UA Revenue Management: When to buy up to F post-ticketing?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by mikeschu, Jul 12, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. mikeschu
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    mikeschu Gold Member

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    This question is based off of an experience I had on AS where I was allowed to buy up to F at the gate relatively cheaply. It rebooked into U class (so no extra miles) but it was still a good experience for domestic F.

    Last November I flew SAN-LAX-HNL-SFO-SAN on PMUA. Once in a while I would log in and review the itinerary for special offers. There were a couple of times where opportunities to buy up to F were available. What caught my eyes was that SFO-SAN was $55 to upgrade well before day of departure. I didn't feel it was worthwhile to do as I was coming off a four-hour flight in Y and that segment is short (about 75-ish minutes in the air).

    This November I have SAN-DEN-SAN booked for an upcoming trip, and to bump to F costs $428 each way. Obviously I'm not going to pay that - but now I'm wondering if there are good windows of opportunity to pay a little more and less than the prevailing rate to get a better flight experience.

    Has anyone done this before? If so, when should I start looking for a better opportunity to do so? Or is post-merger UA Revenue Management smarter than I am and I should just drop the idea entirely or wait to get to the gate?
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    In theory the cost to upgrade is tied to your elite status and a couple inventory buckets. If the PN bucket is available then you can pay the fare difference to M (as a 1K or GS) or B (as a Silver/Gold/Platinum) to upgrade. If PN isn't available then you'll pay the difference to Y or, if available and less than Y/B/M, an A/P/Z fare.

    Odds are very low that you'll see an offer for a super discounted one segment upgrade on a multi-segment itinerary in advance of day of departure.
     
  3. mikeschu
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    mikeschu Gold Member

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    That makes sense. Based on what I can tell, they're offering upgrades to F post-ticketing based on full-fare F or maybe the A bucket. The cash price of buying my fare class (either K, G or L) + two offered one-way upgrades to F is significantly more expensive than buying a round-trip ticket in the P bucket that they're offering now ($682 all-in). If Revenue Management wants more people pay into F they should offer the upgrade solely on the difference between the prevailing F and Y class prices.

    You're probably right - but I can only offer what I saw. Some days SAN-SFO was offered at $55 and some days it wasn't, while some days HNL-SFO was offered (at about $400-$450) and other times it was not. I do not believe both were offered at the same time. I think I was on K or L fares as well.
     

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