UA will not extend 2 GPUs for one day!

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by ewrgal, Sep 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. ewrgal

    ewrgal Member

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    I guess as an over entitled 1k I shouldn't expect anything. As a business person I did expect more. Booked 2 tkts today, W class, over 1k for each tkt. I have 4 GPUS expiring 12/31. The outbound is before expiration so I could immediately UG as R class was 9 seats. The return is the morning of 1/1/13. I explained the situation to the MP service center, explaining that the reason I wanted 2 GPUS extended for 24 hours (heck, I'll take a 12 hour extension LOL) is to use them on our return on 1/1/13 and if I could not use them I regrettably would have to cancel.

    After 20 minutes on hold the MP rep comes back and said her supervisor can't do anything to extend it as the computer will not let her. I guess the computers have taken over at UA. As I had 24 hours to xl, I did.

    I would think the thought of losing over 2 grand would make them try to coax the computer a little harder. I am now back to reality. I will be flying someone else and give my money to them.

    BTW, the return on 1/1 is currently R-9 and the seat map shows only 4 seats in J on a 777 as taken. Yeah, I know, can't go by seat map.
     
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  2. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Not surprised. Back in February, they refused to extend my RPU (wanted to use it on March 1st) by one day after it was returned after I volunteered my seat when they were oversold by 32.

    Be sure to let UA know what you did, include receipts of your UA refund and with the other carrier.
     
  3. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I made a comment in another thread today that things seem to be improving. I hereby officially retract that statement.

    "Over-Entitled....." %&^*(#*$&^%^#&*$*($&#&*!!!!! What a STUPID thing for an executive to say publicly. But it sure shows to be their true sentiment with acts such as this one.
     
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  4. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    Don't give up so easily. Send an email to United requesting the extension, as a businessperson you know letters are usually more effective than phone calls telling you "no" with agents not empowered to give you a "yes" in the first place.
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Let me play devil's advocate here (I am about to call them to ask about an extension myself).

    How many days should they extend it? One day (or 12 hrs) is obviously the extreme case. What if someone wants to fly back on Jan 5? It's only five days! What about a month? What if someone wanted to upgrade to C tickets worth $10,000 in revenue each to F but needed an extension of one month?

    And how do you make this fair? In other words, how do they ensure that all people asking for an extension are treated the same no matter what agent / supervisor they talk to? Or is that not a goal worth pursuing?

    Discuss! (while I call about my case) :)
     
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  6. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    The lack of empowerment is an example of one of many problems at United right now. Why should anyone reward any airline with their business with that ongoing mindset?
     
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  7. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    Because United's systemwide upgrades are still the best of any major airline on Earth in terms of their overall usefulness (looking at both upgrade eligibility terms AND the network breadth of the issuing carrier)?
     
  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It was possible to get SWUs extended under the old UA, and I did it a couple of times. However, the trick seemed to be that one had to wait until the end of the year to make the request because, apparently, there was point in time at which the word came from up high that CSRs could start approving requests to extend SWUs -- usually for 1 extra month (I had 7 GPUs at the beginning of this year because one was extended in Dec 2011 until the end of Jan 2012).

    As I had reported a while back this year, I was in a situation similar to the OP's and had contacted UA CS to request that one of my GPUs be extended until January 14 to enable me to use it on the return leg of my TPAC trip at the end of the year. The CSR must have been a pmUA person because she told me that it was "too early" to request a GPU extension; no decision had been about whether they woud be extended so I'd have to check back some time in December. I will have no GPUs left as I intend to use my last one to sponsor an upgrade just in case they are no longer extensible but I am curious to see if anyone gets an extension later this year...
     
  9. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I'll play... Why should they expire at all? We earned them. If they are going to expire, a case could be made that it should be due to an expiration of all miles. In other words, when we are no longer active, loyal customers.

    Using them is often challenging irrespective of their expiration dates. Combine the lack of availability with the new rule of awarding them upon the date of achieving the bis miles, and their value is, well... devalued. Travel is my biggest business expense after Google and payroll. I fly 100% on United or Copa, and sometimes pay a premium compared to other options in order to do so. That's exactly the behavior that loyalty programs were designed to entice.

    I'm not saying that this is a deal breaker for my decision to fly MileagePlus airlines only, but it sure is an unnecessary means of adding a bit of bitterness to the deal. The longer I wait to use my earned instruments, the longer they have used my money, and we all know that the cost of our "over-entitlement" is built into the fares. It has to be.

    Fuel can impact the eventual outcome of an instruments value, but being a commodity, it is always somewhat of a gamble. Until it is used, it costs nothing. If fuel continues to rise, I'll be paying more for all the flights I take without using miles or other instruments, so they continue to earn the money they need while I continue to earn instruments that I may or may not use someday.

    My best friend died this summer with more AA miles than he could have used had he lived 20 more years. I've heard statistics that most miles and other benefits go unused. Not to be dark, but the longer I go without using them, the less likely I'll live long enough to do so. Upgrades require that I purchase a ticket in order to use one, so I have to be an active customer to ever use an RPU or GPU, and even then their available use is controlled by UA.
     
  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'll play, too. Why didn't your friend ever redeem them?
     
  11. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    He was just too busy and happy to be in Costa Rica. Traveling wasn't often necessary, so he didn't fly much anymore. Of course he didn't know that cancer was going to bust his plans to use them at his leisure. I sure wish he was still around to be flying them up.
     
  12. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Really? All I read about are SWU usage failures and how it's a roll of the dice at the gate, boiling down to paying a couple hundred bucks more to play the "lottery."

    Also, the ever-shrinking window in which to use them and to compete against TOD upgrades.
     
  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Because it is far more fun to complain than to report success. Many folks use them successfully all the time. I've redeemed plenty and have yet to be shut out. Not all clear at booking but thus far they've all cleared before travel. I've got one still pending for IAD-GVA in a few weeks but hoping for the best.
     
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  14. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    no doubt but the SWU upgrade game has markedly changed for the worse in many people's opinion.
     
  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Who are these people who report about SWU usage failures and call it a roll of the dice? If there is anything that still works for me as it did before it is my upgrade success rate. I will not post the extended facts again, but suffice it to say that this year, I have failed to clear only one segment (SFO-PEK) out of nearly 2 dozen that I had requested using GPUs or RPUs. Few of these upgrade requests have even gone as far as the gate.

    A sampling of my just-completed and remaining trips this year:
    • Sept: LGA-IAD-IAH-EZE-IAH-LGA: U/G for every segment cleared
    • Oct: JFK-(p.s.)-SFO-(p.s)-JFK: U/G for both ways cleared 2 months ago.
    • Nov: JFK-(p.s.)-SFO-HNL-SFO-(p.s.)-JFK: U/G for every segment cleared nearly 2 months ago
    • Dec: LGA-ORD-HKG-NRT-SFO-(p.s.)-JFK; the long-haul NRT-SFO has already cleared, as has SFO-JFK. HKG-NRT had already cleared, except that I lost it when I decided to extend my trip by a few days. I have no doubt that every remaining segment will clear by departure time (but the only one I care about now is ORD-HKG, which can be tough but I cleared it both ways last year about the same time).
    The key to my success, I think, is that I tend to book trips and request U/Gs as soon as I have made up my mind about a destination. Maybe those reporting failures are hoping to just apply a GPU the day before a trip and have it cleared? I do not understand how anyone can be complaining about the inability to clear GPUs, if they do not attempt to upgrade the day before or at the airport...

    I should add that my return trip from EZE was to be EZE-IAH-IAD-JFK (all segments upgraded), but upon landing in IAH I requested to be switched to a direct IAH-LGA flight and it was done, consistent with retention of my upgrade to F on the spot!!!
     
  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    For many if it doesn't clear at booking then it never gets booked so it doesn't count.
     
  17. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    That has to be it...but the very nature of upgrades is that depending on the destination, R space may not become available until the airline has decided that they are not likely to sell any more premium seats... With most who request upgrades being 1Ks who purchase the lowest GPUable fare (W), the tiebreaker becomes the time the U/G is requested. Just put down your GPU as soon as you book and forget it!
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And, as though they know we're watching, this flight cleared last night, about 3.5 weeks out. :cool:

    Looking at the flight now, there is additional R inventory available but I didn't have to call in; it just worked.
     
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  19. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    From your loyal lips to the mighty ears of the d.r.S.L.! United takes good care of its shills. :D
     
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  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    So how about giving me that U/G for ORD-HKG, ey, UA? :D
     
  21. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    me
    you posted enough of a fact for me, 2 dozen requests is a lot compared to what I ever did, so if a SWU doesn't clear for you, no big deal as with the number of requests you make, you are more than likely to get the SWU accepted down the road sometime. My experience was always attempting to book flights to use our SWUs in late Dec/early Jan (my wife being in education doesn't leave any other window), so if my SWUs don't clear, I don't have any other time to use them.

    I realize that this is an issue relevant to me but I doubt I'm alone as I can imagine there are quite a few others who want to take themselves or family on a trip during this high searson timeframe as well.
    disagree, it does count.

    As a means to make sure I was able to get flights that would clear, when making our high season reservations, I'd make sure to have 2-3 destinations lined up so I had flexibility even though my dates really were not flexible, the agent was always able to guide me and let me know which flights/routes would clear at time of booking with the SWUs. So even though W fares had gone up vrs non-upgradeable fares (not many seem to notice this, which I don't blame you if you are a business traveler), I considered the increase simply a payment towards our upgrade, one I didn't mind making if it was ~$200, now W fares (at least for the routes I'm interested in) seem to be much more than ~$200 over the non-upgradeable fare. The last 4 years SWUs for me were worthless as the agent couldn't help me out with anything that would clear at time of booking. I don't want to be sitting in Jan with 6 SWUs with no time off to use them. Seeing as it is my travel dime, I can't take that chance.

    For someone who has a set timeframe when they travel & therefore can use SWUs, paying for a W fare and attempting to use a SWU is playing the lottery IMO.
     
  22. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    C'mon, do you really expect me to have a manifest of those names who have mentioned it here on MP and primarily on FT?
     
  23. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    All my travel is on my own dime, too. I pay close attention to this stuff. The fares I redeemed on this past year have been comparable to prior years for TATL travel.

    Some of mine cleared at booking and some cleared after, but they all cleared. I simply disagree with the assertion that lack of confirmed upgrade space at any particular point in time - the moment you call to book - means that the upgrades never happen. Feel free to continue to not use them, though. I don't mind being ahead of you on the wait list every time.
     
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  24. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I think that you misunderstood my data. The requests, which are actually requests to upgrade the upgradable segments of a trip, are not relative numbers. They are absolute numbers, meaning that I have failed to clear only one segment all year, out of upwards of 2 dozen. It is not like I make a whole bunch of requests and some clear and some do not, and in the end I am happy because several had cleared. I travel all year around, mostly internationally, although my success rate for domestic travel has not taken a hit either. I do not care much whether or not I clear upgrades for trips shorter than 5 hours because all I need to do is to take a nap and then when I wake up we are landing. So, if a CPU clears on a flight from LGA to ORD, and they usually do, no big deal. I am not counting those. For TRANSCON or trips to HNL, which I do quite often, I do not recall the last time I failed to clear an upgrade (four RT on p.s. this year, each cleared weeks before the travel date).

    Since the merger, with all the new CO routes, I have been adventuring more and more to Latin and South America, and as I reported above, I just cleared every segment to EZE and back this month. Lastly, my last trip of the year over the last few years has been to Asia in the second half of December, coming back in January. I would fly either to PVG or HKG and make either my "base", while I travel around the area by redeeming miles. Like I will later this year, I flew to HKG last year and cleared U/Gs both ways (the year before I flew to PVG but redeemed, instead, just to experience TPAC in F). So, the success rate does not seem to be determined by the time of the year I travel.

    I am just relating my experience with upgrades, which is my main reason for "forgiving" UA most of its frequent lapses in service: I have had it great with upgrades and, as a long-haul traveler, that means a world to me. It is, in fact, my most important consideration in a FF program, meaning that I am happy with M+.
     
  25. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    nope (but thanks for clarification (need a thumbs up icon)), my point about you having the "luxury" to use SWUs all year still stands. If I had the luxury I might still be 1k on United, sadly I don't.
    (sigh), I'm not asserting your statement, not even close. I'm guessing like NYCUA1K you have the luxury of being able to travel throughout the year.
    I thought MP was supposed to be the "friendly" board w/o snobby attitude.
     
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