CO matching UA policy on SWU

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by aussieflyer, Feb 27, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    According toCO.com, from now on flying 100k will earn you 6 SWU's (instead of 4). But they will not be valid on S,T,K,L or G fares.

    For me, -1 on the "changes you'll like"...

    Would you rather 4 with no restriction or 6 not valid on the low fare?
     
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  2. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    True, forgot to add that every additional 50k earns 2 more SWU's.

    But when you don't know if you're going to clear, having to spend the extra (sometimes significant) money is not to my liking.
     
  3. Geo
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    Geo Gold Member

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    Of course, that is only if an R is unavailable at the time of booking isn't it? Causing you to be waitlisted?

    So far I haven't run into a hypothetical S,T,K,L,G restriction as none of those fares have ever been available when I've booked my SWU's. Next year or for SWU's earned this year (I'll have 6 new ones by end of March) when the STKLG restriction imposes itself, I'll simply have more SWU's than are possible to use.

    For the people who fly a lot, paid pointy end, there needs to be a different benefit. Maybe unrestricted SWU's, not from the base fare sense, but from the R availability restriction. It would be better if they were easier to use.
     
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  4. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    I'd rather have 4 unrestricted, especially for vacation flights. I think the new UA should give a choice of 6 restricted or 4 unrestricted --- I bet most would pick 4 unrestricted.
     
  5. seaflyguy
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    seaflyguy Silver Member

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    I'd rather have four with no restriction, though admittedly, all of my international travel of the last two or three years has been either personal award travel or corporate with my former employer, where I was booked into C and then upgrade coupons were available for employees at my level and above. As a result, I haven't run into the fare restriction problem. Now I'm an independent consultant, paying for my own travel, and I'm guessing I'll run headlong into it this year. So four with no restriction.
     
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  6. Renard
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    Renard Silver Member

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    Let us not forget that AA exec plats get 8 unrestricted! (IIUC)
     
  7. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    This assumes that F is going away on the new UA. To date, a major benefit for people who fly paid C for work has been the ability to SWU into the F cabin. This is probably less of a benefit now that new C is widely deployed (thus shrinking the delta between the C and F cabins), but it still has some value.

    If the new UA does away with the F cabin, then you would really be right that a paid premium business traveler wouldn't get anything out of the SWU benefit. In this case I could see them going with either a benefit choice kind of system (like DL) or something like the new AC eupgrade program.

    On the surface I think I would really like something like the new AC approach since it allows for substantial customization to each individual's flying patterns and upgrade needs. Of course, then it all comes down to the earn/burn ratio for credits and the scaling from the "cost" in credits to upgrade a high fare down to the "cost" to upgrade a lower fare.
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    True, though the number of available destinations to which they can be used is rather lower.
     
  9. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    I just realized that currently UA prioritizes 1Ks over lower level elites and general members using cash+miles... I am confident that is going to change and SWUs will fall down on the priority list behind everybody who is willing to drop cold hard cash and miles to upgrade....

    I think the international upgrade priority will look something like this:

    UA elites on Y/B fare using miles to upgrade
    Star Golds on Y/B fare using miles to upgrade
    GS using cash+miles sorted by fare class
    1K using cash+miles sorted by fare class
    1P using cash+miles sorted by fare class
    2P using cash+miles sorted by fare class
    General member using cash+miles sorted by fare class
    GS using SWUs sorted by fare class
    1K using SWUs sorted by fare class
    1P using SWUs sorted by fare class
    2P using SWUs sorted by fare class
    General Member using SWUs sorted by fare class


    Also, upgrading in advance probably will become more rare and we will have to start taking our chances and hope that our upgrade will clear. I'd rather have unrestricted SWUs, so if my upgrade does not clear I will not feel alienated after dropping a few hundred bucks when a lower fare was available.
     
  10. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    I don't know why you believe any of this to be true. Is it currently this way with CO SWUs? I don't believe so, but that at least would be interesting.

    The final paragraph has been the complaint for ages about UA SWUs but doesn't turn out to be very true, especially lately. Outside of major business travel days, holiday travel periods, etc. there has actually be widespread NC availability lately.
     
  11. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    From what I'm reading I think his belief comes from CO considering everyone is equal, whereas UA valuing their passengers who have earned elite status and providing better service/options.

    I am in the preference for 4 SWU without restrictions camp!
     
  12. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    Yes, CO SWUs are upgraded behind all cash+miles upgrades... A Plat using SWUs will be behind a regular OnePass member using cash+miles... From my understanding, that is not the case with UA where SWUs are ahead of cash+miles upgrades that have been listed by lower elites [I think 1K on cash+miles will trump an 1K using SWUs, but the 1K using SWUs will trump the 1P using cash+miles]...

    Unless I completely misunderstood the current UA region 2 upgrade priority....
     
  13. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    I am very happy to see that CO is awarding 6 SWUs valid on the same fare classes as United for international travel. This means both CO & UA elites will be awarded 6 SWUs per year valid on most fares. I would like them to be valid on all fares, but I would rather have 6 with some restrictions than 4. It is certainly better than DL policy of SWUs being stand by and valid on Y, B, or M fares. Since United is finishing a full retrofit of its aircraft that includes a new First cabin, I would NOT necessarily accept the premise that First class is going away; rather, I gather there will be a mixture of 2 and 3 class planes operating on the new United next year. Now if United decided to adopt AA's SWU policy and award us 8 SWUs per year, this would be great. The one major disadvantage to the new Mileage Plus program next year will be the loss of quarterly CR1s and earning only 4 CR1s whereas the old program would have awarded 8 CR1s.
     
  14. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    Curious if those preferring 6 are traveling on their own (or their companys) dime, and if you've checked the fare differential between SWU and non-SWU eligible fares these days (in the $500-700 range for many trips).
     
  15. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    You sure about that?

    If what you suggest is true, then how would it work if there were R availability at the time of booking? They're not going to confirm your SWU and then kick you out if someone else wants to use miles+cash for the seat.
     
  16. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    I travel on my own dime for international flights (haven't had a business flight out of region 1 in the last two years).

    I know that there can be significant differences between W fares and deeply discounted fares (especially on exceptional sales), but in my experience the $500+ differences are the exception and only really exist if you are booking well in advance, are incredibly flexible to find availability, and happen to be going somewhere that has a deep sale.

    So I suppose if your primary purpose for using SWUs is taking advantage of special sales for MRs or quasi-runs then you might want fewer unrestricted. But if you want to travel at specific times to specific destinations, the W requirement isn't that big an impediment.

    Here's an example from my real life though. I'm going to try to go to the PRG Meet-Up in June. A W fare both ways across the pond (connecting to LH flights to actually get to PRG) is $1,550. The lowest coach fare with availability on the days I need to travel is $1,380.

    So there's a premium for upgradeability, but it's not anywhere near $500.

    Another example, I'm looking at DPS fares for late next fall. The lowest fare is a Q at $1,284++. The W is $1,331++.
     
  17. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    Positive... Once you are confirmed into R they will never kick you out unless the business class cabin is overbooked and they need to accommodate a paid business class customer, however, CO will compensate you generously with vouchers for the downgrade....

    So if there is R available at the time of booking [VERY rare with CO] you will be upgraded instantly after calling CO. If you are placed on the upgrade waitlist anybody requesting cash+miles upgrades will be placed higher on the waitlist than customers waitlisted with SWUs.

    Let's say the waitlist consists of 10 customers.... 3 elites using cash+miles, 4 elites using SWUs, 3 general members using cash+miles the upgrade priority will be:

    3 elites using cash+miles
    3 general members using cash+miles
    4 elites using SWUs

    So if they only release 7 R space, only one customer using SWUs will be upgraded and the rest will still be stuck on the waitlist as #1-3... Now a few days later 2 more customers requested to be waitlisted using miles+cash, the three customers still on the waitlist using SWUs will fall down to #3-5 on the waitlist...
     
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  18. Mrs. Fredd
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    Mrs. Fredd Silver Member

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    I just wish it didn't cost sooo much more to buy an SWU upgradeable fare (most of the time) - sometimes double the lowest available fare.
     
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  19. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    Interesting. Well, like many things with the merger I'll just have to hope that the UA practice of rewarding status prevails if for no other reason than that they fear the uproar if they change the status quo.

    I can imagine the explosion that might happen if non-elites on L fares using cash-plus-miles started trumping GSes on Y fares using SWUs. [​IMG]
     
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  20. GUWonder
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    GUWonder Silver Member

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    Sounds like shifting some more business from AA and DL to CO is less useful than I was thinking it may be.
     
  21. the_happiness_store
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    the_happiness_store Silver Member

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    That will be unlikely to happen since the upgrade cost will probably be more than the original fare, then throw in the miles.

    Why is my avatar blank?
     
  22. Flyer
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    Flyer Silver Member

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    If that is the case, that is absolutely terrible. 1K...the new GM.
     
  23. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    Sadly, this is not my recent experience flying TATL from the West Coast, where W fares regularly seem to be 30-40% more than S fares, which are widely available. Last year, it was a different story, where W fares were <$100 more and I cleared 8 out of 10. This year, I'm 1 out of 4 so far. And that exactly summarises the problem - SWUs are a fantastic appreciation for our loyalty, and when I can unthinkingly apply them, it's a great bonus if they clear. However, if I'm shelling out hard cash in order to apply them, and then they don't clear, I feel resentful. I'd rather have 4 with no restrictions.
     
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  24. this sucks! UA has really put a lot of K fares onto the market in the last year trying to get upgradable fares from YYZ {Toronto} has been much more expensive.. :( I was looking forward to CO better SWU.
     
  25. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    I wonder when you will be able to use UA SWU's on CO metal... I heard there is some speculation that it will be around next year..
     

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