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Flying united air nyc to nrt -what are my upgrade chances?


ninjaboy28
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Flying out of nyc in mid feb connecting in Nrt  Narita Japan  I booked what i think is a great fare round trip for $637 round trip to bkk.

I opened a chase united credit card and got  a bunch of points -i used 40, 000 and $600 usd  to book a business class upgrade from nyc to nrt  

I have been waitlisted and have no clue if i have any chance of getting a seat in business- anyone do this before or have a clue as to my chances 

they will refund my $600 and points if there is no upgrade but for a 14hr flight it would be less than $42 usd per hour  for business class (not including miles)

thank you in advance  for any input

help

 

 

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Assuming you have no frequent flyer status with them

 

Then it all depends on the demand for available business class seats from full fare paying pax &/or FF members paying money& points like yourself all of whom will be allocated seats ahead of you

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For whatever reason, award availability to Japan, Korea, and most of SE Asia has been somewhat scant for Jan-Mar 2020. I already got a rejection for CX on an F return award in February. I do have status with them, but the lowest tier MPC which was basically a free trial. There are many factors though. Status is one. How much you paid on the ticket before upgrade is another. Do you know your fare class? If you're in the S/T/L/K/G group, then that unfortunately reduces your chances even further. 

When they put you on the waitlist, I assume they also gave you an expiration date. How close are you to that date?  I also have a waitlist for a return in Feb, but mine is a flat out award (meaning no ticket without it). Crossing my fingers. I suppose the worst case is that I never come home.  

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my class ticket is  (k) i booked using there website online paid full amount which was $637 round trip ana i think does the leg nrt to bkk 

I have no status with them , there is no expiration date that I'm aware of and it goes up until 48hrs before trip

 

help

 

 

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15 hours ago, ninjaboy28 said:

my class ticket is  (k) i booked using there website online paid full amount which was $637 round trip ana i think does the leg nrt to bkk 

I have no status with them , there is no expiration date that I'm aware of and it goes up until 48hrs before trip

 

K class fare is discounted economy, so you're set to a low tier for upgrade chances. Not saying it won't happen, but fare class does come into play for upgrades. If someone booked economy Y/B/M/U/V and there's only one upgrade seat left, they'll beat you out. 

Airlines are sneaky this way. Some of the more honest ones will tell you upfront that if you buy the cheapest economy ticket, there is no chance of upgrade. Others will keep it ambiguous and will make the call based off of status and ticket price vs availability. The kicker is that some airlines have been flying empty seats instead of upgrading as well. 

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5 hours ago, Little Evil said:

K class fare is discounted economy, so you're set to a low tier for upgrade chances. Not saying it won't happen, but fare class does come into play for upgrades. If someone booked economy Y/B/M/U/V and there's only one upgrade seat left, they'll beat you out. 

Airlines are sneaky this way. Some of the more honest ones will tell you upfront that if you buy the cheapest economy ticket, there is no chance of upgrade. Others will keep it ambiguous and will make the call based off of status and ticket price vs availability. The kicker is that some airlines have been flying empty seats instead of upgrading as well. 

The kicker is that some airlines have been flying empty seats instead of upgrading as well. 

well this would have them loose out on my $600 .... not sure if this means anything . keeping my fingers crossed

thing is I saw a cheap fare of $637 and was like ok ill fly economy and save the cash for the party.

but I hate flying economy -seen this upgrade deal as was like Ill give it a shot -not knowing about the "waitlist"

 

 

help

 

 

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3 minutes ago, ninjaboy28 said:

The kicker is that some airlines have been flying empty seats instead of upgrading as well. 

well this would have them loose out on my $600 .... not sure if this means anything . keeping my fingers crossed

thing is I saw a cheap fare of $637 and was like ok ill fly economy and save the cash for the party.

but I hate flying economy -seen this upgrade deal as was like Ill give it a shot -not knowing about the "waitlist"

 

 

I don't want to completely crush your hopes here. I do fly a lot on award, but only have a few United award flights under my belt (I use One World, mainly), meaning you should still check with Flyertalk or other people. Don't take my word as gospel. Just being realistic though in showing you the pecking order most airlines use. 

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2 hours ago, ninjaboy28 said:

ome airlines have been flying empty seats instead of upgrading as well. 

At Delta airlines which I retired from September 2018 we many times had open seats in our Business Class. We had a list of all who were on the upgrade list for any of our intl flights out of Seattle.

 

If there was no one of ANY status on the upgrade list we would not be looking to just move people up there.

 

Upgrades were processed in advance by reservations or the appropriate frequent flyer desk. You could use miles or upgrade certificates. Not something done at the airport, all we did was to assign you a seat if available.

 

We often had customers asking for upgrades at the gate. We also often heard "you will let this flight leave with open seats in BC"! Yes we would!

 

If your name wasn't on the list you would not be getting up there regardless of how many open seats...BC was regarded as a "Premium Product" not to be given away!

 

 

Edited by Rocketboy
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2 hours ago, Little Evil said:

I don't want to completely crush your hopes here. I do fly a lot on award, but only have a few United award flights under my belt (I use One World, mainly), meaning you should still check with Flyertalk or other people. Don't take my word as gospel. Just being realistic though in showing you the pecking order most airlines use. 

on the way there it wont be the end of the world  i will have $600 more to party with, I really would like to have the upgrade on the way back nrt to ewr 

coming back hungover -broke -and right back to work an upgrade would be worth it-i guess ill have to wait and see 

 

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help

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Rocketboy said:

Upgrades were processed in advance by reservations or the appropriate frequent flyer desk. You could use miles or upgrade certificates. Not something done at the airport, all we did was to assign you a seat if available.

Yes I booked in advance -as I'm on the wait list-but as i said i have no ff status 

help

 

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 27/12/2019 at 19:51, ninjaboy28 said:

on the way there it wont be the end of the world  i will have $600 more to party with, I really would like to have the upgrade on the way back nrt to ewr 

coming back hungover -broke -and right back to work an upgrade would be worth it-i guess ill have to wait and see 

 

Just curious, did you get upgraded? I had it in the back of my brain to ask at a later point, but forgot until just now.  I like to gauge the trade winds on these things. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

i canceled my trip , but am now fighting to get my upgrade fee returned 

help

 

 

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