Keeping a First Class Surprise

One member is planning a very special trip to Europe. This member plans to surprise their partner by treating them to an unexpected bump-up to First class. However, they want to keep the upgrade a surprise until the very last minute.

My partner and I are off Europe next week. We’re flying Mel – DBX economy, then onwards to Rome in F. I want the first class leg from Dubai to be a surprise, I only want her to find out once we go to the lounge in Dubai.

Our member’s main concern is that the surprise may be revealed when checking in for the first flight in Melbourne. So, is it possible to check-in and receive First class boarding passes without spilling the beans?

My dilemma is this: Can I check us both in at Melbourne (QF flight) with her not physically being there? A friend has offered to drop us at the airport and keep her distracted with a couple of wines while I check us in.

In our members’ collective experience, it is possible to keep the First class flight a secret. However, it will require some forward planning and a fair amount of luck. As all passengers flying internationally need to have their passport checked by the check-in agent, the partner will likely need to be present for check-in.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the agent will spill the beans if they are fore-warned that the upgrade is a surprise. The suggested plan of attack is therefore to ensure the check-in agent knows about the secret. One member suggests simply sticking a note on the passport as it is handed over. Then, when collecting the boarding passes, the member would hold onto the First class passes. This should work as only the boarding pass for the (Economy) flight departing Australia is required for Australian immigration formalities.

I would simply write a note – ‘class of service on Dubai-Rome is a surprise – stick that on the front of your passport as you hand it over. I’ve done something similar before. it actually worked quite well.

The check-in agent will give you all four boarding passes – you only give the MEL-DXB to your partner. Hold on to the connecting passes yourself.

It seems that this will be a very special trip for more than one reason. Our member also plans to propose. We wish them all the best of luck!

Join the discussion HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

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