No upgrade for you (-or- United sucks in 2012 too)

March 6, 2012

The soup nazi holds not a candle to the United upgrade nazi. Three years ago I was upgraded on every segment I flew with United but one. Now, having flown the same amount for around 10 years and doing nothing less than three years ago, I can’t get upgraded on long haul domestic flights to save my life. (Last year’s absolutely awful experience on the way to Europe should have tipped me off.)

The Continental merger may be all hunky dory according to the self-promoting CEO of United Jeff Smisek, but I am thoroughly underwhelmed. I used to be loyal. Now I am only cranky and resigned to crappy flights. United airlines sucks so far this year.

Lets review:
Flights to and from SFO not upgraded to start off 2012 (2 for 2)
Flights to Boston/NH with no upgrade (2 for 2)
Flight to Indy without even the possibility of upgrade, though the flight back was my first upgrade of 2012 on a regional jet (1 for 2)
More SFO flights with reasonably big but poorly configured planes with no upgrade (2 for 2)
Yet another cross country haul (to denver) with no upgrade followed by a regional jet upgrade (1 for 2)

Add it all up? 2 for 10 on upgrades for a million mile flyer with current 1k status. Um, yay? I hate bus travel in the air.

10 Responses to “No upgrade for you (-or- United sucks in 2012 too)”

  1. showertaker Says:

    Of course as soon as I posted this my first long haul upgrade came through. United did me right on the flight back from Portland. It kind of helped that I had three hours of sleep the night before. Zombie mode travel is always easier that when you are wide awake.

  2. […] the “no Upgrade for you” United is now 3 for 11. (I am not counting the business class fares I bought to fly to Europe in the tally.) That sucks. […]

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  4. Sam Says:

    I’m running close to the same as you with upgrades. 2 years ago I can count on one hand the times I wasn’t able to upgrade. In the last year if I don’t use miles or regionals I’m SOL. I’ve been a 1K for years and I’m a million miler as well. Loyalty is a one way street with that car salesman Smisek.

  5. Sick and tired Says:

    Kudo’s to the employees of United. Smisek and his buddies from Continental can kiss my ass.

  6. Qualmod Says:

    I’ve noticed the same ‘pattern’ I used to get upgraded somewhat frequently – 50/50 chance. Now, since the merger, er hostile take over, of Continental, I never get upgrades. I fly Virgin now. Good by golden handcuffs!

  7. Qualmod Says:

    …and don’t even get me started on their horrible “new” web site! (Hello! 1999 called and they want their web designer back!)

  8. Cranky in Seattle Says:

    I found out that they offer cheap “paid” upgrades to non-elite/premium fliers at check-in but do not offer them to elite/premium. By the time the upgrade “wait list” kicks in, there are usually no leftover courtesy upgrades. For now an upgrade should be taken as the “right” to sit on a “premium economy” seat and not a decent chance to get into the first/business class cabin. In the “New” United it is “in your face”…

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  10. Ihateunited Says:

    I’m a 3 million mile flyer with United and fly international most of the time over the past 10 years. In the past 2+ years I have not been able to use a single upgrade with United because you have to book an “upgradable” fare (which is 2 or 3 hundred less than booking a full fare at the next level…) whats the point then? Where is the perk? I have been “Global Services” status for the past 4 years, a +3M mile flyer (just with United), and this is the service/benefit I get for steering my business to United when I have the choice to book with whatever airline I want (we are talking about millions of dollars here)? Bottom line is that in the US we have almost no choice (except between shit and shity’er) in service. United sucks, but have you ever tried dealing with American Airlines? I just hope Virgin airlines starts to fly more of my routes. Although I have never flown them I hear good things. I’m looking forward to a company in the US that will make a difference in my frequent travel experience.

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