3rd Nov 2011, 13:56
I have a friend flying to Johannesburg from Heathrow by South African Airways for Christmas and I would like to try and upgrade his ticket as a Christmas present.
Does anyone know how I can go about this ?
I'm sure that the Data Protection Act would work against me in that I can't just call his travel agent and see what they say.
Also, I would like to get it for a decent price.
Any ideas ?
3rd Nov 2011, 15:57
Firstly I would get a move one as Christmas is the peak for this route.
Try contacting SAA Customer services and explaining what you want to do.
Without the booking reference you wont be able to do anything on the internet but a friendly person at the airline could fix something for you.
If you dont have any luck drop me a line cos Ii'd love a First upgrade on my next trip:}
3rd Nov 2011, 16:37
Agreed that the phone is your best bet but, if you are going to be in London, see if SAA still have a sales counter. Talking face to face toshaw that you are not a crazee can help!
Also, consider giving the present in advance, so that you can do it through their original agent or online service. That is a sre fire way to do it. Not least that, if the gift is for the upgrade to be Out and Return, your friend might appreciate knowing in advance that they have a larger luggage allowance! They might have reluctantly left something behind - which they could have taken.
Rwy in Sight
3rd Nov 2011, 16:55
Make sure they do know you are offering the present so they do travel...
3rd Nov 2011, 18:12
Are you proposing to tell the recipient or let them find out at the airport? I would suggest telling them in advance for a silly reason - if they don't know they will go to the wrong checkin desk - no harm done but skipping the queue is one of the benefits.
If you do tell in advance then one way to proceed might be to find out how much they paid for the ticket they hold (ask them, they won't know why). Then call SAA and ask how much to upgrade. You may find that a round trip upgrade is no more expensive than one way. Now ask SAA to sell you an MCO for the cost of the upgrade (it might be called an MPD or even an EMD but it's an accountable document that when added to the ticket will pay for the upgrade). You could also ask them to book a seat (which will have a time limit by which the fare must be paid and ticket issued even though you've bought the MCO). Then give the MCO to the passenger and get them to call SAA to complete the transaction.
Of course, the simple way is simply tell them what you're doing and then work with them to pay for it - much easier.
As others have said do it now. South Africa gets very full at Christmas/New Year.
7th Nov 2011, 09:00
Thanks for all the suggestions.
The original ticket was booked through a travel agent, so I guess I should contact them first rather than the airline ?
If I manage to somehow wangle it, I would let him know in advance. It would be very nice to do it at the airport, but as has been said it's nice to get the perks from the start and try and miss some of the queue :)
7th Nov 2011, 09:54
I think the surprise element would be the best way. It's very unique idea; good job!:ok: