What's the best travel upgrade you've received? | Page 2 | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

What's the best travel upgrade you've received?

LPS144

Newbie
Joined
Oct 9, 2019
Messages
8
From a flight point of view, being a 12 year old kid and sitting in the jump seat of a 767 for take-off out of Sydney on the way to Singapore. My uncle was a long serving cabin manager so pulled a few strings. My folks got to sit in there for landing into Changi.

Hotel wise, my wife and I got upgraded to a full blown suite at the Cordis in Hong Kong and it genuinely was our honeymoon.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
82
Flights
My Map
The best flight upgrade was an op-up Y -> J on MH MEL-KUL for me and +1. It was all the more incredible because not only had I paid the absolute cheapest fare (a price match by the dreaded Flight Centre to another TA, so I could pay without CC surcharge) but we were only SG that year. I always thought you had Buckleys of an op-up if you weren't a WP flying solo. My +1 noticed my shock when we got the beep and new BPs at the gate... clearly my attempt to play it cool failed miserably. It was my first time in MH J and loved the satay (asked for seconds).

The best hotel upgrade was a Hilton. I was in my room when suddenly another guest opened my door. I rang up reception who said they'd mistakenly coded someone else to open my door. I firmly requested another room. Ten minutes later, the same guy from reception came with the bellhop and a trolley, profusedly apologised - and moved me to one of their massive suites. Shame it was my last night there but I still enjoyed it!

Similar thing happened to me with Hilton. I was at a conference in Washington DC in 1990. I got my key and went up to my room, only to find another person sleeping in my bed. Tiptoed out and went back down stairs and mentioned my dilemma.

So sorry sir, please accept this new room. Went up to the new room, and on unpacking my bag, noted that the wardrobe was filled with another gentleman's clothes! Went down stairs again and mentioned my dilemma, yet again.

So sorry sir, but we have no more rooms to offer you. The hotel is full! Oh dear, this is when the S... hits the fan from my perspective. I ranted on at reception at how such a large chain could do this to a person, and generally made all the staff somewhat embarrassed at what had happened.

Staff started messing around behind the counter, shuffling paper and pens (basically pre-computer days!). They then said, "well, we do have one more room to offer you. We don't always offer this to guests. Please accept our apologies".

Hmmm. What had the offered me? A broom cupboard? A room with a window facing a brick wall? Went up to the room. Odd, it's on the top floor. And, more oddly the lift goes only to that room. So got to the room. It's the Presidential suite! Whole floor. Very opulent.

Got to say, that I didn't go to too many sessions at that conference....wanted to savor the room as much as I could! Hilton had won me back!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
17,130
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
I've had a few decent hotel upgrades, but usually only when I've arrived late and checking out early :mad: , but the Grand Hyatt at ICN was a cracker. I was there in the morning after a crappy flight from Almaty, staying for 2 nights, and checking out late. Got upgraded to something the size of a small house and it was a fabulous stay.

I don't think I've had an airline upgrade since the days of Ansett.
 

OZDUCK

Established Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Messages
2,092
Flights
My Map
I've had a few decent hotel upgrades, but usually only when I've arrived late and checking out early :mad: , but the Grand Hyatt at ICN was a cracker. I was there in the morning after a crappy flight from Almaty, staying for 2 nights, and checking out late. Got upgraded to something the size of a small house and it was a fabulous stay.

I don't think I've had an airline upgrade since the days of Ansett.
My only ever upgrade to J was on an Australian Airlines flight between Adelaide and Melbourne in about 1988. So a fairly long way back.
 

Julesmac

Active Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
589
Had flown to Boston with SIL & BIL to our (favourite) niece's graduation from Boston Uni in 98. A most splendid occasion. Afterwards my SIL's friend had booked accommodation over that internetty-webby thing - we had visions of arriving in NY sans accommodation and deposit. The friend had booked us on a 3 night deal at the Waldorf Astoria & then to a Hyatt. We were very excited as you can imagine stepping into such swankiness. Must have been very obvious to the lass checking us in, and she was very interested to learn we'd come all the way from Australia to attend. As we chatted she said she'd put us on one of the just renovated floors. We continued chatting, she asked how long we'd be in NY - so then why weren't we staying the whole time at the Waldorf? (That'd be because the rack rate per night cheapest room was more expensive than the whole 3 day stay.....cheeky MrMac said - we'd love to stay longer, don't suppose you could do us a deal. A smile and a cheeky wink, was met with 'sure ' she said. Done. OMG the room was amazing - and of course there was a bottle of wine sent up later with her compliments. We were just dizzy with excitement!

In the meantime my SIL who can be snarky at the best of times was busy being snarky with her check in lass. Who I'm sure didn't deliberately give them a room next to the elevator.....! We said hi a couple of times to our nice girl during our stay & on the last morning she left a message to say there was a parcel at the desk - containing some WA pens, ashtrays, hand towel. It costs nothing to be nice and sometimes the benefits can indeed be rewarding.

Another time we'd flown to Rome to meet our 19yo & her girlfriend who'd been backpacking through Europe for 6 months. I never let the fact that I speak Italian badly stop me from having a go & Stefano on reception was delightful and patient. Finally he said something in a very Australian accent - it turned out he was Steve from Pascoe Vale, so I said of course if you're Italian and lived in Pascoe Vale you probably barrack for Carlton - he immediately identified us as a couple of Pies supporters. Much jollity ensued & he could tell we were very excited to be seeing our daughter after so long. He said - I think I can find you a nicer room - and upgraded us to a suite. The girls who'd been staying in hostels & living on the smell of an oily rag were very impressed. It's 20 years ago and that daughter has never forgotten the excitement of that swishy suite
 

Flying Fox

Established Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Messages
2,821
Flights
My Map
Best hotel upgrade was in Zanzibar.

Booked a hotel/resort for me and Mrs FF for approx 1 week. Got to the hotel and the manager came out, provided us with cool towels and drinks and then said that he had to talk to us about our villa. For some reason there was no power at all so they were moving us to another hotel/resort. I was starting to panic thinking I had paid all this money to be shipped off to the YMCA. I asked if the new place was as good as his hotel/resort and he assured me that I would be happy with the new place. I was unconvinced and worried that I was getting a bad deal.

Into the hotel mini van and after a 10min ride we stopped at some huge gates, huge walls and security guards. We were escored in and it turns out that the new place was something that I would see on travel shows that I wouldn't ever pay for. It was a grand compound with armed guards, only 16 couples maximum at any one time (no children allowed), silver service meals x3 per day with basic drinks all included, all activities included (we had a free day of diving for two of us) private beach, inifinity pool etc etc. The resort was setup for movie stars and the mega wealthy etc.

During our stay the maximum number of guests that I saw was 3 other couples. I believe that for two nights we were the only couple there. Totally amazing and luxurious place that I couldn't afford.

Was wonderful to taste how the wealthy people of the world holiday!! So much better than my YMCA expectation.
 

Archphoto

Established Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
1,397
Flights
My Map
The one that remains the best for me was actually two.

I was flying BKK-SYD (again) and running late for check-in due to gridlock and handed over my passport for the dreaded Y journey to Australia for Christmas. Was thrilled to get an upgrade to Y+ as that meant I might actually get some sleep.

At the boarding gate, I got the "beep" and was taken aside while they poured over my newly minted Y+ ticket. Finally, the QF staff member came over and said with a smile, "I think you'll be happy with this delay." I had been upgraded again, this time to J.

The only time a double upgrade has ever happened to me and I slept like a baby. Made my surprise Christmas Day arrival to see the family considerably more bearable! :D
 

Stevo.1702

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
277
Flights
My Map
My best upgrade was on a cruise. My partner and I did a Royal Caribbean 7 night Vancouver to Anchorage cruise with the Inside Passage. We were incredibly lucky with perfect weather for the entire trip but that was dwarfed with the luck of our boarding experience.

We're both in our 20's so pretty frugal and went for the lowest stateroom possible. Inside and we didn't even get to pick which room it was. When we printed our bag tags a few days before boarding we didn't have a deck or room number assigned which I assumed was normal (second cruise ever and an inside room was good enough for us last time). They wouldn't accept our bags and for some strange reason, the first person we asked for help couldn't find us on their list of passengers. Initial panic was released when we were whisked away to a behind the scenes office and they had our names and a room number. Pen amend the luggage tags and check-in uneventfully.

Walking down the corridor looking for our room I'm keeping an eye on my right where our room should be. My partner exclaims 'here it is' to a room on our left. I'm all of the sudden off-balance thinking I've totally lost my bearings on which was is forward and which way is aft on this monstrous vessel. We open our room to find a balcony stateroom. In a moment of shock, we closed the door. Looked at each other and tried the key again. It opened.

After a while of waiting, expecting someone else to enter the room and find we were double booked through some error we set sail. We finally discovered that they oversold the inside staterooms and oceanview staterooms and the next available room for us (because we had no assigned room from our booking) was an extra-large balcony stateroom.

It made our holiday immeasurably better. Hubbard glacier from our own balcony was a treat we frankly didn't deserve.

Only negative part now is that we want a balcony every time ☹
 

mrsterryn

Established Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
Messages
1,659
Went to Tokyo at the Prince Park hotel .
We had two rooms as son and pregnant daughter in law came with us
Our regular rooms were upgraded to juniors suites and were also available at 7 am in the morning. That was amazing

For upgrades husband and I were in business flying to Tokyo on said trip. Son and his wife were in economy . They had a random upgrade to business. He was bronze she wasn't any status. Just out of the blue. They were so thrilled. It was their first international as husband and wife.
There is now toddler so it is probable their last lol
 
Get paid up to 25% in real cash from your everyday purchases from leading companies such as Virgin Australia, Booking.com, Woolworths, Coles, Apple, Microsoft and much more. Free to join and no catches!

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

Milboo

Established Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
1,734
Flights
My Map
First time long haul with QF (to SCL) and got an Op Up at the airport to J because of issues with seating (exit row seats had disappeared last minute) and as a Gold member, had been split from from travelling companion and been put in middle section down the back.

Lounge angels moved my friend up to J too.

Then on way home the flight was full and I was moved to J after boarding. Friend didn’t...that did not go down well!
 

Milboo

Established Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
1,734
Flights
My Map
My other best ‘upgrade’ was getting bump to crew quarters for some sleep when flying Y. Helped the CSM was an old friend! I also had bottomless champagne.
 

mrsterryn

Established Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
Messages
1,659
Husband's best
He had a business class Syd to New York . For some weird kept losing his seat . Anyway finally checked in and yep lost the one he wanted again . Off to first lounge (platinum) and he sent me a message grumping
Gets to the gate and oh no red light and told to go to desk. Husband was really cranky but he knows the issues isn't their fault. "Thank you Mr Terry here is your new seat allocation " yep he was bumped to first. He decided he wouldn't grump anymore lol
 

Anna

Established Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
2,440
My first int flight upgrade was on honeymoon and we didn't even realise we'd been upgraded, we just thought we'd scored really nice seats and on the return flight at checkin we even innocently asked 'can we sit upstairs again?' :D (We were young and naive!)

Another memorable upgrade because it was completely unexpected was when I booked J on CX to Europe and on the return flight got the FCO - HKG leg in F, about 15 years ago.

Another one was when W was new on QF and I booked W to Europe. There was an aircraft change and I got a very apologetic call from QF the day before the outward flight asking if I would mind being rerouted and put in J instead. I was wiser by now and I said I would be very happy to help them out if I also got put in J on the return flights - QF said yes :p
 

LadyC

Established Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2012
Messages
2,556
I have had more hotel upgrades than flight upgrades. Flying Y back from LAX to MEL with QF over 10 years ago I was lucky enough to get upgraded to PE, especially seeing as it was a Y points ticket (yes don't shame me, this was before I had joined AFF). We also had a points upgrade from J to F on our honeymoon with QF - obviously not a freebie but great that it came through nonetheless.

We've had a base room to suite upgrade at the Four Seasons in Singapore but we were only staying one night. A nice upgrade to a suite at Four Seasons Prague after our room got a strong cigarette smoke smell because a neighbouring room was smoking cigarettes and the smell came through the air conditioning (a smoke free hotel too!). We had a great 5 night upgrade from a second level from to a suite at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna last year. We had booked with Virtuoso so in theory would be eligible for at least a one-level upgrade with the usual caveats but I think the upgrade was 3/4 levels room type up. We did hit Marriott Platinum on that stay so I don't know if that was also part of it.
 

Ansett

Established Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
3,630
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Red
The most memorable upgrade for me was with Qantas flying MEL-LHR via DXB.

In order to maximise time in the Dubai F Lounge and enjoy a relaxing shower I would book QF9 then change to QF1 and do the reverse on the way back leave on QF2 and change to QF10.

A few days prior to departure I received a call asking if I would change to QF9 all the way through, to which I agreed if they could give me the same seat all the way 80A. They went away and called me back about 2 or so hours later and advised that they were unable to do that however they advised that they had changed my seat all the way though to 12F, I reluctantly accepted :)

I arrived at the First Lounge in Melbourne and had some great conversation with the F host who I knew quite well then 20 minutes prior to boarding I get a call to go to the front desk and there waiting was a new boarding Pass 3K. Now that was totally unexpected.

On the return Leg I check in and find that my seat had been reallocated to 12F so no complaints from me what so ever. I bumped into the First host in the Old BA Lounge and we had a long chat, as I hadn't seen him for a while. He disappeared and came back some time later with a shiny new pass 3K. Now I knew this was going to be a great trip home.

But the best part of all of this is that I had booked via the .br website and had super cheap Y tickets circa AUD $900 return which weren't even upgrade able. I did buy a lottery ticket when I returned home but I think I pushed my luck too far as I didn't win a dime LOL.
 

Happy Dude

Established Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
1,329
I recall an incredible holiday upgrade years ago when living in London.

A group of 7 friends and I had booked a Christmas trip to Meribel for skiing - one of those cheapo self drive and cater 200 quid pp for a week deals which included ski pass and rental, and off-mountain accommodation.

A week before we were to depart, the travel agent called and said that the owner of the apartment had decided use the apartment for that week. Our options were to receive a full refund or they could move us to a hotel on the mountain with brekky and dinner including a nine course Christmas dinner. Naturally we took the latter and had an awesome holiday that would generally be considered unaffordable by my standards even today.

I still judge all yoghurt by the standard served in hotel brekky and it was the start of a love affair with Kronenbourg 1664 and hammams.
 

clifford

Established Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
1,827
Well, it's something I'll never forget.

About 20 years ago my son (who was about 14 at the time) and I were travelling from SYD to LAX on UA, using cheap Y-class tix. I was a Mileage Plus 1K at the time.

When we checked in, we were issued boarding passes in business on the lower deck of a 747. Quite nice seats really, window and aisle. We had only just settled into our seats and started sipping our pre-departure drinks when a UA staffer came up to me and asked if we wanted to move to First.

Well, of course, I reluctantly said OK, and off we went to the front of the plane and had a very comfortable 13 hour flight (apart from the fact that I rather over-indulged with the Johnny Walker Blue.
 
Last edited:

kookaburra75

Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
869
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Gold
Flights
My Map
I've only had two 'best' upgrades i.e. where I didn't have to pay for them in points or $'s

Upgraded on a flight in 1999 from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles, from Economy to First - my first time in something better than economy. The story to go with it was myself and the President of the association I was running at the time, got to the airport in Portland two hours prior to the flight, knowing US flights get overbooked, only to discover it was the day the college students were travelling back to college - we should have been there four hours prior at least. We were told that the flight was fully booked, but they checked in our bags and said to go to the gate and see what happened. This was President Keith's first overseas trip and he had been jumpy the whole time, but was now extra jumpy. I wasn't too worried as there was a six hour layover at LAX before our flight back to Aus, but then we found out at the gate that all remaining flights for the day were also fully booked. Time to start thinking about a Plan B. But AA came through for us. They had a boarding pass for President Keith but not for me and he started making a fuss - but while we were standing at the counter I saw a boarding pass being printed out with my name on it, for row 2. I told President Keith to be quiet, said thank you and headed off to sit in the biggest seat I had ever been in, with fantastic service. It was a pity it was a day flight.

Upgrade number two was with MrsK on a trip to the US. We flew into Los Angeles and stayed up in West Hollywood. The plan was after a few days, we would pick up a convertible and drive the old coast road to San Francisco. As we were on a budget, I had booked a Chrysler 200 (I know - like saying a convertible Camry)
2013_chrysler_200_convertible_s_fq_oem_1_815.jpg
We walked into the Hertz yard in West Hollywood and amongst the convertible Mustangs and Camaros, was the lonely Chrysler 200 sitting in the corner - I think they were hiding it. The agent came out and we had a chat about the other good looking cars and she said it was only a "little bit more" to hire a Mustang, so off we went into the office to see what that involved - which was doubling the price, so we resigned ourselves to the Chrysler. While the agent was chatting to us, she said how she loved Australians, and swung open the door to an inner office, where the filing cabinet was covered in Australian magnets, small stuffed koalas on top. After we said we would stick with the Chrysler, she tapped away on the computer, paused while checking something, called someone on the phone but didn't get an answer, so she smiled and said "I have to make and executive decisions - congratulations, you have a Mustang". And we did
IMG_20140223_124853.jpg
 

Community Statistics

Threads
86,285
Messages
2,078,574
Members
53,685
Latest member
petersautoandtyres
Top