Maybe Prematurely regretting CP purchase

 
Old Jan 3, 13, 5:19 pm
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Question Maybe Prematurely regretting CP purchase

Hello all,
First year flying regulary for work. For 2012 finished with 86 segments (Gold), and about 60K miles. Purchased the CP for $1499. I will be flying same route all year most likely. CLT-ORD. I fly Monday AM, and Thursday afternoon. For next week, no upgrades yet. CP CS tells me, everyone in F has bought it w/ 6K miles? and Monday completely sold out. Is this normal. Previously I had asked gate agents and they told me there was mix of Plat and CP on flights, so I assumed I'd be pretty good for getting upgraded most times. Now, I'm hoping I didn't just waste $1500. I realize CLT is a hub, and ORD is popular too, but CP I figured would carry the day-given the info I had received.
Any advice or words of wisdom would be appreciated!
Thanks a lot
Sammy
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Old Jan 3, 13, 5:53 pm
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I have been pure CP (made it on seg and pqms) for 4 years traveling that exact schedule and am 100% on upgrades for that route. Don't regret it, though my success rate may have to do with my BIS frequency over a buy up to cp so ymmv.
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Old Jan 3, 13, 6:07 pm
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Thanks MIchael. Maybe next week is just odd. Are you on the US 108, and 1940? 108 is 7:35 AM Monday, and Thursday 1940 is 6:25. I see a lot of the same guys every week. They way I figured it, I wouldn't be able to ever reach CP mathematically. 2 segments per week x 52 weeks doesn't get you there. What am I missing?
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Old Jan 3, 13, 6:13 pm
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That's one of the hard lesson I learned last year after buying up to CP ($1000). I missed about 30% of UG in the first few months since I was essentially "last in line" among CPs due to my lower BIS mileage. After a few international trips I had 100% (including most w/ my wife) except for 1 transcon. Your pecking order is based on the last 12 months of flying, not the calendar year.

I also bought and regularly used ExpertFlyer to gauge F loads and waited longer to buy tickets on flights I had a better chance of UG. You may not have that level of flexibility.

Good luck and report back this time next year!
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Old Jan 3, 13, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by NotThatGuy2012 View Post
That's one of the hard lesson I learned last year after buying up to CP ($1000). I missed about 30% of UG in the first few months since I was essentially "last in line" among CPs due to my lower BIS mileage. After a few international trips I had 100% (including most w/ my wife) except for 1 transcon. Your pecking order is based on the last 12 months of flying, not the calendar year.

I also bought and regularly used ExpertFlyer to gauge F loads and waited longer to buy tickets on flights I had a better chance of UG. You may not have that level of flexibility.

Good luck and report back this time next year!
There is a 2nd good point embedded here, since not only are you low for now on the BIS pecking order among CPs, but there are also more CPs in Jan and Feb than there will be in March. And while it sounds like you may already be SOoL with respect to next week's flight(s), it's also the case that these days CPs are not clearing for the seats that are available until four days out (i.e., normal Platinum window), not seven. So check in about this again before this time next year.

The other thing is start working the phone and your calendar until you can get flight to Europe with your +1 in Envoy, on an A330, using your CP certs.... RT for 2 in Envoy will help get rid of the buyer's remorse.

Last edited by Biggie Fries; Jan 3, 13 at 8:44 pm Reason: Another thought ...
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Old Jan 3, 13, 9:55 pm
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I wouldn't assess the worth of CP based on upgrades on short routes like CLT-ORD. Last year I had 100% upgrade rate on transcontinental segments. Overall I probably missed 1-2 upgrades because I moved up to an earlier flight. These were on short flights along the east coast.

CP certs for envoy upgrades and award booking flexibility are perhaps the best perks of being CP.
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Old Jan 3, 13, 10:17 pm
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Originally Posted by WASBLR View Post
I wouldn't assess the worth of CP based on upgrades on short routes like CLT-ORD. Last year I had 100% upgrade rate on transcontinental segments. Overall I probably missed 1-2 upgrades because I moved up to an earlier flight. These were on short flights along the east coast.

CP certs for envoy upgrades and award booking flexibility are perhaps the best perks of being CP.
Out of all of the flights I flew this year, starting only in July as I could not fly at all the first six months of the year, I missed just two upgrades. I wasn't really surprised about that - I picked the wrong time of day to be flying those routes. I managed about 65K miles from July to December with an added 23K from the double pqm promotion. I have been Chairman's for three years now and fully intend to buy up at the end of February.

Yes, the upgrades are great, but I value the customer service and the other considerations one receives as a Chairman just as much.

You won't regret it.
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Old Jan 4, 13, 7:00 am
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Thanks for the responses. I don't travel too much outside of work. My point of view, was the CP purchase was solely for domestic upgrades. I am not even sure I will use the CP certs or not. I wouldn't try anywhere solely to use my upgrades...I just need to plan a nice European vacation I suppose!
Thanks again everyone. I'll post after a few months, with my results.
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Old Jan 4, 13, 7:29 am
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Don't despair quite yet.

Originally Posted by scottsam66 View Post
Thanks for the responses. I don't travel too much outside of work. My point of view, was the CP purchase was solely for domestic upgrades. I am not even sure I will use the CP certs or not. I wouldn't try anywhere solely to use my upgrades...I just need to plan a nice European vacation I suppose!
Thanks again everyone. I'll post after a few months, with my results.
Don't despair quite yet. I'm CP last year and then bought up for 2013 because I missed by less than 1000 miles. Flew CLT to ORD Thursday am. I was rerouted through CLT by calling the CP line Wed pm, as my originating flight to PHL for Thursday am was delayed due to a crew rest and I would have missed the connection. My wife and I both got upgrades to first on both legs to and from CLT.

Overall, last year I was at least 90% on domestic upgrades.
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Old Jan 4, 13, 8:01 am
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The only reason I stick with US is domestic upgrade % as a CP. I've made CP at least 5 times and never used the Europe certs. But my domestic upgrade success is over 90% when traveling by myself, probably about 80% when traveling with one companion, and even about 50% when traveling as a group of 4 on same PNR. And by domestic I include Caribbean, because you get free upgrades there too (and I travel to the islands often).
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Old Jan 4, 13, 10:55 am
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How often will you guys in essence "buy" the upgrade for 6K miles? Apparently that happens a lot on these routes? Doesn't seem worth it to me.
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Old Jan 4, 13, 11:18 am
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I think the biggest benefit of CP is the CP line. Any delays on a flight I call them immediately. They are really good at what they do and can help you a lot.

When you are trying to get out of ORD on a snowy winter/stormy summer day your CP line will help you get where you need to go.
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Old Jan 4, 13, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by scottsam66 View Post
How often will you guys in essence "buy" the upgrade for 6K miles? Apparently that happens a lot on these routes? Doesn't seem worth it to me.
I figure a mile is worth 1.5 cents. So 1,000 miles $15 and 6,000 miles is $90. Twice a week is 2 x $90 = $180. If you can get them for, say, 40 weeks of your back-and-forth commute, that's 40 x $180 = $7,200. They may seem like "just miles," but that's real money, even if you knock the per/mile valuation down to a penny.

To put it another way, using this alternative-route-to-FC-metric, you need to get $1,500 / $90 ~ 17 upgraded segments more than you would have gotten as a US Gold to make your buy-up "worth-it," before you take into account the CP line, the CP certs, and the extra bonus miles.
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Old Jan 5, 13, 6:33 am
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Originally Posted by scottsam66 View Post
Hello all,
First year flying regulary for work. For 2012 finished with 86 segments (Gold), and about 60K miles. Purchased the CP for $1499. I will be flying same route all year most likely. CLT-ORD. I fly Monday AM, and Thursday afternoon. For next week, no upgrades yet. CP CS tells me, everyone in F has bought it w/ 6K miles? and Monday completely sold out. Is this normal. Previously I had asked gate agents and they told me there was mix of Plat and CP on flights, so I assumed I'd be pretty good for getting upgraded most times. Now, I'm hoping I didn't just waste $1500. I realize CLT is a hub, and ORD is popular too, but CP I figured would carry the day-given the info I had received.
Any advice or words of wisdom would be appreciated!
Thanks a lot
Sammy


Everybody has given you some great advice, I think they all missed one important point, your flight times. Monday AM, everybody is flying out to big business centers like ORD. can you take the next flight or flyout Sunday evening?
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Old Jan 6, 13, 10:44 am
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Two Things...

1. Did a Platinum (CP) Challenge last year. Once I made CP, my UG rate went to 100%.
2. Buying mileage UG's: here MY theory, on short haul flights (< 2.5 hours) no way cause of last years UG rate. I figure my odds are pretty damn good. Even IF I miss the UG, worse case scenario, I have an exit isle.

HOWEVER, on transcons, I look at the load & metal. If I can't find a A321, then I'll go the money & miles route (as a CP it's only miles though) (another GREAT CP benefit). If it's A321, then I MIGHT roll the dice on the 7 Day UG.

Last edited by I_Can_Fly_US_Airways; Jan 6, 13 at 3:39 pm Reason: Typo
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