Global Premier Upgrade priority by Premier status??

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by jasher926, Nov 28, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jasher926

    jasher926 Silver Member

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    On United's website it says the priority of clearing waitlisted upgrades will be "by Premier status, then fare class*, then time of request" and that "waitlist confirmation priority is based on the Premier status of the redeeming account."

    Since only Premier 1K can use GPUs or sponsor another person, isn't the Premier status criteria a moot point?? Tell me if I'm missing something...
     
  2. mherdeg
    Original Member

    mherdeg Silver Member

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    Global Services members also get GPUs and count as a higher status.
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There are also marketing-issued GPUs which carry no elite status.
     
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  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    In general, Premier 1Ks are competing mostly with other Premier 1Ks, which is where the other 'priority of clearing' items, like fare class and time of request, become important. For intl travel, e.g., most folks would have purchased a W fare, so that it is very important, even for a 1K to request early so as to be early on the waitlist because it is often the tie-breaker... Therefore, while being a 1K with a GPU or being sponsored for a GPU by a 1K has a definite advantage, it is still important to 'strategize' to ensure that a GPU would clear, even for 1Ks --- hardly a moot point.
     
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  5. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I have high hopes for my full-Y fare SFO-NRT GPU clearing. (Obviously not "my" GPU, given that I'm a Silver, but you know what I mean. Yay sponsors.)
     
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  6. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Since its a 1k sponsoring it should have the highest priority until 23:59.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Yup. The GPU inherits the status of the sponsor so this would be like a 1K on a Y/B fare, which has a relatively high priority....
     
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  8. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Behind GS?
     
  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    "Behind GS" is always understood but this is usually immaterial because there aren't enough of them to matter...
     
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  10. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    There is an interesting strategy here. Often V fares are not much higher than W fares. If you book a V fare, then you are ahead of all the other 1K's for the GPU.
     
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  11. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Uh, unless they are booking higher fares at the last minute out of necessity? I was doing SFO-HKG a few months ago, and everyone in front of me on the waitlist had paid more than double my fare.
     
  12. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    That is my strategy for 'tough-to-clear' routes like ORD-HKG. I purchased a 'Q' fare for a mid-December flight, and UG cleared 1 month before departure. With now about 2 weeks before departure on a standard 744 configuration, all but 1 F seat and 7C seats remain. All UD C seats are gone. I think that I would not have cleared this one if I had booked a W. So, go a bit higher than W for tougher routes.

    SFO-HKG** is the only intl UG that I failed to clear all year. It is a much tougher route precisely because of what you just stated: lots of higher GPUable fares sold. I usually do not bother competing there -- I went with a W and was still 12th on the waitlist when I boarded and the GPU was redeposited.

    **correction: that should have been SFO-PEK, but SFO being Asian-based 1K elite-heavy, most UGs out of there to TPAC destinations are tough, especially on Friday afternoons...
     
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  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    How do you know?
     
  14. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Agent at the UC looked it up for me. She was bored and sympathized.
     
  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    If you have ever seen this phenomenon then that's how you would have known. You are on a W fare, had requested your upgrade very early (as I always do), and on departure day you are in UC enjoying a beverage before your connecting flight at SFO. At T minus 1.5hr you checked the waitlist and it was fairly short, with you in 3rd position from the top, so you felt pretty good about your chances. You do not check the list again until you get to the gate area at T minus 45 min, when you are suddenly horrified because you see the wailist and it is now VERY long with you in 15th position! What happened?! Since you religiously book your trips and request your upgrades months on out, what happened is that a whole bunch of local SFO folks with the same status as you but with higher fare class tickets checked in after you last saw the wailist and quickly jumped ahead of you because their higher fare class gave them higher priority.That is precisely what happened to me at SFO when I failed to clear...
     
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  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Sure, I know how the waitlist is ordered, but I didn't know any way to figure out how much (double or more in this case) those ahead of me had paid.
     
  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Just remember that every time you purposefully pay more to better your upgrade chances you are, at best, playing with a tiny portion of the total data pool. In any given situation you might be right or you might be wrong. But it is unlikely that you can prove the higher fare made the difference, especially when the upgrade clears in advance.
     
  18. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It is also unlikely that you can prove that it did not make a difference...therefore, everything being the same, having the higher fare improves the chances if the published rules are the sole basis for upgrade priority.

    Addendum:
    One also needs to have a sense for the "degree of difficulty" of a given route and act accordingly: I felt comfortable purchasing a 'Q' fare for ORD-HKG because I knew it would improve my chances (I will be able to know by how much by seeing how many names are left on the waitlist at boarding), but I purchased a 'W' fare for SFO-JFK because experience has taught me what to expect. So, ultimately, it is possible for one to make an educated guess, which can get more "educated" with experience...
     
  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I can prove it didn't matter to buy the higher fare if there are seats empty when the plane departs or if they sell the last few at the gate for cash after upgrading everyone anyways. In those cases paying extra was definitely wasted money.

    At best you're playing a game with a partial set of data. If that works for you then great. But don't pretend that you have sufficient data to know in advance if it is a smart move on any given flight. That level of information just doesn't exist to the consumer. Heck, even United doesn't know at any given point a couple months out if all the W fares are going to clear or if a higher fare will be necessary.
     
  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    My sense is that neither of us has adequate information to argue this issue one way or the other. In this context, a "proof" after the fact is no proof at all. However, observing trends after the fact and using them to make an educated guess is the best we can do and that is my approach, whose plausibility and viability seem to be supported by the limited cases (ORD-HKG, SFO-PEK) that I provided above. I will keep reporting my successes/failures to see if the pattern holds...

    Ciao.
     
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  21. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    An aside based on some things that were said about specific routes. Just flew NRT-SFO for the first time ever and besides the 8 GS flyers, there were literally more that 110 people in group 1. As a jealous group 2 member, yes I was counting. I would imagine it makes for some competition.
     
  22. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Remember though that Group 1 includes Business Class and 1K's. Not sure if the plane you're on was the 744 or the 777 but with a 744 that's 52 people boarding for business class alone. First class adds another 12.

    I'm not sure if you were implying that 110+ people boarding in Group 1 were all 1K's but that's not the case at all.

    Also, with little to no evening flights out of Asia back to the US a lot of people working over there are forced to fly home on a Saturday, arriving here in the morning or early afternoon on the same Saturday. At least they can salvage a good part of their weekend. But Saturday upgrades out of Asia are incredibly difficult using GPU's because of this.

    -Rob
     
  23. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    This was the 747-400 and no, I did not imply that all of them were 1Ks in economy. I do realize that a good bunch are business/first. But the numbers don't workout in favor of anyone trying to upgrade on that specific route/time, which was a point elsewhere.
     
  24. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    And don't forget that travel companions with higher boarding groups get to board with their 1K/GS buddies. I assume you didn't actually inspect everyone's boarding pass? I would guess that adds quite a bit to the Group 1 contingent.
     
  25. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    HKG has always been a disaster for TPAC upgrades.
     
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