No PS NC? Really?!

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by BurBunny, Jun 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    I have to take a positioning flight out to JFK in mid-August for a flight to JNB. Since my EQMs are a bit light this year, I'm planning DEN-(LAX/SFO)-JFK on PS. Have been watching the NC space like a hawk, with ExpertFlyer alerts set for almost a month now, but nada, nothing, no love. Don't want to book the flight until NC space opens, but I'm getting baffled.

    I have a 3-day window, Sat/Sun/Mon, any flight. Have looked at the space available, and C is wide open all three days (most flights have <2 assigned seats in C, most showing 0 or 1 assigned). While I know the seat map is a poor indication of actual space, and that PS tends to book late into C, you'd think they'd open one seat on one flight.

    What's even more baffling is that the return flights (in September no less) have shown some NC space, which I wisely snapped up earlier.

    United, if you're watching, if you open up NC space now, you'll actually get more revenue out of me, since your PS fares are higher than I expect they will be in another few weeks for these flights. Give me some NC space now, and you'll tempt me not to wait for the lower fares ;).

    I do have to ask, though, is this unusual? I've never seen such a dearth of NC space on the PS flights.
     
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  2. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    All of a sudden, there's also seemingly far less award space in j/f on the AA transcons as well for the balance of the summer. There was decent availability 4-5 weeks ago.

    Might be actual bookings in award seats using up the capacity?
     
  3. I cant even find many 1k economy seats to many destinations... I think someone at UA has fallen asleep :)
    weird its the same NA cities i have never had issues with before.
     
  4. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    I thought Business award seats were XC, not NC?
     
  5. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    They are. I'm looking for upgrade seats.

    Something odd here. I can't find anything mid-August other than typical tourist high period which would be having the airlines holding back space like this, and I think that would be affecting XY space, not NC. Nothing that would increase paid Biz traffic. Anyone know of anything which might give a reason for this?
     
  6. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Oh okay. For a minute there I thought you were actually going to pay (with miles) for something and not feel entitled to a Business Class seat without paying for it.
     
  7. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Of course not! That would defeat the purpose. Must have a sense of entitlement, musn't one? :D

    At least I am "paying" (with miles of course) for international F later this year. Just not this trip. Only "paying" for the upgrade. And since about 99% of my miles come from BIS flying, not things like churning credit card offers (yet), believe me I paid for the miles.
     
  8. Captain Oveur
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    It has been a very long time since I flew a ps route. But, I would imagine those routes are elite-heavy, and I don't blame United for being stingy on the complimentary upgrades.

    Though, if you want to book a ticket anyway, I would suggest the Saturday.
     
  9. the flights are impossible to get seats on they are very heavily booked.
     
  10. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Actually, not yet for these dates. Not in either Y or C. They will end up that way to be sure, but not necessarily at higher revenue. Y is showing moderate loads for most of the flights, C very light.

    My real surprise is that, since C is wide open on all but one of the flights, NC space is eventually going to be opened up. Why not open it early, before they drop the Y pricing as they tend to do about a month out, and get more revenue from people like me? 25 possible flights I'm watching, all but 1 wide open in the C fare classes. They will be opening NC space, and I'm sure they pretty well know on which flights that will be. Why hold all the seats back? When I've watched before, in similar load factors, there has been NC space opened.

    I'm missing some part of the puzzle here which is different for these dates. Either they've changed the algorhythm for releasing space, or there's something I'm not aware of for this time frame.

    Anyone else booking 2+ months out for PS seeing the same thing?
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Most folks buying C tickets do so much closer to departure, like within the last week or so. If UA gives away all the seats for upgrades in advance then they lose WAY more money by not being able to sell the C seats than they are going to lose from you not buying a Y seat.

    Plus, you can always wait list the award.
    I'm betting they do not know so well what is going to be released. Yeah, they have some ideas and some folks will get the upgrades eventually. If you're on the wait list it might just be you.
     
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  12. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Very true that a paid C yields far more than a Y purchase. However, when they do release NC space, they optimize the yield on it by doing so prior to the typical reduction in Y fares. I know I'm far from the only person with a flexible schedule who waits for the NC space to book.

    Since I am flexible over a period of time, it is to my advantage not to book and waitlist, but rather to wait for the NC space so the upgrade is assured. My real question here wasn't should I book now or wait, but why this time frame seems to be holding back NC when by this date some NC would be typically found.

    Not whining about not getting it or similar, but wondering if I'm missing something about these dates or if the NC space has recently been opening later on the PS routes :)
     
  13. 15A
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    I've had the same issues with no NC space available on wide open C cabins, but I will say that once booked it is very rare that I have to wait until even a week prior before they eventually opened it up. Typically, it's 2-3 weeks prior where I've seen space cleared on empty cabins.
     
  14. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    My search yesterday didn't turn up this thread, but the thread I started covers this same issue. I was looking in December for some PS upgradable flights and turned up nothing and even got the message that the PS flights could not be upgraded period! Today I just book a more convenient transcon departure ex-LGA for one-third less money and immediately had all sectors upgrade with a CR1.
     
  15. NYBanker
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    :)
     
  16. This used to happen with Alaska. I would travel last minute and was allowed by corporate to buy First, but I could never do it as they had upgraded all the golds. I sat in Y on AS so many times for less money than they would have got for me in F, and they had some in F who had paid less than I for an advance purchase economy fare vs my walk up Y fare.
     
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  17. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    In my experience in the last 2 years I have found that the ps flights with one exception in probably about a 18 segments have opened up space about a week after I requested it. Almost like they were clearing it on a case by case basis on demand. This is with advance purchase about a month out from the date of the flight.
     
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  18. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Interesting! Will have to consider that if I start feeling like I need to make the purchase before NC is on open sale. Thank you for that data point!
     
  19. RichardInSF
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    RichardInSF Silver Member

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    I don't either, which is why I am gradually moving away from staying a United 1k. Increasingly, unrequited loyalty is what frequent flyer programs are meant to be as far as the airline is concerned. We should be grateful they reward us with regional upgrades, we shouldn't expect them to allow us to USE them!
     

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