Is it just me or are United’s complimentary first-class upgrades becoming less of a perk and more like a wish on a star for those of us with lower-level tier status? I feel like such a geek; I was so proud of myself for earning silver elite last year for 2012, and I even encouraged Kevin to shoot for gold, promising him it would be worth his while.
I vividly remember it being just last year that Kevin (a then silver elite) had gotten upgraded at least 3 times from economy to first class on several itineraries from the east to west coast (probably more, but I only
count vividly remember the 3 first-class seats he’s given to me). Now as a gold, he has yet to even come close to the the number 10 spot when he travels.
More often that not, folks are seeing upgrade standby lists of 50+ people. Don’t believe me? Take a look at a recent flight I took last week with a list of 57 passengers eligible for an upgrade. Granted LGA to ORD is a route heavily-populated with business travelers, but I’m still very convinced that the numbers are climbing at a rapid rate. In fact, all four the United segments I’ve flown last week had a minimum of 35 people eligible for upgrades.
I have no problem flying economy; I’ve flown it all my life, and hadn’t even had a first class experience until exactly a year ago when Kevin’s business took us all to the Bahamas for a weekend. But… I’m sure most can agree that there’s something about seeing a confirmed complimentary upgrade that gives an instant rush of joy. I guess those feelings are just memories for now.. :-P
What are you thoughts? Do you continue to chase lower-level elite status with United? Do you experience the same “rush of joy” upon finding out you’ve been upgraded? Please do share…