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Upgrade to J class; what's the process?

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Aug 2, 2006

I hold a Premier Exec category & have done so for some years.

I book B class & then use 15,000 to upgrade from Y to J, typically on MEL/SYD/SFO.

I use UA's web site & undertake a complete flight search & continue with a dummy booking for J class to get to the seating maps. I then look 1 week either side of my desired dates & select the flight with the lowest number of seats assigned. I then book that flight.

Now I know UA allocate a fixed number of seats for Y to J upgrades but I dont know how many. (for a 747) Does anyone know??

Of course sometimes I cant get an automatic upgrade (despite the above procedure) & I am told that I am on a Priority Wait List(WL). I can see the WL from their online system but I dont know how many people are in front of me. Does anyone know how to find this out??

Sometimes, usually after a Sunday in the US, I move off the WL to a confirmed upgraded booking. I dont know how this happens, what causes it to happen, what's the criteria...... Does anyone know??

Other times (despite there only being 20 J class seats assigned) I stay on the WL until only a few days prior to the flight.

So I am mystified how this works & would like to know.


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