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Old 03-24-2015, 01:19 PM   #81
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Been on seat guru. These are larger planes. Checked seat configuration (which is how I picked my seats). A lot more space and early exit plus room for carry on which was the whole point.

I wouldn't bother on United which flies Canadian RJs or smaller on this route.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:47 AM   #82
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Seat guru used to be a go-to spot for me, but now the airlines (at least useless air) have figured out how to squeeze a little more profit by charging more for the good seats at seat selection time.

I'm a non-upgrader. For domestic flights, by the time you add the time spent before and after you get to the seat (which is often twice the in flight time, with the TSA and each end's ground transportation) you're paying an awful lot per minute. And every time I've checked, the upgrades on international flights have been double or quadruple the economy rate.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:04 AM   #83
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Yes they have figured out how to charge up for the best economy+ seats!

At least seat guru keeps you from choosing a bad economy+ seat - like the non reclining row on an international flight (even if it is an exit row).

We do upgrade to economy+. DH is tall with long legs and that 2+ inches is the difference between his knees pressing into the seat in front or not. Huge comfort difference for him. This is most important on the longest flights, and yes this last international flight booking it approached $150 for the upgrade.
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:57 PM   #84
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The best deal I ever got on United was 20,000 miles to upgrade from economy to business class from Honolulu to Narita and from Narita to Singapore.

The last time I tried, they want between $300 - $500 + 20,000 miles for any upgrade which is a ripoff.
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Old 04-12-2015, 12:56 PM   #85
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I just took the plunge and upgraded on HOU-PDX-HOU for an extra $418 for roundtrip on UAL. Economy Plus would have totaled $140, so basically a third of the Business First upgrades for the two 4-hour plus flights. The extra $278 over EP is worth it for me--6'2" and one of the flights is a red-eye that leaves at midnight.
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:08 PM   #86
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The best deal I ever got on United was 20,000 miles to upgrade from economy to business class from Honolulu to Narita and from Narita to Singapore.

The last time I tried, they want between $300 - $500 + 20,000 miles for any upgrade which is a ripoff.
compared to actually paying for business class?

Coach plus miles plus the copay should still be far less than paying for business class fare.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:04 AM   #87
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I'm a cheapskate, so I've never paid $$ for an upgrade. Have to admit it's still a lot cheaper then paying for business class airfare.

Had an easy time getting comp ugrades right after the cargo door blew off a 747 'cuz nobody wanted to sit near that door.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:15 AM   #88
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Had an easy time getting comp ugrades right after the cargo door blew off a 747 'cuz nobody wanted to sit near that door.
Ladies and gentlemen, please keep the seat belts fastened low and tight across your lap...especially the foolish gentleman sitting all by himself in row 23!

I've decided to start paying for deluxe economy on my biannual SF-Jakarta flights. I'd love to use miles (or even pay a reasonable rate) to upgrade, but upgrades to business class never seem to be available for less than $2000 or so (RT). I've been comp'ed an upgrade a couple of times for the short 4-hr flight (Jkt-Hong Kong), but never for the 12-hr flight to/from SFO.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:53 AM   #89
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Ladies and gentlemen, please keep the seat belts fastened low and tight across your lap...especially the foolish gentleman sitting all by himself in row 23!

I've decided to start paying for deluxe economy on my biannual SF-Jakarta flights. I'd love to use miles (or even pay a reasonable rate) to upgrade, but upgrades to business class never seem to be available for less than $2000 or so (RT). I've been comp'ed an upgrade a couple of times for the short 4-hr flight (Jkt-Hong Kong), but never for the 12-hr flight to/from SFO.

Would sure be nice to upgrade on those 12-hr flights; maybe upgrade on one leg? Used to upgrade the HNL-NRT flight because it was longer & I outward bound.
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Old 04-13-2015, 12:17 PM   #90
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When I was elite members of airliners, I sometimes got ungraded to business seats for free, even for international trips of 14 hours. The funny thing was once I was ungraded to first class by Delta from CVG to LEX, the flight only took 15 minutes in the air.
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Old 04-13-2015, 12:19 PM   #91
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In my opinion, if you are gold or above level members, you can do free upgrade three days before the flight date, and get confirmed at the gate if they still have the seats.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:19 PM   #92
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My best upgrade story:

I had gone back to the US because my mom was having heart surgery. Had been there a few weeks. When I was checking in, the agent asked why I was going to China so I told her I'd been with my mom but was glad to be getting back to my family -- especially my 2 year old son. She got this kind of gleam in her eye. When she handed me my boarding pass I kind of looked at it funny, because the row number was so low. But it didn't clearly say business class. Figured it out when I boarded -- I had indeed been bumped up to business, and the woman sitting next to me was a single mom traveling with her infant, who didn't have a separate seat. Agent must have known that if she put a typical business traveler in that upgrade, everyone would have been miserable. By giving me the seat everybody was happy -- me who got a free upgrade, the mom who had an extra pair of hands to pass the baby off to when she needed to go to the bathroom, etc (I was happy to oblige, as the agent guessed I would be), and the flight crew who didn't have to deal with a grumpity business guy mad because he was sharing his expensive row with an unticketed infant.


The worst upgrade story I have was getting bumped to first class on a flight from Bangkok to Seattle. Flight itself was great, at least the first part, but something was wrong with the shrimp cocktail. I started feeling sick midway through the flight, and was in pretty awful shape for several days. Actually skipped out on my Ph.D graduation ceremony because I felt so awful.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:13 PM   #93
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I never paid for one, either directly or indirectly. I did get a few by virtue of MegaCorp paying for the ticket (I can't imagine why else it would be offered). Before I'd cough up my own money, it would have to be a loo..oo..ng flight, maybe 12 hours or more.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:41 PM   #94
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I could see the damaged 747 from the road to the Hickam AFB golf course for months afterward - a grim reminder of how precious life is.

Glad that United will still let me buy stuff w/ miles. Delta won't let buy anything because I don't have gold elite status and I don't have their credit card. However, I AM set for golf magazine subscriptions for the next 200+ years!
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:08 AM   #95
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We were in Australia last month.

We had a flight from Perth to Sydney on Virgin Australia.

Four days before our departure date they sent us an email inviting us to make a 'bid' to move from our economy seat to business.

Apparently they auction unsold business class seats to the highest bidder.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:51 PM   #96
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We were willing to pay $75 and 15,000 miles each to upgrade our next trip to Mexico (just the flight down). After about an hour hold on the phone, we were told upgrades weren't available yet and were put on a waiting list. Earlier this week, I was checking our tickets, only to find we no longer had seats for one leg. When I went in to get seats, the only choices were in first class! So, we were given a complementary upgrade. Here's hoping we get another complementary upgrade for the other leg of that flight. We're still willing to pay the above as it's the longer leg of the flight if not.


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Old 04-28-2015, 04:12 PM   #97
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This is all very interesting and informative.

Also a good reminder to recheck your seating arrangements well before your trip!
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:19 AM   #98
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I've been watching the upgrade price on a 5 hour United flight we're taking, last week it was $1,000 and today it dropped to $220 so I bit. DW is travelling with me and she's PG so thought it would be good for her comfort. Also I rationalized it by figuring we'd have spent $25 for a checked bag and $70 for an E+ seat, so marginal cost was not too high.
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:39 PM   #99
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Just checked our tickets to Mexico tonight for Thursday. We were upgraded for both flights. As far as I know, it was a complementary upgrade. It pays to request a miles and $$ upgrade and get put on a wait list.


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Old 05-06-2015, 03:18 AM   #100
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When I see days like today, where my portfolio drops as much as I made most years, I get the feeling I better hurry up and spend before its gone.

Still, a lifetime of thrift is hard to overcome.

Booking tickets from HI back to mainland in the next couple of days. $375 for coach, $875 for 1st class. What should I do?


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