I'm pretty tolerant of low award/upgrade space, and am extremely flexible when it comes to using my miles and upgrade instruments. I'm grateful to even be in the position to use such things, even if not at my ideal time.
But the experience I've had trying to find US Airways Chairman's certificate upgrade availability has been insane. I'm currently eyeing a random weekend trip to London on a cheap LAX-LHR fare, returning April 1st. US Airway's A330-300 flight LHR-CLT on April 1st has a completely empty Envoy cabin. It's not just the seat map - the Chairman's desk even confirmed as such. US Airways has not sold a single one of their twenty eight seats, and it's six days out.
That is well-reflected in the award space they are releasing to their Star Alliance partners - eight seats are available:
Yet US Airways has released no space for their own Chairman's members on upgrade certificates.
The agent tried to tell me, "looks like they are holding those seats back for revenue". But they clearly aren't if they are releasing eight seats for awards.
What's more extreme in this case is that I will only pay for a ticket if I can confirm availability. So if no space is released, US Airways gets $0. If they release space, I will be giving them actual revenue.
Is yield management at US Airways asleep? Is this deliberate? In fairness, they're probably waist deep in the OneWorld transition. But it certainly does not breed goodwill to their top elite members when someone can book themselves and seven of their friends on miles on the same route that I am unable to pay US Airways and use one of my upgrade instruments.
I must say, I really will chuckle if this flight goes out on the first without a single seat in Envoy paid for.
What do you think?