WAS-SFO - best upgrade chance

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by dwhotz, Apr 27, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. dwhotz
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    dwhotz Silver Member

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    I'll be flying to SFO in August. I'm a 1P and will be traveling with my fiance. Just trying to figure out what flights might have the best UDU opportunity. I know, I know, YMMV. But generally, is it easier to get an upgrade out of IAD or BWI for the nonstops? It looks as if there's a int'l 777 flying on Thursday evening - how's that upgrade?

    Thanks to everyone ahead of time!
     
  2. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    IAD-SFO uses the domestic configured 777... In my experience, SFO-IAD is one of the hardest route to upgrade in the UA system and do not be surprised to see more than 100 elites on the waitlist on the 777 flights...

    BWI is generally an elite heavy airport for UA/CO/US, but your chances will still be better on BWI-SFO...

    Maybe consider flying BWI-LAX-SFO on the 757?
     
  3. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    The SFO-IAD route is one of the toughest for upgrades, even for 1K and GS. It is not uncommon to see the upgrade waitlist screen for the morning widebody out of SFO to have 60-90 names on it.

    If upgrading is important, I'd look at breaking up the trip and connecting in ORD or DEN.
     
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  4. mhnadel
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    mhnadel Silver Member

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    IAD-DEN is a pretty tough route for a 1P to upgrade also, however. Not as bad as IAD-SFO, but I often see 30 or so names on the waiting list, at least for weekend trips.
     
  5. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    I can't remember where I saw the list of cities with the most premium customers per X number of customers transported... Baltimore was in the top ten just 2 or 3 places below DC and BWI has significantly less premium seats than IAD/DCA, so means higher % of paid customers in the front cabin...
     
  6. Sean
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    Sean Gold Member

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    Is your fiance a 1P as well? My wife and I (both 1P) took the IAD-SFO 777 nonstop a month or two ago and we were upgraded at the gate, we were the last two on the list. The side effect of this is that our seats were on opposite sides of the cabin. On IAD-SFO if only one of you has status you'd need to clear before the gate to stay together and i think the chances of that are slim to none.
     
  7. dwhotz
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    dwhotz Silver Member

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    She is without status (we're working on that this year!), so I'm batting for both of us. As a 1P, I'm not holding out too much hope that I get 1 upgrade - let alone 2. I am flying out on a Thursday and back on a Monday or Tuesday - don't know if that makes it any better for us.
     
  8. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Agreed (but add G/S's to the list (and to the list of those not clearing as well-no, not me ;) but I sat next to one who didn't clear). Now if you are flexible, try routing IAD-LAX-SFO at around 5:00-5:30pm as that is 99.9% of the time a 3 cabin 777 and a much easier upgrade. The only downside is that the only reliable conx LAX-SFO is around 10:30pm (about 2 hours after you arrive at LAX) which gets you to SFO at midnight tho if you arrive early at LAX you can try and go stdy on the SFO-Departure that leaves about 35 minutes after you arrive at LAX. It's tough but you can do it if you arrive on time but don't book it as with Murphy's law, you'll misconx
     
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  9. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    Agreed. The LAX 777 flight is usually a 3 class config and upgrades are easier/more available. And while the trip will take longer you'll get an extra 300 miles or so each way.
     
  10. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    This is the route I use my CR1s, in fact any transcon ex-IAD, to ensure I'm in the cabin in front of E+. Too many GSs for we 1Ks.
     
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  11. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    That and SFO-BOS/BOS-SFO for me as imho, as, even as a 1k, it's just as tough to clear
     
  12. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    In my experience the Thursday evening BWI-SFO flights were 1K/GS heavy and I have not had much luck on upgrading as a 1K...
     
  13. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    Wouldn't the bonus be 500 miles each way as an elite with the 500 mile minimun?

    sdcarver
     
  14. AtoZ

    AtoZ Silver Member

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    Sure is: Was on a MO night SFO-BOS redeye, where 2 GS did not even clear!
     
  15. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    SFO-IAD = 2419 miles

    SFO-LAX = 500 miles
    LAX-IAD = 2288 miles

    2288 + 500 - 2419 = 369 miles

    369 miles = 300 miles or so more each way.
     
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  16. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    Thanks, bad math on my behalf, I had forgotten the difference in distance between BWI-LAX and BWI-SFO

    sdcarver
     
  17. Almost zero chance out of SFO.

    Try SFO-DEN-IAD. Still difficult on the DEN-IAD leg as a 1P, but a reasonable shot if not traveling Mon am or Thu/Fri pm.

    If you have a little extra time, try SFO-JFK (on ps, very upgradeable with CR), then into WAS area. No CR's, try DEN.
     
  18. SFO-JFK 2586
    JFK-IAD 500
    3086 total each way
     

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