Topic Author
Posts: 331
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2003 6:16 am

Upgrades To Business Class

Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:56 pm

How can an economy class passenger be upgraded to Business Class. I understand that different airlines have different policies about this. However, I believe that I've heard that on some airlines (I was told AS is one of these airlines), you can pay about $50 and get upgraded to Business class. Can you do this on AC and EK? I understand that AC has upgrade certificates that can be purchased, but they can only be used on transborder or domestic flights? Therefore, I am wondering if you can pay to be upgraded on AC, provided that there are available seats.
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 5:46 am

RE: Upgrades To Business Class

Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:10 pm

Well, there are a few ways to get upgraded. Most depend on the airline, the specific flight and in many cases on the crew members' attitude.

A "free" upgrade would occur when:
1. There's room in business (or first).
2. (usually) Coach is overbooked. This condition may be waived if you're a VIP, or if you're lucky enough to know a crew member...
When both of the above happen, there's the question of who to upgrade. I guess the answer varies among different airlines. Some will only upgrade members of their frequent flyer program, some will upgrade those who have purchased the most expensive coach tickets, and some would upgrade those who seem to "most deserve the upgrade". For example, I was once upgraded on BA, after having paid over 1500$ for excess baggage. I guess they figured that since I practically paid the cost of a business class ticket, I might as well fly in that class... All in all, I would say the human factor is important. There's always someone who could decided whether you're the chosen one or whether you're not.

A "purchased" upgrade is actually simpler. Occasionally, when there's room in business, the airlines offer last minute upgrades on a "first come first serve" basis. This upgrades is usually cheaper than the difference between the tickets, but it's last minute cash for the airline. Recently, I flew LX TLV-ZRH, and they suggested the upgrade for about 450$. I declined, and actually enjoyed the flight in the half-empty coach section. BTW, even though there's probably an incentive to the agent selling the upgrades, I would assume the airlines do not tend to suggest them frequently - they'd rather have the business travelers buy the expensive ticket ahead of time, than wait to the last minute for this cheap opportunity.

Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 6:58 am

RE: Upgrades To Business Class

Fri Mar 25, 2005 12:54 am

I have just returned from a short trip to California when I got upgraded BOTH ways with UA.

On the outbound, flight out LHR-ORD was oversold, so I had taken my seat in Economy and was approached and "moved forward" to business.. they guy whose seat I had taken was put into First.

On the return, SFO had weather delays and I was to miss my connections. When my boarding pass was handed to me, the agent had put me into Business too! This flight was not heavily booked in Y, or at least not oversold as far as I could see.

Reasons I think I was upgraded (I certainly didn't ask..)
1. Travelling alone.
2. Busy flight.. outbound at least.
3. Frequent Flyer status.. UA Prem Exec.. not very very high, but still...

Thanks UA.

All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
Posts: 751
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2003 2:18 am

RE: Upgrades To Business Class

Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:50 am

On march 20th, flight LAX-CDG on Air France : I've been upgraded from Coach to Business.
I think it's for the following reasons :
- Coach section overbooked
- Seat available in Business
- I'm a Frequence Plus Bleu (Elite) frequent flyer.

One thing is sure : AF business class is great!!!!! bigthumbsup 
Flying is amazing!
Posts: 2269
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 12:03 pm

RE: Upgrades To Business Class

Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:15 am

All it takes to get an upgrade is that great one liner to the gate agent.  Smile

Or you can always purchase segment upgrades or that occassional overbooking that never happens on US carriers.
A liberal is a man who is right most of the time, but he's right too soon.
Posts: 188
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 5:33 pm

RE: Upgrades To Business Class

Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:31 am

I know it sounds crazy, but another option is to buy a business class ticket!!!!!


4 engines 4 long haul
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:19 am

RE: Upgrades To Business Class

Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:02 am

A few years ago my friend travelling from MAN to Toronto on AC was able to buy an upgrade at check - in for about £100, so yes it is (was) possible with AC.
Don't try to keep up with the Joneses - bring them down to your level !
Posts: 1371
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 6:20 am

RE: Upgrades To Business Class

Fri Mar 25, 2005 8:06 pm

AA777jr, what is your fav one-liner?
"I will sue you for discrimination if you don't upgrade me"?
Putana da Seatbeltz!