Help! UA says I can't upgrade....

Apr 30th, 2010, 05:40 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 178
Help! UA says I can't upgrade....

I signed up for UA Mileage Plus a couple of years ago because I fly to South Africa almost every year. SAA is one of the Star Alliance partners and I have accumulated 39,000 miles. I just booked a flight (through an agent) for October and tried to get an upgrade to Business Class. I was told by UA that my ticket doesn't qualify for an upgrade because it isn't a "Y" or "B" class. My agent says that a "Y" or "B" class ticket would cost about 3x what I paid (my roundtrip ticket cost $1900). Is it a lost cause? Any tips/advice would be much appreciated. I fly from San Francisco to Johannesburg and would love to be comfortable on that 17+ hour flight from DC to J'burg! That flight is brutal in coach...you feel like you're going insane.
phernska is offline  
Apr 30th, 2010, 06:15 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,148
You may not qualify for a free upgrade (which are available from coach only in B and Y) but you may be able to use some miles and some cash and upgrade. Page on UA website is http://www.united.com/page/article/1...Upgrade+Awards (which explains they changed their program regarding upgrades earlier this year and then follow links which will eventually get you to chart with the various award options for upgrade).
laurie_ann is offline  
Apr 30th, 2010, 06:17 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,809
How many miles would a straight business-class ticket have cost you? In cases like this, sometimes it's worth considering IF you have the miles.
JJ495 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2010, 06:44 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Most economy classes ineligible for upgrade using Mileage Plus miles. Plus, South African is not one of the airlines that United lists as participating in their upgrade program.

Good luck on that 17-hour trip (each way), and thanks for flying United.
DonTopaz is offline  
Apr 30th, 2010, 08:43 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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This gives you plenty of time to get a prescription for a mild tranquilizer. Seriously -- time flies on diazepam.
fishee is offline  
Apr 30th, 2010, 09:47 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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it's true, upgrading on United Star Allisnce partners , for those partners who participate, requires nearly full fare coach.

(why do people post here AFEER they have purchased?)

You should ask your agent if there are any Z business fares available - it is the cheapest advance purchase business class and may bee doable.

And flying United rizzuto is incorrect - - all int'l fares are now eligible for upgrade on UNITED for miles plus a co pay.
mztery is offline  
Apr 30th, 2010, 11:56 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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mztery says: rizzuto is incorrect - - all int'l fares are now eligible for upgrade on UNITED for miles plus a co pay.

You would do well to get your facts straight. The OP (and my reply) is not concerned with using United miles to upgrade on United. The OP wishes to use United miles to upgrade on South African Airlines. According to United's web site, that's not possible, regardless of the fare class purchased.
DonTopaz is offline  
Apr 30th, 2010, 12:31 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
I know that, I thought you were saying only certain fare classes on UNITED were eligible. I said

all int'l fares are now eligible for upgrade on UNITED for miles plus a co pay.

ON UNITED = United flights.
mztery is offline  
May 1st, 2010, 06:19 AM
  #9  
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 178
Thanks for all the responses....It looks like getting a prescription for benzos is the best option at this point.
You are right mztery, I should've posted my question before I bought my ticket....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
phernska is offline  

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