Using UA SWUs on LH

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Canadi>n, Jul 31, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    I did a search but could not find a thread on this specific subject, so thought it would be useful to others as well to know what the procedure is. (There's not much information on the UA website either.)

    What I do know -- at least as I understand it -- is that we are able to upgrade on a standby basis at the airport on the day of flight for LH metal flights, be they LH or UA/CO codeshare numbered LH metal flights. However, we must request and obtain a printed version of the SWU to present at the airport which of course takes a few weeks for delivery by mail.

    Fares are restricted, though more generous at the low end of coach than on UA metal. (All but: X, I, R, N, N, W, S, L, E on long haul international flights; L and T on intraEuropean flights.)

    My questions:

    1. Does one notify LH in advance of the intention to use one of these upgrades?
    2. Can the upgrade be requested when doing OLCI?
    3. What priority do SWU holders have over LH's own elites upgrading at the airport?
    4. Is the upgrade confirmed on any connecting flights once the first segment is confirmed, or is each segment processed separately at the respective airport?
    5. What's been the success rate for using these things?
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    My understanding is that the answers to 1 & 2 are no. I have no idea about the rest of it.
     
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  3. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    The upgrades are one-segment, not one way, meaning that you need two of them to upgrade both legs of an ORD-MUC-IST flight, for example.
     
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  4. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    1. Does one notify LH in advance of the intention to use one of these upgrades?
    They'll just tell you it's on a first come, first served basis at the airport.

    2. Can the upgrade be requested when doing OLCI?
    Nope, see answer to the first question.

    3. What priority do SWU holders have over LH's own elites upgrading at the airport?
    Miles & More members, with proper upgrade instruments, are handled first.

    4. Is the upgrade confirmed on any connecting flights once the first segment is confirmed, or is each segment processed separately at the respective airport?
    As mentioned already, the SWU is good for one segment, not one direction.

    5. What's been the success rate for using these things?[/quote]
    It varies greatly. Biggest factors are the route (is it elite heavy, does it have a high number of paying C or F people). Day of travel matters too. If you travel from the U.S. to Europe on Saturday, for example, then it's likely to be a little harder. Westbound on Thursdays or Friday can be a little tough too.

    Past experience is receiving the paper certs in the mail takes about four to five calendar days, not "weeks."
     
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  5. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Thanks. I've also found a major thread on the LH forum at FT. I recognize peak days, routes, etc. Will be going out from ORD to FRA on a Wednesday, returning from MUC to LAX on a Wednesday so I do tend to travel on off-peak days for business travellers. Intra-European connection isn't that important to upgrade (given the state of that service's seats) but I will have one extra SWU (Jan2012exp) to burn off so might as well bring it along with the two for the transAt flights.
     
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  6. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    My questions:

    1. Does one notify LH in advance of the intention to use one of these upgrades?
    2. Can the upgrade be requested when doing OLCI?
    3. What priority do SWU holders have over LH's own elites upgrading at the airport?
    4. Is the upgrade confirmed on any connecting flights once the first segment is confirmed, or is each segment processed separately at the respective airport?
    5. What's been the success rate for using these things?[/quote]

    1-4 have been answered but IME for C>F the only one I've missed was an ORD-DUS on a Sunday night. Now it may be a little harder with 744 going from 16 to 8 seats. I hit LAX-FRA but afterwards there were 14/16 in F after they cleared a few SWU's and some SEN/HON upgrades.
     
  7. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    Am going to try and use a SWU from YVR to FRA next week on LH will let you know how I made out.
     
  8. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    What's the fare class on your ticket/booking? K, Q, L, etc.
     
  9. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    "V" I checked with UA prior to booking to ensure that the fare class would be eligible.
     
  10. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    Got my upgrade on LH using a UA SWU, was confirmed at the gate. I think there were a few seats left, as other names were called. When flight departed, there was still on seat empty. I have on left, if I don't make it on the return I will mail it back to UA, then I will put if for grabs, so stay tuned. It is valid until the end of the year. All of my other SWU's have been used are in the process of being used, and all of them have been confirmed. If have to send it back to UA, they should have it back in my account 1/2 week of September.
     

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