After posting about the intrigue surrounding United Airline's complimentary upgrade process yesterday, reader Dan left this insightful comment:
It's very simple -- there is someone ahead of you in the CPU queue who has a ticket 'out of sync' issue. This prevents the entire CPU process from running at the pre-determined times. You are correct that R>0 does not automatically equal a CPU being awarded, but R>=2 is just about a guarantee of it. R=9 and no CPUs means there is a certain problem.
This is yet another example of the terribad IT fail of COdbaUA. I know you've decided to stay loyal to UA despite these rediculous failings, but this is the price you pay. All 9+ of these upgrades may be sold for $69 tomorrow to non-status pax tomorrow -- good luck to you!
His comments concerned me and moments after reading them, I picked up the phone and dialed the United Premier Line. I was determined not to get stuck in economy class on my Denver flight tomorrow.
Rather rudely, the first question I asked when I reached an agent was "are you in the Honolulu call center?" I get sick of speaking to mostly ex-Cons, who are mired in "the computer is always right" mentality. Legacy United agents are able to think outside the box, and I reached a wonderful agent in Honolulu on my first try.
I explained the issue to her, saying nearly verbatim what Dan had written above. She agreed that there was something wrong and put me on hold, saying she would try to get to the bottom of it.
15 minutes later she came back on, sheepishly apologizing and saying she and her supervisor had been doing their best to override the system and manually upgrade me, but because my LAX-DEN-PHL flights were married segments, she had ultimately failed.
I thanked her for her efforts and hung up. Next up--United web support. Perhaps if the res. agents could not fix the problem, a supervisor at web support could.
I reached a nice lady in Tampa and again recited the spiel from Dan above. Her answer surprised me.
"Yes sir, that's a known problem. Let me see if I can fix this for you." She then put me on hold, coming back five minutes later with a triumphant proclomation that I had been upgraded to first class.
She blamed UA's SHARES system, stating this type of upgrade problem happens often when there are married segments on an itinerary and that it was MY reservation that was holding up the queue. Oops.
So now I am confirmed in first class tomorrow, though I am not sure anymore it was my itinerary that was the problem. The flight dropped to R8 after my upgrade was cleared, but one day later (and less than 24 hour before departure) is back up to R9. Surely, a hub-hub 757-200 must have more elites on it?
In any case, I got my seat. Thank you Dan!