nwafflyer
Posts: 888
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Continental Upgrade Policy

Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:39 am

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
 
ikramerica
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:51 am

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.
 
AA737-823
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:05 pm

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...
 
deltairlines
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:19 pm

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.
 
diesel33
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:38 pm

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...
 
georgebush
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:41 pm

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.
 
bnatraveler
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:18 pm

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.
 
star_world
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:31 pm

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.
 
dutchjet
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Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:39 pm

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.!!
 
star_world
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 7:52 am

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:32 pm

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.
 
nwafflyer
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:29 am

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:30 am

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
 
ikramerica
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:47 am

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.
 
style
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:54 am

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.
 
dutchjet
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:10 pm

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.....
 
style
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:40 pm

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:16 am

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.
 
lincoln
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:40 am

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
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13772
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:51 am

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.
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:34 am

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.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13772
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:21 am

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.
 
worldsurfer
Posts: 117
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:59 am

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.
 
nwafflyer
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:29 am

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:41 am

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
 
cptGirmayTesfa
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:54 am

Is CO upgrade policy equal between international and domestic flights?
 
lincoln
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:30 pm

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
 
nwafflyer
Posts: 888
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:54 pm

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
 
exFATboy
Posts: 1887
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RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:29 am

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.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13772
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:35 am

Quoting ExFATboy (Reply 24):
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.)

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 figure out if I'm famous or something. I think it's funny.

Quoting ExFATboy (Reply 24):
General rule is that if the plane has a "BusinessFirst" cabin, there's no Elite upgrade program.

Just to be clear for people who may not know, the rule is that if it has a BF "service" there's no Elite upgrade, but the cabin exists on florida, transcon, alaska and interhub flights with 757s (and sometimes 767 and 777 for IAH-EWR). On those flights, you can get elite upgraded to the sleeper seats.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
DiscoverCSG
Posts: 536
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:22 am

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:33 am

Quoting Star_world (Reply 9):
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.

That "some people...felt" does not mean their feelings correspond with reality. But, as you say, you're certain this is not the case.  Wink
 
nwafflyer
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:29 am

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:36 am

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 stored above me, and I didn't want to move me and my stuff.

Thank you all, you have confirmed my thoughts that Continental does upgrade NW passengers, unlike Delta for example
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13772
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Continental Upgrade Policy

Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:15 am

Quoting Nwafflyer (Reply 27):
Thank you all, you have confirmed my thoughts that Continental does upgrade NW passengers, unlike Delta for example

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 it done in time), or just an example of a blocked out seat due to breakage.

It's not a conspiracy against you!  Smile
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.