I have been flying the “Friendly Skies” of United for over 12 years. Historically I have used miles from my MP account to upgrade from the economy ticket to a Business seat. Used to be 25,000 miles one way, then 30,000, then 25,000 +$500, and with new “enhancements” from UAL the upgrade will be 30,000 miles + $1200 each way. I have always found that the upgradable seats have normally were unavailable as the current date approached the travel date. The normal scenario would have it that at 30 days out there was no upgrade seats freely available and flight business class seating would be waitlisted, usually not clearing until days, or hours, before departure. I am looking at a departure from USA on an international trip less than a week from today. On a whim I called tonight and asked IF I wanted to spend the miles and hefty cash <extortion> to UAL to upgrade from eco to business where there any seats available? I thought I was hearing things when I was told that there were dozens of available seats in Business class that I could upgrade to….. for the right cost. This is just a supposition but it seems to me that with UALs new requirement to pay <through the nose> for these international flights that far fewer folks are willing to go for the bait and lay that much cash out for the business experience. OPINION??? With an approaching flight date I am wondering; If the day of the flight swings around and there are unsold seats in the USA to NRT flight will UAL start calling names (based on status) and upgrading folks from economy to business? Or will they fly the bird with empty business seats and those of use not willing to pay sitting behind the curtain with our backsides falling asleep in the thin cushioned economy seats? OPINION? Has anyone ever been in this scenario and actually been upgraded (post co-pay policy start) from eco to international business, without having to pay dollars for your MP mile usage?