Buy-up at check-in/airport

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by LAXtraveler, Mar 14, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. LAXtraveler
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    LAXtraveler Gold Member

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    Pretty new to UA so please forgive my ignorance - looking for some information regarding buying up to J class from a H/U fare ticket in Y. I am travelling on a 3 class plane Transcon.

    No seats assigned yet as Y is pretty full but there a around 20 seats open in J both on the departure and return flights.

    Is it best to wait to check in at the airport? How much do the buy-ups usually cost? Will I only be able to buy up to E+?

    Thanks in advance for any insights
     
  2. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    How much the buy-ups run is dependent upon route length and your status and fare class. Whether they're available depends upon how many elites there are waiting for upgrades (and how many people use instruments to upgrade). There may be 20 open now, but all 20 may already be spoken for.

    It's rumored that check-in time is a factor, so earlier is better as a general rule.
     
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  3. LAXtraveler
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    LAXtraveler Gold Member

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    So even without seats assigned I am better off checking in at T-24 and hoping to be offered a buy-up?

    I have no status (like I said I'm a UA newbie) but my fare classes are pretty high - relative to the deeply discounted S/T type fares. Also, based on my reading at TOBB it seems like a lot more people are getting buy-up options before the CPUs are clearing (not all available seats, but happening often) - meaning that unless someone applied a RPU that already has cleared there should be at least a few seats left - am I reading all this correctly?
     
  4. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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  5. LAXtraveler
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    LAXtraveler Gold Member

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    I forgot one more newbie question... will UA let me check in at T-24 even if I don't have a seat assignment?

    With AA they generally make me wait to check in until the airport if I don't have an assignment.
     
  6. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    I can't think of a reason they wouldn't let you check in T-24. You have your PNR, correct? Also, why don't you have seats reserved?
     
  7. LAXtraveler
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    LAXtraveler Gold Member

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    I have my PNR, but currently all the seats in E- on both flights are grayed out so I can't choose a seat.
     
  8. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    Oh, that can be a issue. Hope you find a place somewhere to sit. And BTW, did you check on-line to see if there is any upgrade options for you at this point? And, is buying up to E+ an option or are you just taking a chance to being bumped up to E+ (in case no buy up option to business)?
     
  9. LAXtraveler
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    I could buy up to E+ right now but I wanted to hold out to see what the options would be for a J buy-up closer in. Right now the options are close to $900 e/w for buy-up to J.
     
  10. davef139

    davef139 Gold Member

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    IT should auto assign you a seat, I just booked a ticket on a 763 this morning with an entire E- grayed, and it auto assigned me an E+ seat once it was ticketed.
     
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  11. LAXtraveler
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    They haven't done that and my flight has been ticketed for 2 days now. Is it worth a phone call?
     
  12. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    Well, first thing to make sure of is if it really got ticketed. This is a current issue that res are made and paid for but the new system sometimes doesn't really "offically" ticket it (this has happen to me this past weekend). But yes, worth a call if you got the time (wait time can be long right now).
     
  13. LAXtraveler
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    When logged into my account and viewing the reservation it says that it is confirmed and ticketed - so I am assuming it was properly ticketed.
     
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  14. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    I don't know if the new UA does that, but PMUA did not usually assign you an E+ seat if you were not eligible through status or fare. If there were no E- seats available prior to check-in, you would get a DM card and get a seat assignment at the gate, after they have exhausted all attempts to sell E+ upgrades to your fellow nobodies.
     
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  15. davef139

    davef139 Gold Member

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    Maybe I got luckly..

    On my 2 CR7 trips I just couldn't choose a seat as it was totally greyed and it auto E+ for my seat assignemnt, I just skipped the seat choosing.

    On my A320 trip I got the only avail Econ e+/E- seat which was 37E, that's gonna suck since its F1Y1 so only 1 seat will open up in all. It does show E+ as sold out

    On my 763 International all e- was greyed and was placed into 25C for an asle E+. oddly I noticed they have different pricing for each E+ seat. 19K = $49, 20E = $59, 22 and back was $39. odd pricing scheme for a ORD-DEN flight.

    This also my first booking post 3/3 where E+ isn't just pickable
     
  16. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    I take it since you mentioned buying E+ that you have no status with UA or *A.

    thusly you wont be shown E+ inventory so you wont know how full it is, since they were willing to sell you a E+ seat it doesnt seem full. Now UA doesnt sell the E+ cabin perse = you cant purchase a tkt in that cabin either you have a CC (if tehre is 1) that comps it and you book a reg coach tkt but can chose a E+ seat or you have status that allows you to chose it or you pay the extra $$ for it

    just cause you cant chose an E- seat doesnt mean coach is soldout after X% of the seats are assigned then the rest are Blocked for Airport assignment day of Only. When they do oversell E- they will move Elites who have to pay eg a 2P before T-24 into E+ for $0. At the airport (probably the gate) if all Elites have already been put into E+ then they will give those w/o any seats a E+ seat for $0, of cause by then it can be a middle E+ seat

    if E- and E+ are full and there are still Confirmed passengers w/o a seat they will move an Elite in E+ into the next higher cabin o

    In a 3 cabin if Biz is full but FC isnt then they move people from C into F and E+ into E- and assign the empty E- seat to those waiting for seats.

    Now thats how UA always did it since 3/3 all bets are off

    if you post your flight# and date Im sure someone who has access to the flight info will bebale to tell you where the flight load is standing. Id do this even for simply purchasing E+ since no sense to buy it only to have middle seats left
     
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  17. LAXtraveler
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    Thanks for the detailed response. As of now my outbound only has E+ middle seats showing available for purchase whereas the return as a number of different E+ options for purchase (aisle, middle and window).
     
  18. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    That will likely change as elites get moved up, though. I'd keep checking back at T-96, T-72, T-48, and T-24. You may be able to secure better seats at any of those times.
     
  19. ClarkyBoy
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    ClarkyBoy Silver Member

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    Sorry for the question, i have not flown still the merge.
    Where do people get asked to buy-up not during check-in or airport?
    I've seen people grabbing TOD's 6 days before flight - how can you if you can't check in at that time?
    thanks!
     
  20. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    On the new web site, you can click on an F seat and see if upgrades are offered. AFAIK, same goes for E+: if you are not eligible for a free E+ seat, you can select one and pay for it. Buy-ups are not always available though.

    You may also be offered to buy up to F during check in process on the web site or via kiosk - if F buy is available. If it is not, you won't see an option.
     
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  21. ClarkyBoy
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    ClarkyBoy Silver Member

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    Thanks legalalien! As 1K i'm used to the E+ thing just wasn't sure if other people got a magical way to see TOD's and you've answered that perfectly.

    checked my F's options for upcoming short flights - $431 YUCK!
    now if we can get stuff just offered to us because we have 100K BIS miles like before, wouldn't that be grand!
     
  22. redwoman

    redwoman Silver Member

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    Legalalien, this is a great tip, thank you! Overall, I don't like the new ua.com because it seems to me that you must first click on something, as if you are going to execute it, and that is when you find the information you are looking for pop up in the next window. The old ua.com seemed to organize similar information under tabs. But this function of clicking on the seat you want and seeing if a buy-up is offered is an improvement.

    P.S. I like your Mad Men avatar! You clearly have excellent taste in fashion and TV drama. :D
     
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  23. LAXtraveler
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    One seat just opened up in E- on my flight (thankfully an aisle) so I snagged it just to hold a seat for now. Better that then getting to check-in/airport only to be stuck in a middle (even if it would have been in E+).
     
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  24. LAXtraveler
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    So R/RN inventory finally opened up for my flight... now if only I have an RPU I could guarantee it. For now I'll keep hoping that there will be a chance to buy-up at T-24.
     

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