Companion Upgrades Still a Pain in the...

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by hulagrrl210, Dec 1, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    3 of us going to Maui tomorrow-
    Gold (husband) on his own itinerary
    Platinum (me) + no status baby

    Checked in online. Husband is on the upgrade list, baby and I are not. Seeing as how I am a Platinum and this is Hawaii flight I should have already cleared. Pre-baby my husband and I, both Gold, would ALWAYS clear at 48 hours, even on smaller aircraft. Post-baby we have not had a companion upgrade go smoothly after 3 trips now. UA really likes to split the baby off on his own itinerary, leave him in coach, and one time they even rebooked him on a separate flight. Every single time I have to call and I'm sick of it! This has been a known issue since March and it appears they still haven't fixed it. I'm currently on hold on the phone...again. Has anyone else had success with companion upgrades or had it work the way it is supposed to? The only time we did was when a gate agent handled it.

    This is what it says on the website:
    http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/mileageplus/premier/upgrades.aspx?Mobile=1

    It says one companion is eligible for a CPU with the same priority as the Premier they are traveling with. Seems like its the other way around and I've been given the priority of a general member :rolleyes:.

    In other news AS has a direct flight out of SMF- not sure why I keep putting up with this crap from UA.
     
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  2. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    So the verdict once I got off the phone (and after the agent called the airport) is that only the airport can fix it. I know that is a bunch of crap because last time we checked in at the airport with the same situation they said they couldn't fix it. She also assured me that my Platinum status would be honored...well, we'll see about that. My Gold husband is currently #2 on the list so if he makes it and we don't I'm calling shenanigans!
     
  3. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    I'm assuming the baby has their own ticket and it isn't a lap child fare?
     
  4. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    Yeah the baby has his own ticket, but in the past we've ended up lap-childing him for a good portion of the flight after only two of us clear the upgrade
     
  5. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    It does seem unusual so perhaps write in to see if there's a glitch within the system.
     
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  6. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    It's a complete non-issue now. Our SMF-SFO flight is cancelled and we're now going through LAX. We don't even have seat assignments now. That direct AS flight is looking better and better!
     
  7. dc8fan

    dc8fan Silver Member

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    Good luck. SHARES has made companion upgrades a nightmare from my perspective. Absolutely fine if you're traveling solo, but add a companion and watch the fun begin. About 2 months ago my SO and I took a 6 flight trip from LA to MSP and ORD via DEN (and ORD). First flight was perfect - both upgraded but when SHARES split us it got a bit complex. I had to ask on all 4 later segments( both via phone & gate) to be taken off the UG list so we could be guaranteed to sit together. Fine. Time to board and SHARES had put me back up as #1 on the list, but SO was nowhere to be seen. This happened on 4 flights despite being told by gate and 1K desk that they had 'permanently' fixed it. It's obviously a bug in the system that UA either cannot or choses not to address.
     
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  8. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    At this point I'll be happy to get seats together in E+. The only open seats on the plane are middle seats and the exit row, neither of which baby can sit in because of his car seat. Can't wait to talk to the gate agents/customer service @LAX tomorrow since they're always such a friendly bunch. Anyway, they're going to have to figure it out. Things could be worse. At least we're headed to Maui...hopefully.
     
  9. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    It doesn't seem to matter if I check in online, at the airport, or over the phone. Our record always gets split at some point and once it is, it messes up the return trip as well. The only way we've been able to get our companion upgrades were when the gate agent took care of it, or one other time when we had already boarded in E+ and they came onto the plane and moved us. Then there's always the issue of switching with someone to be together. In my experience first class passengers are the worst to try and switch with too. I'm not one to complain about something that's free, but it has become such a hassle that it's not even worth it. We used to fly United to Hawaii for the almost guaranteed upgrades and because they flew wide-body planes. None of that is the case anymore. If I'm going to be stuck in coach on a single-aisle aircraft it might as well be on Alaska direct out of Sacramento.
     
  10. seaflyguy
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    seaflyguy Silver Member

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    I'm a 1K, Mrs Seaflyguy has no UA status. We were flying home for Thanksgiving, both on the same PNR, tickets booked from my account. Get to the airport and discover that a) our records don't include our MP numbers and b) we're not on the upgrade list. Opinion of the ticket agent is that her using her old PM MP number caused the problem. We enter our numbers and all is fine, though of course we don't get upgraded. I call the 1K line over the holiday to ensure that we're on the list for our return flight. The agent says that while Mrs Seaflyguy's MP number is now correctly entered, that we can't be put on an upgrade list until check-in time, T-24 hours. What? I beat my head against a wall and then finally figure out I should just give up and hope for the best. Check in online and of course we're not on the upgrade list and not offered the opportunity to do so. Get to the airport, ticket agent says we're on the list. Get to the gate and of course our names don't appear at all. Sigh.

    This is the first serious problem I've had since the merger, so I suppose I should count myself lucky.
     
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  11. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    How are you booking the tickets?

    I've done several companion upgrades with a single colleague (non-status) on the PNR and it has performed as expected.

    Are you booking three on a PNR and hoping that the computer will sort out the statuses and lack thereof or are you booking your husband separately and then yourself and your child on a PNR of your own?

    I suppose it ought to be the case that you can book all three of you on the same PNR to start and let the system sort it out, but the reality is that I wouldn't be at all surprised if that fails (and not because it's UA's fault, but because that's a hard level of logic to build in...especially if you expect it to work for four, five, or more on a PNR). If you're booking in a way to facilitate the upgrade (husband alone, you and baby together) and it still fails, then that's a little surprising based on my recent experience with one status/one no status PNRs.
     
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  12. karung99
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    karung99 Gold Member

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    Hope you are able to seat together and have a great time in Aloha land...
     
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  13. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    We booked 3 tickets together (with Mileage Plus numbers), then split the ititerary- husband by himself and baby and I together. We were supposed to fly out of SFO, had even checked in, but because of weather our flight was cancelled so we made arrangements a to go via LAX. While on the phone with UA I had 2 concerns- getting back on the upgrade list, or at least getting seats together. They wouldn't even give me a seat assignment. At that point there will still empty seats on the plane, but I was told it was under airport control. As I normally do with United when I don't get an answer I like, I hung up and called back, and even asked if someone could call the airport. Still no luck.

    I talked to 3 people on the phone, 2 people at SMF, 3 people at LAX, and we never made it back on the upgrade list. CS at LAX said she couldn't even add me unless I split the infant from my itinerary which I think is wrong, and then I have no idea why on earth my husband, a gold traveling by himself couldn't get added to the list either. Our strategy was to take at least one upgrade and use it if we had to to trade seats with someone in coach in order to be together. The gate agent in LA was the only one even able to get us seat assignments, and then at the last minute. We were literally 2nd to last to board the plane. We ended up in row 28 E- and even then the GA gave me attitude and acted like she did us a huge favor. The plane wasn't even full. A non-rev got upgraded at the gate in front of us, and I am so far beyond bummed out with United right now it's not even funny.

    I've threated so many times to no longer do business with them, but this is it, at least when it comes to traveling with my family. I may continue to fly with them by myself and mileage run to help pay for more expensive overseas trips, but I'm no longer going to subject the rest of my family to this. I might very well become the least profitable customer they've ever seen. It's not much, but I'm happy to take the $5000-$8000 that my family spends anually on trips to Hawaii and give that (profitable) business to Alaska. The stress and hassle of flying United is not worth it for the so-called benefits that I don't even get to enjoy. They are rude to families and couldn't care less about trying to accomodate us, even as a Platinum and a Gold.

    Nothing about yesterday was remarkably bad- I've experienced worse and E- isn't as horrible as it sounds. They did get us to our destination on time, which is not always the case, and I do appreciate that. No one was any ruder to me or more imcompetant than what I've dealt with in the past, but I'm over it. I truly believe that most of the time because of SHARES front end employees truly do have their hand tied when it comes to helping out a customer in need. I even take their word for it 90% of the time when they say there is nothing they can do. I don't care. Their problem, no longer mine. They've had plenty of time to work stuff like this out, and they haven't.
     
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  14. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    Just checked in (or rather the computer checked me in automatically) for tomorrow's flight home. My infant and I got split AND I'm still not on the list. :confused:
     
  15. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    Just got off the phone with them, again. The lady I talked to said there was a note saying a request was made to not add me to the list. I wonder who did that, because it sure wasn't me. FML.
     
  16. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    My general experience with companion upgrades is that there must be two seats open. Thus, if you have a companion, they will pass over you to the next person if only one seat is open for an upgrade. Basically I'm left hoping that no seats open for an upgrade because that will leave a large pile left at the gate and I will still be at the top of the list.
     
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  17. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I've given up on upgrades. I called United again about it for the return trip and they said I had requested to be taken off the list. Not true! But whatever, someone took me off the list. There was even a GS in coach who got split from his wife, same situation, so I figured if United is doing that to them too there is no hope for a lowly platinum. Anyway my beef now is that we can't even seem to get seat assignments together in Y and it didn't help that our reservation was all split up. I know at one point we were all seated together in the back. Why that changed, I have no idea. Reservations says check with the airport, GA says check with the flight attendant, flight attendant doesn't want to help. We then encountered a whole new special breed of a-hole yesterday who refused to switch seats with us so our family (including 10 month old) could be together. We were offering the exact same seats he had just on the other side of the aircraft and 2 rows back, still E+. By far the biggest d-bag I have ever encountered who later on shoved me. A day after I still have a horrible taste into mouth after everything that happened on this trip. It'll be a while before I fly United again.
     
  18. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Fixed that for you.
     
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  19. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    There were plenty of empty seats in first 72-48-24 hours out on both flights. The problem was we mysteriously got removed from the list and never properly got added back on it. Same thing happened to a GS. They gave his wife the very last upgrade at the gate and he sat in coach. At least I don't feel bad and don't take it personally anymore. United is screwing over customers with way higher status than what I've got.
     
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  20. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Imho, more like SHARES made it, and still is, a nightmare for us.
     
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