Free upgrades... Does it ever happen?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by simonc, Aug 10, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource!
(Click HERE for a welcome message from our founder.)

Our site contains tons of information that is guaranteed to improve your travel experience. Be it tips on how to fly in First/Business at a reduced cost, smart ways to earn more points, the best way to use your points, cheap deals, hand-picked hotel recommendations, detailed trip reports.

We hope you find the information useful and decide to join our online community.

Joining AFF is fast, simple and ABSOLUTELY FREE - so why not join now by clicking on the JOIN NOW button, and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

    
Once registered, this box will disappear freeing up more space on your screen!
And you will see fewer advertisements :)

  1. simonc

    simonc Newbie

    Aug 10, 2005
    2
    0
    0
    Hello,

    I'm flying Qantas from Melbourne -> Sydney -> LA on the 19th. A friend of mine told me that she has had good luck if upon checkin, she said something to the effect of "i'm free for an upgrade." To my disbelief she reports actually being upgraded on a few instances!

    My ticket is FF, using my mothers card (I know this isn't sounding hopeful!) which is bronze. I'm six-foot-four, and would really appreciate the extra leg room. I called FF and they've left a comment on my booking about that.

    I'm interested to know, what's the best way to maximize my chances of getting a free upgrade? Is it even possible?
    Registered Users don't see this and have the option of removing all other advertisements.  Register HERE

    Thanks!
    Simon
     
  2. QF WP

    Moderator

    Jun 20, 2002
    14,602
    6,278
    15
    Brisbane
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    Twitter:
    Facebook:
    Linkedin:
    Welcome to FT, simonc.

    Operational upgrages (known here as op up's) sometimes happen when a cabin is oversold. QF's Yield Management will look to the highest tier FF's (Chairmans Club, Platinum, etc) to upgrade those to Business (and/or those pax with high fare tickets) .

    Female flyers are sometimes known to bat their eyelids and score upgrades, but know that most upgrades are usually worked out 24 hours prior to flight departure. Check-in agents usually have little ability to "op up" pax, usually only if on day the flight remains oversold and their Supervisors are usually scouring the pax lists for likely candidates.

    If you are flying using FF points, and you are flying using your mother's Bronze FF status, then unfortunately you are at the back of the queue.

    As a 6'2" male, I understand your concerns about lack of leg room...
     
  3. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    308
    0
    0
    Canberra ACT
    As usual, Lindsay Wilson has given the comprehensive answer.

    So now onto the next issue. Given that an upgrade is unlikely, what else can you do to make the trip slightly less unpleasant?

    Exit rows have more legroom, and you should make sure to request one on check-in. The thing counting against you is that some frequent flyers (only Platinums I think, and of course any Chairman's Lounge member slumming it in Economy) can have them pre-allocated, so they may be gone. The thing working in your favour is that because your check-in will be in MEL, you will be getting your boarding pass earlier than those joining the flight in SYD, so will have a better chance than them of getting the exit row.

    One warning with exit rows - the "A" and "K" seats (the windows) aren't great because the emergency slide which is stored in the door juts way out into your space.

    The other seats with more room are the bulkheads. Downside is that these are also the bassinet positions. More legroom versus chance of being next to a screaming baby for 14 hours - your call.
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    You should never expect an upgrade.
    Chances are, you will never get a free upgrade.
    Females may havea better chance, but its like winning lotto.

    I'm no stranger to free upgrades but in all honesty, you have no chance.
    If you want a biz seat, just pay for the thing.
     
  5. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    38,971
    8,093
    15
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    I wish it was as easy getting 3 numbers in lotto as it is getting a free upgrade.

    I must be very very lucky as I have only been a QFF member since May 2003 and I have been upgraded 3 times already. I am only PS and I don't expect to be upgraded but it is a very good feeling sitting in business class when you have only purchased discount economy. :D

    Boxing day 2004 arrive Sydney airport 90 minutes before flight to Bangkok. Had front economy aisle seat pre-allocated for around 6 months. Was told that my seat had been given away and I am being upgraded to business class. :eek: :D

    Returning to Sydney 1 week after new year 2005 arrived at Bangkok around 3 hours before flight. I was given my boarding pass for front economy aisle again pre-allocated around 6 months earlier. :( I was one of the last people to board plane, handed my passport and boarding pass to CSO and they were returned to me and I proceeded to board plane. I took about 7 paces when someone called my name and I turned around and the CSO asked for my boarding pass. When I handed it to him he checked on the computer then ripped the boarding pass and handed me a business class boarding pass. :eek: :D Wow I will never forget that trip.

    On my last trip in June I had a weird routing as I used an award flight SYD-BNE-SIN-SYD. I purchased a finnair economy class return flight SIN-BKK-SIN as I didn't want to use ff points. On the BKK-SIN leg I was upgraded to business class (I know only a 2 hour trip but still worth it). :eek: :D It is fantastic when you can stretch your feet and cannot touch the seat in front. Not even close.

    Three upgrades in 6 months and hopefully many more to come. :wink:
     
  6. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
    16,466
    4,633
    15
    SE Oz (Sale)
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    A lot of people here could take a serious dislike to you in a hurry if you're not careful :!: :oops: :oops: :lol: :lol: :p :p

    From someone who has NEVER had a free upgrade.
     
  7. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    38,971
    8,093
    15
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    I am really sorry Bill. If you knew me well enough you would realise that the free upgrades are like me winning the lotto. Really. Normally I couldn't win a rotten apple in a fruit shop.

    I am a computer consultant who worked for a computer company and travelled with a colleague (who worked for the company we consulted services to) to thailand 3 times and singapore once. We flew on the same QF flight every time. My company sent me economy all the time and he travelled in business class all the time. Luck of company policy. He was a platinum ff member through his job and I just newbie ff bronze. His company also provided very cheap membership in qantas club. We would meet up at Sydney airport before each trip and he would invite me into the lounge all the time. On each of the trips I would fly cattle class and he got upgraded to first class each time in fact I was so lucky one time that he got me a souvenir first class set of pyjamas and another time he even invited me into the first class area for around an hour until the regulars complained. The funny side was that we would arrive at our destination around 2-3am and we would both roll up to work at 9:00am after those flights.

    I am just grateful for the upgrades i have received so far. :eek: I am hoping there are many more to come.

    Sorry if I have offended anyone. :wink: :D :p :p :p

    I hope some luck comes your way soon.

    Regards,
    John
     
  8. QF WP

    Moderator

    Jun 20, 2002
    14,602
    6,278
    15
    Brisbane
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    Twitter:
    Facebook:
    Linkedin:
    JohnK, I think with all the smilies (particularly the :lol:'s and :p's from straitman), that he was that kidding (well, I think he was and I've seen most, if not all, of his posts in the past).

    I think you are very fortunate to have scored the Intl upgrades you have, I'm jealous and I'd say "keep rolling the dice and bet on black"
     
  9. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
    16,466
    4,633
    15
    SE Oz (Sale)
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    JohnK,

    Not just jealous, BUT exceptionally jealous. Other than that, good luck to you and as Lindsay said my comments were very tongue in cheek.

    :D :D :D :D :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:
     
  10. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    38,971
    8,093
    15
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Lindsay, Straitman I have read many of your posts and appreciate your comments and advice on most topics. I know the comments were just tongue in cheek. :wink: My last comments may have been interpreted as a defensive statement but it wasn't meant to reflect that. :oops: I am also jealous of people that get free upgrades to first class but good luck to them.

    :D :D :D :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  11. simonc

    simonc Newbie

    Aug 10, 2005
    2
    0
    0
    Thanks for you replies.

    I've requested an exit row, so hopfuly that will come through
     
  12. HardieBoys

    HardieBoys Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    411
    2
    0
    Recently returned to Oz after a RTW trip. Opened the wallet this time, and paid for a business class fare. Ended up getting upgraded to F between Sydney and Hong Kong, and again between Hong Kong and Rome. Again, got upgraded to F from LHR to JFK. Never asked for the upgrades, and was always notified at the gate, with a phrase like, "We've had to change your seat". Currently flying a lot and have been Plat for five or so years, which I'm sure helps.
     
  13. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    732
    13
    0
    I too have never asked for upgrades when received. And my spine tingles when I hear at the gate that phrase "Excuse me BlacKnox, but we've had to change your seat" :D .
     
  14. ozstamps

    ozstamps Member

    Aug 30, 2003
    364
    47
    15
    Sunny Sydney
    I have flown several million miles on paid tickets. mostly as top Elite member of the airlines involved. I can almost never remember getting a legal class upgrade.

    Get the best coach seat you can.
     
  15. Damien

    Damien Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    300
    2
    0
    BNE
    Are you confused Lindsay? :lol:
     
  16. luckydog

    luckydog Member

    Aug 7, 2004
    101
    16
    0
    Melbourne
    I think I got a free upgrade

    Last Friday (Sept 2) I flew the 6am flight from Brisbane to Melb.
    Got BP from check in counter, then went to QC and presented pass and asked 'any chance of an on-departure upgrade?'

    She looked at computer, said 'leave BP with me'.

    I collected BP when they called the flight and found I was in Business class.
    I checked my FF account and the flight shows the upgrade (it has an upgrade ref) but they did not deduct an upgrade credit or FF points.

    So does this mean I got a freeby?
     
  17. QF WP

    Moderator

    Jun 20, 2002
    14,602
    6,278
    15
    Brisbane
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    Twitter:
    Facebook:
    Linkedin:
    Ah yes, now I see what I did...that's the problem with frequenting multiple travel-related BB's Damien.

    Promise to try and not make it again :wink: :lol:

    Note to self: This is AFF....
     
  18. Karen

    Karen Intern

    Mar 4, 2005
    58
    0
    0
    Sydney
    I have been upgraded to business lots of times, and I only ever fly on FF tickets and then only 3 or 4 times a year. Always op up too.

    I am very respectable looking apparently, as is my husband. If we go to a wine tasting we always seem to be the couple that they leave the open premium bottle in front of too (fools). Now that we also travel child in tow we have frequently been allocated an extra seat even though she is still 2 months shy of being 2 years old.

    I never bat my eyes, I just look bored and tired - maybe they just take pity on me?
     
  19. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    15,709
    1,186
    15
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    I am regularly bored and tired and it doesn't work for me :? .
     
  20. Karen

    Karen Intern

    Mar 4, 2005
    58
    0
    0
    Sydney
    You are confusing LOOKING bored and tired with BEING bored and tired.

    BEING bored and tired usually leads to a look on one's face somewhere between resigned indignation and severe irritation. Looking indignant and/or irritated leads check-in staff to intepret one as a difficult person who is "unsuitable for upgrade". Being happy as a lark and looking tired leads check in staff to think that you really just need a big comfy seat some edible food and a wee sleepy, and that you'll be a very good gril/buy for the entire flight and NO problems whatsoever for the trolly dollys and so you get upgraded. When in reality you could be the ***** from hell and drink them out of spirits before the meal service has even started. :D

    Anyway NM, use some of your wisom for good and nick on down and answer my question on oneworld and Mariana islands routing for me, there's a love. :wink:
     
Loading...

Share This Page