Upgrades are accessible to all Premiers

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by KenInEscazu, Jul 31, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I know it's tough, but it isn't impossible for even Premier Silvers to get a CPU. I flew today SFO-IAH-MCO, and used miles for the guaranteed upgrade. Coming out of SFO, I knew the competition would be fierce, and I was right. I didn't count the wait list for CPU for the SFO-IAH leg, but it was quite long.

    The IAH-MCO was the last flight, and yes it arrived after 11:00 PM as scheduled, but there were 8 out of 20 open F seats at departure. I was the only person seated on row 3. Any Premier of any status flying that route would have received a CPU.

    Point being, it can happen. I predict it will happen even more frequently next year, and even MORE frequently in 2015. Not all news is doom and despair.

    As of tomorrow evening, I will have flown 10 flights in 7 days. 6 on UA and 4 on Copa. I used miles to upgrade 5 of those flights (60,000 miles total spend). 3 of those flights were wait listed and all 3 cleared. I doubt that I would have made the cut without using the miles. It was a lot of flying, so it was worth it to me. My schedule was SJO-PTY-MCO-ORD-SFO-DFW-SFO-IAH-MCO-PTY-SJO. The only CPU/Mileage UG that didn't clear was the first leg, SJO-PTY. An hour flight. Big woop. I even gave up my aisle seat for a middle seat so a young couple could sit together.

    All tickets were either L or G, so I didn't spend a lot of money to improve my chances. My DFW-SFO was a 6:00 AM Monday departure, so I gambled that going "to" SFO at that time would be less competitive, and it paid off. There was still a pretty long list waiting, and I think one or two cleared.

    The Copa flights between PTY and MCO aren't a gamble as a 1K (or almost any Premier). IME, Latinos won't pay for premium cabins very often, so there are always lots of seats available on Copa. 3 out of 4 is worse than average for me on this routing. Silvers and Golds going south should really look for Copa options. The UGs are reliable, and the pricing is usually competitive if purchased far enough in advance.
     
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  2. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    SFO-IAH in particular is a tough leg. It's hard for saver award availability -- there's just a metric ton of premiers on this route. I can't recall getting a CPU on this flight ever except once on the 787 flight that I missed due to a delayed flight coming out of Nicaragua.
     
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  3. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Yes don't worry about my desire to use CM. I'm onboard again soon.

    But I have one question: CPU is Complimentary Premier Upgrade, right? So if you used miles to UG, isn't that by definition not a CPU?
     
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  4. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Exactly right. That's why I clarified (or tried to) that I used miles for the routes that were most competitive, and relied on CPUs for the rest. Although I did use miles for SFO-IAH-MCO, the miles were really only necessary for the SFO-IAH leg.

    It was late when I wrote the post, and I was tired, but still wound up from flying all day, renting a car and checking into my hotel. My writing style wasn't at its best. Like the3 (now edited) line that, "As of tomorrow evening, I will have flown 10 flights in 7 days. 6 on UA and 2 on Copa." Wow! Now that's embarrassing!

    To clarify, I used miles on MCO-ORD-SFO, SFO-DFW and SFO-IAH-MCO. So I received 4 out of 5 possible CPUs, with three of those on Copa. A Silver on the same routes would have had the same CPU percentage. The only one I missed was also on Copa. Missing a CPU on CM is very rare IME.

    I flew home (SJO) on Copa tonight, and there were 9 open Biz seats between MCO and PTY. It was on one of their newest 737s with the cool reclining seats with the foot rests and IFE. Talk about recline pitch! Not a lay-flat, but darned comfortable for a < 3 hour flight. There were also a few open Biz seats on the final leg PTY-SFO.
     
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