Miles for Upgrade

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by TimeZoneCST, Jan 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. TimeZoneCST
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    TimeZoneCST Silver Member

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    I am booked on LH from ORD to FRA, FRA to BKK on my legs out. Legs back I go BKK to FRA, FRA to ORD. Looking to upgrade using miles. Is this possible on the LH legs as a 1P passenger and if so how?
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    Free elite upgrade? No way.

    Depending on your fare class and availability, you might be able to upgrade if you can get paper SWUs from a 1K or GS.
     
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  3. TimeZoneCST
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    TimeZoneCST Silver Member

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    Thanks MSP. Would not count on free upgrade for sure. Any idea how to connect with 1k's or GS to swap miles for SWU's?
     
  4. MSPeconomist
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    Ask friends. Do you have access to coupon connection on FT?

    There are also some *A upgrades with miles, but they require very expensive fares.
     
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  5. TimeZoneCST
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    TimeZoneCST Silver Member

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    I don't, but have a friend who does. Wish me luck, lol
     
  6. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    Harrumph. Lol.

    I can access the connection for timezonecst, here are my questions for MSP or other:

    - what fare bucket do you need to have in order to get a shot at using an upgrade instrument on LH international?
    - I really know nothing about paper SWU although I hear them referred to.
    - I understand you cannot use normal SWU that a 1K has for LH upgrade?

    Any help is appreciated and will make my time cruising CC that much better spent...
     
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  7. TimeZoneCST
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    TimeZoneCST Silver Member

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    Jslo - Cheers!!

    I called LH to check availability. Both legs out are fairly wide open for upgrades but the paper SWU has to be presented at the counter as noted by MSP. Also, I asked if a 1k sponsored SWU from UA was acceptable and the agent confirmed that was all I needed. If anyone has a different experience, would love to hear from you. Nothing like jumping through all of hoops only to get to the counter with the wrong info!
     
  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Star Alliance upgrades are possible only from full fare economy tickets (Y,B) to business or from business tickets (J,C,D) to first, although some carriers might allow upgrades from additional classes. To determine how many miles you will need for a specific *A upgrade you just need to go to this chart: http://www.united.com/ual/asset/SAUA_Chart_eff_after_6_15.pdf.

    For instance, ORD-FRA will cost you 25K miles, and FRA-BKK 30k miles for Y/B to C upgrade.

    Look here for everything that you ever want to know about *A upgrades: http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,52927,00.html. This site also describes the option to redeem SWUs on LH.
     
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  9. TimeZoneCST
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    Just spoke with LH. As long as I have the paper SWU I can be upgraded to B no matter what fare bucket the original ticket (in my case V). I had her double-check to make sure and she was quite snippy that that is the case. I said, "thank you ma'am, have a pleasant day." :p What am I missing? That's two LH reps I talked to today that confirmed the same info.
     
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Lufthansa does not care. You get the certificate from UA. Once you have it, then you just use it on Lufthansa. What you are missing is that you are yet to get your certificate from UA...where the issue of booking class and how much you pay will be taken care.

    [​IMG] For Lufthansa flights, a paper upgrade certificate must be presented upon check-in on the day of departure. Call MileagePlus customer service at least 14 days prior to your travel at 1–800–421–4655 to order this certificate, and it will be mailed to you.

    [​IMG] For Lufthansa flights, a paper upgrade certificate must be presented at check-in on the day of departure.
     
  11. MSPeconomist
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    I am not convinced that this is correct. I've never tried to do the coach to business upgrade on LH with a UA SWU, but I do know that to do it now from business to FC does require certain fare codes, no Z allowed any more.

    Also, you just ask UA to mail the paper cert in exchange for an electronic SWU. You do not indicate the flights or dates and if the upgrade fails, you can just use the cert later on another LH flight. So UA has no way of knowing what fare code you are planning to apply it to.
     
  12. Jslo
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    So what timezone needs is someone who has an SWU to trade it to him.
    - if electric, then that individual needs to call UA and request a paper certificate 14 days before his departure.
    - if already a paper certificate, then to mail it to him
    - he then calls LH, and tells them he has a paper certificate and wants to be upgraded?
    - then at the counter he turns it in on checkin..

    This is assuming all the other info is correct (that fare class doesnt matter etc). I'm sure timzeone is not making his posts up, that he really did call LH. On the other hand I would be surprised as well like MSPEcon, that fare bucket doesn't matter. The logic on that is that an SWU earned on UA is not even good on all UA fares for an upgrade, let alone taking the upgrade out of UA's system and into LH system, and they are going to make an upgrade instruement from another carrier usable with less restrictions than the original earning carrier (UA)? I guess not impossible but certainly atypical.

    For example, even though *A carriers, good luck using any upgrade of any type miles or otherwise on TG, SQ, CA, or even other US carriers like US Scareways! lol.
     
  13. MSPeconomist
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    I do not think that one even needs to call LH in advance to request the upgrade. These are upgrades requested at the airport, for example at check in or at the lounge. I think they're prioritized by time of request at the airport.
     
  14. Jslo
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    Found this:
    http://www.flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php/Confirmed_Systemwide_Upgrade_/_SWU_(UA)

    And this right off the UA website- so it makes more sense. They are actually quite restrictive on booking class:
    3) Eligible flights on Lufthansa
    You can use a Systemwide Upgrade on Lufthansa (subject to availability):

    Upgrades require a paper certificate (you must request the certificate two weeks in advance through Mileage Plus customer service at 1-800-421-4655)
    The paper certificate must be presented at check-in

    The following Lufthansa tickets are not eligible for a Systemwide Upgrade:
    Tickets in booking codes X, I, R, N, W, S, L, K, T, Z and E
     
  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Things are spelled out fairly clearly on the UA website, I think:

    Eligible flights on Lufthansa
    a) You can use a Systemwide Upgrade on Lufthansa (subject to availability):
    •Upgrades require a paper certificate (you must request the certificate two weeks in advance through Mileage Plus customer service at 1-800-421-4655)

    •The paper certificate must be presented at check-in

    b)The following Lufthansa tickets are not eligible for a Systemwide Upgrade:
    •Tickets in booking codes X, I, R, N, W, S, L, K, T, Z and E

    The OP has a V ticket, which is eligible for SWU

    UA will send a certificate only if the ticket is eligible. So, once you have the certificate, Lufthansa does not care since it means you already met eligibility...

    Look on the UA website under the T&C for using SWU: http://www.united.com/page/article/1,,53477,00.html
     
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  16. Jslo
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    A couple other things I found by spending 15 minutes googling and perusing the web:

    1. A single SWU is required on LH for each segment (as opposed to UA which the single SWU is good for all legs of a journey i.e. DEN-SFO-NRT-BKK all legs of this DEN-BKK potentially upgraded via a single SWU. If this was LH, you would need 3 SWU's).

    2. Since the upgrade is only requested/able to be requested on the day of travel, presenting the paper SWU from UA at the desk- you need to also factor in layover/transit time for the leg(s) you are looking at. I may be wrong on this info, but after reading three pages of a thread from "another" board ;), it seems to be a factor. For example, if you are flying BKK-FRA-ORD, if your goal is one certificate and one leg upgraded, you should factor how much time you have in FRA between legs to get to the desk with any chance of it clearing.

    I don't know your schedules but this is the info I am finding.

    By the way, my hourly rate is about $300 so you owe me $75 for that 15 minutes of googling for you ;)

    Let me check connection and see what is out there in terms of SWU exp 2/12 or later...
     
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  17. TimeZoneCST
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    Jslo - thanks for all the work you've put into researching this. I made a couple of phone calls and spoke with two different agents who seemed to concur with each other, which simply leads me to believe that what I was told was correct. OTOH...as I said earlier, given info over the phone by LH reps does not mean there wouldn't be the, "why didnt you tell me THAT" moment once I got to the desk. So again, thanks!! for digging up all the additional info.

    I would say that the last rep I spoke to inferred to me that the SWU would be good all the way to final destination. At the end of the day a B class seat on a couple of the these legs are better than none, AND where do I send the $75? 'Cause that's about $4100 less then what they wanted for the B class seat ;)
     
  18. Jslo
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    Valid fares

    Paper GPUs may be used to upgrade any eligible Lufthansa flight except when booked in LH booking classes X, I, R, N, W, S and E. LH booking classes L and T are also excluded for intra-Europe flights. In contrast with usage on United, a single paper GPU will upgrade only a single LH segment; multiple segments require multiple GPUs, regardless of the segment length. (FT)

    (The new term for SWU is GPU- Global Premier Upgrades is what they are calling it)
     
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  19. TimeZoneCST
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    In Route Update:

    Upgrade using paper SWU out of ORD to FRA on LH, no problems.

    FRA to BKK, a bit more of a challenge but received the upgrade.

    Definitely more "rules" oriented in FRA but nothing crazy.
     

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