NRSA "Primary Friend"

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by viguera, Nov 20, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I know nonrevs aren't the most popular folks here, but it's news nonetheless. :)

    Starting with 2014, UA will introduce a new "Primary Friend" pass rider category which will board with the same priority as the employee. This is different from the current "Enrolled Friend" which boards with the standard seniority / family priority when traveling with a buddy pass.

    This is good for employees as it allows them to have two enrolled friends with one boarding with higher priority, or the standard one plus allotment of buddy passes. This shouldn't really matter much to the regular crowd as NRSAs obviously only fly when there's room and they're at the very bottom of the list for upgrades.
     
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  2. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Except for Internationals; want to see a flock of NRSAs? Walk up to the F cabin on a flight to/from CDG.
     
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  3. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Eons ago, in good times, a friend of mine, used to fly across the pond just to snag a rare sale (pre web based ecommerce era) on NRSA ! And as far as fare sales go - Does anyone remember Delta's Plan-line ? It was IVR based weekly sale ?
     
  4. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Perhaps, but does that matter though?

    I've never seen UA prioritize an NRSA passenger over revenue customers or elites for a seat or on the upgrade waitlist, so chances are that your priority -- anybody's, even without status -- would trump any pass rider. I *DO* see a lot of people on that route though... a dozen or more in Y, and often a handful on business, but that means the seats were truly open and would have otherwise flown empty.
     
  5. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    That is NOT entirely true... CDG as well as most international routes this winter so far has been full up front with paying customers.

    Airlines are not in the business of giving away things for free.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  6. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    I know. My GPU has failed to clear and now the cabin is full. :mad:

    ;)
     
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  7. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    NRSA are prioritized for Global First and can clear to First even when there are GS or 1K passengers who are standing by for Business and it is full. And in general NRSA will clear into Global First even when there are high status paid business class passengers who either don't want to use an instrument, or are prohibited by the fare class (P, Z).
     
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  8. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    I probably shouldn't get into this debate with someone who qualifies for NRSA, but I'd offer two thoughts:

    (1) If there is a paid 1K or GS in business, say paid in J/C/D class, it might earn the airline more in net goodwill for that passenger to get Global First and an NRSA to get business.
    (2) When there is a 1K or GS in coach who wants to use a GPU on a qualifying fare, and there is premium space available, but C is full and F is open - it might be better business decision to op-up someone form C to F, and then to consume the upgrade instrument and let the 1K or GS have the upgrade to C, rather than to give it to an NRSA.

    I know NRSA's won't like that, but it would make more business sense for the airline. In a few years it will be all moot as UA eliminates all Global First. I don't believe UA will install it on any new aircraft. It will be interesting to see if cancellation of NRT-BKK is another step toward grounding the 744 fleet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
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  9. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    We know that the airline will oversell C using inventory in F. I can quote a flight that I'm booked on next week which only has a single C seat left unassigned but has inventory of F5 A4 J5 C5 D2 Z2 - and that J5 inventory will be fulfilled by op-ups to F. Is that much different than doing on op-up and letting a GS or 1K get value for the GPU that they airline granted him/her and for which he/she may have bought a higher fare?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
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  10. Black Cloud
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    Black Cloud Gold Member

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    That's a very ironic claim to make when trying to defend NRSA upgrades over paid customers.
     
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  11. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    That's interesting though... But it sort of makes sense... If your fare doesn't qualify for an upgrade, or you don't want to use an instrument, then what would happen to the seat? If the answer is that it would fly empty, then it's available space and usable for a pass rider -- although I understand what you're saying (and actually agree) that UA should prioritize paying customers.
     
  12. sfogate
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    sfogate Gold Member

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    I certainly understand why you would like to be upgraded just based on status (without using a cert or oversale) from Business to First - who wouldn't.
    International flights are not free for non-rev's unless they are using a vacation pass (which is earned after each completed year of employment) or have 25+ years of service.
    Customers are always asking why do I leave those first class seats empty when I could be generous and upgrade them for free. I always reply, "we have empty seats in coach too, but you don't see me soliciting customers to fill those seats for free" ;)
     
  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Of course they will. And they should.

    A GS on a Z fare who isn't paying cash + points should only make it in to F on an OpUp if biz is oversold. The NRSA, if listed for F, would and should get it ahead of them every time per the policies of the company.
     
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  14. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Good answer...

    And yes, NRSA is not free, domestic or otherwise, and even though it's significantly cheaper than a revenue ticket, flying EWR-LHR is still several hundred dollars for immediate family, even more so for regular "buddies"
     
  15. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Right, so there is nuance to the original post when it comes to Global First. There are few people who will be on that upgrade list as they have to have paid C, D or J fares, and use an instrument, or use miles plus a sizable co-pay, which co-pay is quite a bit higher than the NRSA service charge. The net effect is that the GF standby list is often made up of NRSAs. You do not see that on foreign carriers.
     
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  16. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    LH Employees can sit in F/C if they pay the appropriate service charge and Y is full. :-:
     
  17. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    "and Y is full" that's quite the qualifier!
     
  18. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Don't forget that most people list at the highest possible cabin, even if they have no chance, mostly because they will automatically be bumped down to a lower cabin if there's no space.

    You'll see this more (obviously) on 3 cabin planes, where you know chances are you're just going to end up in Y.

    Not to say that they're not trying to get on the premium cabins though. :)
     
  19. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    On TOBB it says that UA is going to park or exit 4 3-class sUA 763's next year.
    With cancellation of NRT-BKK and SEA-NRT, UA could easily be planning to park or exit 2 more 3-class aircraft (likely 744's and then put the SEA-NRT 772 on a former 744 route). The new flights (IAH-NRT and IAH-MUC will be operated by sCO 772 and 764 respectively.)

    So that would be net loss of 6 aircraft with GF. Better enjoy it while you still can.

    ETA - that's 4 3-class 763's
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
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  20. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    My understanding -- from the proverbial horse's mouth -- is the same: no more 3 cabins.
     
  21. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    Lufthansa's supposed to be removing a bunch of international first seats, Cathay Pacific is adding more J/Y+/Y planes, and American is removing a crapload of international first seats, just to name a few carriers. Let's face it, international business class has gotten good enough that international first class really isn't worth the premium that's being charged for it.
     
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  22. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    I agree with that - so the airlines that are keeping it have to offer superior food, superior lounges, and superior service, which I think LH LX EK SQ CX are trying to do, even while shrinking cabins. Somewhat surprising that AA is installing an international F product on its 77W's. Sure looks like UA is throwing in the towel.

    To bring this back to the NRSA topic, however, the GF cabin is one that often isn't filled by revenue pax, so NRSA have a chance. On 2-class aircraft, there's little chance for NRSA to get a premium cabin seat.
     

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