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Continental Upgrade Policy  
User currently offlineNwafflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1050 posts, RR: 2
Posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3255 times:

I am NW platinum elite, therefore I am sky team elite plus. Today, on a CO 737, there was a vacant first class seat, while I was in the middle row. I had checked earlier at the President's Club (this is all in Houston, IAH), and was told that I was first in the list. When I checked at the gate, the gate agent said I 'might' make it. Then, the flight left, with an empty first class seat

I'd like some Continental knowledge here, usually I have good luck on Continental, not sure where this one fell apart

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3229 times:

Quoting Nwafflyer (Thread starter):
Then, the flight left, with an empty first class seat

It's an error that happens every once in a while. It might have been that the person who was in that seat had checked in and was expected on the plane, but missed the flight and they didn't have enough time to do anything but close the door.

Checking in the President's Club doesn't do much good, as the gate agents always know more, and the list changes even between walking from the club and getting to the gate.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5722 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3195 times:

Yeah, we hear people complain about this from time to time here at a.net.
Because of Continental's liberal upgrade policy (though some would argue that statement), it seems like it's getting rare for there to be an empty first seat on any flight, except in the rare case that there are no elites onboard.

Better luck next time.
I trust your trip in coach was better than it would have been on NW? I am biased, as a loyal CO flier, but I am interested in your opinion as an aside...


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8893 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3170 times:

Seat could have been broken or for another reason, and thus it was left unsold. I remember reading once about a DL Medallion who didn't get the upgrade on a 737, only to see there was an empty seat in F. Turned out the seat was broken, so it was left vacant.

If you have a FlyerTalk account, Continental's Customer Experience Manager posts frequently in the OnePass forum. In the past, when FlyerTalkers have complained about instances such as this, he has been able to pull up all the information; I believe in some cases, he's put compensatory miles in the members' accounts.


User currently offlineDiesel33 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 301 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3133 times:

Maybe it was being held for flight deck crew rest?

I know that sometimes flights from EWR to the Carribean or Mexico have a seat held in first for crew rest so they could just do a turn instead of having the flight deck crew overnight somewhere...


User currently offlineGeorgebush From New Zealand, joined Jul 2006, 679 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2997 times:

The gate agent was prolly just being lazy and didnt feel like onloading any of the upgrades. Believe me... I've been there done that.


Al Gore invented global warming.
User currently offlineBNAtraveler From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 402 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2906 times:
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FORUM MODERATOR

CO's upgrade 'program' (EUA) certainly yields interesting results as compared to NW's. I am a CO Plat, but do most of my flying on NW largely because CO only flies Barbie's Dream Jets (aka ERJs) out of BNA.

I am virtually guaranteed an upgrade on NW. Some of this has to do with the fact that all mainline planes have at least 16 F seats, but I am convinced that it is also due to the way that NW applies their upgrades versus CO. CO's web site (http://www.continental.com/web/en-US...ontent/onepass/elite/upgrades.aspx) says that upgrades are processed first for full fare passengers, second by elite level, third by fare class, the booking date/time and finally by checkin date/time. My experience indicates that while these factors may be the primary indicators, they certainly do not process in this order. I believe that the upgrades are rather processed by fare class and then by elite level. Multiple recent CO flights have held this to be true as I wasn't upgraded yet there were silver and gold members up front whom were upgraded via EUA.


User currently offlineStar_world From Ireland, joined Jun 2001, 1234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2889 times:

Quoting BNAtraveler (Reply 6):
I believe that the upgrades are rather processed by fare class and then by elite level.

This is not correct - no question about it whatsoever. I've been CO platinum for many years, and have averaged 75%+ upgrades on CO mainline flights. And that's flying out of / into EWR most of the time. I would have noticed if CO had changed their upgrade process to be based on fare class first, as I'm usually flying on the cheapest available fare.


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2880 times:

Quoting Star_world (Reply 7):

This is not correct - no question about it whatsoever. I've been CO platinum for many years, and have averaged 75%+ upgrades on CO mainline flights. And that's flying out of / into EWR most of the time. I would have noticed if CO had changed their upgrade process to be based on fare class first, as I'm usually flying on the cheapest available fare.

I think what was meant is: if a pax buys certain full fare coach fares, CO issues an automatic upgrade into F upon issuance of the ticket. (these fares also get the Elite for a day deal). Then, the rest of the upgrade rules apply, with Platinum going first, etc. And, you are correct, a Platinum pax with a cheap ticket will get the upgrade before a Gold pax with a more expensive ticket.

Quoting Nwafflyer (Thread starter):
Then, the flight left, with an empty first class seat

Odd, I think that this is the answer:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
It's an error that happens every once in a while. It might have been that the person who was in that seat had checked in and was expected on the plane, but missed the flight and they didn't have enough time to do anything but close the door.



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
Checking in the President's Club doesn't do much good, as the gate agents always know more, and the list changes even between walking from the club and getting to the gate.

Excellent point, the gate agent is the one in charge of these matters during the hour or so before a flight.....always check and double check with them.

On occassion, I boarded in my coach seat, and literally moments before take off, the agent has come on board and moved me up to F class due to a no-show or the like.

Better luck next time.!!


User currently offlineStar_world From Ireland, joined Jun 2001, 1234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2831 times:

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 8):
I think what was meant is: if a pax buys certain full fare coach fares, CO issues an automatic upgrade into F upon issuance of the ticket.

No I know what you mean - but this only applies to Y fares. Recently some CO flyers have raised the question on whether other high-fare pax were being upgraded before high-level elites. For example, a silver pax with a H fare ticket being upgraded before a platinum pax with a very cheap W fare ticket. This is not the policy, but some people who have missed out on upgrades felt that this was happening. I am certain that this is not the case though.


User currently offlineNwafflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1050 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2614 times:

I did check with the gate agent, who told me at least one seat was available, but he wasn't going to do anything until the flight was ready to board. On NW, I have boarded, been in coach, and been moved to first class if a passenger didn't show up. For some reason, Continental didn't do that. And, yes, I did e-mail CO today asking the question

User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2603 times:

Quoting Nwafflyer (Reply 10):
I did check with the gate agent, who told me at least one seat was available, but he wasn't going to do anything until the flight was ready to board.

That's SOP. But the fact he didn't actually follow through means he just dropped the ball. It's annoying, but it happens. Very rarely in my experience.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineStyle From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2561 times:

Good point from the poster who noted the seat may have been inop. Although you were most likely on a 737, it should be noted that CO's 757's and 777's in F/J class are just awful when it comes to working properly. Be it the electrical is inop or the monitor not working, CO really drops the ball when it comes to maintaining their premium product. Either they went cheap when it came to purchasing the parts from their suppliers or they just don't give their planes enough time for preventive maintenance.

Another thing you could have done was ask the FA. They usually get a Final Report with a name list of who is on the stby list for upgrade.


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2506 times:

Quoting Style (Reply 12):
Good point from the poster who noted the seat may have been inop. Although you were most likely on a 737, it should be noted that CO's 757's and 777's in F/J class are just awful when it comes to working properly. Be it the electrical is inop or the monitor not working, CO really drops the ball when it comes to maintaining their premium product. Either they went cheap when it came to purchasing the parts from their suppliers or they just don't give their planes enough time for preventive maintenance.

Funny you should say this, I fly over 100,000 miles per year with CO (and have done so for year of the past six or seven years), I have had never had a video monitor or any other piece of equipment not work. Everything has been in proper working order......and the airplane very very clean when boarding.

Obviously, you have had back luck or.....


User currently offlineStyle From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2434 times:

I have been on the new AVOD equipped 757 where the whole BF cabin was not working due to what the FA says was 'overheating of the system', she said that this is very common on the 757 and she rarely flies one where there isnt a problem with atleast one seat. This is also heard frequently as well on flyertalk. The guy next to me took the video monitor out just to see that it couldn't support itself in an upward position, it kept falling to the side.

There are also shortfalls on the 757 when it comes to inop footrests.

In my opinion the 767 is the aircraft with fewest problems when it comes to seat inop issues.

The 777 has got to be the worst though. Those 777 BF seats are just awful.


User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2409 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 2):
I trust your trip in coach was better than it would have been on NW? I am biased, as a loyal CO flier, but I am interested in your opinion as an aside...

As a WorldPerks silver member who prefers CO but has been doing a lot of NW/NW Airlink recently (the client's airport is only served by NW. Period.) CO offers a significantly better customer experience -- polite/patient/calm/competent customer service on the ground and polished FAs in the air. The real difference is on the ground, in the air (excluding IFE and Food) CO is still out front, but the difference isn't as extreme.

Quoting BNAtraveler (Reply 6):
Multiple recent CO flights have held this to be true as I wasn't upgraded yet there were silver and gold members up front whom were upgraded via EUA.

I'm just curious how you know they're silver and gold members -- I certainly don't go running around with a "I am a Silver Elite" T-shirt. In my experience, CO sticks to their published upgrade priority quite well, including placing their own Elites above the same tier of NW Elite (for example, on a recent flight LAX-CLE my boss (CO Silver) and myself (NW Silver) were in the same fare class on the same flight. I bought my ticket first, but his upgrade cleared and mine didn't since I'm lower in the priority tree.

When you buy a Full 'Y' fare, as I do the majority of the time when I'm traveling for business (the case above was an exception since we knew the dates couldn't possibly change) the elite tier goes out the window -- if you're an elite on either airline and there is a seat available up front when the ticket is issued you will get that seat.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 8):
think what was meant is: if a pax buys certain full fare coach fares, CO issues an automatic upgrade into F upon issuance of the ticket. (these fares also get the Elite for a day deal).

As far as I know if you buy full 'Y' on a domestic flight and are an Elite then the upgrade happesn automatically when the ticket is issued; I don't beleive this benefit is extended to non-elites, but those do get the 'Elite for a day' treatment including priority boarding and luggage tagging.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 13):
Everything has been in proper working order......and the airplane very very clean when boarding.

Yes...Absolutely. I can come up with more MX issues from any one of my NW flights from recent memory than I can from all of the CO flights I've ever taken.

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2392 times:

Quoting Style (Reply 14):

Sadly, I have yet to find an airlines that doesn't have broken premium seats. I don't get to fly the international premium product much, but I've experienced or seen broken/malfunctioning seats and PTV on CO, AA and QF. And I've heard about similar problems from others on airlines you would expect to have higher standards (SQ, EK).

You load a seat with technology and motors, then allow people to use it unsupervised (and abuse it) and it's going to break.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2315 times:

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 13):
Funny you should say this, I fly over 100,000 miles per year with CO (and have done so for year of the past six or seven years), I have had never had a video monitor or any other piece of equipment not work. Everything has been in proper working order......and the airplane very very clean when boarding.

Ditto for me as well over 100,000 miles a year and other than last night, B739 into IAH, the left side of the headphone jack was broken so only had sound from 1 earphone.....and no, it wasn't the headset as we tried both of ours that work just fine! So I have to agree with Dutchjet, bad luck.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2296 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 17):
Ditto for me as well over 100,000 miles a year and other than last night, B739 into IAH, the left side of the headphone jack was broken so only had sound from 1 earphone.....and no, it wasn't the headset as we tried both of ours that work just fine! So I have to agree with Dutchjet, bad luck.

I've had the headphone jack not work, I've had the headphone jack have something jammed into one of the holes, I've had a seat that wouldn't stay upright. On CO, I've seen a video screen that wouldn't work (in BF) and saw a pair of BF seats in front of me that wouldn't work electrically, and the staff had to manually release them to recline them (an interesting process).

But again, I've seen the same sort of thing on QF and AA in premium cabins, and I've read about such problems with just about any airline.

Part of the problem is that customers don't report the issues! Then they don't get written up and they don't get fixed.

I always try to let the F/A know about the issue, when they aren't busy, and do it politely. Not complaining, I just say they might want to write it up so it gets fixed and I always get thanked.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineWorldsurfer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2274 times:

Quoting Style (Reply 14):
I have been on the new AVOD equipped 757 where the whole BF cabin was not working

I have been on 4 flights in the last month on a 757 w avod and the system was not working properly.
They were able to fix it only once in the air, the other times, the ground techs just left and said it could not be fixed.


User currently offlineNwafflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1050 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2241 times:

This was a 737 500, 8 first class seats. I have had few problems with Continental First Class seats, treatment, meals, etc - I regularly consider switching from NW to CO, but my 700,000 banked flight miles with NW keep me from changing now.

Normally, the two airlines are almost interchangeable as far as elite status, etc is concerned. Yes, I would be behind a CO platinum elite passenger, but ahead of a CO gold/silver passenger.

Another thing that is surprising - I e-mailed CO yesterday with the question, received the automated response, and have heard nothing since - usually both NW and CO are excellent at responding to customer questions


User currently offlineCptGirmayTesfa From Peru, joined Oct 2003, 406 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2200 times:

Is CO upgrade policy equal between international and domestic flights?

User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2185 times:

Quoting CptGirmayTesfa (Reply 21):
Is CO upgrade policy equal between international and domestic flights?

As far as I know the upgrade policy is domestic only and there is no policy/automatic process for comp. upgrades on International flights (i.e. a gate agent may move you up for some special reason, but don't expect it just because you're an Elite)

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineNwafflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1050 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2129 times:

And that's true of both CO and NW - KLM's policy is to only upgrade an elite if coach is full, and that's domestic as well as international

User currently offlineExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2056 times:

Quoting Nwafflyer (Reply 10):
On NW, I have boarded, been in coach, and been moved to first class if a passenger didn't show up. For some reason, Continental didn't do that.

I can verify Continental does routinely do this - 2 weekends ago on a TPA-EWR flight I boarded and was sitting down, and the gate agent came aboard just as boarding was ending and moved me and another passenger to First (I'm CO Silver Elite.) And on two occasions this year, I've been sitting in coach on a SRQ-EWR flight and gotten an empty centre seat next to me when an Elite member already seated in coach in my row got upgraded as boarding ended.

I'm guessing either that seat was being held empty for some reason (broken?), or the gate agent just got distracted by something else and didn't get a chance to move you. (Or just messed up.)

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 22):
As far as I know the upgrade policy is domestic only and there is no policy/automatic process for comp. upgrades on International flights (i.e. a gate agent may move you up for some special reason, but don't expect it just because you're an Elite)

CO's website says that Elite upgrades are available domestically (ex-Hawaii, but including Alaska), Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central & South America, and on a few flights between Guam and Asia. General rule is that if the plane has a "BusinessFirst" cabin, there's no Elite upgrade program.


25 Ikramerica : It's happened to me 5 times in my life (maybe 6, can't quite remember). People always look at me funny when it happens, like they are trying to figur
26 Post contains images DiscoverCSG : That "some people...felt" does not mean their feelings correspond with reality. But, as you say, you're certain this is not the case.
27 Nwafflyer : And, I am not 'some people' -- I have turned down the upgrade on NW in the past -- (I've been in a comfortable aisle seat, no one next to me, luggage
28 Post contains images Ikramerica : They absolutely do, and NW upgrades CO pax. This was simply either a mistake by the gate agent, a time crunch (though I've seen them running to get i
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