airways45
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed May 10, 2000 1:26 am

Upgrades On Connecting Flights

Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:52 am

Hi everyone!

I often fly from UK to USA via a US Hub.

If I check in at a US city for my flight home via a HUB - i.e IAD or ORD and get my boarding pass issued for my connecting flight, am I less likely to get an upgrade than if I had checked in at the hub city?

For example, if I flew LAX to LHR via ORD, and have my ORD - LHR boarding pass issued in LAX, are those folks that check in at ORD for the LHR more likely to be upgraded or doesn't it matter?

I've often wondered about this since if a flight, say ORD - LHR is oversold, but you check in at another city many hours before, they are likely to give you your original seat... I've found it unlikely to be upgraded at the city you started out at...

Any other experiences out there?


Airways45
 
User avatar
litz
Posts: 1884
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 6:01 am

RE: Upgrades On Connecting Flights

Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:17 am

I think this depends entirely on the airline. Since so many now offer online checkin, they also tend to offer online upgrading (or qeueing for upgrades) and as such, you have just as much chance as anyone else.

Now, depending on the airline, they might now allow online upgrade requests from an international originating passenger, or they might - check with your airline for info.

(I'm guessing United, since you're going through ORD ?)

Lastly, consider the airline's request process itself : delta, for instance, will ALWAYS weigh your ticket price/FF status against everyone else when setting up the upgrade list @ the gate.

So as an example (using delta) - if you register for an upgrade day of travel and there are still seats available, your international class ticket (+ high level medallion status) is likely to put you ahead of the guys flying a domestic L, U or T (low-end) fare.

Moral of the story? Call the airline (or visit a ticket office). Each airline is different, and each set of circumstances is also different.

- litz
 
Marambio
Posts: 1145
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 9:41 am

RE: Upgrades On Connecting Flights

Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:51 am

I fly quite often from Argentina to Europe and vice-versa, which helped a lot reaching Senator status at Lufthansa's Miles&More program.

Thus far I have noticed upgrades are most likely given to passengers who have got a high status on the airline's frequent traveller program, no matter which destinations you fly from/to. Upgrades also vary according to your booking class - a passenger who has paid a full-fare, Y class ticket has more chances to be upgraded than somebody who paid a Q ticket.

This said, while check-in, I always ask the agent how the loads on my flights are, and if I have got any chances to be upgraded. If I do, I ask her to put me on the courtesy upgrade waiting list for both flights. Afterwards, at the gate some minutes before boarding, I ask again whether the upgrade has cleared.

If I am connecting to somewhere else, once at my connecting airport I go either to my gate, to the transfer desk or to the lounge's information desk, and ask the agent whether I still am on the waiting list, and if more people are also there - especially people who are willing to spend some miles, which always have priority. Finally, some minutes before boarding, I approach the agent again to see whether I am lucky enough to get the bloody upgrade.

This is how I do it. I know there are dozens of other ways to get an upgrade, but thus far I got quite a few free rides on Business with my method.

I hope this helps.

Saludos,
Marambio
Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo