Tripseven From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 72 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2628 times:
I recently returned from some long flights (United's 860 and 861 between Dulles-Sao Paulo). Anyway, I was one of the last to board the plane and on both occasions passed the Biz class section which was only half full. What would happen if I just casually sat in one of the empty business seats? Do they check for tickets/count meals served etc. Could I get away with it if I was real calm and cool about everything. Just wondering...
Sabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2589 times:
I know for sure that AF flight attendants check every boarding pass during boarding procedure and they also count the passengers when boarding is complete, so it's probably not the best idea to take a seat in Business Class on an AF flight when you only hold an Economy Class ticket.
Mckennasmall From Canada, joined Dec 2003, 249 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (11 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2556 times:
There is this thing called the Passenger Information List. It tells you were you seat, sex, prefix. They always do headcount in Coach and Biz and First. Not just for seeing where people sit but also for security reasons.
Tripseven From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2465 times:
Thanks all... Next question, and please forgive me if this topic is elsewhere on the forum. How does one "sweet talk" the gate agent into an upgrade? I know it's possible. A coworker of mine, who happened to be an attractive female, said that she pretty much always flew first "just by asking" the gate agent. Seeing that I'm not an attractive female, does a typical guy stand any chance of getting an upgrade just by asking nicely?
Pilatusguy From Switzerland, joined Jan 2004, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2429 times:
If I'm going on a long haul flight I always ask at the check-in counter for a free upgrade.
Depending on which airport you board, they may do something for you but mostly ask you to check at the gate. There I casually tell the gate agent that check-in told me to ask for a free upgrade.
Believe me or not, but this worked out at least 5 times so far.
AND, I'm not at all a good looking female....
Kempa From Brazil, joined Aug 2003, 373 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2404 times:
The upgrades like what your co-worker reported are quite rare. You might be upgraded from coach to business if:
1. You have a very high frequent flyer status, but then you could probably have used the miles or the "instant upgrades" to get upgraded.
2. Economy cabin is overbooked but business class isn't. In this case again, the high frequent flyer status passengers will probably be called first.
3. Your flight was overbooked, and you volunteered (or were simply bumped) for a later flight. If economy is full or almost full, and business class isn't, you might get it.
4. If your flight was canceled, and you had to take a later flight. While rebooking, be very polite to the counter agent, speak in a low tone of voice. When told that "these upgrades are very rare", insist politely that the agent call a supervisor, never raising your voice. You don't want the person behind you on line to hear that, and neither does the agent.
5. As your co-worker has shown, an attractive female stands a good chance if the gate agent is a male. You can't compete with that, but you can dress nicely (jacket and a tie), and address all airline personnel very politely. That will increase your chances.
If you do get upgraded, get the agent's name and write a letter to the airline customer service department, mentioning the great work that the agent did for you, and that the agent is a great asset for the airline.
Flyguyclt From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 537 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (11 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2268 times:
Passenger counts are verified by the BC flight attendants. If you are not on the list. You will most likely be put back in coach quick. Or subject to another security check depending on the crew. While I appreciate all wanting the best seat in the house. Please use the boarding card you are given to find your assigned seat. It will usually coincide with the fare you paid. What amazes me on the threads sometimes is people who complain about airline service going down the drain. Yet so many, are the same ones who try to scam and not pay for the service. Sometimes it makes one go "hhhmmmm."
Jafa From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 782 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (11 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2180 times:
I have caught a couple people trying to do it. They were politlely asked to pay for the predeparture drinks they had and remove thier luggage and retreat to thier assigned seats. Usually the gate agents warn us in advance of the people hounding them about upgrades. Since first class is always full the problem usually solves itself much to my amusement. I refer everyone that asks to the gate agent.
Once on a flight from JFK-NRT right before closing the door, the gate agent asked us to upgrade 10 people due to the operational need of weight and balance. The purser asked me to take care of it because I was working hard to get a family of four together. I picked out a few old people and some students. People who probably never otherwise fly in Biz class.
Worldperks From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (11 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2033 times:
I flew LGB to SEA shortly after Alaska took the route over from Horizon Air.
I had already flown IAD-SEA/SEA-LGD (a long way 'round, but those miles. . .) and had been ungraded on both legs outbound on the strength of my NW Platinum card. In LGB, Alaska gate services at the time were contracted to America West, and the gate agent couldn't work the U/U code into the check-in computer.
So, he hand-wrote the upgrade on the boarding pass that had consigned me to seat 17D, and the flight attendant accepted it. I sat forward in MVP/first class -- very important since the 5:48 departure served a meal.