Tell us about your 2012 p.s. upgrade successes and failures: a MilePoint-specific poll

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by NYCUA1K, Feb 1, 2012.  |  Print Topic

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UPGRADE ON P.S.

Poll closed Jan 31, 2013.
  1. SUCCESS

    9 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. FAILURE

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I know that UDUstats tracks the success/failure rates for various upgrades, but I thought we might get more "scientific" results if we kept track of these rates using MilePoint's built-in polling ulitity. I have allowed "selection of multiple responses" in the hope that the utility will let anyone take the poll multiple times (that is the unknonwn), but even if folks can take the poll only once, I believe that things will work out just fine, as a long as each of us votes accurately (read: truthfully). Note that to test the idea, this is limited only to p.s. (JFK-SFO or JFK-LAX) flights. If it works, we could have similar polls for CPUs, RPUs, GPUs or mile upgrades for any flight or per region. The limitation, of course, is that this would provide only the distribution for folks who use MilePoint. But, hey, we are the important ones, right? If this works, we might be able to have a lot of fun by using more extended (e.g., bootstrap) analyses to estimate the true distribution, after opening up the poll to include all types of upgrades and regions. For now, do vote as often as the system will let you, after you clear/do not clear an upgrade on p.s. only in 2012. If the system lets you vote only once, that is okay too, but please to vote, even retroactively (i.e., p.s. trips that have already occurred in 2012). The poll will be open for 365 days...

    I just got the idea for this and will start because I just had both the outbound (RPU) and inbound (GPU) upgrades clear for JFK<->LAX p.s. flights that I am taking in about a week. Here we go...

    UPDATE: Unfortunately, and as I had feared, you will be allowed to vote only once, so let's refine this a bit more. For a two-way trip, please provide success or failure only for the outbound segment. For one-way, well, just tell us if it is success or failure.
     
  2. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    I've been successful with CR-1 and Miles (no copay) for every P.S. flight I have been on since 2009. I fly that route 4-7 times per year, LAX-JFK (and back).
     
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  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    In the same period, I failed to clear only on a Friday afternoon from LAX, and once it cleared just before boarding. Otherwise, I have had a good success rate, clearing days on out, probably because I tend to favor early morning flights. I do not have a sense for how difficult it gets later during the day or about the how the degree of difficulty varies with day of the week. If most folks are like us then we will have a relatively high overall success rate...
     
  4. canucklehead
    Original Member

    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Of the dozen or so p.s. trips I have had in the last 2 years, I have missed one upgrade (but I also changed flights the day of) and had 1 plane substitution to domestic 767 (which they still charged me a CR1 for - pre-UDU days).

    I have 2 p.s. flight coming in March, both are waitlisted.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I called in last night around 6pm and upgraded a colleague on the 8:25pm JFK-LAX flight. It was "booked full" when I called but the agent waitlisted it and this morning I saw that it cleared. My two requested JFK-SFO for 6am next Friday morning cleared a couple days after I requested, several weeks prior to the flight.

    I hope that the statistics you gather are meaningful for your purposes.
     
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  6. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    I fly the Friday night red-eye and the last flight on Sunday night exclusively.
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It seems like a recipe for clearing upgrades on p.s.

    You would think that flights between potentially elite-heavy centers like JFK, SFO and LAX would be tough to upgrade, although I suspect that day of week and time of day are strong determinants. I have a feeling that Friday afternoons might be a tough time to clear upgrades, as I never got anywhere near the top of the DM list in LAX on the one occasion that I failed to clear. The flight appeared to be packed...Tough to say that this is usually the case with n=1, however...

    This seems to be consistent with the view that time of day, day of week could be strong determinants of success/failure.

    If we collect enough cases, we could have fun right here all together by making sense out what might appear senseless to some: We'll bootstrap it together right here. It will be like magic...

    So please cast your vote truthfully and increase the all important n!
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Really? I've flown ps on nearly every day of the week and throughout the day and they've all cleared. I don't think that the three specific instances I've offered details on for the first six weeks of this year suggest in any way that day of week or time of day matter.


    Something like that, I'm sure. ;)
     
  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Why doesn't your response surprise me. This is something where there is not even any need to have a dispute. Y'know? I have at times taken positions opposite to my true position just to see where you would wind up, and true to form, you always took the opposite side -- agreeing with my own! So, of course, not! You would take the opposite side on this issue on which we can agree. Please search the "other site"; the consensus seemed to be what I had said. One vs. many? You lose, mate.

    Whatever...
     
  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I have no doubt that there are many factors which play into whether an upgrade clears or not. I'm just wondering how the three data points I've added, combined with the near perfect records reported here by the other few people, indicate anything which can be construed to define trends that suggest clearance rates on days of the week or times of day, at least not yet.

    Choosing to "bootstrap" a sample size of about 20, fewer than the number of C seats that go on any one of the several p.s. flights daily, and draw conclusions at this point seems premature to me. I'm not saying that the information so far has no value, just that it might be a bit early to draw conclusions yet.
     
  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Something that you and I can definitely agree on, I hope. This is the first day. The poll is supposed to run for 365 days.

    I have no idea how many folks here take p.s., nor what the frequency is. I have been taking it 6 times a year and it looks that will be the same thing this year. However, we can only vote once because of the limitations of the utility. So, here's hoping that lots people take p.s. this year and let us know the outcome. In fact, the fact that we can only vote once increases the chances that we will have a more representative sample of MP members who take p.s.

    Which reminds me: if you do take p.s. and request an up upgrade, please do remember to provide us with outcome here (i.e., please vote)...It could be fun playing with the numbers in imaginative ways.

    Thank you!
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I understand that, hence the surprise I expressed when conclusions were drawn. ;)

    I've given all the data I can thus far. :-:
     
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  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Conclusions and conjectures are not the same thing. The appeal is general, as can only vote once, which is appreciated. You also provided context, which I hope others would too, instead of simply voting... The context would constitute the so called internals of the poll...
     
  14. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

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    I have cleared the ps upgrade every single time I have ever flown it, including a double UG once (coach ticket, F seat). I have flown a variety of directions and dates/times, including once in January. It is rarely available for upgrade when I book the flight, sometimes it clears within a day or two of the request, sometimes in the days leading up to the flight. Only onced did I have to wait for a battlefield upgrade. I understand that many paid C seats are sold last minute, so UA maintains inventory for sale until day of departure. I am not so sure that there will be a significant pattern to be found as the bankers, lawyers, Hollywood types who pay for these tickets may in fact not have a significant pattern to their travel.

    One reason for the great upgrade success is the ratio of seats. There are 40 premium seats (12 F and 28C) and only 72 coach seats. Even in elite-heavy market, those are fantastic ratios.

    Alas, UA will be reconfiguring the planes. The new configuration will have only 28 premium seats, fully lie-flat and marketed as C, while economy will be expanded substantially. I don't remember the number of economy seats to be installed but I believe it's in the 120-140 range, and will be divided into Y- and Y+. In any event the ratio of premium seats to economy seats will be much lower, and likely so will the upgrade success rate. I don't know when the fleet change occurs, nor whether they will first prepare the new fleet, so it can be all at once, or if it will be done plane by plane and phased in, like the 772 conversion. Given the very different configurations of the planes they'd be leaving a lot of revenue behind if the were only able to sell 28/72 until the day of departure when they knew which configuration would operate a given flight.
     
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  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I think that this makes intuitive sense with respect to the relatively high success rate of clearing upgrades for this "premium" service, but do you think that UA market analysts might have miscalculated the size of the pool of "the bankers, lawyers, Hollywood types" that would be drawn to the p.s. concept? If so, then the decision to reconfigure the planes to cut down the number of premium seats by 70% and split what used to be all Y+ to Y+ and Y- may be a tacit admission that the original concept of p.s. did not do as well as they had hoped, and now they are trying to appeal to a broader pool of travelers? Would the requirement to put down an upgrade instrument for a seat upgrade be next on the chopping block?

    Very interesting insights...:cool:
     
  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Or recognition that the SAG base contract no longer calls for F travel but permits C on transcons, meaning the company expects to see a drop in paid F demand.

    Could be, but I'd bet against that happening in the next 24 months.
     

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