Those of you that don’t fly United (and even those of you that do) might not be able to fully appreciate my enthusiasm here. As an upgrader a rough spot in the United fleet is always the A319, which only has eight first class seats. While it’s not too hard to clear upgrades on them for the short hops, they also operate these planes on lucrative hub-to-hub flights, so they’re often sold out in first class way before any upgrade has a chance of clearing.
While I’ve had upgrades clear several times on A319 midcons and transcons, it has never happened at my 500 miler upgrade window, which is 100 hours before departure. I realize I’m jinxing myself here, but it just *might* happen this weekend. I’m on the late redeye from San Francisco to Washington on Saturday, which is currently showing as “F5” (meaning five of the eight first class seats are remaining for sale) and shockingly enough “NF2” (meaning there are two confirmable upgrade seats). In other words, there’s no one trying to use a confirmable instrument — miles, confirmed regional upgrades, or systemwide upgrades — or else they would have cleared.
So all that’s standing between me and my first A319 100-hour window upgrade are the darn Global Services members (that should be clearing in a couple of hours), and any other 1K that may have booked before me. My hope is that since it’s a Saturday night redeye it’s not too elite heavy and I’m in the top two to upgrade. Now, none of you fancy Globals better play any games with me and book that flight!
And while we’re talking about redeye upgrades, I hadn’t considered them worth it in the past, especially since Economy Plus is quite comfy on the Airbus twins. Five 500 mile upgrades just doesn’t seem worth it for a redeye. But now that we have mainline service to TPA, I can get both the upgrade from San Francisco to Washington Dulles and the upgrade from Washington Dulles to Tampa for a total of five 500 milers as long as the upgrades clear before I check-in, which is a bargain. I’d upgrade the second leg anyway, so I’m basically paying three additional 500 mile upgrades for the redeye. If my upgrade doesn’t clear before I check-in I’ll just cancel it.
Here’s to hoping!