OLCI - Good way to ensure you *don't* get upgraded? | Australian Frequent Flyer
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OLCI - Good way to ensure you *don't* get upgraded?

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Febs

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Hi all,

Just a quick question about the best way to maximise your chance of a domestic op-up (I know this has been covered before, but I'm asking specifically about OLCI).

I'm of the belief that, with OLCI, it's best to check in as early as possible in order to get the best seat. I've checked in 6-12hrs before a flight, and found only average seats left (either middle, or right up the back). I usually "re-check in" a few times online, and manage to get something decent (ie: aisle or window, in the 20's).

A colleague (Platinum) is of the belief that, if she doesn't check-in until she gets to the airport, she'll have a better chance of an upgrade. For the past 3/3 flights, this has worked for her, and she's been upgraded to J (flights are SYD-BNE or BNE-SYD, usually pretty full).

I'm just wondering, is this the best way to go about maximising chances of an op-up? If she'd checked in online, would she likely have been upgraded? Or is it a case of:
1) She was upgraded because Y was full, or:
2) She was upgraded because Y only has poor seats left, and they didn't want a Plat sitting up the back?

I'm only QFF Gold, so I realise my chances are much slimmer...but is it worth trying? Or should I stick to my OLCI habit and hope for the best? Would checking in online, but picking up my boarding pass (from the QC or Quick Drop desk) be worth trying too?

Thanks. :)

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

aus_flyer

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I am certainly of the opinion that OLCI does sometimes diminish your chances, though it depends what process they are using.

If they are upgrading in advance, then yes, I think they upgrade those who have not yet checked in.

If they are upgrading from the QC (close to departure), then it doesn't matter - you'll just be called to recheck at the service desk.
 

Dave Noble

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I don't think it makes any odds. My recent experience of an involuntary upgrade recently was one of the few times which I have used OLCI; I checked in and was given 4D on a 73H and on boarding the aircraft my pass was replaced with a 3C pass

Dave
 

Kiwi Flyer

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I'm also in the makes no odds camp. Sometimes will be beneficial to check in early (they know you are on the flight), sometimes not (dealing with last minute seat swaps to accommodate a group, or broken seat/ife). Sometimes they will have pre-determined who gets op-up, and other times it'll go to the next person at check in, gate or lounge.

Given the low chances of op-up, life is too short to spend time worrying about the optimal check in process.
 

Chucksta

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I always use OLCI and aim to be Seq 1 and 2.

The only op up i have received was on a OLCI flight. They paged our names in the QC and gave us Biz boarding passes.

Chucksta
 

oz_mark

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Given the low chances of op-up, life is too short to spend time worrying about the optimal check in process.
I'm with this argument. Fact is, while I have had op-up's they are as rare as hens teeth, so I just check in with whatever method suits me best, sometimes OLCI, sometimes QuickCheck.
 

aus_flyer

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I have a pretty high % of upgrades, and I always checkin at the counter.
 

oz_mark

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odoherty said:
I have a pretty high % of upgrades, and I always checkin at the counter.
I suspect my travel patterns are different to yours and op-ups may vary by sector. I have certainly had more when I travel around the east coast than when I travel to/from Perth. But I travel much more to and from Perth.
 

Shano

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I have had one domestic op-up in the last four years, and that was flying MEL-BNE.

90% of my flights are peak times (~7AM mornings and 6pm evenings), so I suspect that if they are going to op-up, there must be CL or other WP's ahead of me on the "list" - maybe these are people with surnames starting with A, B, C - little hope for us with surnames at the other end of the alphabet

I use OLCI about 50% of the time.
 

NM

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Febs said:
I'm of the belief that, with OLCI, it's best to check in as early as possible in order to get the best seat.
I do not follow that logic and believe it to be wrong assumption. All QF domestic flights have their seating allocation done automatically by the computer system before OLCI opens. That means that all the people of the flight who are entitled to preferred seating will allocated seats according to their registered profiles. This means that at the time OLCI opens (24 hours before scheduled departure) all the preferred seats have been allocated to those with registered preferences.

As time progresses from the point at which auto-allocations were done towards check-in closure time, some people will change their travel plans and either cancel or move to a different flight. These cancellations and changes result in some of the previously allocated preferred seats becoming available to be selected by anyone using OLCI or QuickCheck, or allocated by an agent at the check-in desk.

So the chance of finding a better seat is dependent upon timing your view of available seats. Look too early after OLCI opens and chances are that no cancellations or changes have been made. Wait too long and someone else may have taken the better seat before you find it.

So the best approach to get a better seat is to check regularly, not just once. You need to check at a time after a cancellation or change was made by someone who had previously been allocated the better seat.

Think about the process. It would be wrong for Qantas to leave preferred seats unallocated during the auto-allocation process. If you have a preference for say Forward Window, you would not be happy if the computer leave 4A and 5A open and started at say 6a or 6F for your auto-allocation. The only way 4A or 5A may become available is if the person who was auto-allocated that seat has cancelled or changed their flight.
 

Febs

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NM - point noted and agreed with. I've definitely noticed seats (often better seats) becoming available at different times throughout the 24 hour period, so yes, what you've said makes perfect sense. :)

I've only OLCI'd a few times before, and wasn't 100% sure of the process (on QF's end). Was even more confused when a Platinum colleague was allocated a seat "up the back" (on this flight, I OLCI'd and received a much closer seat. Our preferences are both forward aisle). Thanks for clearing it up. :)

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

BJReplay

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Aug 21, 2006
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NM said:
As time progresses from the point at which auto-allocations were done towards check-in closure time, some people will change their travel plans and either cancel or move to a different flight. These cancellations and changes result in some of the previously allocated preferred seats becoming available to be selected by anyone using OLCI or QuickCheck, or allocated by an agent at the check-in desk.
I usually OLCI soon after the flight opens - 4B or 4E is far preferable to 22C or 22D on a packed peak hour flight. Food first, drinks first & more often, and first to the taxi or waiting car.

NM said:
So the best approach to get a better seat is to check regularly, not just once. You need to check at a time after a cancellation or change was made by someone who had previously been allocated the better seat.
Provided OLCI isn't broken with a
Code:
Sorry, but your session has timed out. Please start again. (# 3001)
message

That's been my experience. I've flown 4A/C or D/F the last six flights, after starting down near the back of the plane. Still Silver is coming soon, so at least I'll start a little closer to the front.
 

dajop

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Just a thought, but I just check in once on OLCI, figuring the time I'd waste looking for a better seat more than makes up for the time I'd make up in getting off the aircraft quicker.

As for op-ups, I've had one since 2003 and none since OLCI, but that means nothing. Having about 60-70 QF jet sectors per year , that makes it about 1 in 250 chance for me. But hey, I have had many exit row seats with empty middle seat, which is an adequate substitute for an op-up.
 

BJReplay

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dajop said:
...the time I'd waste looking for a better seat more than makes up for the time I'd make up in getting off the aircraft quicker...
I reckon the opposite - takes only about 60 seconds to click though the process to find a better seat, and they are almost always there.

It might only take five minutes longer to get off the plane, but that five minutes might be the difference between walking straight up to a taxi, and a 30 minute (or, just sometimes, longer) wait for a taxi.

All this is moot, of course, if you've got checked in baggage, but I never do.

I've only ever once got an exit row from OLCI, but have been able to request one most times I've been stuck down the back when I get to the airport.
 

BJReplay

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OK, so it's not an upgrade... but:

QF633 BNE MEL 16:20

The flight will be full - always is on a Friday.

When I checked in yesterday, I got 20D ininitally - it was the first aisle not allocated to other pax with higher statuses.

I swapped that for 7E.

Just checked now - 9 hours before the flight, and there are only 23 middle seats left out of 132 Y.

I'm now checked in 4D.

It's taken a lot longer than 60 seconds to post this reply, but for 60 seconds of effort re-OLCIing, I've got one of the best seats on the plane in Y, with no status to speak of.

Just dont you all start doing it!
 

serfty

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BJReplay said:
... Just dont you all start doing it!
Ah bin doin' it since October ... not that I change very often as my initial allocations as a WP (PG) are generally pretty good. :cool:

Hoever, last month I had 8C (As far back as I can remember in the last year or so) and was able to change it to 4D at ~T-6h. ;)
 

JohnK

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oz_mark said:
Fact is, while I have had op-up's they are as rare as hens teeth, so I just check in with whatever method suits me best, sometimes OLCI, sometimes QuickCheck.
Totally agree....
 

Commuter

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serfty said:
Hoever, last month I had 8C (As far back as I can remember in the last year or so) and was able to change it to 4D at ~T-6h. ;)
Right! I shall give that a go. I only got row 4 (can't remember if it was C or D) allocated once since I became a WP - all other times it's been 6, 7, 8 or 9 C or D.

I didn't even know that I could change seat once I did an OLCI, unless I went to the counter :oops::oops:
 

Febs

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I had a similar experience to serfty yesterday.

Was allocated 9D on BNE-SYD and every aisle/window seat ahead of 9 was taken. Checked back the morning of my (15:15) flight and nothing...checked back about 90minutes before and both 8D and 4F were available. I grabbed 4F. :)

Cheers,
- Febs.
 
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