Hi all -
This may be a better question for another website; but since I've been a member here for years, I thought I'd try here first.
I'm a long time Premier on UA (only silver; although will be back to gold within the week) and have flown back and forth to BKK from IAD twice in the last 2 months. Each ticket was purchased in a "Y" (full fare economy) code. Per UA's instructions, 20K FF miles is the correct mileage to upgrade the flight. I've paid the "cost" accordingly. Also, according to the information I can find, UA prioritizes upgrades by premier status first, then fare class. Of the 3 one-ways I've taken so far, the first was upgraded successfully BEFORE the 24-hour cut-off window for the waitlist. Finally, according to UA's information, if they cannot upgrade you more than 24 hours before the flight, your name then is supposed to roll onto a "standby" list for upgrade when you check in for the flight. This is when the problem arises.
Twice, now, I've simply fallen off the "standby" list when checking in for the flight; the result is that even if I am in the right position in line to get the upgrade, I cannot get it because I'm no longer on the list--even though I've paid.
The first time this happened (in BKK), the gate agent told me "It's the Continental system--we cannot do anything to put you back on the list". There were actually seats available in business! Since I connected through NRT, I asked again to be put on the standby list--and again--"It's the Continental system--I can't do anything to prioritize you for the upgrade" was the answer.
Finally, on the most recent trip, I checked in at IAD with the same problem. The gate agent had to force my name onto the the standby list 3 TIMES before it would not fall off. She, too, said the problem was "the continental system" but seemed to know a work around. My name didn't get high enough on the pecking order to get the upgrade, but, more importantly, I'm concerned that the same problem will happen again on my return from BKK.
Has anyone else had this same "falling off the standby list" problem? If so, what have you done about it? Why do they keep saying it's "the Continental system"? Can I do anything more than what I've already done to ensure my name is in the proper place in line (based on fare class/premier status)?