Upgrades on US Airways used to be something that could be gamed, and something that were mysterious.
For example, Keri had platinum status on US Airways, but was “out upgraded” by a silver on a cross country flight once. For how that was possible, check out this article.
They cracked down on that process by refusing to upgrade people via phone calls. That was how people jumped the queue–the called before the higher ranking elites were upgraded.
But it was also hard to tell what it meant when you got denied for an upgrade. Was “no” a final “no”? Or was “no” a “not yet”?
Lately, they’ve been much more useful in their email correspondence:
They’ve let me know that upgrades are not yet available, so I know I still have a chance.
In the past, I’ve booted up KVS to check to see if there were any first class seats left on my flight to find out if it were a final no, or a “not yet”. This was a not yet and is especially useful for people without access to programs like KVS.
US Airways has also been pretty transparent about your upgrade rate now too. I’ve manually calculated my rate of upgrades (as you’ve seen in previous posts), but I don’t have to anymore: