vtdl
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:15 am

UA Upgrade Award

Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:23 pm

I am planning a trip from US to India next month. My question is what is the chance of actually getting an upgrade when using United Upgrade Award or Star Alliance Upgrade Award. Or I should just forget about it.  scratchchin 
 
planecrazy2
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 1:40 pm

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:24 pm

What carrier are you taking to India?
United Airlines - Worldwide Service
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:01 pm

Quoting Vtdl (Thread starter):
I am planning a trip from US to India next month. My question is what is the chance of actually getting an upgrade when using United Upgrade Award or Star Alliance Upgrade Award. Or I should just forget about it.

If you are flying Lufthansa, you can have a SWU converted to a paper upgrade for Lufthansa and it will be a confirmed upgrade for the flight.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
TinkerBelle
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:46 am

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:06 pm

A little off-topic but how many miles do you need to become UA premier member?
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
TL925
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 7:15 pm

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:08 pm

Your chances of an upgrade depend on a couple factors:

1. Availability on your scheduled flights - if C class (or F class depending on your ticket) is very open, you might have luck getting your upgrade confirmed now. Likely though the airline will wait till closer to departure to sell the seats at full fare.

2. Status level - United will clear upgrades in the following order: Global Services, 1k, Premier Executive, Premier, General Members. I'm honestly not sure where a general Star Alliance Gold falls into that mix.

Your best bet is to go to www.flyertalk.com and go to the United Airlines forum.
 
planecrazy2
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 1:40 pm

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:46 am

Here is the UA chart with all the upgrade info:

http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,51071,00.html

To become Premier, you need to fly 25,000 EQM or 30 EQS.
United Airlines - Worldwide Service
 
vtdl
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:15 am

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:01 pm

I am not a big UA fan. So, I've saved up my miles and have no plan to use them. I figure I'll use them all for these long haul flights.

I am not a Premier member, so my chance isn't going to be very good (it seems). In that case, I probably go with AA (SFO-ORD-DEL-BLR-somehow back). The somehow could be LHR which I would like to avoid these days.

TL925, thanks for the link to www.flyertalk.com
 
777fan
Posts: 2256
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:09 pm

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:50 pm

Quoting TL925 (Reply 4):
Status level - United will clear upgrades in the following order: Global Services, 1k, Premier Executive, Premier, General Members. I'm honestly not sure where a general Star Alliance Gold falls into that mix.

IIRC, regular MP members can have their upgrade requests confirmed no earlier than 24 hours prior to the flight. Worst case scenario, you can ask at the gate - if you're polite, not on a super-discounted and the agent is looking to make a friend, you may just receive a comp upgrade (it's happened to me).


777fan
DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
 
bri2k1
Posts: 952
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:13 am

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Thu Aug 17, 2006 9:28 pm

I've been Premier for years, and I only get about 5% of the upgrades I request. Even then, it's only marginally better service. Don't hold your breath, especially on a long-haul flight when everyone wants it.
Position and hold
 
TinkerBelle
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:46 am

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:00 pm

Quoting Planecrazy2 (Reply 5):
To become Premier, you need to fly 25,000 EQM or 30 EQS.

Sorry if this sounds stupid but what is EQM and EQS. Right now I have about 24K UA miles but will have about 100K by Dec accumulated mostly on Star Alliance members. Hopefully I can use the miles on an international flight in the future.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
zrs70
Posts: 3300
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 4:08 am

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:02 pm

Clarifications:

1) If you convert a United Electronic System Wide Upgrade cert to a paper one for use on Lufthansa, it is only good for standby, and you can't cnofirm it in advance.

2) When using United flights across the ocean, it doesn't matter what status you have if you are seeking a confirmed upgrade at the time of reservation. If there is upgrade inventory available, it is yours when using miles are a System Wide. If you have to go on the waitlist, then status will matter. (The 24 hour period for upgrade clearance is only for domestic/ North American flights when you are using 500 mile coupons).

To upgrade UA flights with miles, you must be on an "H" fare or above. To upgrade with an SWU, it must be "W" or above. You cannot upgrade from "Z" class (lowest Business) with any upgrade instrument.

3) EQM/ EQS... These are Elite Qualifying Miles/ Segments. They are the miles/ segments you have flown within a Jan-Dec period. So you may have 500,000 in your account, but if you have flown 24,000 miles in that time period, you are still a general member. You hit Premier at 25K miles. Premier Executive at 50K. And 1K Premier at 100K.

4) You can use UA miles for a Star Alliance Upgrade on a number of *A carriers. I believe they only work with higher fares.
17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:31 pm

Quoting Vtdl (Reply 6):
I am not a Premier member, so my chance isn't going to be very good (it seems). In that case, I probably go with AA (SFO-ORD-DEL-BLR-somehow back). The somehow could be LHR which I would like to avoid these days.

First of all what type of upgrade are you trying to get? If you are using miles to upgrade, those are a confirmed upgrade, which means that they can be confirmed more than 24 hours in advance. You might have to selectively choose your flights, but I've never had a problem getting an upgrade when I use miles for it. Upgrade coupons are a lot different since they go in the order of status and only clear in the days before the flight. These are pretty much worthless for general members. I'm premier executive and have had some trouble getting these to work at times.

You should call up United when you book your tickets and try and find flights where you will be able to get the upgrade. Also note that not all star alliance airlines allow upgrades and that only certain fares are upgradeable, which means you'll still be paying more than the regular discount economy fares, but less than the posted business class fares. You should be able to upgrade though SFO-FRA-BLR, but don't expect to upgrade if you go the other way and choose SQ for SFO-HKG-SIN-BLR
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
TinkerBelle
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:46 am

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:35 pm

Quoting Zrs70 (Reply 10):
They are the miles/ segments you have flown within a Jan-Dec period. So you may have 500,000 in your account, but if you have flown 24,000 miles in that time period, you are still a general member.

Does that mean Jan 1st everybody is a general Member since it's on a Jan-Dec timeframe?
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
zrs70
Posts: 3300
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 4:08 am

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:51 pm

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 12):
Does that mean Jan 1st everybody is a general Member since it's on a Jan-Dec timeframe?

If you hit a status level at any time Jan-Dec, your status carries through the following year. So if you became Premier in June of this year, you will have statuts until the end of 2007. (Actually, I believe it expires in Feb 08, but don't quote me on that).
17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:09 am

Quoting Zrs70 (Reply 13):
(Actually, I believe it expires in Feb 08, but don't quote me on that).

Yes it is in February of the second year after you flew the necessary amount of qualifying miles. So if you flew a long round the world trip flew enough to get premier status in January, you would keep it for two years with the way that the system works. The minimum time that you will have benefits is 14 months, and you get that if you earn status in December.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
TinkerBelle
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:46 am

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:12 am

Quoting Zrs70 (Reply 13):
If you hit a status level at any time Jan-Dec, your status carries through the following year. So if you became Premier in June of this year, you will have statuts until the end of 2007. (Actually, I believe it expires in Feb 08, but don't quote me on that).

Thanx for the info.  bigthumbsup 
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
777fan
Posts: 2256
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:09 pm

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:37 am

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 8):
Even then, it's only marginally better service. Don't hold your breath, especially on a long-haul flight when everyone wants it.

Generally speaking, you don't seek an upgrade on UA for the food, service, or amenity kits, you do it for the bigger, more comfortable seat and added space. Admittedly, UA's service doesn't compare to the likes of Singapore, Asiana, etc. but upgrades certainly do have value, particularly on long haul flights.

777fan
DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:44 am

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 3):
A little off-topic but how many miles do you need to become UA premier member?

25K EQMs. Based on what you said you would have by the end of the year, you should actually hit Premier Executive.

Quoting TL925 (Reply 4):
I'm honestly not sure where a general Star Alliance Gold falls into that mix.

Both Premier Executives and 1Ks are Star Alliance Gold

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 9):
Sorry if this sounds stupid but what is EQM and EQS.

Elite Qualifying Miles (that is, miles actually flown in a seat on most Star Alliance airlines) and Elite Qualifying Segments (that is, number of flight segments flown on most Star Alliance Airlines)
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
vtdl
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:15 am

RE: UA Upgrade Award

Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:19 pm

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 11):

First of all what type of upgrade are you trying to get? If you are using miles to upgrade, those are a confirmed upgrade, which means that they can be confirmed more than 24 hours in advance. You might have to selectively choose your flights, but I've never had a problem getting an upgrade when I use miles for it. Upgrade coupons are a lot different since they go in the order of status and only clear in the days before the flight. These are pretty much worthless for general members. I'm premier executive and have had some trouble getting these to work at times.

Thanks! I want to use miles to upgrade. That gives me some hope!

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 11):
You should call up United when you book your tickets and try and find flights where you will be able to get the upgrade. Also note that not all star alliance airlines allow upgrades and that only certain fares are upgradeable, which means you'll still be paying more than the regular discount economy fares, but less than the posted business class fares. You should be able to upgrade though SFO-FRA-BLR, but don't expect to upgrade if you go the other way and choose SQ for SFO-HKG-SIN-BLR

Thanks for the tip. The second leg between Europe and India would be on Lufthansa.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AC_B777, adamh8297, Anansaudiajet, bardon04, DC1979, Google Adsense [Bot], JoeCanuck, kstse, Lofty, OA940, PM, pvjin, qfflyer, Ronnoc, rutankrd, Tewks, Tristarsteve, twaconnie, wn676 and 250 guests