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Ever managed to get an upgrade on your flight?

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Ever managed to get an upgrade on your flight?

Old 29th Mar 2015, 10:30
  #1 (permalink)  
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Ever managed to get an upgrade on your flight?

Just curious, has anyone managed to get an upgrade on a flight (as SLF) just by showing license/ID/pass etc. I try it all the time but only managed a glass of champers so far on Virgin (thank you!). The check in staff are always very nice about it bless them, but as I said no joy so far but not giving up!
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 10:44
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Not an underhand tactic I'd have ever tried.

I have got upgrades a few times, some when the A/C was only half full, some just pure chance. I've never asked for one in my life, but as a regular flyer (as in BA gold frequent flyer card) I think I only ever got bumped once by them from business to first.

IIRC, the airline that offered upgrades more often than any other was Air Canada. Because I was usually in cattle class on all internal flights in Canada and the US (employers rules meant you only got business class on long haul) I seemed to often get bumped into business by Air Canada, no idea why. I did fly Air Canada a fair bit, though, so they may well have had me marked down as a frequent flyer with them.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 11:18
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Yep.....20 years ago on CX with FOC tkts!!! But it is a lifetime ago really...

And...12 Months ago waiting in line at Phuket check-in counter surounded by Bogans / Chavs / Rednecks (Take your pick as appropriate)...Thai check in supervisor walks up to Mrs Fliegs and I and offers J class upgrade back to BKK..........

....I look around and realise that Mrs Fliegs and I are 'Smart Casual'.....the rest of the clowns are wearing 'Bintang' singlets and boardshorts' ....why thank you very much, don't mind if I do!!!
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 11:28
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Used to get upgrades all the time back in the eighties. Regularly flew from Sydney, Oz to East Coast of the US with United. Secretary used to book me business class all the way through, BUT at the time United didn't have a business class across the US - from the West Coast to the East, so it was an automatic upgrade to first. I would have objected strongly if they had attempted to downgrade me to cattle class.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 11:44
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Yes, actual...

....an unsought for upgrade from Dubai to KL with mrats. All the more enjoyable for being totally unexpected.

A friend had a big falling out with another national carrier and as a result of the intervention of the Big Problem Sorter Outer he was promised that he would be upgraded to first class on all the trips he took in the next year (he flew a lot!). And it all worked as promised for a fair few months.

At the next flight check in there was no mention of upgrade so he asked if there was any note against his details. No there wasn't. Ah well it was nice while it lasted.

As he walked away a chap who was sort of "minding" the checkins fell in step with him and asked what he had expected to hear. He explained. He was then relieved of his business boarding card and was asked to wait for a mo. Chap returns with First class b/c. " Sorry about that" and escorted him to the lounge.

In flight after dinner the chief purser appeared and said that the captain would like him to take coffee and a cognac on the flight deck. He explained that having spent many hours in flight decks that it was no big deal and pass. The captain was rather keen so OK up he went. Coffee was served and cognac was drunk until the captain explained that he had the embarrasing news that his bags had been left behind. It would be sorted out.

After landing he was met by another minder who pressed a large amount of money in his hand gave him a big bag with lots of duty free gizzits and the limo was waiting out front. By now rather tired and testy(he was very good at testy!!) he asked to be left alone, he could sort himself out from here so please go away.

He watched the young man go away and swung by the baggage carousel on the off chance and lo! there were his bags.

Piss ups and breweries came to mind he said as the limo whisked him off to his hotel.

Some folks will always come up smelling of roses.

The Ancient Mariner
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 11:56
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Flying back to LHR from Schipol once our flight was over booked and they asked for volunteers to go on the next flight (one hour later). The reward was an upgrade to Business Class so we went for it. Hardly a big deal for a one hour flight, but we enjoyed our cooked breakfast while the proles back in steerage were eating their stale bun, or whatever they gave them
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 12:01
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I had one or two over a long period of travelling a fair amount.

I only ever asked for one, and it wasn't for me but for a friend. He was a surgeon and scheduled to perform an operation the following morning, and hence could do with some sleep on the overnight flight. The checkin boss grinned, said she'd never heard that one before, and upgraded us both.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 12:16
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Only upgrade I've ever got was the result of me being nice, I think. On the way out to Houston on BA in cattle class, I moved from a nice window seat to a not-so-nice inboard seat, to allow a family to sit together. I got a glass of champagne later as a thank you, and I think a FA made a note against my name, since I was offered an Economy Plus seat on the way back. I kind-of regretted it, though, since while I had a bit more legroom, the seat itself wasn't properly padded and dug itself in to my coccyx ...
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 12:31
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If it's an upgrade you want I'd think you'd have better luck telling the checkin staff if they would like to come up to your hotel room rather than telling them you're a fly boy.

It seems that every second person at checkin is asking for an upgrade and using any sort of excuse.

Either you know someone, or they know you, or you're just plain lucky. Forget the excuses and just enjoy what you paid for.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 12:35
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Always flew Business Class, to and from the USA, with my company. Flying back with BA I was upgraded to First Class. A colleague was in the queue some way behind me and I expected to see him on the flight but didn't. When I saw him at work a few days later I asked him where he'd got to, having rather smugly said I was lucky enough to be upgraded to First Class.
'Oh', he replied, somewhat offhand, 'I was bumped off our flight and had to fly back on Concorde!' That wiped the smug look off my face...gutted moi?
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 12:44
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Only ever had one, on Saudia. It was during the Hajj and I think they tried to get most of us westerners out of economy. Thought I was going to get on the hump deck on the 747, but first class was at the front and business upstairs. Still, an unexpected pleasure.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 12:46
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Some carriers are damned good at tracking regular passengers and taking care of them, in my experience.

Years ago I used to use the Glasgow/Heathrow shuttle for two or three return trips every week (I did this for maybe three or four years, down and back the same day).

The service was pretty good, and flying that frequently you get to know the crews pretty well.

One week, though, the service was dire, out of six flights five were seriously delayed, with tech issues or just plain cock-ups. The last cocked up flight was hilarious, as the aircraft had gone tech earlier in the day and been swapped, but BA hadn't swapped out the crew, so a crew turned up for our evening flight back to Glasgow who weren't qualified on type. We had to wait (on board!) whilst they got another suitably qualified crew in.

The new captain was brilliant, the first PA announcement was the expected apology, followed by an honest explanation of the cause of the delay, the expected weather reports then the guy said something like this:

"I notice that a lot of you frequently fly with us, so probably know the route well, but for those who haven't flown this route with us, we'll be departing to the west, following the M4 for a while, then turning north alongside the M6. We won't by stopping at Tebay services, but will head on straight for Glasgow and hope to land around XXXX"

This made even the most pissed off of us chuckle a bit, but when I got home I did write a letter to BA, titled "A frequent flyer's week", detailing what had happened and asking them to pass on my thanks to the captain who'd defused a bunch of pretty angry passengers so well.

The following week, out of spite, really, I decided to use the British Midland shuttle, rather than fly BA. Towards the end of that week I arrived home to find a case of mixed bottles of wine from the "BA Wine Club". My first thoughts were that this was an error and that I'd have to get BA to sort this out and take the wine back, as I'd not ordered it. The following day I got a letter from BA, apologising for the delays and giving a detailed explanation about the cause of each and the remedial action they'd put in place.

The week after I switched back to flying BA, and as I checked in the girl said "Welcome back to British Airways Mr XXXXX". This happened again after I'd boarded, with the cabin crew director coming over and saying the same thing. I got this polite treatment for a couple more flights, and was curious as to what was going on, so as my boarding pass was stuffed through the reader on one flight I leant over and looked at the girls screen, where my name came up with asterisks either side and "VIP" by it.

This carried on for another week or so, every BA flight I took I got this special welcome. It worked, as I did tend to use BA over any other carrier from then on.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 12:53
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Late '60's i was bumped on my first-ever commercial flight, Heathrow to Glasgow Abbotsinch (I was a bit late booking in, luggage went, I didn't)
Even when pulled aside and told to turn Right/ -i didn't twig....nor the small, well-spaced out cabin, with fawning service, newspapers, drinks, a cooked breakfast....
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 12:53
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BA shuttle to Paris for honeymoon. No upgradable seats, but we were given free champagne and Mrs Fox got to sit up front for the landing. Also given a couple of doggy bags of all the remaining champagne on leaving.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 13:00
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After killing some time I once got back on a train (end of the line) to go back to my hotel to fly back to Oz. Next to me was a guy engaged in intense conversation on his mobile phone that he actually hadn't realised he'd arrived at his destination - it was quite funny. After a few minutes he came to figure out his whereabouts and exited the train. Where he was sitting he left behind a big key ring with about 50 keys on it, and when I saw it I thought man that's gonna hurt so I grabbed them and at risk of missing my train rushed down the platform, found him and handed him the keys, he was still on the phone and said something that sounded like "man thanks, that would have hurt". I didn't have time so rushed back into the train and off to my hotel.

Upon checkin at the airport, without even saying pip other than providing my details, I was given an upgrade.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 13:01
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Quote:
Not an underhand tactic I'd have ever tried.
Underhand tactic?

CyclicRick is a commercial pilot.
What is 'underhanded' (dishonest) about producing proof that he is when trying to get an upgrade?
Unless an employee of that airline the chances of success are very low but I don't see why he should be criticised in such an insulting way for trying.
No intent to be insulting on my part at all, sorry if it was taken that way.

I just can't get my head why around holding a licence should give any commercial operator a reason to give someone an upgrade, that's all. I'll admit to having used my licence as a way to get a flight deck visit (way back in the days when such things were allowed) but that was just a way of showing that I was genuinely interested in the type, nothing more.

Surely the people airlines are most likely to give an upgrade to are those who are spending (or whose employers are spending) a lot of money with?

I don't see the logical connection between being a fellow pilot and getting an upgrade, that's all, no offence intended at all
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 13:06
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I regarded the jump seat as an upgrade. Lots more legroom, and good conversation, plus the same attentiveness from the cabin crew that the captain got. One would, of course, gracefully yield the seat everytime a pretty girl with...Jordan's build.. wanted to visit.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 13:09
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If the aircraft is overbooked in EY then the chances are staff will look for card holders/frequent flyers first, thereafter, if they have time, they will look for staff, own airline first then other airlines, especially those who have upgradeable tickets , then the best dressed. Airlines don't encourage gratuitous upgrades on long haul as that can diminish the quality of the premium product that others have paid for, especially if the upgrade is sat next to you and can't stop talking about how lucky they have been!
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 13:20
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I look around and realise that Mrs Fliegs and I are 'Smart Casual'.....
Took me a long while to figure out that wasn't good enough here. My boss and I used to fly a lot in the 70's and he always got an upgrade without asking, I never got one. We were both on the same staff tickets.

I eventually figured out that it was partly because he wore a business suit (even if goung on holiday) whereas I always wore comfortable casual, even when on business (unless it was just for a day for a meeting).
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 13:24
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Originally Posted by parabellum View Post
If the aircraft is overbooked in EY then the chances are staff will look for card holders/frequent flyers first, thereafter, if they have time, they will look for staff, own airline first then other airlines, especially those who have upgradeable tickets , then the best dressed. Airlines don't encourage gratuitous upgrades on long haul as that can diminish the quality of the premium product that others have paid for, especially if the upgrade is sat next to you and can't stop talking about how lucky they have been!
This is the absolute truth.

A lot of rubbish is circulated about the best way to get an upgrade - what time to check in, how to dress, what to say at check in. The reality is that any half decent airline will want to preserve the integrity of their premium cabin, so will not upgrade willy nilly. Generally only when economy is overbooked, in which case members of the frequent flyer programme and those flying on fully flexible economy fares will be at the front of the queue for upgrades.

In answer to the question? I've had loads, mostly long haul with KLM at a time when I was a Royal Wing cardholder. I got a short haul upgrade once with another airline that I had no travel history with, but I did have a fully flexible economy ticket.
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