I missed another upgrade this week. Although I’ve got more SWUs and CR-1s than I know what to do with, I figured I’d have no trouble clearing an A320 (12 first class seats) on a Monday night Denver to Philadelphia flight that was was F9, NF9 at the the 1K window. I was wrong.
There must have been quite a few Global Service and 1K members traveling with companions, because the flight quickly dropped to F3, NF0 with me left on the waitlist just past the 100-hour window. By the morning of departure, the flight was zeroed out. I still figured I had a shot at the upgrade (and as it turned out, I was first on a list of two dozen names on the waitlist), but first class checked in full and I was relegated to the exit row.
Although I am always surprised when I miss an upgrade, I do not get (too) disappointed anymore. Anyone can survive in coach for few hours and being in the back helped me be more productive: I got a lot of work done on the flight. Furthermore, it’s not like a missed a great meal up front. Only a pannini was served because the flight departed after 7pm. I was just a little surprised because I’ve taken this evening DEN-PHL flight multiple times before, on A320s, and always easily cleared the upgrade list.
It seems the T-fares I purchase have been cursed. The lower priced L-fares always clear, but all three missed upgrades this year have been on T-fares. I hope UA made a decent profit on the flight, because I paid over $200 for the o/w ticket. That’s usually how much I pay for a r/t!
All this to say, even if you are a 1K you should not expect the upgrade to always come through, especially on aircraft with smaller first class sections. If you really want to sit in first class, burn a regional upgrade (assuming there is confirmable upgrade space available).
Ironically, missing an upgrade makes me want to do one thing: fly more.