No Upgrade Tonight!

I have not had to sit in the "back of the bus" on a United Airlines transcon flight since the merger, but tonight I will break my perfect upgrade choice.

Tomorrow will be a full day of work and there was "R" (confirmable upgrade space) available on my United flight until just a few hours ago. The aircraft is an A319 with only eight first class seats. Typically in this case I would apply a RPU (regional premier upgrade) in order to secure an upgrade, as scoring a complimentary upgrade on a long flight out of elite-rich SFO is difficult even for 1K flyers, and tonight I am flying in the lowest fare class. The flight is now full and I am number six on the waitlist...

I chose not to upgrade because I have been sleeping very well on red-eye flights lately. Tonight will be a test to see if I can also quickly fall asleep and stay asleep in economy class. Should that be the case, I will not have to sweat out upgrades (and waste confirmed upgrade instruments) on future trips.

I always opt for red-eyes when flying east and my ability to sleep on them is essential to a productive following day, but I am still young and this will be a good experiment. And hopefully not a painful one...


Depending on which aircraft was flying the route, I might be ok in Y. If it was a 757/319/320, then those birds have pretty comfortable Y seats, and the legroom in the exit row is very nice.

Now if it's a CO bird, I would do my best to get my CR1 to clear. If not, I'd attempt to fly another aircraft. Those Y seats are worse than sitting on a wooden bench! (little lower back support, no padding)

Andy November 6, 2012 at 01:23 am

PHL-SFO? I have never gotten an upgrade on that route with the A319. It's the toughest route in the system I believe

@Andy: Forgetting that CO is in the picture, some of the toughest PMUA routes were IAD-SFO, EWR-SFO (on the A319!!), BOS-SFO/LAX, ORD-SFO, and sometimes the p.s. routes.

Internationally, SFO/LAX-SYD, ORD-HKG/NRT were some of the toughest intl upgrades.

Narelle November 11, 2012 at 01:48 am

Just left a comment on this. I have been flying with UA since 1995, and have had 1k status for the past five years and have not been able to get my upgrades and the upgrades have been expiring unused. I am on a wait list for SFO-FRA for next week, and it was similar to the trips in May to Brazil, June to Singapore via Narita. For a couple of hundred dollars extra I could get business class on another airline. Have always been loyal to United, but no more. Going to Morocco in a few weeks. Delta business class was similar to United economy. I booked Delta.

Status is important on airlines so going to see if they will match my 1k next year. I have one more trip booked on United to Chile - that us already business class and I booked it in April. Understand not getting upgrades all the time but 1 in10 and global upgrades continually expiring frustrates me.

Hope Delta treats me better than United.

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