There Be Gremlins Yonder - The Stuff of EUA/UDU Nightmares

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by BurBunny, Jul 2, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Probably unneccessary to remind anyone here, but we do get a few newbies through from time to time... or newbies to one or the other metals as I am to CO.

    Background: Booked a MR for the 4th on CO.com, most of the segments on CO metal, but 1 codeshare on UA. Booked with my OP number, then had my MP number manually added for the UA segment by 1P Voice so I could reserve exit row and for UDU. When the itinerary ported over to .bomb, only the last two segments showed up - the last segment on CO (IAH-SFO) and the last segment of the run on UA (SFO-LAS).

    Earlier today the first 4 segments cleared EUA right at 72 hours prior to departure of each leg. 5th leg (IAH-SFO) didn't, but because that flight was much more full in F, didn't really expect it to at that point for this lowly Gold/1P. However, when at 72 hours prior to the UA metal flight, .bomb didn't transfer over to show upgrade waitlisted, with a completely (I mean totally) empty seatmap and F9, I began to wonder.

    So like all good MPers, I called into 1P Voice. She looked at it, laughed a bit, and immediately manually cleared me to 2B. Log back into .bomb and lo and behold, now I'm showing as the only assigned seat in the cabin (on a 757 no less).

    But now I'm a bit concerned about that IAH-SFO leg. I called CO Elite, explained why I was wondering about it, and two different agents assured me all is well. When I log into pda.continental.com/info, and look at the upgrade list, it does show others already upgraded, with 3 seats remaining. Of course I'm not showing waitlisted yet as we're still 2+ days prior to my checking in.

    So question for you more experienced than I with CO and this whole mash-up. Other than checking in the very second I can for the full set of flights and making sure I show on the upgrade waitlist, anything else I should do here?

    And for everyone else, just a reminder to watch those multi-metal flights. There be gremlins yonder.

    P.S. Just logged into CO.com. It shows me still in my exit row, but also shows my Seat 2B as occupied. .bomb shows me correctly only in 2B and the exit seat vacant. :confused:
     
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  2. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    My experience on mixed itins is similar to yours - and the lesson seems to be avoid them if possible.

    I booked a one way which included both UA and CO metal on .bomb. My profile includes both my UA MP and CO OP numbers. I was able to view the reservation on both websites.

    At 100 hours my UDU did not clear on a UA 757, which is unusual, and the seating chart showed like 20 open seats. I called 1K reservations and they said that I was not 1K but "Star Gold". When I pointed out that I am 1K, they told me that they could try to put in my 1K number again, but it didn't change anything.

    You would think that, given that my accounts are linked, the CO computer systems could use the CO OP when processing, and that UA computer systems could use UA MP. But apparently on a mixed itin you have to pick one status or the other and you'll get lower status when traveling on the opposite metal. Maybe by time of OLCI you can update it and get status for battlefield, but not through the advance UDU/EUA.

    I think the lesson is to avoid mixed itins if at all possible.
     
  3. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Now back from the MR, and the gremlins followed me all along. After I checked in, but before I flew all the legs, my return positioning flight (LAS-DEN) changed operating carriers from UA to CO. I was trying to do a SDC to a later flight, and not even the GS agent at the RCC in Philly could access my record because of the change. Was fortunately able to find a wonderful CO GA the GS agent specifically sent me to who was able to see the flight, and me on it (evenutally), and luckily she combined the two program rules to enable me to make the change to the flight I hoped for ;) But even with that, it took another CSR at the SFO RCC several hours later and then a phone call to CO Elite to get the actual electronic ticket reissued so I could check in online.

    Even with the glitches with the mixed itinerary, as long as you know and are aware, and stay up on it (and what good MPer wouldn't anyway as a matter of course), then should be fine.

    In the end, it was a great experience. Love the new 737-800s that CO has, even without any form of IFE - beautiful, modern, comfortable planes, at least in F. Their 757s are as tired as UAs overall. CO's FAs seem frustrated and afraid they won't be able to provide the level of service they have in the past. Meals I had were uniformly tasty, FAs friendly and personable, and while the GAs and CSRs in the PCs/RCCs were exasperated by all the system glitches, all dealt with it with a smile. Spoke with a good number of the personnel on the flights, seeking out conversation on the process if they seemed willing, and it's clear the stress of all the changes is high. Even with that, though, it was a really good run. I will no longer dread when I have to fly CO instead of UA... as long as I can at least have row 21 or 20 aisle seats or a good chance to move up to F with EUA.

    One experience left me very hopeful for the combined company. On my IAH-SFO flight, operated by CO, they actually delayed boarding and thus departure to fix a couple broken seats in Y. Having sat in many broken seats on UA, and knowing those repairs often get put off for days, a big thumbs up from me to CO for fixing those seats immediately, even though the flight wasn't full and they could have moved the passengers.

    Was definitely interesting traveling on this particular holiday. One flight, from SFO-LAS, I know absolutely I was the most elite passenger onboard, as I was the only one upgraded into F prior to 24 hours before the flight. The plane was maybe 1/3 full, and even F had several open seats (757). Everyone who was elite was upgraded. For a lowly 1P to be the most elite, and no other 1P/Golds onboard that I was aware of... no wonder they had so many MR-worthy fares on the 4th. Something to think about for the future. One FA on that flight was smiling, even though the crew had just come off working a PS flight as well, and told me he'd specifically bid the 4th as it was an easy day.

    On the other side, TSA screening in Denver late on the 3rd was comedically bad. Kettles everywhere, laughably clueless how to go through. No elite line, so I was in line behind 3 people who had numerous piercings and other metal on their body, and probably half their personal possessions in oversized carryons. The TSA agent was gentle and kept prompting them to take off more before attempting the metal detector. Once they got beyond hearing while waiting for my bag to go through, I whispered to her that I missed my weekday expert line. She laughed and said if I thought this was bad, the 4th would be even worse. Never had to be re-screened on the 4th, so missed it, but when a TSA agent is dreading a particular day, you know it's a good kettle watching day.

    Both CO and UA were boarding all elites essentially together. They did call uniformed military, followed almost immediately by F/GS/Pres Plat and just a few second's pause before the rest of the elites, all the way down to *S. Had empty F seats on 3 of the 7 flights. When else do you see that happen?

    Hopefully next time will have the MP bag tags and business cards, as several noticed my FT tag and started conversations. Look forward to next time someone asking me about MP!
     
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