United's "New" website

Mar 26th, 2012, 02:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,631
United's "New" website

Thus far, I've had only limited experience with the new United site, but I've run into a couple of things in regard to upgrades that are confusing.

Situation: We flew to Kauai the day before the merger of the websites date and returned two weeks later. When I checked in online for our return flight, I was asked whether I wanted to be on the waitlist for an upgrade on our LIH-SFO flight. Of course, I clicked "yes" for both of us, but we should have been on the upgrade list all along (Premier Gold). We were already upgraded on our SFO-SEA flight.

Question: Does one need to go to the website and "ask" for a free upgrade? That was automatic on the old United site.

Situation: Cheryl has a business trip to the east coast next week. Her employer books the tickets for her, then she goes to the United site and makes sure her Mileage Plus number is on the record and chooses her seats. When she did that today for flights a week from today, a screen came up asking her if she would like to be upgraded to First. Of course, she said yes. They then asked her to choose seats, so she chose seats in First. She couldn't believe she was getting a confirmed upgrade a full week before her flight. She went back a couple of hours later and she is still shown as being in First, in the seats she requested. The code for this ticket is JN. J = Paid Business Class, N = Economy Class UA AWARD TICKET (Booked as 'NY' class on UA; available only to super-elite) This makes no sense to me at all...

Question: What happened? No miles were deducted for an upgrade, so it appears to be a free upgrade.
Kathie is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,813
Kathie, all bets are off at the moment as the systems integration continues. In the usual circumstance, no, you do not need to request upgrades for markets where they offer CPU (complimentary Premier upgrades.) As long as your FF# is on the record you will be in the queue. CPU's are processed according to elite status starting up to 5 days out. See info at http://tinyurl.com/cxg76u3

As for Cheryl's upcoming trip - what fare class was the original rez? If it was in a high coach (Y, B or M for 1K status, Y or B for other Premier levels) then it is possible to upgrade at the time of purchase. B and M fares are subject to capacity control but with full Y fare if there's a seat open you can upgrade on the spot. So if the employer purchased in Y or B and Cheryl later entered her Premier Gold FF# that could trigger the upgrade offer.

JN is Elite Easy Pass Business award. If she got the upgrade based on the B/M Up it should be classed as PN, but with the way things are right now one never knows. I'd take a screen shot of the reservation showing the currently assigned seats in First to print out and take with me to the airport.
Seamus is online now  
Mar 26th, 2012, 07:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
You are already eligible for upgrades. But you can op-out of at that point when doing OLCI for whatever you have to do so.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 08:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,146
If the details of the res weren't in an e-mail, then go to the united homepage. Under "Change or View Reservations" enter the PRN and lastname and Go. On the next page, click on "Print Itinerary". This will display a page with all the details including seat assignments. Print that page.

I have one res that I purchased on March 1. On the home page, I entered in the original confo. The search results showed that the res was assigned a new confo# A note says to use the new PRN when managing the res or checking in. Fare class is ON for this CPU (formerly SWU) upgraded res.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Mar 27th, 2012, 08:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,631
Seamus, I'm well aware of how the complimentary upgrades used to work, but the new website brings up screens that I've never seen before (like the one asking me if we wanted to be on the upgrade list - aren't we already on the upgrade list?). I just checked back with Cheryl and she said the original ticket was a Y fare, so you are right about what happened. Her employer bought the ticket, then when she got online and added her FF number, it allowed an immediate upgrade.

Thanks everyone. I expect there will be plenty of bumps as this integration take place.

I understand that United chose to use the "bones" of the old Continental website. It turns out that the Continental website is dos-based rather than web-based and it is causing all kinds of problems. (That is why our miles are no longer updated in real time, but the updates are run only once a day.)
Kathie is offline  
Mar 27th, 2012, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,037
Kathie, my pre-merger CO experience with that screen that comes up asking about wanting to be on the upgrade list, for what it's worth (and assuming it works the same now)...

It doesn't mean you aren't on the upgrade list (in my experiences, we were). I think it becomes relevant if you are still on the upgrade list at check-in and there are multiple people of different status levels on the PNR who may now clear at different times.

In my most recent case, I (1K) and daughter (Silver) checked in for the outbound and neither of us had cleared. I got that screen and I guess didn't read it carefully and checked "yes" for both of us. Well, I was then upgraded before flight time and daughter was not because she had lower status. What then happened was that CO split the PNR into two, although I didn't know it. So it was a big surprise to me when I went to check us in for our return flight and my daughter was no longer on the PNR with me and I had no idea what happened to her reservation (PMUA did not split the PNR like this). Now I know...

I don't know if the splitting-the-PNR part has changed post-merger, but for me that was the outcome of checking "yes" for each person when I got that page.
ms_go is offline  
Mar 27th, 2012, 11:09 AM
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Thanks for that info, ms go. There was some verbage on that page about splitting, but it wasn't clear to me what the significance was. Now I know.
Kathie is offline  
Mar 27th, 2012, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
Slightly OT - there are a lot of reasons why Post-merger UACO went with the SHARES (dos-based) system. One is cost, but another main reason is that UACO owns the SHARES system - CO built it and it was custom created for CO's use. The system Fastair that UA used is owned by several staralliance carriers jointly, so nay changes etc have to be approved by all the carriers and any updates have to be ok'd by all. So the new UA wanted a system that was theirs and could be changed, etc. by them alone.
mztery is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,429
I was told this by a telephone agent the other night, so don't know if it is accurate or not:
She said that the UA agents spent weeks pre-merger training on the CO software. Then a few days before the final merger, someone had the bright idea to tweak the system with some new software. In the end, neither the UA nor the CO agents knew how to run it, and the bugs have yet to be worked out of the system.
lcuy is offline  
Apr 1st, 2012, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,062
We booked our flight to Paris just as the website was transitioning. Information kept changing; it was bizarre. We finally got it booked, selected our seats, etc. Now all of a sudden, my travel companion (booked on the same itinerary) was switched to a seat up in E+ and I'm left in the back. The E+ seats weren't available when we first booked it, there were only awful ones next to the bathrooms I wouldn't sit in for free. We bought E+ seats for the flight from IAD to CDG, and we are still assigned those seats.

Not sure why she was moved, but I can't move myself up there, so I guess I'll have to pay for the E+ so I can sit there, too. I'm wondering if she'll get bumped out of that seat, though, at some point.
mowmow is offline  
Apr 1st, 2012, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,429
Was your friend switched because she has status? If that's the case, have her call and the agents will normally move you up there as well.
lcuy is offline  
Apr 1st, 2012, 11:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
You have to watch your seats like a hawk. The computers do a seat sweep every so often, and you get put somewhere else. I'm a 1K million miler with UA, and this has happened to me as well. I've complained several times but to no avail. It still does happen at times.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2012, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,062
Nope, no status for her. I bought the tickets on my FF# and my credit card. I had a lot of miles, but not enough for elite but they vanished for some reason. I give up on trying to get status. I only travel once or twice a year on vaca and use various airlines depending on where I am going. I try to stick to United since they fly a prop hop from my local airport to LAX and SFO so I can connect, but sometimes I go where they don't.
mowmow is offline  
Apr 19th, 2012, 12:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,062
Found out what happened. They changed the plane, so her seat C didn't exist so they moved her up to E+ and left me behind. I tried to get them to move me, too, but no dice, so I had to pay $99 to get up next to her. At least there were some decent E+ seats on this airplane so we'll have a nice flight home from Paris.
mowmow is offline  

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