General percentage break down of elite members on a typical flight?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by scf, Jun 4, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. scf

    scf Silver Member

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    Am curious what you guys estimate the general break down of the different elite members are for a typical flight...

    Lets assume the plane holds 150 passengers and is -not- a Monday morning / Thursday afternoon flight....could the break down look like this?

    Global Services: 2 pax or 1%
    1K: 15 pax or 10%
    Plat: 10 pax or 7%
    Gold: 10 pax or 7%
    Silver: 20 pax or 13%
    Everyone Else: 93 pax or 62%

    or would it be more of a typical pyramid shape?

    Global Services: 2 pax or 1%
    1K: 10 pax or 7%
    Plat: 12 pax or 8%
    Gold: 15 pax or 10%
    Silver: 20 pax or 13%
    Everyone Else: 91 pax or 61%
     
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  2. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    I think you might be over estimating number of elites. Also remember that there are some flights at the extremes. What I think would be most revealing would be to find the average and the standard deviation, which I imagine could be well over 50% in each category.
     
  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    What's your definition of a typical flight? Route and timing have a huge impact here.
     
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  4. scf

    scf Silver Member

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    I get that route and timing have a huge impact, without a doubt. I'm really just curious about a completely average flight. I understand that the numerous variables will swing flights different ways....but there is still an average out there. its more a hypothetical question than anything really...
     
  5. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Don't forget there's typically a DYKWIA on every flight so you might want to factor that 0.5% in there :D.
     
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  6. scf

    scf Silver Member

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    I had one of those on my flight last night from IAH-ORD. Was appalled that he was given a CPU and his wife wasnt. Completely full flight with 47 people on the stand by list and 40 people on the upgrade list...he actually got off the plan and spoke with the GA. Maybe there was a legit reason to be upset (failed upgrade instrument...?) but from the outsiders' perspective he was certainly trying to pull rank.

    anyway, didn't mean to hijack my own thread (c:
     
  7. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    I don't think this question makes much sense without knowing a specific route and date/time.

    Sunday night's SFO-SNA was packed in E-, 1/3 filled in E+, and only 1/2 filled in F. I'm confident the makeup is dramatically different at Monday 8am.

    I wouldn't be surprised if 25% of the plane on SFO-BOS or SFO-IAD during commute hours is 1K or higher.
     
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  8. scf

    scf Silver Member

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    ok, lets narrow it down then. Hub to hub for weekend travel...

    ORD-IAH on Friday at 4pm
    IAH-ORD on Sunday at 6pm
     
  9. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    This is one of those times when statistical average is meaningless.

    Can't comment on your routing, but ,for example, PHX-SJC, US Airways on a Friday afternoon had 40-some people on the wait list for upgrade.
     
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  10. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    AA LAX-JFK/vv typically have 50+ people on the upgrade list...presumably this is a subset of the elites (and of those, just those sitting in back). Could be 75+ on a flight, easily.
     
  11. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    My guess on these...packed with elites. IAH being the getaway hub for South/Central America and Mexico/Caribbean.
     
  12. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    Could be reflective of some flights, and not for others. Really, who the heck knows? Impossible for any of us to even estimate on a given flight, unless you're inclined to standing around the gate area counting the number of people who get on the plane when each boarding group is called. Even then, wouldn't be accurate.

    Even trying to estimate percentages by tier within the entire program is fodder for signifcant debate.
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The airline (well, they could calculate it, but I doubt even they bother). But who the heck cares, and why? If I knew the numbers, what would I do with it?
     
  14. Scott Schmidt

    Scott Schmidt Silver Member

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    On UA 319 this morning from IAD-LAX on a Ghetto Bird 767...

    21 upgrades cleared. 58 did not.

    As a 1K on a K fare, I was #10 on the upgrade list at departure.

    That's alot of elites... And alot of disappointed elites.
     
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  15. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    If one really wants/needs to fly up front....buy a ticket up front. No reason to be disappointed when one doesn't get upgraded.
     
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  16. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    In 1997 Continental sent me a letter indicating that the elite members of onepass made up 7% of their passengers. Obviously elite fly more often than non-elite, so they would make up a much higher percentage of the pax on a typical flight. They also indicated that they aimed to have 1% at the top level (Gold), 2% at the mid-level (silver) and 4% at the lowest level (bronze). In 2005 United indicated that 15% of their passengers were Premier level or higher without indicating whether that was the percentage of the typical flight or the percentage of their flyers. They also indicated that elite flyers broke down approximately as follows: 60% Premier, 35% Premier Exec and 5% 1K. I have not been able to find more recent data, but certainly with the reduction of flights and the increase in average load factors on most flights, there is likely a substantial increase in elites competing for upgrades. The merger probably had little effect othe than allowing United to eliminate overlapping or competing flights.
     
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  17. scf

    scf Silver Member

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    thanks everyone - appreciate your insight.
     
  18. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    I think united's number are lower than other airlines, because typically United does not match status easily, not is their a plethora of deqm promos. Someone who is 1K on United earned it (miles or $$elite maximier)
     
  19. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    I think the number of elites depends upon the aircraft type and dates of travel. IIRC, it was thought that there were about 40,000-50,000 1Ks before the merger with CO.
     
  20. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    It won't tell you levels, but if you check the mobile site tomorrow around 3 CDT, you can get a good approximation of total #of elites on that flight by looking at the length of the upgrade list.

    And then check again on Sunday about an hour out for a the other direction.

    If you're really curious, collect that data for a few months.

    As for how to break out the elites, I have no idea other than to say that I would expect GS to be relatively less common on domestic flights other than transcons and those timed to connect to international flights.
     
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  21. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    If the 2005 percentages still hold, then the number of 1K flyers should be well over 80,000. There were roughly 1 million UA elite in 2005 which would provide the 50k number you refer to. With the merger you would add in all of the CO flyers who would qualify.
     
  22. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    This sounds correct to me.
     

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