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should qantas publish international upgrade statistics?

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MEL_Traveller

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given all airlines, including qantas, say they are expert in predicting passenger loads (at least they tell us that when it comes to calculating overbooking)... why can't they also publish the chance we will have of being successful for an international upgrade?

it is a double whammy for us ordinary qantas members who not only have to pay a higher fare just for the opportunity to be included on the upgrade list, but can then also be moved down that list at any time by someone with higher status.

Does qantas have the information regarding upgrade success available? And if so, should they not tell us before we fork out extra cash whether we have a fighting chance or not of being successful?

should they be allowed to stand by and take extra money for a higher fare class which they know we will never be able to convert?
 

dmitri

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They can say they are experts but will never be 100%. I'm sure every day people book flights that are leaving the same day on late notice. Businessman and women that have company policy to fly business/first often book last minute flights when needed. Expert flyer may show spare seats in J/F but there will always be late comers to a flight.
 
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love_the_life

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Thems is the breaks. You always have the risk that there will be late bookings and regardless of where you are in the pecking order for upgrades, you can never be sure of one. Even WP1s miss out sometimes. If you are under WP although you may put in for an upgrade, for many itineraries I wouldn't hold my breath. It's the traveller's choice what fare bucket to book and they should not be disappointed if an upgrade does not come through. QF can't really predict your chances of success - it depends on too many variables. Yes, there may be spare seats in EF but QF can't be expected to calculate the number of status pax who are ahead in the upgrade stakes for each flight because that is what it would have to do.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I think Qantas would have the historical data, flight by flight, to say how many bronze, silver, gold and platinum upgrades were processed. And how many upgrades were applied for and missed out.

I think they should make that data available in a meaningful format for low tier members.

A simple check-box 'are you intending to apply for a points upgrade on this fare?' could be responded to by a pop-up box saying 'a bronze member has a [0%/etc] success rate of upgrading on this flight. Lower fares, ineligible for upgrade, are available for your flight dates and may be suitable for your needs'.

Priceline bidding has a similar process in place if you bid really low. They advise you almost instantly that the price you have bid is unlikely to succeed and gives you the opportunity to revise the bid rather than waste it.

I wouldn't have a problem with the system if it didn't require the outlay of extra money in order to take part. But I am wondering if there are situations where Qantas is taking the money but it already knows the member has little or no chance of success. And is that fair?

Of course the better system would be a split of upgrade inventory to have some seats confirmed in advance, and some available for flexible claims, similar to the domestic system.
 

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You are assuming that everyone who books a more expensive fare does so in order to enter the upgrade lottery. Many would book these fares the added flexibility and not care about an upgrade so QF is not taking their money knowing there are no upgrades available.

It really is horses for courses.
 

MEL_Traveller

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You are assuming that everyone who books a more expensive fare does so in order to enter the upgrade lottery. Many would book these fares the added flexibility and not care about an upgrade so QF is not taking their money knowing there are no upgrades available.

It really is horses for courses.

We have many people come to AFF who slog for years to earn points thinking they can use them for an upgrade - only to find out they have to enter the queue to do so.

We have no idea how many people fall into the category of specifically paying the higher fare trying to claim an award. There could be a lot of people.

A simple check box asking if the intention is to upgrade the fare would solve the problem. And an estimate of upgrade success.

What is wrong with some transparency in the process?

Paying real money for a chance at an upgrade seems manifestly unfair.
 

candyb

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You always have the risk that there will be late bookings and regardless of where you are in the pecking order for upgrades, you can never be sure of one..

I was one of those people (back in my bronze days) that would request an upgrade, and if/when it didn't come about (about 25% of the time got knocked back)[usually about 6/7 hours before departure time] I would get straight on the phone and change my ticket from y to j
 

michaele

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Priceline bidding has a similar process in place if you bid really low. They advise you almost instantly that the price you have bid is unlikely to succeed and gives you the opportunity to revise the bid rather than waste it.

The issue there is that encourages you to bid more money on the product. If you saw a little note saying 'it's unlikely you will receive an upgrade given historical data', you wouldnt spend that extra cash on the fare, rather choose the cheaper one.

Given Qantas is (apparently) a for-profit business, I doubt they would do the above, let alone publish statistics that make it clear how unlikely an upgrade is for non-status members. That's the allure for many at the bottom of the pecking order - the idea that in theory they will one day receive an upgrade or free flight for all their fastidious point collecting over years or even decades. Remove that (or at least show how unlikely it is) and you are shooting yourself in the foot.
 

docjames

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QF would know this data for sure, but it wouldn't be in their interests (profit and shareholder interest) to release it.

Don't hold your breath waiting for it to be released!
 

love_the_life

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And another thing; can you imagine the grief that QF would get if it became known that upgrades were given to low status flyers when the previous information given said minimal chance. I can just hear it "I didn't book an upgradeable fare because you (QF) said I most probably wouldn't get an upgrade and now I hear that others at my level have been upgraded". Social media would run hot :D Upgrades are a mysterious art! I've had and then taken away; i've missed out more times than succeeded in recent times; I have been surprised that some have come through.
Sorry, I think the information is not going to be made public so I don't even think about it.
Slightly OT but IMO many low status points chasers actually are after award flights rather than upgrades.
 

MEL_Traveller

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And another thing; can you imagine the grief that QF would get if it became known that upgrades were given to low status flyers when the previous information given said minimal chance. I can just hear it "I didn't book an upgradeable fare because you (QF) said I most probably wouldn't get an upgrade and now I hear that others at my level have been upgraded". Social media would run hot :D Upgrades are a mysterious art! I've had and then taken away; i've missed out more times than succeeded in recent times; I have been surprised that some have come through.
Sorry, I think the information is not going to be made public so I don't even think about it.
Slightly OT but IMO many low status points chasers actually are after award flights rather than upgrades.

I agree with all of that except that we have to pay a higher fare to get into the running.

If the chances of an upgrade are clearly explained, the customer, not the airline, will make the decision on how much risk they want to take.

If a flight has a zero or next to zero chance of an upgrade for a bronze, should pax be allowed to spend the extra dollars with absolutely no chance? Should the airline be allowed to profit in that way?

What if the wording of upgrades was changed slightly to this: give us $300 to be registered for an upgrade for your flight, but if you don't get the upgrade, we won't refund your money?

how about if we extend that to emergency exit seats, or other assigned seating on the plane? Pay $180 or $25 9for an ordinary seat) at the time of ticketing, and we won't tell you if there are any exit seats available or not. If there aren't, we won't give you back your $180.
 

Mr_Orange

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I agree with all of that except that we have to pay a higher fare to get into the running.

If the chances of an upgrade are clearly explained, the customer, not the airline, will make the decision on how much risk they want to take.

If a flight has a zero or next to zero chance of an upgrade for a bronze, should pax be allowed to spend the extra dollars with absolutely no chance? Should the airline be allowed to profit in that way?

What if the wording of upgrades was changed slightly to this: give us $300 to be registered for an upgrade for your flight, but if you don't get the upgrade, we won't refund your money?

how about if we extend that to emergency exit seats, or other assigned seating on the plane? Pay $180 or $25 9for an ordinary seat) at the time of ticketing, and we won't tell you if there are any exit seats available or not. If there aren't, we won't give you back your $180.

The fare difference doesn't just cover the chance to upgrade though, it gives you flexibility so you can't value the whole difference purely on being able to enter the upgrade lottery.

Really what you are asking is for QF to predict what will happen to loads on a given flight based on past performance. Sounds like the approach some take to investing on the stock market. It can't be relied upon. You really are on a hiding to nothing here. Sorry.
 

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Not sure Qantas would want to release this information. Surely Qantas would want you to purchase a higher class airfare in the hope you'll have a chance with the upgrade.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Not sure Qantas would want to release this information. Surely Qantas would want you to purchase a higher class airfare in the hope you'll have a chance with the upgrade.

Yes but, if you purchase a higher fare, specifically for a chance to upgrade, and Qantas already knows you have a zero chance, is that fair?

Many airlines restrict upgrades to higher fare levels, but you are able to confirm the upgrade at the time of ticketing. The difference with Qantas is the lottery aspect. Well - it's not even a lottery when a last minute entrant to the race can trump someone who's been on the list for a year.

how many low tier once or twice a year members are specifically buying higher fares not for the chance to upgrade, but for the desire for flexibility? Given some of the posts on AFF, it would suggest not many.
 

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Yes but, if you purchase a higher fare, specifically for a chance to upgrade, and Qantas already knows you have a zero chance, is that fair?
I just think there is a lot of information history that is not really relevant to anyone's future upgrade chances on any given flight. Why? Some flights have no Platinums and Bronze are successful. Some flights are full and even Platinums do not get upgraded.

Every situation is different.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I just think there is a lot of information history that is not really relevant to anyone's future upgrade chances on any given flight. Why? Some flights have no Platinums and Bronze are successful. Some flights are full and even Platinums do not get upgraded.

Every situation is different.

Possibly, but two things I am thinking might negate that.

Airlines tell us they have comprehensive systems for calculating overbooking - and will overbook based on historical data (hoping they get it right). If they can do it for overbooking, they should have an idea for cabin loads by class. Secondly, it should not be difficult to work out whether certain flights have never produced an upgrade for a bronze.

I am wondering why there is resistance by some to have a more transparent system, that could manage the expectations of a lot of people?
 

Spongbob

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Does any international airline publish upgrade data? If not, than why expect Qantas to do so?
I guess one of the advantages of the "fairer & simpler" QFF system is if you book into a more flexible class of fare in order to improve the chances of an upgrade and it is not awarded, then you at least get more points and status credits.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Does any international airline publish upgrade data? If not, than why expect Qantas to do so?

because Qantas has a unique system where you need to pay more in order for a chance. It is the chance that opens up the question of whether there should be transparency as to the potential success. With other airlines it doesn't matter because you know at the time of booking if you can confirm your upgrade.
 

JohnK

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Possibly, but two things I am thinking might negate that.

Airlines tell us they have comprehensive systems for calculating overbooking - and will overbook based on historical data (hoping they get it right). If they can do it for overbooking, they should have an idea for cabin loads by class. Secondly, it should not be difficult to work out whether certain flights have never produced an upgrade for a bronze.

I am wondering why there is resistance by some to have a more transparent system, that could manage the expectations of a lot of people?
I understand your point but Qantas needs to be careful. Too much data can also be a bad thing.

One example is the overbooking process in the USA and how people are able to game the system by booking flights they have no intention of taking and simply turning up to the airport and putting their hand up to be voluntarily denied boarding and pocketing the compensation offered.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I understand your point but Qantas needs to be careful. Too much data can also be a bad thing.

One example is the overbooking process in the USA and how people are able to game the system by booking flights they have no intention of taking and simply turning up to the airport and putting their hand up to be voluntarily denied boarding and pocketing the compensation offered.

Sure - for domestic USA I can see that argument. But for international, ex Australia, where there is no compensation for overbooked flights, I can't see that happening :)

What is wrong with telling a bronze, on a peak flight, that their upgrade request has a zero chance? Or if only a small chance, that could be communicated and the passenger can then take the risk accordingly.
 
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