Gotta give Northwest some props….

Since I’ve been Northwest Platinum, every single upgrade has cleared at the six day upgrade window. Wait, I take that back, every upgrade has cleared by the six day upgrade window at the latest, many even seven days out. Now, in all fairness that has only been about a dozen flights, but half of them have been on “busy” days of the week.

Compare that to United, where as a 1K with nearly 200 segments this year I don’t think I’ve had a dozen upgrades clear at my 100 hour window. All but one eventually cleared, but mostly within a day of the flight.

Interesting, isn’t it?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. I don’t understand what types of upgrades you use on United. I mostly fly AA, so perhaps I just don’t understand what 1Ks receive? I guess what I’m saying is it seems like you get upgrade all the time, how do you get it, with certs of some type? If so, how do you have so many?

    Thanks

  2. Will you switch allegience to NW/Delta? Sounds like they treat their elites better on upgrades…..

  3. @ John — As a 1K I receive four 500 milers for every 10,000 miles I fly, two confirmed regional upgrades every quarter, and about 16 SWU’s for my travel this year. Between the Ted and other one cabin flights where I can’t upgrade, the more “creative” ways to upgrade using the “direct distance” upgrade rule, the occasional complimentary upgrade, and the occasional upgrade not clearing, I’m pretty much set.

    @ Eric — For me upgrades aren’t all that important, especially on NW. My outbound flight is a DC9 and my return flight is a 757 with no meal service, so given that both flights have no audio and no video and both cabins are just about as ancient as they get, I’m not sure how much of an “upgrade” it really is. I care a lot more about award redemptions, and that’s where DL/NW is sub-par. Furthermore, I’m at nearly 600,000 lifetime miles at United, so the prospect of making MM in my early 20’s is too much to pass on.

  4. Ben, what would you get out of MM? It’s not like you’d be satisfied with 1P status, now would you?

  5. @ Oliver — You’re absolutely right. On one hand it’s worthless since I don’t plan on being a 1P (at least in the immediate future), but at the same time it’s kind of a goal which I’d just like to achieve. Now, 2MM really gets you something with a lifetime RCC membership. I also think it would be kind of cool to show as a “1K Million” on the manifest, just to screw with those flight attendants that already question me as a 1K. 😉

  6. I guess that’s the only good part of the program left, I’ve been on more than 60 NW/DL segments this year, and i’ve been 100%, and i’ve had around 60% sucess on international “phantom” upgrades. But on the other hand, i had to dish out 240,000 miles for a trip for two to maui.

    Anyways, on a off topic note, are you still planing to go to the ann arbor do this weekend?

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