Thanks Lorm for the information. Now time to interpret it for our friend who is traveling. As an ex UA
analyst, I can tell you how this flight will fall out.
You are flying westbound, therefore you are traveling with Europeans who are headed to the States on holiday. This means the no show factor is going to be fairly low but no shows on most flights, even heavily booked ones tends to run anywhere from 7-10%.
The aircraft is not full in C or F, and only 19 over in Y. In order for you to be able to volunteer for an upgrade and make it, you have to be one of the elite flyers mentioned above AND
hope that the flight has less than a 9.7% no show factor. While the latter is possible given its real close to the August holidays in Europe, the former is going to get you. Unless you are prepared to pay for your upgrade, your chances of being upgraded are very poor.
However, one never knows, so be prepared to be nice, look nice and be helpful. Sometimes, an agent will pick a nice regular passenger over an obnoxious 1K just to maintain order in the Business or First cabin. Its all in the hands of the agent.
Expect to ride in the back, and hope for the best.
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998