New Member - My Little Upgrade Story

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by Masquerade, Mar 1, 2007.

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  1. Masquerade

    Masquerade Newbie

    Mar 1, 2007
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    Hello one and all!

    As with most people I suppose, I spent some time reading posts on this website before I took the plunge and joined up. I must say I enjoy reading about other people's experiences, so thought I would share my recent upgrade story.

    I joined the QFF programme in April 06 when I realised I would be doing quite a bit of travel with work. At that time, I was already planning an overseas holiday with my wife, so figured the fee was worth it for the points we would accrue from that trip alone. I then managed to get QANTAS Club Membership paid for me by my employer in May 06, which of course made those long airport waits a little more enjoyable.

    Anyway, we were heading off to Europe in August 06, just when Heathrow went on high alert and hand luggage was a big no no! As a result, we packed our duty free items in our checked luggage, which meant we had to have customs view these before we checked in. As we were departing from Melbourne, which is not where we are from, we played round and round the airport until we finally found the office, which we were amazed to find was still open late at night.

    When we finally got to check in a very nice man (whose name was not Mel, despite that appearing on his ID tag) advised us that our flight had been delayed by about 2 hours and also that about 30 people were going to miss out on the flight because the plane had been changed last minute. Now being an optimist, I figured that this meant the new plane's configuration had more business class seats and fewer economy class seats, and so we offered to sit a little further forward in the plane to help out. Mel (and yes I did call him that till I figured out that everyone in Melbourne had an ID tag that said Mel) said he could not help us out, but if it did happen then it was all his doing. Did I mention he was a very nice man.

    So after wandering about the airport for an hour or so, we headed through customs and in to the QANTAS Club. Upon arriving there, the lady behind the counter happily advised us that we both looked like we had had a hard day, and asked to see our boarding passes. We were initially a little worried when she then ripped them up, only to pass us new ones saying that these might make our day. You guessed it, we had been upgraded from economy class (paid for as discount economy) to business class all the way from Melbourne to Heathrow!

    As it turns out, everyone in the area we were seated, the two rows of 2-3-2 near the stairs at the front, had been upgraded. You can image the scene with all 14 of us playing with the seat controls and feeling very happy about the whole experience. It made for a very enjoyable flight to Heathrow, but of course made the long flight home in cattle class was even less enjoyable, but not as bad as our flight with Iberia from Madrid to Barcelona, but that is another story.

    Anyway, just thought I would share my experience. I have also recently attained gold QFF membership, and may even make it to the elusive platinum level before the end of April due to my impending travel plans. I'm not sure if the time spent away from home to get there is worth it, but who knows, maybe our next trip away will benefit from it!
     

  2. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Hey masquerade welcome to AFF.

    Great story and I honestly believe if you are doing a lot of tr traveling away from the wife then the best sort of op-up is the one that she gets ;)
     
  3. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    G'day masquerade, and I reiterate Simon's welcome to AFF.

    Your upgrade was what is called an "Operational Upgrade", more commonly referred to here as an OPUP. As a QP member you would have been well in line for such an upgrade. My first upgrade as a no status QP member was operational (Xmas eve 1994).

    An interesting point, I do believe I was on that flight :D.

    'cept my upgrade came to the tune of 40K QFF points. I had requested one months earlier and it came through that morning ... more here: Stuck in a Flounge for hours ....

    That mini J class cabin you refer to does not exist on the normal MEL-HKG-LHR configuration and certainly would have been filled with OPUP'ed PAX. There were also a few OPUPs in the main downstairs J cabin as well.
     
  4. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Welcome and congratulations on the op-up. It sounds like the situation may have unfolded like this:

    The original aircraft scheduled for that flight was a 14F/50J/315Y configuration 747-400. This aircraft does not have the mini business class cabin of two rows you describe (you would have been in row 29 or 30). Then for some reason that aircraft was not available and was exchanged for a 14F/64J/265Y configuration aircraft.

    When they changed the aircraft, they suddenly have less economy seats (down from 315 to 265) and two more rows of business class seats (rows 29 and 30). Rows 37 to 41 of economy are no longer available on the operating aircraft.

    So if there is not enough room in the remaining 265 economy seats to accommodate everyone (with consideration given to travelling groups), some people will need to be upgraded from economy to business class. There are two ways this can happen and it depends on the time available and the inclination of the person making the changes.
    • Upgrade anyone who has a wiatlisted points upgrade pending, followed by highest status members (CL, Plat etc). This can result in the creation of a few isolated seats throughout the economy cabin and may require a lot of shuffles to create space for family groups to be accommodated.
    • Upgrade as many people as possible from the now missing rows of economy to the new additional rows of business class. Obviously 46 economy seats cannot be accommodated in 14 business class seats. So some other shuffling will be required, perhaps to other free business class seats or to other free economy seats.
    Either way, your luck was in that day. I am sure if made for a much more pleasant journey. Now you have experienced long-haul business class you may never be satisfied with economy again!
     
  5. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    • Hmm - we do we know if this is a manual process or semi-automated? I guess this explains why so many non-status PAX get upgraded and semi-status dont :( I guess I should be happy with my paid J seat though ;)
     
  6. NM

    NM
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    Its manual in these situations.
     
  7. d15.in.oz

    d15.in.oz Member

    Nov 28, 2006
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    Absolutely priceless, I haven't laughed so much in ages :) thanks for sharing!
     
  8. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    This is the case; I was on the same flight as the OP, see the thread Stuck in a Flounge for hours ....

    The inbound QF30 aircraft was waylaid in Darwin.

    Yep, we scored an "ugly sister" (Pacific config.).
    Certainly, OPUPs on Qantas for us mere mortals are as rare as hen's teeth; fly enough though and you'll generally come across one or two
     
  9. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    And some people will miss out on the flight....

    I am glad they feel that travelling groups require special consideration and people travelling alone have no other connections that day or pre-paid, non-refundable, accommodation booked.
     
  10. NM

    NM
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    indeed if the flight was full(ish), some people may not have travelled on that flight on that day. There are sometimes alternatives that can be arranged, and some may have been moved to QF29 later that night or routed via SYD or on CX etc.
     
  11. serfty

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    #11 serfty, Mar 2, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2007
    Qantas would have done everything possible to get PAX to HKG/LHR that night; I guess LHR PAX would have had priority.

    Unless the flight was oversold, I calculated possible 12 PAX who would not have been able to get on the flight. It is quite possible that most went MAS and eventualy got where they were going without Qantas having to put anyone up for the night.
     
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