UA business class upgrade

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by bobbiecakes, Jul 3, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. bobbiecakes

    bobbiecakes New Member

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    We fly r/t LAX/SYD annually (for past 20 yrs) departing late Oct.-mid April purchasing tickets to use miles for businessclass upgrade. Past 2 years we have been "pulled" because frequent fliers have
    gotten our seats at the last minute! Can you assist us in purchasing economy & using our miles for
    a guaranteed business class seating?
     
  2. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    What do you mean by "pulled"? Did you have a confirmed business class seat? Or did you just not clear the waitlist? Do you have any status on United?
     
  3. bobbiecakes

    bobbiecakes New Member

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    We have no status. Because we purchase tickets immediately upon our return we are advised that we are on the
    top of the "waitlist" When I check in periodically with UA they assure me that we are top of the list. Upon arrival at
    airport they charge our frequent flier a/c for the miles and a $500. fee per ticket for our upgrade and then we find out
    at the last minute that there are no longer any seats available because higher priority fliers have gotten them.
     
  4. bobbiecakes

    bobbiecakes New Member

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  5. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    If you are flexible I would check inventory and see if there are any upgrade seats available. You could then confirm the upgrade at the time of booking. I believe this was NF inventory? This may have changed with the merger.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    R is the current Coach->Biz upgrade bucket. It was either XC or NC, not NF, before.

    Either find the dates which can be confirmed at booking, book an award straight into biz or roll the dice. If you're doing the award booking and are flexible there are a number of routings via Asia which can make getting seats somewhat easier.
     
  7. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    As others have said, you could try to look for flights where R-space is available. There are websites like Expertflyer.com which can help you track flights.

    I'm assuming you get your miles and money back if the upgrade doesn't clear? If you haven't, you definitely need to call to have the miles and money returned. Unfortunately, if you're on the waitlist, frequent fliers with any status will trump you.
     
  8. jfhscott
    Original Member

    jfhscott Silver Member

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    I travel extensively, and anytime I have called UA to inquire about waitlist status, no agent has ever been able to identify where I am on any waitlist. I don't even know that they have access to the waitlist. Hence, I am skeptical that you were told that you were near the top of any waitlist.

    With that said, UA's waitlists are not static at all. They are highly dynamic, and depending on the upgrade instrument used and status. As you have no status, I very much doubt that if you do not get an upgrade confirmed upon booking (and you can inquire which flights have availability) that it will ever clear. LAX-SYD simply has too many elites flying on it for a non-elite to rise to the top of the list.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'm not skeptical that the OP was told they were at the top; I just doubt the agent actually had any idea what they were talking about. ;)

    Also, type of instrument used shouldn't have any bearing on the upgrade priority other than the binary state of whether one is being used or not.
     
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  10. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP.

    "Pulled" is the wrong way to put it... "Didn't clear" is a bit more accurate.

    The US to Oz is one of the toughest updates or premium awards out there.

    Why do you keep flying UA for this route?
     
  11. jfhscott
    Original Member

    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Its been a long time since I have checked, but IIRC, a SWU (or whatever they all it these days) trump miles upgrades. And LAX-SYD is obviously one of the highest and best uses for SWU's. But, if so, it further explains how OP has never succeeded. OP is simply too far down the pecking order.
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    That is not the current policy, at least officially. Whether it actually happens that way or not I cannot say, but the policy is supposed to be that all supported upgrades are treated the same and status, fare class and time added are the deciding factors, in that order.
     
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  13. gobluetwo
    Original Member

    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    So in the OP's case:
    Anyone with any status will be ahead of them.
    Then it goes to non-status by fare class
    Then it goes to time added in the event of ties (ie, multiple non-status passengers in a given fare class).
     
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