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Upgrade Stories, Tricks, Tips, etc.

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CDS1959

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2004
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Sitting in Qantas Club at CNS, waiting for return flight to BNE for the 15 Status Credits needed to re-qualify as Gold Qantas Frequent Flyer for another year. Thought to start a Thread devoted to Upgrades (stories, tricks, tips, etc.), so will share one to start:

3 August 2006, SYD-BNE QF737-800. Pre-departure, on plane, in 4C, headphones on, minding my own business. Flight Attendant came up, asked if I'd mind moving seats. Didn't particularly want to move back, but said "yes", and was told to take a seat in business class (there were four seats available in row 3). After I was seated, the FA then went to the person seated in 1B, and said "seat 4C is now available for you". Why this person wanted to downgrade simply to sit in 4C will forever remain one of life's little mysteries.

TRUE STORY!!!
 

Limewood

AFF Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
4,344
I currently have a CX upgrade voucher I was given in Hong Kong due to be put on different flight, it says hand it in at check in on your next flight (with CX) and if seats are available your bumped up, my friend a travel agent told me "don't do that, ask first if the next class up is available, if the check in chick says yes then hand it in".
 

aus_flyer

Established Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
1,361
Limewood said:
I currently have a CX upgrade voucher I was given in Hong Kong due to be put on different flight, it says hand it in at check in on your next flight (with CX) and if seats are available your bumped up, my friend a travel agent told me "don't do that, ask first if the next class up is available, if the check in chick says yes then hand it in".
I don't understand the difference??
Either way, if there is availability, you get upgraded. If there isn't you dont.
??
 

Dave Noble

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
6,419
odoherty said:
I don't understand the difference??
Either way, if there is availability, you get upgraded. If there isn't you dont.
??
The wording was given as "hand it in and then if there is availability, you get an upgrade". This would technically imply that the voucher would be used regardless of whether the upgrade was awarded :) .. also, by asking 1st, it ensures that you don't get the situation where they say "sorry 1st is full" when they see the voucher but dont want to bother having to process it. If they have confirmed the availability, they cannot easily then not process it

Dave
 

Tiki

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
479
CDS1959 said:
After I was seated, the FA then went to the person seated in 1B, and said "seat 4C is now available for you". Why this person wanted to downgrade simply to sit in 4C will forever remain one of life's little mysteries.

TRUE STORY!!!
Maybe Miss Universe was sitting in 4B! ;)
 

drron

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2002
Messages
19,312
I think luck is the main factor in my case.Have just come back from the USA.My wife and I used AA points for our 2 business class awards to Seattle via Japan.Basically our AA points come from flying JAL so no status with AA.Yet flying NRT to LAX we were settling in to seats 10A & B when the gate agent came on to the plane and asked to see our boarding passes.She must have noted the look of horror on my face as the plane appeared full.She quickly flashed the passes she had in her hand with first prominently displayed.2A & B were greatly appreciated as it was an overnight flight.
I still cant work out why we were selected but it certainly reinforced my decision to go with AA rather than QF.
 

Limewood

AFF Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
4,344
Dave Noble said:
The wording was given as "hand it in and then if there is availability, you get an upgrade". This would technically imply that the voucher would be used regardless of whether the upgrade was awarded :) .. also, by asking 1st, it ensures that you don't get the situation where they say "sorry 1st is full" when they see the voucher but dont want to bother having to process it. If they have confirmed the availability, they cannot easily then not process it

Dave
Yes that could well be the situation, its to easy for them to say sorry none available.
 

vt01

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
374
Best upgrades I've had - One on Malaysia and 2 on QF. First one was flying to KL from SYD. Arrived at the airport 45 minutes before flight (traffic problem). Seems my Y seat had been given away so got an upgrade to J... Coming back, the flight was pretty full but had the window seat with 2 empties next to me in Y.. As soon as we took off, I was asleep on the 3 seats.
This flight also happened to get diverted from Sydney to Melbourne due to fog.. I was so grateful I had the 3 seats to relax in..

Second one was SYD to manila.. Don't know why I got the upgrade, but I did and enjoyed it all the way. Coming back I managed to get the seats next to me blocked in Y so once again got a good nights sleep.

Third one LHR to SIN. About to board in LHR and they take my boarding pass and hand me another for J class.. I think I may have had SG status at the time.. Unfortunately the same didn't happen in SIN.. The guy in front of me in the queue when reboarding got it.

Had a friend who got J to F class from LHR-SYD a couple of years ago.. Was she pleased!
 

JohnK

AFF Supporter
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
41,218
I would have to agree with most in that luck appears to be the main factor in getting an upgrade. I have had 3 so far, 2 on QF and one on AY and all happened when I was PS.

The first was boxing day 2 years ago SYD-BKK. Arrived at airport 90 mins before flight, went to check-in and was told that my forward aisle seat was given to someone else. Before I had a chance to protest or even look sad the check-in lady told me not to worry as I have been upgraded to business class. This was my first ever time in business class and I was stoked.

On the return flight, 2 weeks later, got to BKK airport around 3 hours early and checked in for flight. No upgrade this time. Oh well. Was one of the last to board aircraft and handed my boarding pass and passport and started to walk away when after about 5-6 paces I hear my name being called. I went back to the desk and the guy ripped up my boarding pass and issued me with a new business class boarding pass. Wow!

The last time was about 5 months later on an AY flight BKK-SIN when I checked in about 3 hours early and flight was overbooked. Again I had forward aisle seat allocated but was given boarding pass for business class with no access to lounge.
 

Skyring

Established Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
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Tiki said:
Maybe Miss Universe was sitting in 4B! ;)
Yeah, my thoughts went along similar lines. Or if I'd struck up a conversation with the young lady (or an old schoolfriend or whatever) before the flight and wanted to continue it on the plane, I wouldn't hesitate to swap seats. I can sit in a comfy chair at home, but an hour or so of conversation with someone I really like is golden.

Besides, I'd still get the miles and points for Business.
 

NM

Moderator
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Aug 27, 2004
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My guess is that it went something like this:

PAX: I would really like to sit next to my travelling partner who is seated in 4B. The check-in agent suggested I ask you once on-board to see if you can arrange for me to sit next to him.

FA: Can I see your boarding pass please, sir? Ahh, I see you are in 98E. Just wait here in 1C for now and I will see what I can arrange for you.

FA (to CDS1959): Excuse me, sir. Do you mind changing seats?

CDS1959: No problem.

FA: Choose any seat you like in row 3.

FA (to other PAX): 4C is now available for you.

PAX: Thanks for arranging this for me.

So everyone is happy! A good outcome for all concerned. Well done FA and CDS1959 for your willingness to be flexible.
 

Limewood

AFF Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
4,344
v8Statesman said:
Does it expire? Want to sell it?
No its made out... one to the wife and one for me, as its in our names probably not transferable, going to try and use it April next year.
 

azza_1992

Intern
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
67
On QANTAS if I am only a Bronze frequent flyer and have bought only a red e-deal or sale fare, do I have any chance at all of getting an upgrade to business? If so, how can I maximise these chances. All my flying would be for leisure and since I am on a tight budget, ever paying for a business class seat would be impossible for me.
 

Skyring

Established Member
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azza_1992 said:
On QANTAS if I am only a Bronze frequent flyer and have bought only a red e-deal or sale fare, do I have any chance at all of getting an upgrade to business? If so, how can I maximise these chances. All my flying would be for leisure and since I am on a tight budget, ever paying for a business class seat would be impossible for me.
I wouldn't say you have zero chance, but I wouldn't hold your breath! Upgrades can be given out arbitrarily, sometimes as a compensation for some indignity or inconvenience that is the fault of the airline, but the most common reason is that the Economy cabin is full or nearly so, and in order to get a particular configuration of seats (families sitting together, or maybe juggling around elderly or infant passengers) a seat is freed up by sending one or two Economy passengers into the Business cabin. Usually the Platinum Frequent Flyers (or CL) would be the first choice to move up, but in the pressure of time or convenience, a lower status might be selected. If they want your seat and there is no other seat available except in the Business cabin, that's where they will send you.

I've done three round the world trips, a US trip and a bit of other flying in the past couple of years, as Bronze, Silver and currently Gold, and I've NEVER had an upgrade.

Having said that, upgrades do happen, and may I suggest that the staff aren't going to reward a passenger who has pissed them off. Always be nice to the airline staff. They won't give you a J seat just for smiling at them, but if they need to move someone, and they are in a hurry, their gaze may just happen to fall on you.

But as I say, don't hold your breath.
 

serfty

Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
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azza_1992 said:
On QANTAS if I am only a Bronze frequent flyer and have bought only a red e-deal or sale fare, do I have any chance at all of getting an upgrade to business? If so, how can I maximise these chances. All my flying would be for leisure and since I am on a tight budget, ever paying for a business class seat would be impossible for me.
Are you looking to upgrade with FF Points? If so then the following applies ...

If you buy a red-e deal/sale fare in N, O or Q class you cannot upgrade.

With domestic flights it's reasonable simple and NOT status related; check for the availability of U class on a flight for which you are about to book a flight and if it's showing U1 or better then book it in a qaulifying class (e.g. Supersaver). As soon as the booking is confirmed, call Qantas and request that upgrade.
 

CDS1959

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2004
Messages
21
My All Time Favourite Upgrade Story

This happened a LONG time ago (March 1988), but it's a story I'll never forget:

Was using Eastern Airlines frequent flyer points for economy class tickets for my girlfriend, brother, and me to travel Atlanta- San Francisco (EA) and then on to Honolulu with Continental.

As I was an EA Executive Traveler (if domestic first class seats were available when boarding at the gate, ETs got them) in those days, and as the flight out of ATL was far from full, the three of us scored upgrades to SFO.

While in the Continental Presidents Club lounge at SFO, I tried to use my Executive Traveler status to score upgrades for the three of us to first class on the flight to Honolulu, only to be told that tickets paid for with points couldn't be upgraded (which I already knew, but thought "if one doesn't ask...").

Upon going to the boarding gate (the flight was three hours late), I showed my Executive Traveler card, and asked one of the two people boarding the flight if we might be upgraded, and was nicely told "no". This person then left the desk unattended, so I looked at the computer terminal display, and saw that there were three seats showing available in "F" class.

When the other person boarding our flight returned to the gate desk, I told her that I had asked about upgrades in the Presidents Club lounge, and had been informed that there were three first class seats available, but that it was up to the gate staff whether we could be given them or not. This person then proceeded to check the display, confirmed that three first class seats were still available, and then quite cheerfully told us that she would upgrade as, and proceeded to give us boarding passes for first class.

It turned out to be quite an enjoyable and memorable flight...!
 
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