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Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:34 pm

I realise 'how to get upgraded' has been discussed a zillion times before... 'pay for it', 'have FF status' and 'be very lucky' seem to be the answer.

However, I wanted to clear up the status with honeymooners, which is slightly different. I hear that honeymooners are sometimes upgraded even if there is no operational reason to do so with some airlines. Is that the case? If so, I wonder whether there is any point to pay the extra for J if you might well get upgraded anyway.

What are the policies at airlines? Is it worth registering when you book that you are a honeymooner?
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:42 pm


Not to sound cold, but do not count on it. Pay for the ticket you're willing to pay, that's all. You can "discreetly" mention you're leaving on your Honeymoon to a couple of ground staff, but do not make a big deal of it. I know our airline does not do it officially, but anything is possible sometimes  Big grin
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:44 pm

I think it is an urban myth, because if it actually happens as much as people say, than every male/female traveling together would say honeymoon, upgrade please.
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:46 pm

Well it worked for me on NWA & KLM

But as said no guarantees...

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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:52 pm

I guess if you´re nice and discreet people, don´t demand it as if its a must and don´t look like someone who can can afford a economy ticket only because you´ve won it in the lottery you´ll find some who might want to give you a wedding gift. In effect it costs the airline just a few (better) drinks and a few Euros more on food.
Why shouldn´t airlines react differently than Hotels? If not fully booked honeymooners have a fair chance of getting a suite for the price of a doublerroom. Especially if they stay just 2 or 3 days.
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:53 pm

As one that has myself upgraded several dozen honeymoon couples over the years I can tell you that if it is possible many at the airport consider it. However I must also caution that they don't " have too". While marriage is indeed a wonderful thing for the couple involved, and a wedding is a very special moment for that couple, they really need to face facts that there are 100's of millions of people that dont know them and could frankly care less. For as many couples as I have upgraded for free I have also denied just as many for making a big issue out of it, promising future business or threatening to withhold same, or worse demanding it. Those new couples I am afraid always find themselves sitting in coach right where they belong.
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:09 pm

Great feedback - thanks. You are right to say that if you more or less demand it, then you won't get it... I was interested in whether many airlines usually did upgrade you if there was space (and you are not very scruffy or very rude!)
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:26 pm

Honeymooned to French Polynesia in June aboard Air Tahiti Nui...if you are looking for a honeymoon upgrade aboard TN, think again. I would estimate that 75% of our flights both to and from LAX were honeymooners. As far as our domestic connectors aboard AA to LAX, we had no luck with upgrades.
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:35 pm

Yes many airlines consider it when the flight is not full and they have the space/meals on board anyway in the premium cabin. It is often noted in the reservation that the couple is on a honeymoon. There is no special consideration /other than the reservation remark/ given until near departure time however. If the space is going unused at departure time many in the airlines feel it is in their best interest /employees that is/ to offer this as a token of good will to the couple in hopes that the memory will result in a loyal return customer. However as time goes on, premium cabins get smaller and honeymoon couples get more aggressive and demanding of their free gift the tide unfortunately is changing.
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:49 pm

Don't ask for it. If you can just casually drop that you're on your honeymoon. The airline I work for will not upgrade unless there's an operational need, however dropping casually that you're going on your honeymoon or going to get married may help you get a better seat.

« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:31 pm

In effect it costs the airline just a few (better) drinks and a few Euros more on food.
Technically, food is not a concern since at the end of every flight, it has to be thrown out (except for packaged items).

"She Flew For What We Stand For"
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:56 pm

We had the special circumstance somehow listed with our reservation. It came up on every flight during our segment and although was never offered an upgrade, we did get many compliments and smiling personal service.

As for the hotels, that is a different story. We got upgraded to an oceanview deluxe suite at the Westin in Grand Cayman. We took a gamble there as we just booked a cheaper room hoping we could upgrade for the same price upon check-in. It worked out in our favor.
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:08 am

The only honeymoon upgrade I've heard of is when the wife told me that they got upgraded on a flight to ANC for their honeymoon -- reason for the upgrade was that the flight was oversold, and the husband decided to take the bump.

Every other time, if the couple was in a premium cabin, it was because they either (a) paid for it, (b) used miles for it, (c) upgraded with miles, or (d) got an upgrade because one spouse was an elite in the FFP.

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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:49 am

Look and dress smart. Smile and say "It's such a pleasure to get to fly on XXX on such a special occasion." wait.....the agent will say..."And what is the occasion?"

"Oh, my new wife and I are going on our honeymoon." Then pray. If there's room, there's a chance.

Don't assume, but there's always a chance.

Good Luck
"Up, Up and away with TWA"
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 2:45 pm

It probably always depends on the airline.

The airline I'm working for, doesn't upgrade if:
- there isn't an authority from management
- there isn't an overbooking situation

In other words:
- honeymooners fly the class they are booked in
- frequent flyers fly the class they are booked in, irrespective of their tier level (unless there is an overbooking situation in their class of travel)
- non-revs fly the class they are holding a ticket for

The reason this is done:
- upgrading people often devaluates the experience for the people who actually paid for the higher class of service and that, quite frankly, should'nt happen

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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:41 pm

Flying DTW-MSY on NW a couple years ago (December 2001), instead of taking a honeymoon my father and step-mother took the whole family on vacation with them. My dad got an upgrade through his elite status. After he was seated up in first and the rest of us in back, the flight attendant came back and told my step-mother she could come sit up front.

They only did it because there just happened to be an extra seat in F, but I thought it was a very nice gesture on the flight crew's part.
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:14 pm

I know that with Martinair Holland they will assign Honeymooners good seats, like Exit rows etc.

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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 8:32 pm


I also Honeymooned to French Polynesia in June aboard Air Tahiti Nui!! We flew from LHR to LAX on American Airlines and casually dropped it in that we were on our honeymoon and the check in person made a note on the system. When we got the gate we were called up and our seats were 'upgraded' to bulk head seats in Economy which to be honest was great!

We then flew Air Tahiti Nui on June 6th to Papeete which was a dreadful flight - neither my wife's IFE screen or mine would work and the flight was full, so it was an 8 hour flight with a book! On the way back we had the same problem, with only one working. At least the cruise on the Tahitian Princess in between was fantastic!!

No luck with upgrades for the rest of the trip from LAX to STL and then STL to LGW via RDU on American, but we didn't bother to mention it when checking in.
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 8:39 pm

Twalives: Just noticed that you are from St Louis! Where my wife is from, hence the detour on the way back to London...
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 10:24 pm

It sometime happens, sort of - back in April my daughter and son-in-law were jumping the pond from LHR to JFK to spend a few weeks in N.Am, the Big Apple, Vegas, Nigara, etc.

They boarded their BA flight and were settling into Y when my daughter found that her seatback tray would not stay up - the latch was broken. Of course she couldn't stay in that seat for takeoff so that the FA looked around, apologised and said to her that the only available seats were in Business and she would have to move there.

Her husband thought quick and blurted out that they were on their honeymoon and it wouldn't be right that they be separated - so he got a seat in Business too!

Well, they were almost on their honeymoon they'd only been married 6 months.


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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 10:33 pm

Interesting thread.
With UTAette and myself getting married next year and escaping on honeymoon somewhere, I think I'll go for C tickets with my FF miles rather than adopt the buy-Y-tickets-and-hope-for-the-best strategy.

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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:07 pm

rwylie77 -

Small world! Even funnier that your wife is from STL and my wife's family is from London.

I wonder if we crossed paths in our was our intinerary.

Night at the Sheraton Beachcomber - Tahiti
June 2 PPT-BOB
Bora Bora Pearl Beach for 3 nights
June 5 BOB-PPT
Radission Seven Seas Cruise 7 nights

Hope you enjoyed French Polynesia as much as us...its quite a spectacular place.
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:19 pm

Thanks Everyone

I think, on balance, that we will use BA Miles and treat ourselves to either J or F, rather than risking it. May be missing out on a free upgrade, but it would be annoying not to get the U/G.
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:20 pm

When we went on our honeymoon about 3 years ago, we didn't know or say anything about a possible upgrade to first. However, DL checked us in and then said they had a suprise for us at the gate, if we would just wait until everyone had boarded the aircraft. We got first all the way from DFW-CDG and back again!  Big thumbs up

Point being, its a wonderful thing when it happens but usually very unexpected. Don't count on anything happening, because sometimes they may want to give it to you but not have any room up front to make it work. But, make sure you let people know you're on a honeymoon when you go, because you'll get free stuff from every corner. Maybe not an upgrade, but you can be sure that on a long flight, someone will probably offer to pay for a couple of drinks or something. Not to mention the free stuff you'll get on the ground, wherever you go.  Big thumbs up

Good luck and cheers!
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:45 pm


How bizarre!! Our itinery was:

LHR - LAX - May 31st (AA)
Time in LA and drove across to Vegas (via Victorville of course!)

LAX - PPT - June 6th (Air Tahiti Nui)
10 night cruise with Princess, from Tahiti via Bora Bora and all the other islands)

PPT - LAX - STL - June 16th/17th - (Air Tahiti Nui, AA)
Spent four days in St Louis (Well near Columbia, IL) and went to a Cardinals game on the Friday night.

STL - RDU - LGW - June 21st...back home.

My e-mail address is - drop me your contact details and we'll have to meet up next time I'm in STL or you're in London. Is your wife English?

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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Sat Jul 31, 2004 12:45 am

Me and my fiancee are flying out to Antigua to get married from LGW with Virgin next February.

I plan to casually drop that into the checking in proceedure, to see if Virgin can 'surprise' my girlfriend  Smile

We're already booked Premium Economy, so its a little better than an Economy -> J class jump!
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Sat Jul 31, 2004 6:32 am

hey guys, here is our story. We just got married May 2, 2004.
We had a very good experience with AA overall:

My Mom and Aunt gave us 70,000 (or 80,000, i forget) miles EACH and so we booked Business class seats JFK-Maui and Kauai to JFK return.

The problem is that their original booking gave us a 5 hour layover in LAX. That sucked.

But then it got worse when they called me to say the layover was now 6.5 hours. At that point I called them (with 6 weeks to the wedding) and explained it was our Hmoon and yada yada yada....

PS our layover was changed (including a later flight) to 55 minutes! so that was awesome.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Then, point 2: Right after our wedding reception, we used some strategy:

The Maitre'd gave us 2 tins full of pasteries jsut as we were leaving the catering hall. The next afternoon, we boarded the flight with them and gave them to our FA in business who was attending to us.

She said that although there was no space to upgrade us to F, we'd get F service. The rest of the flight was excellent with her service. Prior to landing, she presented us with a bottle of Champagne, wrapped in bubble wrap, and wished us a great trip.

For the return leg, we really wanted to EXTEND our 3 hour layover and make it much longer so that we could visit with MIDNIGHT MIKE in LGB.

At first, AA would not let us. Then my AAunt called AA Customer service, explained that she and my mom got us these mileage tixx for our honeymoon and asked that our layover be extended.

PS it worked like a charm and we got to stay in LA for 8 hours.

A) use mileage tickets, (if you can, its better to get them as a GIFT!  Big thumbs up)
B) be extra nice to your crew. Im not saying bribe them with food but they work crazy lifestyles and appreciate yummy little gifts like that. One hand washes the other.

C) Have them note that you are on your honeymoon on your RLN, but expect nothing. IN an extentuating circumstance (like we wanted to extend layovers, etc, it might work if you go through cust service.)

thats our experience.
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Sun Aug 01, 2004 3:00 am

Well, magazines suggest you to say that you are on your honeymoon in order to get a free upgrade.

I won't give it to you because I wasn't born yesterday and I will not bite that, even if it was true and you were on your honeymoon.

Sorry  Smile
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RE: Honeymoon Upgrades?

Sun Aug 01, 2004 3:20 am

I don't know about you guys, but i've gotten more interested in this chat between Rwyli77 and twalives. Really made me smile. Quite a coincidence.

Shame you two went into 'email' mode to finish off the conversation.

PS. Attend Parks College of SLU back in '93. Wonderful city STL (not cahokia though). Small, quaint and charming.

 Big thumbs up
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