0 for 4: ROUGH Week with Upgrades on United Airlines!


Ouch! I haven't had this many consecutive upgrade-less flights since before I was a 1K with United four or five years ago.


Tuesday, Jan 31 - UA 252 SFO-DEN, A320

No Upgrade


Thursday, Feb 2 - UA 1663 (CO Operated) DEN-IAH, 737-800

No Upgrade


Thursday, Feb 2 - UA 1171 (CO Operated) IAH-DCA, 737-700

No Upgrade


Friday, Feb 3 - UA 915 IAD-SFO, 757-200

No Upgrade


Wow! That was a bummer of a week :-). Like I have said before, I don't at all feel entitled to upgrades, and I'm not angry about it, but I AM quite surprised. The most surprising was the IAH-DCA flight, which was nearly empty. There must have been 20 people in Economy with me. The IAD-SFO flight was with a pretty low fare code, but DEN-SFO was pretty pricey, due to purchasing only a week before the flight.

Is this an outlier week? Are other 1Ks having more success with upgrades? I know I hit major hubs this week, but I'm used to getting upgraded about 75% of the time. Either there are way more top tier elites due to the merger or UnitedCO is selling more first class seats. Hmmm...

Well, I hope this week isn't a forecast for the rest of 2012.

After UA announced the new changes to mileage plus in 2012, many top tier elites said that they would be switching to American. I hope more of them switch so upgrades get back to normal in 2013!


I know why! It's because now you have all of us Continental platinums to deal with. I have better status by default with United than I do with Continental (until March 3rd, of course). I mean, if they let people like me who do not fly for business and have never done a mileage run be 1Ks, I'm sure there's a HUGE influx, limiting upgrades across the board. Prior to this new 1K thing, I would NEVER have booked a flight on United over Continental. Now I don't particularly care, since I know my new "free" status gets me a better deal for upgrades.

Sorry, your previous meaningful 1K status is now as common as white bread.

NeverUG February 23, 2013 at 01:05 pm

I am frankly surprised that a travel blogger would post something like this. Where have you been for the last year? Do you ever read FlyerTalk?

Let me fill you in. On March 3, 2012, Continental Airlines finalized their takeover of United Airlines by throwing away UA's computer systems and replacing them with CO's, a system called SHARES.

Then, they essentially stopped giving upgrades. They have a program called "TODs and HODs" - if there is a seat open in F, then they sell that seat at a discount to non-elites who are not on the UG list. As long as the seat is open, the prices at which non-elites can buy the seat will continue to fall as the departure date becomes closer.

So, the elites on the UG list will sit on the UG list forever, while "kettles" in the back of the plane, with no status, will get offers that get cheaper and cheaper each day to buy an UG into that seat.

This is well known information, a year after the takeover.

Your loyalty, your 1K status - worthless now.

Steve March 15, 2013 at 07:56 pm

if you want to sit up in first BUY THE TICKET...everyone and their dog is now eligible for a first class upgrade now.

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