Figuring out United Waitlist Ranking

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Jeanne and I have an upcoming CLT-EWR-HNL-PHX-IAD-CLT mileage run. For the 10 hour segment on United we secured bulkhead seats in economy plus, but I just started to internalize the sheer exhaustion of what we’re going to do. We’ll have our favorite travel essentials, games, each other, and a brief visit to La Mariana Sailing Club to look forward to, but I’m no longer sure that’s enough.

Our original strategy was optimism that Jeanne’s Platinum status would get us upgraded on the US Airways legs and my 1K status *might* get us upgraded on the EWR-HNL segment. But now I’m chickening out and willing to throw down some upgrade certs to be more comfortable on that flight.

Only waitlist is available at this point, but that’s still preferable if it comes down to a “gamble at the gate”. Using an upgrade cert puts Jeanne (no United status) higher than United Elites upgrading solely on status. And for those of you wondering, I will not take the upgrade if Jeanne doesn’t clear with me on this segment. 😛

So the question is whether to use Regional Premier Upgrades or Global Premier Upgrades? My default is the Regional Premier upgrades, unless using a Global Premier Upgrade would put us higher on the waitlist. The United website suggests that any upgrade mechanism – miles, Regional, or Global – puts you near the top of the waitlist, and that the specific type of upgrade doesn’t influence ranking.

“The waitlist will be processed automatically based on the Premier status of the redeeming account, then fare class*, then time of request. New waitlist requests for MileagePlus Upgrade Awards, Regional Premier Upgrades, and Global Premier Upgrades can be made until 24 hours prior to departure.”

Based on this and anecdotes from Milepoint and Flyertalk I’ve decided to use my Regionals, but I’ll update if I get any data points that using Globals improve your standings.

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world.


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