Upfare Dilemma SFO-PEK

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by ramolnar, Apr 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. ramolnar
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    ramolnar Silver Member

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    I'm flying SFO-PEK round trip towards the end of this month, UA 889 and 888. Currently I have an economy ticket at less than a W fare. Both flights currently have NC 0 (which I think is the right code to check), so I couldn't apply a SWU if I could obtain one, but have 9 Z business seats for sale and about 20 open business seats on the seat map.

    I have aisle seats in Economy Minus right now. The Economy Plus seat map has only open middles, both ways, so that is not a better option.

    I'm considering calling and up-faring my ticket to the W fare, then trying to find SWUs. (A college friend posted on Facebook that he had one available, for instance.) But I don't have experience with availability, and don't want to waste money. Given the amount of open business class seats, will upgrade availability open? If so, when?

    Also, can I call and change my fare in just one direction?
     
  2. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    The short answer is that no one knows what will happen.

    The long answer is that Z9 means they are willing to sell nine or more Z fares on that flight (could be up to the whole cabin as Z). This means that, in the assessment of revenue management, they are not likely to sell all that many full-fare business tickets on that flight due to day, time, season, economic conditions, etc. They could be right or they could be wrong. Generally if you see Z9, that's a better sign that NC might be released later on than if it is a lower number or Z0. But there's no guarantee of that.

    If something opens it could be any time. Any time means they could open an NC seat pretty quickly after you put your SWU in and it means it could go to the gate and you could clear half an hour before boarding.

    One option to consider is using miles+copay to upgrade, especially since you don't already have an SWU to use. The copay could be up to $500 each way, depending on your fare class. But, you only get charged if you get upgraded. So if the money is an issue, it would be a safe way to ensure you don't pay more to sit in the same coach seat you already have.
     
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  3. RichardInSF
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    RichardInSF Silver Member

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    The simplest answer is that you could well have wasted your money. I would say to wait to upfare until you can confirm the space -- although if you don't have the SWU's at hand, you have a second problem!
     
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  4. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Not to mention you could be easily trumped by a status UA elite as it appears you're not even a UA elite yourself, but a US member (an elite?) and thus not even entitled to free access to E+.
     
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  5. ramolnar
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    ramolnar Silver Member

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    It is unfortunate that NC is so unpredictable. To respond, I am not UA elite. I am US elite. I am Delta Silver and could status match to CO (since they're going away) but all I see are middles in E+. E- aisle is better.
    Miles and copay is pricey, but thanks for mentioning it. 25K plus $500 each way makes the upgrade more than the ticket, and one copay is more than the up fare. Too much for me. I am only considering this because in late April, SWUs are not too hard to get. See this forum today, for instance.
    Given the advice, I will check daily to see if NC opens, and if it does see if I can find a SWU then. Thank you.
     

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