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Upgrade For Free On JFK-AMS.Should I Try It?  
User currently offlineCheco77 From Peru, joined Oct 2004, 1345 posts, RR: 8
Posted (10 years 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5576 times:

Hi fellow aviation lovers,

I heard stories saying that if you ask when checking-in at the airport for a free upgrade to Bussines class, they give it to you. I head only LH doing these "deals".
I will be flying KLM on route JFK-AMS soon and I thought I may try it.
But, I wanted to first ask you, do you have any experience with this situation? Does anyone upgraded for free to Bussines when flying KLM specifically? Should I try it?
Thank you in advance for helping.
Adam Bechny

Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineUALFAson From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 733 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5449 times:

The only way I think you'd get a "free" upgrade to business class is possibly if you were on a full-fare economy ticket.

While you may be able to talk your way into an upgrade on an intra-US or intra-Europe flight, the difference in product, service, and cost, between economy and business on transatlantic flights is so great that it's difficult for even frequent flyers to nab upgrades.

If they just gave free upgrades to anybody, while would anybody buy a business class ticket and not just try to upgrade their economy ticket? And there's what, 300 economy seats on a 747 and 72 business class seats? Can't upgrade everybody mathematically.

That said, you've nothing to lose by asking. The worst they can do is tell you no. (Well, and spend the next week laughing about the guy on the $300 ticket who thought he could upgrade to a $7,500 business ticket.  Smile ) Good luck!

"We hope you've enjoyed flying with us as much as we've enjoyed taking you for a ride."
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5384 times:

Checo77, to add to what UALFAson said, go ahead and ask - but don't be surprised if you get "Sorry, sir, but that won't be possible" as a response...

As for LH offering those "deals" - believe me, they don't.


Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineN1120a From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26593 posts, RR: 75
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5375 times:

Hey, never hurts to ask. I once was checking in at CDG for a SR flight back to LAX, I was making sure I had my normal window when she said "well sir, you have a window from Paris to Zurich, but an Aisle from Zurich to Los Angeles" I was mad, and started rattling off in French about how I had made my seat reservations way in advance and how mad I was, and then she said "oh, you have been upgraded to business class, that must be the issue, is that ok?" I said "well, ok, I guess I can deal with it"  Big thumbs up. I was not on anything close to a fulll fare ticket, in fact that was my one and only priceline ticket.

Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineLj From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4461 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5279 times:

Although you're free to ask I would say unless you're on the VIP (Very Important Passenger) list you're chances are (close to) zero.

User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5259 times:

Unlikely but possible (it's happened twice to me, and I'm not a frequent flyer). However, I've never *asked* for an upgrade. Both times it was just given to me, without asking. I believe the first time had something to do with a certain friend of a friend who had access to the computer systems... VIP list all the way!

Geoff M.

User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5143 times:

Why do people think that if they ask for an upgrade, they will get it? Why should the airline give you something for nothing.....I dont get it. I think you should ask for the upgrade, and then ask the agent to pay for your hotel rooms in Amsterdam for a few nights (be sure to ask for a suite) and also ask KLM to throw in a few hundred Euros of spending money.....why not? Maybe they will give it to you.

Sometimes, for operational reasons (ie, overbookings) airlines will upgrade passengers.....usually the airline will upgrade its best frequent flyers (yes, they have a list) or pax travelling on full fare tickets.....and sometimes, one or more pax will just get lucky. Other situations that lead to upgrades are scheduling problems, missed connections, seating issues, aircraft swaps, and the like.

Give the gate agent a break.....the are probably 300+ pax on your flight and each and everyone of them would like to be upgraded for free.

User currently offlineJAXpax From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5131 times:

Don't embarass yourself. Don't even try. You certainly aren't entitled to it.

User currently offlineAMS From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1691 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5110 times:

Well, It can never hurt to ask!.......as long if you ask in in a polite way like
"is there any possibility for an upgrade on this flight"........I must say that it works sometimes; so its not something you expect, just you ask!

Also make sure that you are wearing a business suit, because if you have jeans you can forget it!

Good luck!


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5034 times:

Well, in a word, no. If you have no shame then as others have said what is the worst that could happen, however I'd say your chances are next to zero.

Save up the pennies and the miles and you can sit in business and be pleased that you earned it

"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4944 times:

Well, while your at it why don't you ask for free membership to the KLM Crown Rooms, WorldClubs, etc, 100,000 bonus miles for buying a deeply discounted coach ticket, and maybe even a pony.

Oh, and when your at the check-in, make sure you are wearing a tank-top, shorts and flip-flops!

User currently offlineRobNL From Netherlands, joined Jun 2004, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4879 times:

Why do some of you have to bitch about this?

I do agree that if you want to fly fancy, you pay for it. But judging by his age, Checo77 is probably not an experienced (business) traveller, so he probably doesn't know how these things work. He's just curious what it's like to fly business class.
I assume that's why he's asking the question...

Give the guy a break!

Adam, enjoy your flight!


User currently offlineCheco77 From Peru, joined Oct 2004, 1345 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (10 years 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4810 times:

Hey guys,
actually my dad is a diplomatic (I have a diplomatic passport) and I fly twice (sometimes 3 times) a year. I posses a FD Silver Elite card. My first flight was when I had 3 months.
Despite my age, I am and experience traveller.
I flew bussines class two times (that´s why I want to try it on this flight).
Adam Bechny

Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
User currently offlineCheco77 From Peru, joined Oct 2004, 1345 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (10 years 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4745 times:

I dind´t mean to attack anybody or saying this to be superior, I was just answering RobNL.

Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
User currently offlineRobNL From Netherlands, joined Jun 2004, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4496 times:

obviously my assumption was not correct, I apologize for that!


[Edited 2004-10-18 20:48:40]

User currently offlineCheco77 From Peru, joined Oct 2004, 1345 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (10 years 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4348 times:

No problem Rob.
Adam Bechny

Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
User currently offlineKL911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5195 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (10 years 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4260 times:

My experiences are good. I've been upgraded 3 times. Once from AMS to PHL with US, because I know they always overbook economy I just asked them. On the return it didn't work because the flight was only half full. The other 2 times where on UA , LHR-IAD return. Got both ways an upgrade to First from Business class. Again the reason was that economy was overbooked. A few economy pax went to business class and a few business pax went to First.

2 things important:

-Dress official
-Check in early and ask to be put on the upgrade list.


User currently offlineJumboJet From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 3 days ago) and read 3717 times:

"Check in early and ask to be put on the upgrade list"

I have been told the opposite - that you should check in just before check-in closes. The theory being that by then they may have already given away your seat in which case they will have to upgrade you. So which is it - early or later? Anyone else got a theory?

User currently offlineFXMD11 From Thailand, joined Aug 2004, 184 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3256 times:

It never hurts to ask and people who are bitching arround are also the ones who make the biggest noise when sitting in eco and being not treated fair. If they dont take the chance they shouldnt complain about it. I always ask and got lucky so many times, especially here in Bangkok and Australia (using TG with my FX Crew Card).
Adam, just go ahead and ask - no one will bite you and well trained check in staff know how to be polite if they cant do it. Life is to short............  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineNudelhirsch From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 1438 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3178 times:

I got one free upgrade (other than burning miles) on AA, but I was on the waiting list to burn miles, asked the checkin-lady about the status of my waiting list, she said, I should ask the gate agent, I looked at my boarding pass which said BUSINESS and said to her never mind. I liked that... Smile

Putana da Seatbeltz!
User currently offlineVenezuela747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1428 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3132 times:

Just be smooth, jsut be like "How are the loads on this flights? You know last time I flew with you guys the flight was pretty packed and it was kinda unconfy?" Depending on the answer bust out your question.

User currently offlineWdleiser From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 961 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3132 times:

If you want a free upgrade on Lufthansa, You must be in a Coat and Tie, very polite to the gate agent and most importantly be very important to the Purser on the flight

User currently offlineAAplatnumflier From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3104 times:

The worst they can say is no. So what do you have to losse?

User currently offlineEZEIZA From Argentina, joined Aug 2004, 4967 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (10 years 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3083 times:

A friend of mine has been upgraded several times by saying he is claustrophobic when checking in. He uses that one every time, and if he doesn't get upgraded, he always gets a seat on the emergency exit row.

Carp aunque ganes o pierdas ...
User currently offlineFoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 3000 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (10 years 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3044 times:

My then-girlfriend (now wife) and I got randomly upgraded on a JFK-AMS flight a couple of years ago, although it was operated by Northwest. The gate agent pulled us aside, literally as we were stepping through the door to the jetway, said "let me see those boarding passes" with a grin, and handed us a pair for WBC. I think they were overbooked in Y, had a few seats up front, and thought we looked like a nice couple. Quite unexpected, but a very pleasant surprise. The same NW agents work KLM flights, so you never know!

In any event, I don't see the harm in asking, as long as you're polite about it and aren't bothering the agent. If the agent is friendly and--most important--not busy with other stuff or clearly having a bad day, and you strike up a conversation, there's nothing wrong with saying offhand, "so, I don't suppose there's any chance of getting an upgrade..." Odds are that they'll just laugh and say "yeah, right," but if they're overbooked in coach they might just decide they like you enough to give you the upgrade rather than the next person in line.

Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
25 Eric : i tried to ask once on the exact same leg. dressed in that season's fashion (should deffo work then...) all i got from the lady in blue at klm was a l
26 Lima : Checo, Just like you I have FD Silver Elite. I never got any upgrade (I never flow Business class either) since I am FD member (8 years). But I never
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