My recent MCS upgrade experience - Silver level success

Old Sep 13, 17, 11:41 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 10
Cool My recent MCS upgrade experience - Silver level success

I recently flew from Chicago/ORD to San Francisco/SFO on Virgin. It's probably been about 6 months since I flew them and as you guys probably know the upgrade process has changed. I am a Silver member, here is what I learned:

- There is an option when you buy your tickets to have it "auto upgrade" you to MCS when you purchase the tickets so I choose that option.

- I checked in online and was asked if I wanted to upgrade for $150 for one way, I declined.

- I called the Silver line after I checked in and asked out the upgrade process works. They told me that I can check online 6 hours before departure to find out if I had been upgraded or not.

-I checked a little less than 6 hours before departure and nothing had changed online. I called the Silver line again and asked about it and they said my auto upgrade request had been denied, but informed me that I should check a little before departure because my upgrade could go through if others canceled. I checked later and I wasn't upgraded so not sure if that could actually happen or not. I assume Golds got upgraded before me and there were no seats left.

-After I got to the airport I checked with the desk folks about an upgrade and they told me there will MCS upgrades available for purchase(so there were still open seats!). I asked if they could upgrade me because I was silver and the desk person said we probably can if they are open but I have to wait until 30 minutes before departure.

-I went back to the desk about 30 minutes before departure and the guy said they only had middle seats open in MCS and if I still wanted it. I told him yes and got upgraded - success.

I basically had the same experience on my flight back except I didn't call. I wasn't automatically upgraded so I stopped by the desk about 45 minutes before departure and they upgraded me for free and I got a window seat this time.

In summary it appears that some MCS seats are "on hold" for paying customers and if you are silver you won't be automatically upgraded to those hold seats but you might get them if you ask the desk folks a little bit before departure.
cjchaps is offline  
Old Sep 13, 17, 8:36 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP, BW Plat, SPG Gold, IHG Plat
Posts: 7,368
Originally Posted by cjchaps View Post
I recently flew from Chicago/ORD to San Francisco/SFO on Virgin. It's probably been about 6 months since I flew them and as you guys probably know the upgrade process has changed. I am a Silver member, here is what I learned:

- There is an option when you buy your tickets to have it "auto upgrade" you to MCS when you purchase the tickets so I choose that option.

- I checked in online and was asked if I wanted to upgrade for $150 for one way, I declined.

- I called the Silver line after I checked in and asked out the upgrade process works. They told me that I can check online 6 hours before departure to find out if I had been upgraded or not.

-I checked a little less than 6 hours before departure and nothing had changed online. I called the Silver line again and asked about it and they said my auto upgrade request had been denied, but informed me that I should check a little before departure because my upgrade could go through if others canceled. I checked later and I wasn't upgraded so not sure if that could actually happen or not. I assume Golds got upgraded before me and there were no seats left.

-After I got to the airport I checked with the desk folks about an upgrade and they told me there will MCS upgrades available for purchase(so there were still open seats!). I asked if they could upgrade me because I was silver and the desk person said we probably can if they are open but I have to wait until 30 minutes before departure.

-I went back to the desk about 30 minutes before departure and the guy said they only had middle seats open in MCS and if I still wanted it. I told him yes and got upgraded - success.

I basically had the same experience on my flight back except I didn't call. I wasn't automatically upgraded so I stopped by the desk about 45 minutes before departure and they upgraded me for free and I got a window seat this time.

In summary it appears that some MCS seats are "on hold" for paying customers and if you are silver you won't be automatically upgraded to those hold seats but you might get them if you ask the desk folks a little bit before departure.
Interesting report, thanks....so basically Silvers (and AS MVPs) don't get auto upgraded, but can ask at the gate if nobody takes the "hold" seats, correct?
PDXPremier is offline  
Old Sep 13, 17, 9:18 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: BOS
Programs: B6/Mosaic/AF/VX/AS Gold Hertz PC HH Dia. AMEX Plat SPG/Marr Gold Nat. EE FPC Plat
Posts: 833
Originally Posted by PDXPremier View Post
Interesting report, thanks....so basically Silvers (and AS MVPs) don't get auto upgraded, but can ask at the gate if nobody takes the "hold" seats, correct?
It seems to have changed, but when I was Silver 4 yrs ago, I was auto upgradeed a few times.
ptownca is offline  
Old Sep 14, 17, 12:07 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP, BW Plat, SPG Gold, IHG Plat
Posts: 7,368
Originally Posted by ptownca View Post
It seems to have changed, but when I was Silver 4 yrs ago, I was auto upgradeed a few times.
Perhaps they auto upgraded Silvers back then when they didn't really hold on to as many MCS seats but yes, it sounds like upgrades are dealt with at the gate or airport now.
PDXPremier is offline  
Old Sep 14, 17, 9:40 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 10
I assume if there are a bunch of open seats you could in theory be upgraded automatically but it didn't happen for me. It seems you can get the upgrade if there are "paid" open seats a bit before the plane takes off.

Originally Posted by PDXPremier View Post
Interesting report, thanks....so basically Silvers (and AS MVPs) don't get auto upgraded, but can ask at the gate if nobody takes the "hold" seats, correct?
cjchaps is offline  
Old Sep 14, 17, 1:19 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kirkland, WA
Programs: AS 75K,AA Plat, UA Gold 1.6MM, Hilton Dia, Marriott Tit, Hyatt Glb, Accors Plt, Natl Exec, Avis PC
Posts: 3,651
Originally Posted by PDXPremier View Post
Interesting report, thanks....so basically Silvers (and AS MVPs) don't get auto upgraded, but can ask at the gate if nobody takes the "hold" seats, correct?
I don't think being Silver precluded the auto-upgrade. This person was just low in the waitlist and the upgrade availability was 0 until at the gate 30 mins prior.
dmodemd is offline  
Old Sep 15, 17, 11:03 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 5
I'm Silver and I get auto-upgraded at T-12 on probably 90%+ of flights lately. The only issue I've ran into is it not assigning the MCS seat I selected at check in and having to either call the Elevate line to assign it or deal with it at the gate (if they say it's under gate control at that point).
westofhere03 is offline  
Old Sep 22, 17, 7:46 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Juneau, Ft Lauderdale, Whitehorse, and mostly 2A or 3C. Never, EVER 4 though.
Programs: AS MVPG + BR, DL GM, Hertz Pres Circle, Natl Emerald Exec, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Silver
Posts: 3,443
I wonder, since Virgin & Alaska are on Sabre, if the upgrade process is the same as Alaska F.

"U" space must be available for first upgrades to process, otherwise you go on the standby list at the airport. There is a separate waitlist running, based on status, fare class, and time of purchase, for the upgrades into First (U) on Alaska.

As a 75K, and on Alaska, at 5 days out, if "U" is open, then I should clear for an upgrade. Golds clear at 72 hours, and MVP at 24. If U opens up inside our window, I will trump any lower status members. If at T-24 and Im still in back, I then get placed on the airport list.
UAPremierExec is offline  
Old Sep 23, 17, 2:24 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: AS, AA, BA, SQ
Posts: 163
For VX the MCS upgrade class for elites is O. If there is O inventory available at your upgrade window (and you selected auto upgrade) you will be upgraded. If not you are not automatically put on the wait list and must ask at the airport. Then those clear at the gate on a space available basis.
brettsir is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread