, but makes too many appearances as the exclusive food option on longer trips). Back when they were the world's leading airline, they spent a lot of money on improving their infrastructure, airports and aircraft. All of their planes have expansive overhead bins, and they fly more widebodies on domestic routes than anyone but maybe Delta. Their domestic First Class seats are very comfortable, and their international Business Class and First Suite cabins are great too. All hub airports but Dulles have spacious terminals with great Red Carpet Clubs. These investments from years ago make United an attractive carrier without added costs today.

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Old Apr 6, 2003, 2:32 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by BizJet:
1. Flying on a United operated flight either ticketed by United or by US Airways. Purchase 500-mile UA upgrades and upgrade at check-in.

There are many reasons why a US flyer would do scenario #1. For my trip to Seattle next week, United's connections in Chicago and Denver shave over three hours off the travel time of a US Airways connection in PIT or PHL. One of the flights is a widebody, too. I'm confirmed in Economy Plus aisles, and can upgrade to First Class at the gate. I'm more than happy.
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If you booked it as a United flight, and have a MP #, you can use the same upgrades 24 hrs in advance vs. at the door, and still book miles to your US account and get E+ seating with your US status. Book it as a US codeshare, you have to wait until day of departure to upgrade (small, but real chance you would not get the upgrade vs. 24 hrs in advance) and everything else is equal.

Again, unless there is a price difference, I don't see why I wouldn't book on United (even with no UA status - my PremEx makes it more of a no-brainer - 72 hrs vs at the gate)

Yes, the policy is fair - putting CP's ahead of 1P's for upgrades probably wouldn't be kosher. But I still see it as no benefit over the previous situation.
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Old Apr 6, 2003, 3:08 pm
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CPRich:

I need to heed to your factual knowledge of the United program before I continue. Can ALL Mileage Plus passengers upgrade 24 hours before departure by purchasing United E-Upgrades? Or only Mileage Plus members traveling on Full Fares? I thought it was the latter, but I cursory inspection of united.com does not validate my assumption.

Thanks for the info.
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Old Apr 6, 2003, 6:26 pm
  #8  
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http://www.ual.com/page/article/1,,50027,00.html

Upgrade Processing
1K - 100 hours
Premier Executive - 72 hours
Premier - 48 hours
All others - 24 hours

I'm not a guru on UA T&C's, but that's my read.

I didn't find anywhere that full-fare tix were not subject to these restrictions, meaning that even full-fare tickets must wait until 100/72/48/24 hours in advance - yuck.
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Old Apr 6, 2003, 8:32 pm
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Well time validity and fare validity are not necessarily the same. For example, US Airways general members can upgrade coach tickets using 500 milers at a certain time, but only when traveling on certain fares.

So it remains unclear whether ALL UA flyers can upgrade 24-hr out or just those on higher full fares.
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Old Apr 6, 2003, 9:16 pm
  #10  
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(Edited because I just re-read BizJet's post and am also confused about the general member upgrade policy.)

[This message has been edited by FOH (edited 04-06-2003).]
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Old Apr 6, 2003, 11:52 pm
  #11  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by CPRich:
http://www.ual.com/page/article/1,,50027,00.html

I didn't find anywhere that full-fare tix were not subject to these restrictions, meaning that even full-fare tickets must wait until 100/72/48/24 hours in advance - yuck.
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Wow, I didn't realize this. Whenever I pay full fare on UA it's an RJ or turboprop.

I discovered a major difference between US and UA 500 milers. UA measures point to point
whereas US applies them to each segment.

E.g. yesterday I flew IAD-ORD-SLC. It would have cost 5 e-UGs on US but 4 on UA.

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Old Apr 7, 2003, 6:22 am
  #12  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by CPRich:
... But I still see it as no benefit over the previous situation.</font>
I think the main benefit is that it shows steady incremental progress towards reciprocal benefits. It was a simple thing to do -- make the purchase of coupons useful with a DM# instead of an MP number. Step #2 might be to expand the windows that they can be used to match status (much like with CO & NW.)
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Old Apr 7, 2003, 8:38 am
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Bizjet, not sure if I would choose your path. Flying to SEA from ORF, for instance, would cost me $400 in upgrades both ways. As a CP I would probably take my chances even on A319s. They are running some A321s to SEA too during the summer.
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Old Apr 7, 2003, 3:02 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Heinrich:
Bizjet, not sure if I would choose your path. Flying to SEA from ORF, for instance, would cost me $400 in upgrades both ways. As a CP I would probably take my chances even on A319s. They are running some A321s to SEA too during the summer.</font>
Thanks for the insight. However, in my case, the United scheduling was so much better. US Airways could route me through Pittsburgh with a 3 hour layover, or through Philadelphia, which is very out of the way, adding significant travel time and stress with flying through one of the more delay-prone airports in the nation.

United, conversely, shaves hours off the travel time, which is quite important. Prior to this alliance, I would have never considered United. However, I can now reserve Economy Plus seating (including exit rows), access Premier check-in and security lines, and preboard. Upgrading at the gate is just bonus.

I'm still somewhat perplexed and midly intrigued by the United general member upgrade program. I always assumed that the general member 24-hr upgrade window only applied to full-fares, as it does at US Airways. If this is the case, US Airways Preferred flyers would have an advantage over general MP members since the former could upgrade any fare at the gate and the latter cannot.

However, it is sounding more and more that all United MP's can upgrade a day out regardless of fare. This changes strategy a bit.

Finally, what can I say...I love channel 9!
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Old Apr 7, 2003, 6:06 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by TomBascom:
I think the main benefit is that it shows steady incremental progress towards reciprocal benefits. It was a simple thing to do -- make the purchase of coupons useful with a DM# instead of an MP number. Step #2 might be to expand the windows that they can be used to match status (much like with CO & NW.)</font>
A major benefit is that you now can UG a discounted fare. A non-status MP member cannot. Also they are charging "only" $200 vs. $325 (price for regular MP members) for the 4 UGs.

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