Upgrade waitlist expires, then seats released - GPU

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by IMRU, Apr 14, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. IMRU

    IMRU Silver Member

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    Whenever I've been on the GPU waitlist I've noticed that it expires almost exactly 24 hours prior to the flight. Today the waitlist expired about ten minutes prior to the 24 hour mark - and I got an email telling me I'd be rolled over to the gate list. What's odd is that I have an expert flyer alert and I got two emails that at least one seat was released right at the 24 hour mark. Although I know that email time stamps are unreliable, it looks like the waitlist expired then seats were released. When I look at the upgrade list, no one was upgraded to business (or first). This is a flight from PEK to ORD.

    I'm not bitching about the fact I didn't get upgraded, just find it odd that the waitlist would expire and then seats were released. Anyone have an explanation? Similar experience?
     
  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It could simply be that there were more people ahead of you on the list, making it very unlikely that you would have gotten the "at least one seat" that was released at T-24hr. The fact that you did not get upgraded at all supports this explanation. The system figured out who had a shot a being upgraded and just moved everyone else to the DM list...the picture should have been clear at 10 min to the T-24hr mark.
     
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  3. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    Similar experience, you bet I have.
    Explanation, not one of known facts but doesn't matter, the one constant fact is it does happen frequently.
    This is one of the games I choose not to play anymore.
     
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  4. IMRU

    IMRU Silver Member

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    Actually, I don't think that's the case. Prior to my checking in, I checked the upgrade standby list. No individuals had been upgraded into Business. When I'm upgraded, whether it happens two months before, or 10 minutes, I'm on the 'upgraded into business list" when it posts. But there was no one. Now that I have checked in, I'm the only one on the list. But based on my sequence order on my boarding pass, not many have checked in. They are selling upgrades. In my case it was a $1,300 fee.
     
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  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I just offered a possibility, which is quite likely. Does not matter to me because while people are complaining; I have had 20/21 segments upgraded this year on UA flights...but even the one that has not been upgraded will be...I just know it. Then I will be at 100%. I will be sure to report when upgrades do not clear...
     
  6. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Couldn't it just be coincidence? Maybe someone bought a business class ticket 24 hours before the flight. Expertflyer isn't real-time, and maybe the seat was sold earlier but EF didn't scrape until the 24-hour mark. The fact that an email was sent to you 10 minutes before the 24 hour mark is insignificant, IMO -- UA doesn't always send emails right to the minute, especially if it's not that critical.
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It is quite likely just coincidence because I do not believe that UA would be deliberately trying to disenfranchise travelers. If they did, then I would have a hard time explaining the U/G picture below for my 4 upcoming trips (click image to enlarge).:
    UA-UPGRADES-2013.png
    All upgrades were requested either with miles, RPUs or GPUs (I do not play the upgrade lotto for Region 1 trips that are more than 4-5 hr in duration by relying on CPU, if I can use an upgrade instrument). One in 16 cleared already and all but 3 at booking.
     
  8. boat9781

    boat9781 Active Member

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    This used to happen to me all the time. I used to hate it, now I love it. On nearly every single flight I book, within 24 hours R space = F. I go for CPU, but if it doesn't clear, I set an alarm for T-23.9 and pull an RPU—bypassing those in line (if they are).
     
  9. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    I thought RPUs and CPUs have equal weighting in that window of time, with status and fare basis being the only differentiator.
     
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Correct. The poster might have meant to write T-24.1, i.e., before T-24. At T-23.9, we are already in the zone in which GPU, RPU and CPU are equalized and other considerations such as fare basis, elite level, time on the waitlist take over...
     
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  11. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    Although on flights with CPUs wouldn't things be equalized once the GS/1k CPU windows open up a handful of days before departure?
     
  12. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I does equalize for those elites only for whom fare basis and time of the waitlist are tie-breakers, until T-24 hr when it is free for all, but fare basis, elite level, and time on the waitlist take over completely...
     
  13. boat9781

    boat9781 Active Member

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    There seems to be some confusion here. On PMUA, once an elite was within his/her upgrade window, the form of upgrade (complimentary, cert, or otherwise) was irrelevant—all that mattered was status, fare, etc. On PMCO, once a elite was within that same upgrade window, priority went to those who had redeemed an instrument (be it a cert or miles) over those waiting for EUA. My understanding is that the new United system follows the sCO process.

    Within 24 hours, RPU and CPU are not equal in the slightest. As each customer checks in, he/she is added to the upgrade standby list as per priority order. The customer with an RPU in a reservation will be placed higher on this list than those who are merely relying on a complimentary upgrade.

    But, wiithin 24 hours, the upgrades become highly static. Wait-lists automatically expire and customers who've redeemed miles/certs are rolled over to the upgrade standby list at checkin (at a higher priority). The problem is that at the same time, R becomes = to F on the vast, vast majority of flights.

    In the past I just used to waitlist every flight with a cert, but now, I chance it with CPU, and if just after checkin time I haven't cleared, I'll go to ual.com, check a"R" inventory, and confirm the upgrade immediately using a regional. Sort of feel bad for all those people languishing at #1/2 within 24 hours, but the upgrade space is probably there—the system just doesn't put them in it.

    As an aside, go check a couple flights within T-24, R almost always equals F. Better to chance CPU and subsequently pull an RPU if things aren't looking good at T-24 minus. If there are F seats, there will be R seats. Just monitor closely.
     
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  14. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    There is indeed a lot of confusion because, after carefully reading the following rules, that statement is quite correct:

    The general understanding is also quite correct because after entering the 24hr window, one could pull one's upgrade instrument like a RPU or GPU and it would not make a difference because it is the CPU that will be the upgrade mechanism and not the other upgrade instruments. The key part is this: "..automatic processing of upgrades, per the priority listed above, will continue." The prior waitlist in which GPU or RPU are higher than CPU will continue. For folks checking in after T-24 it is true that RPU/GPU/Miles will make no difference because they can no longer be used. CPU takes over. The only things that would matter for them within this window are fare class, elite status, and time of request (check in). Within each elite status, fare class and time of request are the tie-breakers; for elites with the same status and fare class, time on the list is the tie-breaker.
     
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  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    "After check in time" means within the 24 hr window, meaning that your claim that you have checked the R space (the final frontier) within the 24hr window and successfully requested to be upgraded using a RPU if you found availability is untenable. If someone did that for you, they did not know the rules and your understanding of the mechanism may be as confused as anyone else's because:
    ..after which CPU takes over. You cannot search R space after that and request to be upgraded with a RPU. It's been that way for a long time, even before CPU. On the other hand, if you already requested the upgrade with a RPU, you may be able to request to be upgraded when you see an opening in R space (this is not legal either). Big difference but the latter makes more sense than the former.
     
  16. boat9781

    boat9781 Active Member

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    You are correct that "new waitlist requests" within 24 hours are not allowed, but if there's R space, anyone can call in and grab it. Now, that policy might not make sense given there might be people on expired waitlists (near the top of the upgrade standby list post check-in), but it does allow for the strategy I outlined above, which is perfectly in line with the rules of the program.
     
  17. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Like I said, what you are saying is not allowed at all. You can go to a GA within T-24hr and ask to be upgraded with a RPU or GPU because you found an open R, they will tell you that it is against regulations. The only times I was upgraded by calling were when I already had an upgrade instrument posted, i.e., I was already on the waitlist with an instrument holding a spot. Most of the times I called before T-24hr when I saw availability in R space but I was not yet upgraded, except for one time when I was successful within the 24hr window, but that was way Down Under in MEL and there were still Rs available. If one has no upgrade instrument at all posted and gets upgraded, I think that is ground for dismissal of the employee that does it.
     
  18. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    I thought that United has instructed agents not to force upgrades when there is R availability, and to just let the system process it. You may get the odd agent that is not following directives, but I believe the official policy is that calling to force an upgrade INP.
     
  19. boat9781

    boat9781 Active Member

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    NYCUA1K, I politely disagree with your understanding of the policy. Just last week, I was at IAD and a customer service agent pulled an RPU 2 hours before the flight, putting me directly into F. In fact, I believe airport agents have a program that was designed to allow them the ability to do just that (and waitlist these upgrades too, though I could be wrong on this last part).

    No one is talking about forced upgrades. I am merely saying that if R availability exists, an agent can pull a cert or some miles to secure it--even within 24 hours of departure. Pretty sure UA Insider posted about this at some point. I'll circle back.

    Update (via FT)--I'm so new here I can't link, but paste the quote below into google, and the thread is the second link listed. If someone else can link it, that'd be great. Thanks!

    I actually dispute the last part this statement, as I've found that R space generally is available within 24 hours of departure--merely equal to 'F.'
     
  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Our experiences are very different...unless this is a PMCO shtick. Having said that, UA Insider's caveat (the key here is the space must be available – which it usually is not) is very important because it brackets a sensible situation when this is doable, otherwise the whole thing would defy the most basic standard of fairness, if some CSR would randomly pull passengers out of nowhere and put them in front of everyone else when R availability is limited. You can see the consequence of what you claim is doable, don't you? What would happen if everyone with RPUs started to do the same thing? A zoo comes to mind...
     
  21. boat9781

    boat9781 Active Member

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    Absolutely. But that doesn't change the fact that it is, indeed, doable per the rules as written.

    The spirit of a rule and what the rule allows for in practice are two separate issues entirely. (The double open jaw routing rule on awards comes to mind here.)
     
  22. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Great that we agree it would be a zoo, but this is now becoming circular. It is doable according to UA Inside's caveat (the key here is the space must be available – which it usually is not). One would not be cutting the line if there is no line to cut, so, therefore, the discretion that is inherent in all loyalty programs can be exercised, which is another way to say this:
     
  23. ClarkyBoy
    Original Member

    ClarkyBoy Silver Member

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    same happened to me 5 hours ago. 23.50 hours before flight - expert flyer pushed an alert of R available, GPU applied. Thank god (BLR-FRA-SFO in economy, brrrrrrr....)
     
  24. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    We have had threads like this before and TOBB has a ton of data too.

    What keeps happening is what Sharron posted a long time ago was regarding CPU’s and R inventory. RPU’s is a totally different subject and IS directly related to R inventory. Bottom line, as boat9871 and many others (including me) have learned from first hand experience, you can apply a RPU anytime, period. And if you understand that the newUA’s system for some strange reason kicks everyone’s RPU off the waitlist at T-24 and then for some strange reason releases R inventory at T-23.9999, anyone can call in and apply their RPU and clear at that time.

    If someone chooses to not accept this, so be it. But, those people should not object to others who are playing the game by the rules. They didn’t make these rules, they just learned how to use them. Not saying it’s fair (it’s not) but if you are going to get mad, get mad at the newUA who kicks everyone off the waiting list at T-24 and then opens up R inventory at T-23.99.
     
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  25. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    One last time: The scheme works at time if there is R availability (UA insider: the key here is the space must be available – which it usually is not). Please do the experiment and report. It would be a zoo if what is being advanced here is as a policy were to be. Simple logic...

    BTW, it was also forcefully advocated at TOBB that AMEX awards 2-year HH Gold or Diamond status extensions if one qualifies through AMEX Surpass spend, but it was an obvious myth because it made no sense...nor does this...The key is in what UA insider stated in plain English, regardless of how appealing the alternative may be.
     

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