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How to get an upgrade?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bes, 15 Jul 2006.

  1. Bes

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,303

    Location: The Ghetto: AKA Brixton

    Hi

    This is probably the stupidest question ever to be asked on a forum...

    But how do you go about getting an upgraded airline seat? Do you just ask at the check- in counter?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. William

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Jul 2003

    Posts: 10,948

    Location: Derby

    Airline - Ring on telephone
    - Ask at desk
    - Steal 1st class ticket from rich person's pocket
    -Sit in first class and pretend to be asleep.
     
  3. alexakasloth

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 13 Aug 2004

    Posts: 7,813

    Location: Newhaven, Sussex.

    I like the sound of that one :D
     
  4. big_white_dog84

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 8 Jan 2004

    Posts: 1,188

    Dress smart. Ask at the desk. Even if you don't get it at the time remain polite and friendly make sure the person at the desk knows your name. This way if a seat becomes available you have a good possibility of getting upgraded before everyone else.
     
  5. Meatball

    Soldato

    Joined: 12 Jun 2005

    Posts: 6,299

    Location: St Albans

    Flirt with the staff and throw cheesy compliments at them? :D
     
  6. Luke

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 Jul 2005

    Posts: 7,051

    Location: S. Yorkshire

    Get there 4 hours before the check in time.
    (it worked at Denver airport!)
     
  7. Charlie Bravo

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,603

    Location: Chelmsford

    Get to check in after the rest of the economy pax. Once economy is full, they will look at seating people in the remaining available space ie First Class/Business Class etc.

    Depending on the airline, and if the aircraft is overbooked, they may even ask for voluntary offloads in which case you'll get a nice payout and a stay in a hotel for the night.
     
  8. Jumpingmedic

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 6 Oct 2004

    Posts: 1,509

    Location: Behind you!

    You raise an interesting point... what are they gonna do about it.
     
  9. Fraggr

    Mobster

    Joined: 29 Jun 2006

    Posts: 3,370

    Location: Sheffield

    Dress smart. Get in late. If you get in late, everyone will have checked in, and they might just let you up 1/2 classes if they notice they're particularly empty.
     
  10. Scam

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 14,241

    Location: London

    I'm surprised at people asking for upgrades. My Dad was pretty much an expert at getting them and insisted that asking was a surefire way not to get upgraded. We even got our whole family upgraded a few times, thats pretty impressive (2 screaming kids etc.).

    There's alot of advice about; http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7656110/page/2/ seems reasonable, notice it doesnt say to ask! :)

    If i was travelling alone i'd dress smart, be extra-especially nice and enquire about how much it would cost to upgrade. Also make sure to have a frequent flyer card or a Gold card (etc) -- i expect that would be the one thing to increase your chances the most.
     
    Last edited: 15 Jul 2006
  11. MuvverRussia

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,177

    Location: Cardiff/Coventry

    Yeah, a decent frequent flier status with that airline (or partner, say One World/Star Alliance) is your biggest asset when looking to upgrade. Without this it's harder, but not impossible - just make sure you're dressed relatively smartly.
     
  12. Ex-RoNiN

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 12,354

    Winner
     
  13. Ex-RoNiN

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 12,354

    Get an Iberia and a BMI one, and you're covered for the majority of airlines, incl. transatlantic :)

    Add a Hilton Honours card for extra benefit in Hilton and Hilton affiliated hotels :cool:
     
  14. Sequoia

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Aug 2005

    Posts: 2,948

    I'd guess that different airlines have different policies, but it seems to me that upgrades typically only happen when the main cabin is overbooked. In that situation, the best bet is (IMHO) to be on one of the upper levels of a frequent flyer club. One flight a year isn't going to cut it. Gold or Platinum (or whatever they call it) status does ..... sometimes.

    Another factor is your ticket class, and that of other passengers. For instance, a full-fare minimal restrictions transatlantic ticket is about £1500. If you paid £200, you have a ticket with heavy retrictions. I know that some airlines look for people with the higher category of ticket (and higher fare) to upgrade.

    Then, you need to "fit". If you're scruffy, the odds are you won't get upgraded. If you're part of a large group, or a family with kids, the odds aren't good, because they won't want to risk upsetting people paying business-class fares with noisy kids, etc.. But if you're presentable, and either a very frequent flyer or hold a relatively expensive ticket, and the main cabin is overbooked, you stand a decent chance.

    Alternatively, either use frequent flyer points to upgrade a basic ticket, or buy one ticket of the class you want, and use frequent flyer points to get a free companion ticket.
     
  15. Third Opinion

    Soldato

    Joined: 3 Jun 2005

    Posts: 5,368

    Location: West Sussex

    You have no chance nowadays unless they horrendously over book the flight. If this is the case then all of the above are worth trying.
     
    Last edited: 16 Jul 2006
  16. Charlie Bravo

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,603

    Location: Chelmsford

    Someone asked me for an upgrade when I worked on Ryanair check in at Stansted.
    I laughed, looked up and then realised he was serious :rolleyes:
     
  17. Aod

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 7 Oct 2004

    Posts: 8,675

    Location: London

    my dad flies Business class with BA about 60-70 times a year (all sorts of flights) and he has emerald-gold frequent flier status.

    he gets upgraded to first about 2/3rds of his flights.

    i wish i had that little card of his.
     
  18. Docaroo

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Jun 2005

    Posts: 2,863

    Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

    get your wang out...
     
  19. Amps

    Mobster

    Joined: 23 Mar 2003

    Posts: 2,652

    Location: Scotland

    LoL

    I will keep this in mind , next time.
     
  20. Bes

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,303

    Location: The Ghetto: AKA Brixton

    I paid £1000 for the flight as I only booked it last week and am flying tomorrw- iI'm gonna be dressed smartly as I am going immedatley to the office when I land. I'm also travelling alone so this might help! :)

    I am flying BA though and don't have a flyer card with them as I normally fly Virgin (and hold a card with them) but couldnt get a flight with them at such short notice.