acabgd
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 9:55 am

Upgrade At The Gate (Europe)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:10 pm

Reading trip reports I was always wondering if it is really that easy to get an upgrade from Economy to Business (not to say First!).

If I hold a ticket in Economy on an intercontinental trip with a European major, say LH or AF, is there any chance to get an upgrade to Business?

Is there a chance that if Business is not full an upgrade might be purchased at the gate at a discount, say a few additional hunder euros?

Thanks in advance!
CSud,D9,MD8x,D10,Trid,BAC1,A30,31,319,320,321,33,346,B71,72,73,74,75,76,77,L10,S20,A42,A72,T13,T15,F50,F70,F100,B146
 
HT
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Upgrade At The Gate (Europe)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:13 pm

I only got asked by a Customer Service Agent once if I were willing to upgrade my paid Business Class flight into First Class, but of course not for free but for the normal number of FF-miles required for the upgrade. This was on LH flying LAX to MUC - or was it with LX flying LAX to ZRH ?
Anyway I declined, as the miles in my account are more aimed to be used for Award Flights, not for (unnecessary) upgrades (from Business to First).

IIRC, Business Class on that flight was sold out and I suspect that was the only reason to search for people to voluntarily upgrade.

Quoting Acabgd (Thread starter):
If I hold a ticket in Economy on an intercontinental trip with a European major, say LH or AF, is there any chance to get an upgrade to Business?

Is there a chance that if Business is not full an upgrade might be purchased at the gate at a discount, say a few additional hundred euros?

Longhaul: As long as the (seating) class you are booked in, is not sold out or overbooked, it is unlikely to get offers to upgrade to the next level for discounted cash (things usually are different with charter operators).
It is more likely that Status Customers get an (involuntary) Upgrade based on some secret scheme.

Flying with LH within Europe, I received upgrades to Business as well as InvolDG (Involuntary downgrades) with compensation.
Only a single time I received an Upgrade to Business right at the gate (received a new BP when trying to board while my mum already had passed the gate), I had to fight for 15 minutes to get back into Eco in order to be sitting next to my (slightly elderly) mum, which included reshuffling other pax (including separating another couple). Back then (and still nowadays) I was *not amused* by the fact that LH w/o asking had changed my seat for that continuation flight and thus separating 2 pax on a single booking. - And I did not feel sorry for the fact that the whole reshuffling delayed our departure (a full flight from MUC to HEL).
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
PlymSpotter
Posts: 9986
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:32 am

RE: Upgrade At The Gate (Europe)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:23 pm



Quoting HT (Reply 1):
And I did not feel sorry for the fact that the whole reshuffling delayed our departure (a full flight from MUC to HEL).

Quite understandable in that situation Holger - to do that to pax on a single booking without asking is not a good policy.

I have been upgraded a couple of times at the gate, both with KLM and both more as an apology for the original flight being cancelled. Long haul it's very unusual to get upgraded, unless Eco is full and pax are needed to move up into C.


Dan  Smile
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acabgd
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 9:55 am

RE: Upgrade At The Gate (Europe)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:05 pm

Thanks to both of you for your replies!

Alex
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andz
Posts: 7624
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 7:49 pm

RE: Upgrade At The Gate (Europe)

Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:23 pm

In November I was booked FRA-JNB on SA and had an upgradeable ticket. I was checked in economy (told them I had an upgradeable ticket) and got the upgrade at the gate as they closed the flight.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
goldorak
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 5:29 am

RE: Upgrade At The Gate (Europe)

Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:01 am



Quoting Acabgd (Thread starter):
was always wondering if it is really that easy to get an upgrade from Economy to Business (not to say First!).

no, it's not easy ! You can be upgraded only from your class of service to the next upper one, i.e. from Y to J but not from Y to P (except if you have very good friends working for the airline...). Upgrades are generally attributed to top-tier frequent fliers and depending on the fare purchased. So if you don't fall in these category, the chances to be upgraded are close to zero.
Also, as said before, Y will need to be overbooked.

Quoting Acabgd (Thread starter):
Is there a chance that if Business is not full an upgrade might be purchased at the gate at a discount, say a few additional hunder euros?

AFAIK, all major European airlines do not proceed to commercial operations at the gate, but only to boarding-related operations (changing seats, etc). Major EU airlines do not allow to buy an upgrade, like their American counterparts do. You can use your miles to upgrade you from Y to J, but generally, you need to have a full fare Y ticket to do this. So if you want to "buy something", it is basically to transform your Y ticket in a J class one, so you will pay the difference between the 2 fares and believe me it will be more than a few hundreds Euros for an intercontinental flight. It will be a few thousands. Also, it has to be done at the ticketing desk, not at the gate.

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