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Cracking The Upgrade Code  
User currently offlineLtuemployee2 From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 28 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5599 times:

When you go to http://www.seatmaps.net, you will see a link on the right side that is entitled "First Class Secrets - How to crack the upgrade code". I was wondering what you guys think about that. Is it worth subscribing to it or not?

45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineMYT332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9114 posts, RR: 69
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5542 times:

I cracked BA's upgrade code on the self service kiosks at LHR. What you do is on the initial screen select your language as 'Italian', then start again, then select it as 'French' then start again, then goto the help menu, then start again at which time you tell your friends to stop p*ssing about with the touchscreen and select the 'English' version. After you answer the security questions you will have been upgraded to Club class. Well that's what happened with me, honest!  Big grin


One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineHawaii12 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5475 times:

It seems a bit pricey to me, especially since he is going to tell me the best way to get upgraded is to become an elite member of an airline.
However, while reading the free tips he has, number 2 specifically, I learned of AA elite challenge. In short, if you sign up for the challenge and if you earn 5k pts, AA will give you gold status.
I actually signed up for it because I need to go to AA), Japan">NRT day after tomorrow. In this case, it worked out.
Back to the topic though, 500 bones for a two year subscription is flat out expensive. How much NEW and proven information is he going to come up with every month to make the price worthwhile?

Although I have to give him credit for introducing me to the AA challenge, I would not sign up for his newsletter.

User currently offlineGOTbound From Sweden, joined Oct 2006, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5443 times:

... and if you had decided to go for the Platinium Challenge you would have earned Platinium at 10k points... and yes, you CAN go for Platinium directly!


User currently offlineSkyguy From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 496 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5332 times:

I have done all kinds of tricks and gags to get upgraded (..I know, I'm ashamed of myself) when I think that there is a reasonable possibility that I could get one. There is no magic formula but you can try different things. First of all, I have yet to come accross an airline or flight in which I got upgraded when there were still seats available in the class I paid for, complimentary upgrades are most commonly doled out on overbooked flights to accomodate as many as possible.

A few things help: dressing well (no slippers and shorts), being polite (do not beg or demand upgrades, agents have heard it all before, they'd rather you just be polite and honest), be friendly to gate staff.
Having FF membership helps as does premium membership, especially in the US, other airlines do not necessarily go through the protocol of FF membership status of handing out upgrades especially when they are frantically trying to close a flight.

My 'modus operandi' has been to walk up to the counter (if you're male, go to a female check-in agent), and be courteous, polite and friendly, make a little small talk or say something funny to break the ice to have a short but friendly conversation with the agent. Then ask "Is the flight completely full"?, if she says no, then ask "You wouldn't be looking to upgrade any passengers on todays flight will you?" Often they will say no, but on odd occasions after I have been able to humour the agent, they still upgraded me.

If to the first question she replies "Yes sir, we are overbooked today", then you are in luck. They will be looking to upgrade passengers from Y to C and from C to F to accomodate as many as they can before they start denying boarding to passengers turning up late to check-in. Then, using your best charm say this line, "I know you are not obliged to help me, however if I may so ask, could you please consider me for an upgrade if at all you are looking to upgrade any passengers on todays flight?". It works folks! 70% of the time when I have been in this situation they say "I'll see what I can do" and put me on the UPG list, either they give me my boarding pass straight away or at the gate.

I have a friend who worked as a check-in agent for many years, she said that she would be most likely to give UPG's to those passengers who were most polite and nice. Its a human business after all and you have to use your charm.

"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."
User currently offlineRichardw From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 3775 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5299 times:

The simplest is to get one's credit card out and pay for it!

User currently offlineSevenHeavy From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 1164 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5297 times:

Coudln't find the link but here's some basic rules which you may find helpfull:

1. Look smart - most airlines will still check you are suitably attired before considering comping you an upgd.
2. Be early. When airlines are looking for moves due to o/sold economy or whatever, they will get them out the way as soon as possible to avoid problems later. Very rarely this will not happen and you may get an upgd if you turn up last - but if this happened mostly airlines will just move up someone who checked in earlier and give you their seat.
3. Don't ask - this is generally a golden rule. If you ask you probably won't get - you'll just have to rely on other means to get you into the big seats.
4. Be polite - contrary to what some passengers believe, screaming and spitting reasons why you're entitled to $3000 of free upgrade doesn't exactly motivate the checkin agent to fight your corner.
5. - know someone - by far the easiest, although a lot of airlines are more strict about who their employees upgrading people there is often a way. Smile



So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 14008 posts, RR: 61
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5273 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

The simplest is to get one's credit card out and pay for it!

Amen! But that would ruin the average traveler's fun, wouldn't it? I mean, they all want to get something for free!

If it's not free, what's the point in having it, right?  Nuts

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineSpeedbirdegjj From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 437 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5257 times:

Sorry to dissapoint but the BA self service 'crack' doesn't work.
Just been downstairs and tried it - got a funny look off the new girl on desk one though!!!  Laugh out loud

User currently offlineSkyguy From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 496 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5141 times:

EA CO AS and Richardw,
Upgrades are fact of the aviation industry and were initiated and encouraged by the airlines to reward frequent travelers and as a way to avoid additional costs by bumping passengers of oversold flights, when they could be accomodated in other classes. If the airlines are going to give the upgrade out of necessity in anycase to manage the load on a flight then if you have any luck, it might as well be you. That is all that we are discussing here, not how to purchase a C or F class seat as you inferr, any fool can whip out a credit card and pay.

For that matter, have you ever been involuntarily downgraded?? I have, and let me tell you how painfully difficult it was to extract a refund for the downgraded sector from the exceedingly large and well known European airline, I can assure you that it was not as easy for the airline to "get their credit card out and pay" for the downgrade I had from C to Y. Took over 6 months of squabble.
SO, it works both ways, airlines too are as reluctant to pay for downgrades as are passengers who request, and get, upgrades when commercial circumstances of the flight make it possible.

"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."
User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5059 times:

SevenHeavy, #5 - yes! We went from cheapo Virgin economy tickets, skipped Premium Economy (or whatever they called it), and went straight to Upper Class! Only one row forward but a whole new world ("turn left, sir!" as you enter the plane).

I did get involuntarily bumped the other day - right off the plane. An MH flight KUL-HKT, I turned up an hour before the flight and it was already checked in completely full. So I got about £35, breakfast, lunch, a day room in a 5* hotel, and a business class upgrade out of it (which isn't exactly worth much for a 1 hour flight). So not a lot in value really, but it would have cost them more in compensation than it did me for the flight.

Geoff M.

User currently offlineBiggles20 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4940 times:

Hello All,

Two occasions come to mind for me.
I don't usually bother asking for upgrades because i'm always trying to get the cheapest cost available for a flight in the first place (Q class usually).

However, once I had injured my back playing tennis and wrote a letter to SQ to see about an upgrade to business class. They said nothing was possible. However, 1 hour in to the flight (SIN-LHR on B744) the FA came down to my seat in economy and (unofficially) upgraded me to first-class, thanks in part to the latter, and also due to the irritable woman behind me constantly kicking my seat. Turned out to be one of my best flights ever.

The other upgrade I had was through pure chance and good luck. Whilst boarding the A/C (a 12 hour connecting flight from CDG-SIN on an AF B772) the woman in front of me had the same seat allocation as me and got really angry when the Airline admitted to the A/C being over booked.
As it turned out, they gave her my seat and I was upgraded to business (next to the emergency exit too)!
As it was about 5 days to X-Mas, the check-in Lady smiled and told me in her lovely French accent: "Merry Christmas sir, you are now traveling in business class - have a pleasant flight".
I certainly did - what a great way to start the holidays!


User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 24
Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4856 times:

Another, alternative, way to get BA shuttle upgrades is to schedule in an hours connection time at LHR - worked for my family when we flew MAN-LHR-LCA. Ditto the return, even though we had a bit more time!

Alex, that e-ticket was pretty impressive - I felt honoured in your presence - me with my T (el cheapo, "don't even think about upgrading me class") class ticket  Laugh out loud

No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offline764 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4666 times:

There used to be a pretty good way to do it: When you were flying United from Europe to the US and had a Lufthansa feeder flight from Germany to FRA, MUC, CDG or LHR (from where you'd fly UA), you could check in the night before your flight. That is possible for LH flights from many German airports. Since you then were one of the very first passengers to check in for the transatlantic segment, you were also on top of the upgrade list. This worked especially well if you were a Mileage Plus Premier or better. I got upgraded in more than 3/4 of the cases I tried this.

Sadly, nowadays Lufthansa will oftentimes refuse to check you in the night before, especially if you have luggage to check. They claim that United prohibits them from doing so, but United doesn't seem to know anything about that. I guess Lufthansa is just trying to make people book LH flights rather than UA across the ocean by being mean to the UA passengers. You can still check in the night before if your transatlantic sector is on Lufthansa and in many cases the check in agent will even check you in on a United connection, but as said before that doesn't always work (Lufthansa has a weird remark in their Computer that makes staff believe United wouldn't allow it. If they don't read that remark you're in luck though. United won't cause any trouble and your bags will be there when you arrive in the US, no matter what LH might tell you).

User currently offlineMYT332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9114 posts, RR: 69
Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4620 times:

Speedbirdegjj, LMAO!!

As for Martin im honoured you were honoured mate. It was so cool though, and the looks on all of your faces, Kodak moment indeed!


One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineBacxboys From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4543 times:

As a Customer Service Officer for CX at T3
Here is a tip for getting an upgrade. DONT ASK!
For most check in agents its quite offensive. And most agents will then make sure u dont get an upgrade.
Saying that at CX we operate a strict policy on upgrades and only upgrade Frequent FLYER card holders in tier order.

User currently offlineSkyguy From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 496 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4475 times:

Thanks for your input - but CX is not the only airline that has some sort of airline policy regarding upgrades, and not all CSO or check-in agents get "offended" at receiving a request for an upgrade when commercial circumstances may allow for one. Maybe you and your folks do at LHR but you don't speak for all airline personnel worldwide.
I don't understand what you are getting "offended" about, you don't own the airline nor do you have to pay for it out of you pocket for the upgrade, in fact no one is, these upgrades are free when load factors require it, otherwise, passengers should expect to pay for them.

However, I take your point, it IS offensive IF passengers ask or demand an upgrade in a rude fashion, aggressive manner, or being just very difficult and obnoxious. I for one have been very courteous, friendly and coopertive with check-in agents etc. and have often received it for simply asking or on other occasions given an upgrade without even asking. (For that matter read my post above).

"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."
User currently offlineLtuemployee2 From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4278 times:

Well, thanks for all the input. I have to agree with many of you that courtesy and psychology at the gate are the best ways to get an upgrade. You just have to know whom you're dealing with. Sadly it doesn't seem to work with Lufthansa though - at least it never worked for me. That airline is way too arrogant in my opinion. It's a little off topic, but recently I had a flight from Frankfurt to Düsseldorf at 4:30pm or so on a United Airlines ticket (connecting from Chicago). There was a Lufthansa Regional flight at about 2:00pm and I had already arrived in Frankfurt from Chicago in the morning. I tried to get a seat on the earlier flight, since I didn't want to wait that long (I hate FRA). Lufthansa denied that, even though there were only seven (!) passengers on the earlier flight. They claimed that my fare class would not allow for changes. Since when does the fare class matter for same-day standby? Anyway, I knew that the flight I was originally booked on was oversold and so I offered to another agent that I could very well take the earlier flight and would not need any compensation. Once again, they denied it. Later, they started asking for volunteers to take an even later flight. They got a free roundtrip ticket within Germany (sucks). I didn't volunteer, but I have to wonder why Lusthansa would rather make three people miserable and pay two roundtrip tickets than only make one person miserable and pay one free roundtrip ticket.

User currently offlineFURUREFA From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 814 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4196 times:

What is the promotion code for AA's Elite challenge since in 4 days i will be flying BOS-LHR and on April 25 LHR-BOS in business and would like an elite membership!

User currently offlineWorldperks From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4127 times:

This is slightly off topic.

Certain airports seem to be harder to get upgrades/ considerations than at others. For instance, I was at SNA last January when a Continental SNA to IAH flight became overbooked. The gate agent PA announced "a $200 voucher and accommodation on a later flight" to the persons who would give up their seats. At some airports (MEM comes to mind) the gate agent would have been immediately swamped by takers. In Orange County, however, not a person raised his eyes from his WSJ. A couple of people in the lounge area joked that perhaps a voucher to a local day spa might have gotten a taker. But no one in the gate area wanted to appear motivated by a mere two-hundred dollars.  Smile

Meanwhile, at DCA which daily checks in very aggressive congressional staffers as well as their legislative bosses, agents are well prepared to deflate anyone's excessive ego. Only nice will work at DCA gates.

[Edited 2004-04-16 16:13:50]

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17297 posts, RR: 67
Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4109 times:

Ltuemployee2, I experienced the exact the same thing at FRA yesterday. I was booked non-changeable FRA-LHR at 2210 with BA. Due to changed plans, I was at the airport at 1145. The agent refused to change me to the 1440. After paying for a new ticket, I boarded the 1440. Lo and behold, at least 25 empty seats! I know the rules are the rules, but with SAS I have never been denied. It costs the airline practically nothing, and they can resell seat, which is closer to rush hour. Same with BA in Nice. No problem, enjoy your flight. And it makes the customer happy.

I think the Germans are a bit too much "Ordnung muss sein"  Big grin

"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineLtuemployee2 From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3944 times:

"I think the Germans are a bit too much "Ordnung muss sein""


User currently offlineSammyhostie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3933 times:

There is no obvious upgrade to pax, if you are "suitable for upgrade" (SFU) we will call and recommend you, just be well dressed.

Max 1 class upgrade from your present cabin.

Sammyhostie, BA

User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 23, posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3891 times:

More and more, upgrades are reserved for elite members of an airline's frequent flyer program, either due to program benefits or to solve an operational situation - there are, of course, exceptions and sometimes good humor or a bit of luck will get you a seat upfront, but nowadays, airlines know who their frequent flyers are and will offer upgrades to them if there is an overbooking situation or for other operational reasons.

For example, I fly CO regularly between BRU and EWR and many of us know how difficult an upgrade into BFirst can be......on a couple of occassions, the flight was overbooked and the gate agent paged me to advise that, as a Platinum Eilte member, I would be the first person to be upgraded if necessay...they found me....three or four times I got the upgrade (once I was already on board) and two time when this happened, I was then advised that I should go to my assigned seat, they were not upgrading. The gate agent had a handy list with Platinum and Gold Elite members to use for upgrades.

While, of course, every once in a while we just get lucky, I really do not think a nice outfit and pleasant small talk will get you up front.....if an airline is going to give away an expensive present like an upgrade, they will give it to their best customers.

User currently offlineFlightLover From Moldova, joined Mar 2004, 344 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3870 times:

Personally I have never been upgraded and I will be taking a transatlantic flight on Lufthansa in 1 month. After reading the comments of our German forum members I am very pessimistic about any possibility of getting upgraded. Has anyone here actually been upgraded on Lufthansa and if yes what is the strategy behind getting an upgrade with them?

25 JrMafia90 : I always pay for first class. That's all I fly. Whether it's a 2 hour flight or an 18 hour flight I always fly first.
26 KITH : My upgrade advice, won't work most of the time but can. Once my family and I were checking in at Usairways counter at CDG for our return flight to Ith
27 Dlj1216 : one person wrote about having a bad back. i have a fractured ankle and am wearing an aircast/cam walker, or whatever you want to call it. what are the
28 Flyboy36y : This isfo is freely available. www.flyertalk.com
29 Backfire : Slip three £20 notes into your passport when you check in. When the agent sees them, there will be a moment of inquiring eye contact. You don't need
30 764 : Well, I don't know about the bribing idea. I you do it here in the US, they'll most likely take your luggage apart or deny boarding entirely, since th
31 Post contains images Geoffm : Being the 1st economy passenger to check in has worked (DEN on BA), without any prompting, questioning, or anything. An offer of unloading got me 3 ec
32 Garnetpalmetto : one person wrote about having a bad back. i have a fractured ankle and am wearing an aircast/cam walker, or whatever you want to call it. what are the
33 Post contains images Businessboy : Best way to get an upgrade is ofcourse to be polite and dress well. I flew with both my parents from LGW-IAH and they upgraded us from Economy to Club
34 Post contains images Leezyjet : "Slip three £20 notes into your passport when you check in. When the agent sees them, there will be a moment of inquiring eye contact. You don't need
35 Richardw : I was making the point that if you really need to travel in a premium cabin then book that class of service. After all you would get miles that increa
36 Post contains links 764 : There is one more idea that may work, although it is really risky. Say you're supposed to be traveling on a United Airbus 320 in regular Economy. You
37 Ltuemployee2 : Actually that has never worked for me. In fact I have been reseated in rather bad seats, when I tried it. But it does work from Economy to Economy Plu
38 MNeo : I know I might be a little selfish but this summer I will be traveling alone on BA from JFK-SOF via LHR. Is there anyway a 16y/o can get into pre-eco
39 MartinairYYZ : Would it be possible for 3 people to get updraded together or would that be too many to bother with? Thanks
40 JeckPDX : There are a few different ways I have secured upgrades in the past. The easiest is to inquire about the cost of an upgrade on the day of travel, space
41 BA001Concorde : JeckPDX: "...wait until the majority of the passengers have boarded...if you see a vacant seat in business of first, just act as if it your reserved s
42 764 : True, that doesn't work any more. In the past, F/As also had those lists already, but rather than causing an argument, they would oftentimes allow pas
43 Businessboy : Yeah, its poosible for 3 people to be upgraded. Again, flew with BA and they upgrade the whole family Mom, Dad and me. To answer another question, min
44 SK973 : On my 18 intercontinental non-reving trips (15xSingapore, 2xOver the pond, 1xAustralia) I've only been upgraded once on an almost full SK 767 ARN-BKK.
45 PHL27RPhotog : I got upgraded on BA LHR-PHL last week. I was in 46E on a 744 and the seat didn't recline. I pointed it out to the FA and he immediately upgraded my w
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