Looks like you'll make the upgrade? Hang around the gate, or you might loose it if you get it

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by tommy777, Mar 9, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Folks,

    Heads up for those of you who are not used to the Continental upgrade scheme:

    If you're high up on the upgrade list and it looks like you might win the battle, don't leave the gate.

    They will call your name if you get the upgrade once. If you're not there, they will give away the upgrade to the next person on the list.

    Great cost serving measure. My flight to SFO is delayed 30 minutes + today and the GAs didn't know when they were doing the upgrades, which means an hour at the gate instead of at the club for free beers.
     
  2. Black Cloud
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    That is completely inconsistent with the 100 or so "battlefield" upgrades I've received in the last few years.

    Not to say rogue agents don't exist in the system, but that is certainly not a policy or a rule.
     
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  3. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    I thought the name calling once was a UA thing. Can you confirm this is what actually happens with CO agents?

    I've been hanging out in the club before and I'm sure they've called my name at the gate and when they scan my BP, it beeps, and they give me my seat.

    Last thing we need around here is more hearsay.
     
  4. TravelerRob
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    Actually this is quite opposite from pmCO and much closer to pmUAs policy.

    CO will always come on board and get the person who has been upgraded. If they aren't at the gate or on board then the upgrade is held for them. When the door is ready to close and there are still seats open up front then the next person or people on the list are processed and the GA comes on board to upgrade them.

    UA, on the other hand, would call names at the gate and if you weren't there you were S.O.L. and the next person was called. I saw this happen very frequently in SFO and sometimes in IAD.

    -RM
     
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  5. tommy777
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    I have an average of 150 UA flights a year and if I get an upgrade, they will hold my boarding pass till when I get there to board.

    I got a warning at ORD today (for the first time in my life) that I had to stick around or they would give my upgrade to the next person on an enormous list if I wasn't there
     
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  6. tommy777
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    Oh, and it was a freestyle clothed person (so ex CO ) that told me.
     
  7. Hartmann
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    They were wearing something from Freestyle Clothing?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    I flew sUA prior to the merger and I always got my battlefield upgrades when I tried to board, or they came to my seat and asked me to move. I haven't missed an upgrade because they called my name and I wasn't there.

    Just to provide a counter data-point.
     
  9. tommy777
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    No, I think this girl works for Southwest :p
     
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  10. below sea level
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    below sea level Silver Member

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    My last UA battlefield upgrade happened because the person above me on the list was gate lice and boarded too early. Proves it's not always best to be first...
     
  11. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    Solution: Carry a nalgene bottle. Fill it up with said free beers in club, walk out to gate, sit, enjoy, upgrade.

    I joke :p

    But to add another data point...on both UA and CO, I have gotten the beep or the reseating once on plane. Never had my seat given away. Obviously YMDV ;)
     
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  12. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    This sounds like a temporary issue while the computer glitches are worked out. They were processing them manually when I flew last weekend. Before that, I've always seen UA and CO hold upgrades.
     
  13. mht_flyer
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    I have never seen this happen in my past 5 years of traveling CO.

    This has to be a fluke incident.
     
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  14. Xyzzy
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    I have never had this pr:)blem. I've been upgraded by the gate and received my new boarding pass at the Red Presidents club. I've received it at the gate. I've received it when the boarding gate machine beeps. I've been battlefield upgraded after boarding. I've never had to stand around the gate to wait and I've never been t:(ld to do so.
     
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  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This has to be a glitch. I used to worry about precisely this type of scenario, i.e., what happens if my upgrade clears at the gate and I am not present. I'd put the question once to a GA and the answer was that if a pax is shown in the system as checked in when the upgrade clears then it will be held for that person until a no-show is confirmed before assigning it to someone else... My experience has been consistent with this "policy", including two occasions on which I was informed that my upgrades had cleared after I had already boarded the plane...
     
  16. NYBanker
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    I'm an AA/DL guy...both of those carriers simply print the new BPs and keep them at the podium for when you try to board (or, in many cases, DL's gate scanners have printers and it simply prints the new bp right there when you try to board).

    Any process requiring you to hang out at the gate is quite customer unfriendly.
     
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  17. Black Cloud
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    There is no such policy. It simply doesn't exist.
     
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  18. HeathrowGuy
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    This is a common practice on the sUA side, especially at the hubs. The outstations tend to more closely follow the sCO approach.
     
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  19. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    For me on PMUA, it was always, "will the following passengers please remain in the gate are during boarding for the possibility of an upgrade" and if you were named, you hung around and either cleared or took your original seat (and only twice in my years of flying PMUA did the g/a come on board with an upgrade for me -one case was a misconx and the other simply was a checked in and upgraded pax who was a no-show)
     
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  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    In all fairness to "NYBanker", it seems to me that rather than suggesting the existence of a "policy", s/he was simply making a sensible comment based upon the OP's statement that: "They will call your name if you get the upgrade once. If you're not there, they will give away the upgrade to the next person on the list"...

    It is tough to argue with the fact that what the OP had suggested would be quite customer unfriendly...irrespective of whether or not it is a "policy." QED.
     
  21. ssullivan
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    I've twice lost upgrades at ORD on PMUA flights as a 1K when I was called and not at the gate. This was in the 2009-2010 time frame. So it did happen some in the past with UA at ORD.

    I've never had it happen with CO. Ever.

    Now, in defense of both of the airlines in their pre-merger days, I've had agents come on board and get me when the upgrade cleared after I had boarded. This has happened more times on CO than UA, but it has happened on UA, including one flight about a month ago.

    I've also had both airlines hold new boarding passes for me many times, even after I did not come up when my name was called.

    I would avoid the knee-jerk reaction presented here. It could easily be an isolated incident, or just a bad agent.
     
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  22. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    +1
     
  23. Geo
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    On CO it has always been... name is called *after* a boarding pass has been issued with the upgrade. It sits there waiting for you to appear. If you aren't there when your name is called the reader beeps when you go through and you are given the appropriate boarding pass. There continues to be no reason to suspect grand conspiracies.
     
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  24. ssullivan
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    No, but apparently conspiracy theories are more fun, because, well, you know. PMUA = best airline ever, PMCO = worst airline ever.
     
  25. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    ...or vice versa, depending on one's persuasion...;)
     

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