I’m sure I’ll have more to post after a few trips, but I figured I’d make a quick preliminary post outlining my experiences with United’s new unlimited domestic upgrade program. I’ll be flying on Friday on a three segment trip involving two B757s and one A320. I’m happy to report that as a 1K on a “Q” fare (you heard me right, I be flyin’ high) all three upgrades cleared. The first flight, out of Tampa, had 2/24 seats assigned before the upgrade window, and 6/24 assigned after the upgrade window, so I think it’s safe to assume there were exactly four 1Ks on this flight. The flight remains “NF9,” so I’m guessing all Premier Executives and probably even all Premiers will clear. This is definitely a flight where unlimited domestic upgrades is in everyone’s best interest, because Tampa is anything but elite heavy.
The next flight had 4/24 seats assigned before the upgrade window, and now has 16/24 assigned. That means there were about 12 1Ks. Hot damn, that’s a lot! Amazingly enough the flight also remains “NF9,” so there are at least nine more confirmable upgrade seats. I’m guessing there are more Premier Executives than that, so most will probably clear. Still, this is a case where most win with the new program.
It gets really interesting with my last flight, on an A320 with 12 first class seats. Before the upgrade window it was booked to 2/12 and was NF7 (meaning there were seven confirmable upgrade seats), and after my upgrade window the flight became NF0, with only three seats remaining in first class. So this is a case where seven 1Ks cleared, with the possibility of more still being in coach. This is one of those flights where unlimited domestic upgrades probably isn’t in the best interest of passengers. Chances are most 1Ks wouldn’t have used 500 milers to upgrade, while they obviously take the free upgrade. I’m betting no Premier Executives or Premiers will clear, despite this having been an easy upgrade in the past.
So there you have it. My return journey looks great as well, and while we’re not inside the upgrade window yet, all three flights have at least nine confirmable upgrade seats. Not sure if it’s just my imagination, but inventory management seems to be getting a bit friendlier lately.
And one other thing I love about unlimited domestic upgrades as a mileage geek — it makes it very easy for us to figure out how many 1Ks are on a given flight. Not useful for anything, per se, but very interesting!
The real interesting test, for me at least, will be several 757 transcons later in the month.
How has everyone else been doing with UDUs so far?