Best Left Coast to Europe flights for SWU upgrade

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by dwhotz, May 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. dwhotz
    Original Member

    dwhotz Silver Member

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    It looks like Fiance and I will be going to a wedding in Carmel, CA and leaving from there for a week in Switzerland and Northern Italy. A 1K friend has offered us some SWUs that he's not going to use before they expire in August. I'm a 1P, and Fiance has no status. Clearly, I understand that an upgrade has many variables on any flight on any given day, but we would really like to give ourselves the best shot to fly C across the pond.

    I was hoping that some Milepointers could give me an idea of which flight would give us the best chance at an upgrade (preferably ahead of time). Here are the transatlantic flights we're considering (Note: I have made sure that all fights are in an upgradable fare class.) All of these flights depart on Sunday, August 28:

    SFO-LHR - UA 954 12:50PM 777
    SFO-FRA - UA 900 1:59PM 744 (I've still never flown on the upper deck of a 747)
    SFO-FRA - LH455 2:20PM 380 (About $100 more)
    IAD-ZRH - UA936 6:02PM 763 (booked on CO but operated by UA)
    SFO-FRA - UA 926 7:08PM 777
    SFO-LHR - UA 930 7:15PM 777 (Appears to be "new" 777)
    SFO-MUC - LH 459 9:05PM 340
    LAX-MUC - LH 453 9:05PM 340

    Returning, we're looking at the GVA-IAD nonstop on a 763.

    Thanks a lot for your advice!
  2. lhrsfo
    Original Member

    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    You have left off your list LAX-LHR which is the easiest to upgrade, IME. LX has plenty of connections to GVA from LHR.

    Beware of assuming that the 777 seat map will be correct. Equipment swaps in the week before departure are very commonplace - over half my 777 flights this year have been swapped from new to old configuration. If you must have lie flat, then choose the 747 but SWUs are more likely to clear on the old configuration 777.
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If you have a choice, you might want to think about the day of week too. For instance, Tuesday is likely to be more favorable than Sunday, assuming no holiday weekend in either the USA or Europe.

    If you take a LH operated flight, remember that the SWU must be converted to a paper certificate and the upgrade can only be done at the airport on the day of travel.

    Check the rules about upgrades on codeshares. I would personally be nervous about the CO flight number on UA metal when hoping for an upgrade.
  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'd be more than nervous. I wouldn't do it. Until UA announces a change to their policies SWUs can only be used on UA-coded and operated flights or the LH day-of deal. I would not expect them to work at all on the CO-coded flight right now.

    I do expect this policy will change, possible as early as this coming Wednesday with Customer Day 1 supposedly happening, but until it is announced I wouldn't risk it.

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