Paid Upgrades on Departure with UA?

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CDS1959

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Just wondering if anyone has been able to pay for an upgrade to Business Class with United on departure from Melbourne or Sydney to LAX or SFO within the last couple months?

I have read on some forums about people having paid $500-$750 to upgrade to Biz Class on some trans-Pacific flights with United, and would like to know if this is offered frequently, irregularly, or never.

Am flying to US with UA in a couple weeks; can use points to upgrade my ticket, but not my wife's ticket, so am hoping to be able to pay for the privilege for my wife. (Otherwise, it's DTB for both of us!)

Thanks for any information or recommendations.
 

BAM1748

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Just wondering if anyone has been able to pay for an upgrade to Business Class with United on departure from Melbourne or Sydney to LAX or SFO within the last couple months?

I have read on some forums about people having paid $500-$750 to upgrade to Biz Class on some trans-Pacific flights with United, and would like to know if this is offered frequently, irregularly, or never.

Am flying to US with UA in a couple weeks; can use points to upgrade my ticket, but not my wife's ticket, so am hoping to be able to pay for the privilege for my wife. (Otherwise, it's DTB for both of us!)

Thanks for any information or recommendations.


Recently out of SFO - USD300 for upgrade to business.
 

MelUser

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While we are talking about United and the Pacific routes - does anyone know if the 747s doing the SFO-SYD and LAX-SYD-MEL routes are the ones which have flat bed business class in a 2-4-2 configuration?

If yes, what is the comfort of these seats/beds in business?
 

NYCguy

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While we are talking about United and the Pacific routes - does anyone know if the 747s doing the SFO-SYD and LAX-SYD-MEL routes are the ones which have flat bed business class in a 2-4-2 configuration?

If yes, what is the comfort of these seats/beds in business?

I recently did a trip to EZE out of IAD on a 763 with the new cabin layouts. Since there was no F availability on the outbound sector, we flew in Biz. I must say, it was quite comfy, and a vast improvement on the previous UA product. The seats are about 58cm wide and have very impressive leg-room. I would be tempted to go for a pair of seats by the window on the 744.

The trip back in 'new' F was very, very comfy, and UA finally have a competitive F cabin, albeit belatedly, and still a generation behind SQ/EK and their A380 fitouts. The service was attentive, polite and personal; one can only hope that this heralds a new golden age of customer-focused cabin service at UAL.;)

Seriously though, the new F and C are pretty bloody good. The only drawback is that I have yet to see a new-config 744 on a SYD service. Thanks to the cosy UA/QF duopoly, I don't think UA will be running the new configs on the SouthPac routes until the bitter end. Why bother trying to woo a captive audience?

Also, keep in mind that the new 744 Biz cabin has 52 seats, as opposed to 73 in the current config. That means that once an aircraft is reconfigured, there are 21 fewer upgrade opportunities on each sector. Make the most of it while it lasts. If you get told "no" when you ask for an ODU to Biz, perhaps you can at least make it into Y+? I realize it's not that flash, but surely an extra 3-4" of leg-room makes a difference on a 13.5 hour sector?
 
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RTWFF

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I'm a 1K. I expect the J seats for the new cabin will pretty much be the current F seats. Friends tell me that being offered a transpac J paid upgrade is fairly common, especially mid-week and more like SFO than LAX. I'd call United in Sydney. All my SWUs clear on that route so I've never had to bother with a paid upgrade
 

Amerrican

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Seriously though, the new F and C are pretty bloody good. The only drawback is that I have yet to see a new-config 744 on a SYD service. Thanks to the cosy UA/QF duopoly, I don't think UA will be running the new configs on the SouthPac routes until the bitter end. Why bother trying to woo a captive audience?

I've been told by the Sydney UA station manager that SYD/LAX and SYD/SFO will be the first in Asia-Pacific for the refitted 747's.
 

NYCguy

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I've been told by the Sydney UA station manager that SYD/LAX and SYD/SFO will be the first in Asia-Pacific for the refitted 747's.

Hmm, well... My other half has already done a SFO-NRT-SFO trip with refitted 744s on both legs.
 
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ozstamps

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Just wondering if anyone has been able to pay for an upgrade to Business Class with United on departure from Melbourne or Sydney to LAX or SFO within the last couple months?

I have read on some forums about people having paid $500-$750 to upgrade to Biz Class on some trans-Pacific flights with United, and would like to know if this is offered frequently, irregularly, or never.

Am flying to US with UA in a couple weeks; can use points to upgrade my ticket, but not my wife's ticket, so am hoping to be able to pay for the privilege for my wife. (Otherwise, it's DTB for both of us!)

Thanks for any information or recommendations.

It is pretty standard for UA to offer upgrades at check-in to USA for $US500 if not fully booked.

HOWEVER they do that after all upgrades have cleared. And when that occurs the planes are pretty full, trust me.

And the seats left are the least desirable of course, as all UA elites can pre-allocate preferred seats way in advance, even exit rows, 330 days out.

1K's like myself get upgrade Certs, that means you can upgrade now if there are UG seats, or priority wait-list on 'PA' Top Priority, so your UG generally clears well before flight day.

The Cert takes you to the end destination if you do not break your trip for more than 12 hours anywhere, i.e. MEL-NYC, or MEL-USA-Europe etc is good using one cert each person.

Anyone a 1K "sponsors" on line for upgrading gets the same PA treatment, no matter what your status is. Or indeed whether you have any or not.

However, tickets have to be W Class and up to upgrade others using a SWU

i.e. V, W, Q, H, B, M, Y

(W is pretty cheap)

Check what fare class your wife is booked in, and email me if you wish for more info - ozstamps [at] ozemail.com.au

Check how heavily the flight is booked now on www.seatcounter.com .. type 'UA' into the 3 boxes to see upgrade inventory.

You are looking for "I" inventory. and if no "I" pray for C and D to be showing 9's. :)

If they are you'll be fine most times if you are flying pretty soon.
.
 
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ozstamps

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I've been told by the Sydney UA station manager that SYD/LAX and SYD/SFO will be the first in Asia-Pacific for the refitted 747's.

Sorry, total and utter nonssense

The new fit 747s having been fly to Asia for months.

The 1K coughtail launch I went to recenly for the new seats in SYD, had the country manager hinting by end year MIGHT be on.
.
 
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Flown out of SYD for LA and SFO once in Dec and again in May. While checking in (chatting up) the check in officer, I asked if the plane was full and if there was any chance of an upgrade. Was once offered a paid upgrade to Economy Plus or Business on one occasion and on the other occassion was offered a free upgrade.

I deduced that it was merely a matter of luck and how hot the check in officer thought I was. ;) Don't know if that helps your wife, but surely 10 minutes of flirting with a member of the opposite sex can be justified with a 15+ hour flight in relative comfort. Mind you, I'm 21 and female... One other piece of advice, dress the part. Not necessarily in a suit, but don't turn up to the airport in trackie dacks and ugg boots. They're more likely to upgrade you.
 

ozstamps

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Was not able to assist CDS1959's wife with a systemwide as she was booked in "S" Class.

For anyone planning to UG, check the price of ''W' or up when ticketing ... to many US cities cost is near the same as S or T. ;)

It seems the cost to upgrade out of SYD is now running over $A700 one way one segment.

And the chances of an operational upgrade just as you 'look cute' are close to winning Lotto odds in 2008 to be honest, but it makes for fun conversation. :mrgreen:

Virtually none of the check-on staff in SYD work for UA, but are Menzies rent-a-crowd, and they are tightly restrained in what they can do, unless flight is heavily oversold in coach in which case they SELL upgrades. And get plenty of takers. :idea:

A SWU takes you not only transpac, but to end destination, whether Boston, London or Argentina, if no stop of 12 hours is exceeded.

SWU upgrades can be confirmed 330 days out, and preferred seating assigned.

email me with any queries - ozstamps [at] ozemail.com.au
.
 

hammo81

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Recently flow UA SYD-LAX and SFO-SYD and paid for a Business Class upgrade on both legs. The exact costing is:

Out of Australia- AUS$817
Out of America-US$781

Aircraft was pretty empty on both legs..
 
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Amerrican

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This has been my experience also on recent UA transpacific flights.

Doesn't look good for UA...

A couple light loads and you're predicting UA's demise?

Actually, I think all the recent news is terrific for UA and the Oz routes generally. With two more carriers coming online (VA and DL), fares are heading down dramatically. This will mean more aggressive marketing of the destination in the US, and huge increases in tourist numbers going forward.

Sure the airlines won't have such a cash cow, but increased volumes will benefit the entire tourism market. I've also heard of plans by QF to increase the seating on 380's to about 650 to hold their margins.

The marketing merger of UA and CO is also a tremendous advantage for UA. Feeding of traffic to the Oz routes at SFO and LAX will be a major advantage for UA. QF has a good feed to LAX from AA, much less so in SFO.

Lastly, I've heard UA has dusted off plans to triangulate LAX-CNS-BNE. CNS in particular is a major problem for all the airlines selling tours to Australia. CNS is a major attraction to Americans with the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree being "must-sees" on most itineraries. The backtracking domestically to-from Cairns has long been seen by UA as an "achilles heel" for QF. Talks for this triangulation were underway in mid-2001 and disrupted by 9/11, and subsequent UA bankruptcy. This route would be a real coup for UA.
 

ozstamps

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CO has flown to CNS for years, and it is an afterthought location and good for freight, but not a pax money spinner I've heard.

UA fly USA-CNS-BNE wold not have the premium traffic they'd need.

You can't make money as a UA, flying package tourists. :)
 
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