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airfrancejfk
Topic Author
Posts: 460
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2002 1:05 am

Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sat Feb 23, 2002 11:37 pm

Working for an airline, I can honestly say I've heard just about every laim brained question. However, the most recurring one has got to be the famous. "can I have a complimentary upgrade?"

Now, am I to understand that most airlines give upgrades when you ask, just because you have a nice smile? It seems to me that passengers think we are dying to give away our business class seats. Nothing personal, however upgrades are more than just filling up an empty seat in business class. It involves reordering meals (which are quite expensive), and reallocating the crews' time from passengers who paid to be in J class, to those who have a $299 Y ticket.

So Basically, my question is, do most airlines upgrade you when you ask, just out of courtesy. I know we sure as hell don't.

 
Hamfist
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 9:40 am

Sounds French To Me!

Sun Feb 24, 2002 12:01 am

I guess there is always something to be said for customer service! As a passenger, I guess I would hate to BURDEN you with an phone call to order an extra meal.

Come to think of it...just don't give me a meal! Tell the FA not to offer me anything more than the soft drink I would have received in coach. I don't care. Just knowing that, as your customer, you simply offered me a bigger seat may be why I come back to your airline next time rather than use your competitor.
 
karliboy
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 2:19 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 12:04 am

Passengers ask for upgrades for the same reason you probably would if you didn't work for an airline...because it's better than what they've already got!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Karl
 
sunilgupta
Posts: 771
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 12:15 pm

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 12:14 am

It never hurts to ask.

I have been upgraded a few times just because I was the first to ask and they needed seats. Of course, your mileage status helps

Sunil
 
Dazed767
Posts: 5005
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 12:17 am

They want something for nothing, or just too cheap to buy business or first. They always want something for "free". Nothing in this world is free....
 
Hamfist
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 9:40 am

Dazed767

Sun Feb 24, 2002 12:35 am

"They always want something for 'free'"..Hey, welcome to Human Nature 101!

To say people are "too cheap" to buy a business or first class ticket is really an overstatement. If those upgrades were only 10-15% more expensive, then yes, I would agree it's a matter of being cheap or not. However, those seats are often 2-3 times as much as coach tickets.

Now, is it good business for an airline to make a practice of filling all upgrades? I don't have numbers to back this up, but I'll be the Customer Relations department would say yes. The airline industry is a cutthroat business and customer loyalty is huge(as evident by all the special programs aimed at maintaining customers).
 
Murf
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2000 11:47 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 12:59 am

I guess it doesn't hurt to ask, but people shouldn't expect to be upgraded for free.

Many times I've heard people getting mad at Flight attendents because they see all the empty 1st or Biz seats. If you want it that bad, you should pay for it.

The problem I see with the free upgrades is, if you give it to them once, they will expect it every time.

As for good business for the airline. I dont think so. An upgrade for the miles of a very frequent flier who uses that airline regularly and has a history of airline loyalty, yes. Someone who's just flying that airline cause they got the cheapest fare will not become a loyal customer. No free upgrade for them, they will continue flying the carrier with the lowest fare.

Nothing should be expected for free, If you purchased a used Toyata Camry and right after paying for it said, "do ya think I could take that brand new Camry instead for no extra charge?" Would that be a good business decision for the car dealer. Hell no. Why should the airlines be any different?
 
airfrancejfk
Topic Author
Posts: 460
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2002 1:05 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 1:06 am

Back to my original question, which no one has yet answered, do most airlines upgrade you when you ask.

Secondly, ordering meals is not as simple as picking up a phone. Meals are ordered before check-in starts. Last minute meals cost a hell of a lot of money, and lead to delays. Therefore, upgrades are more than just filling that empty seat in J class. I think most people figure the seat is there, so we might as well fill it.....doesn't quite work like that.

Yes it is a great customer policy to upgrade passengers, and like any airline we do this, when it becomes necessary, when flights are full, and particularly with our Frequent flyers. However, to have a completely empty flight and asking for an upgrade is ridiculous, and defies any amount of common sense.
 
Philly Phlyer
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 23, 1999 12:05 pm

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 1:25 am

I guess this explains a lot of what I have heard about customer service on Air France. For many airlines, the most frequent flyers (top tier) automatically get upgraded to first when they buy a full fare coach ticket. For a discount ticket, you are first in line for what is available. Generally, when checking in, you inquire whether that the free upgrade is available since you are on a discounted fare.

Being out of Philadelphia, I fly US Airways 75% of the time but always on discounted tickets. On many occasions if I am out of coupons, they upgrade me for free. Last summer on one flight, they had a 1st class cancellation and the gate agent came on board, got me out of coach and moved me to 1st class. That is not uncommon.

For a three year stretch I had to fly to Houston several times a month and racked up ton of miles on Continental Airlines. [Good airline and good employees, even during the bad years.] I had not flown them for over two years and when I boarded a Continental flight out of Newark to Houston last July, the ticket agent looked at my profile, smiled and said that it was good to see me back flying with them and that he was going to move me because I was in an exit row where the seat didn't recline. I thanked him since it was a 3 hour flight. After I left the counter, I looked at my ticket and found that he had moved me up to seat #2A in first class. Continental will get my business again!

Giving free upgrades when the seats are empty to frequent flyers (rhymes with "frequent buyers") is good business. It costs the airlines nothing (once the door closes, an empty seat is lost revenue) if nobody has paid for the 1st class seat and it makes the customer happy.
 
jamesag96
Posts: 2007
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2001 2:59 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 2:22 am

Bravo Philly phlyer, well put. Luckily I benefit from such occasions on Continental as well, that is why they get 80% of my business. AA sucks, NWA is o.k. with some proding, and US Air has always treated me well. Just my 2 cents. I'll remember to deal with the telephone operator if I ever have to fly AF.

J
Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
zrs70
Posts: 3774
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 4:08 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 2:58 am

Part of the joy of flying in F is that it won't be crowded. I hate it when I see F full and Y empty. I do not believe that empty seats MUST be filled with free upgrades.
21 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2021
 
Bjones
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 11:46 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 3:48 am

To say filling an empty seat in first doesn't cost an airline money isn't true. There is of course the meal and drink cost which have already been mentioned. Although those are minimal for each passenger they add up when you figure how many times that happens with all the flight the airline has.

There is also a cost associated with having more of the weight in the front of the aircraft. An aircraft burns less gas when it's center of gravity is towards the back of it's allowable range. A passenger in first class sits very close to the front and thus moves the center of gravity considerably in some aircraft. Also if you have an almost empty flight with lots of last minute upgrades then the aircraft may be delayed while bags or cargo are moved or in some cases even ballast is added to get the aircraft back in balance. Delays cost big bucks. The extra gas adds up over time too. I saw a figure once but don't recall what it was.

This is not to say airlines shouldn't upgrade passengers, just that you have to do it when it makes sense. Elite frequent flyers, a business passenger that is traveling you instead of the competition and you think there is an opportunity to make them a repeat customer, etc. It probably doesn't hurt to ask, but I know from my time in airline customer service there are alot of agents that won't do it when asked but they pick the people out on their own because of the above reasons or it just looks like they had a hard day and maybe we could make it better.
 
bobcat
Posts: 1141
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:28 pm

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 4:06 am

I hate to bring this up, but pretty female passengers seem more likely to be upgraded. My girlfriend gets free upgrades by check-in agents on 1 out of 8 trips. She also seems to get out of a speeding ticket with just a warning a lot... Life isn't fair, is it?  Big grin
 
vermeer
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri May 12, 2000 6:21 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 4:16 am

to answer to you question, AirFranceJFK, I think that American based airlines work in a different way from European based ones.
For the Americans, a more mature market, it is customary to "help" the passengers with services aimed to upgrade them on a regual basis ( see miles coupons, platinum or medallion status...full fare coach...there are even confirmation charts telling you when your Y class ticket will be upgraded to first). All of this because they want to lure a passenger more and more on their planes.
For EU based ones, I believe that the practice is not so usual, and it applies mostly for overbooked flights, freqyent flyers with top status and "mistakes" by the airline ( such as delays, cancellation of flights, problems encountered during the trip etc) aimed at rewarding the passenger, therefore something "extraordinary" compared to their usual behaviour.

Personally I am quite happy with the fact that the EU airlines I use the most are strict on their upgrade policies.
It is a sign of respect for the full fare or premium customer, aimed at giving a better service ( crewwise) and consistency to the airline.
 
Hamfist
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 9:40 am

What The...?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 4:31 am

Is somebody really telling me that moving two 150-pound people to the front of a 150,000 airplane is really putting a dent in revenue??

Look, I understand and appreciate that weight and balance is important, and I know that little things add up on thousands of flights per day, but c'mon! I'll bet it costs the airline more to pay medical insurance for employees who smoke than the burned fuel of our collective "butts" a few rows closer to the front on every flight. Also, I'll bet that weight and balance issue doesn't apply if that 150 pounder is a non-rev employee on a "perk" flight! Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a company taking care of the employees, but that issue would still exist.

As for the Toyota Camry analogy in an earlier post...dude, that's apples and oranges! You would have to assume the dealer couldn't sell the new one once the used one was sold for that to make sense!
 
blink182
Posts: 5370
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 1999 3:09 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 6:18 am

Whats the point in asking when you could have paid for it in the first place?

I don't understand why people who are refused a complimentary upgrade get so mad. If they want the upgrade, they should have to pay for it!

Now, I do understand in the case where a passenger with high mileage status asks for an upgrade and the requested cabin has a few empty seats and it is a long flight. Lets face it, the passenger has flown several times and given that airline a lot of business. I think in that rare case, he should be given the seat.

Now, for the passenger who doesn't fly a lot, or doesn't fly with that certain airline. That person has no right to complain, if they wanted the seat, they should pay for it. Now, if they go ahead and ask for the cost and pay for it, than thats fine.

I only think complimentary upgrades should be given to high mileage pax who have given that airline a lot of business in the past, and it is a long flight.


blink
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
 
BlueShamu330s
Posts: 2584
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2001 3:11 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 6:35 am

"Why do people ask for comlimentary upgrades?"

Good question, but I'd like to ask

"Why do some people NEVER pay more than the cheapest, non endorsable non changeable fare, yet EXPECT complimentary upgrades, then complain when services are axed ??"

Fortunately, longhaul bmi have a policy of absolutely NO upgrades at check-in or at the gate. Any upgrade is extremely rare.

Nice to have a cabin with people who are getting what they pay for rather than smug, smooth talking upgraders and ID 90 staff.

Shamu
Flying around India
 
Guest

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 6:55 am

On Continental, Northwest, and America West, a Silver, Gold, and Platinum member will be upgraded a few days before the flight automatically and they don't even have to ask for it.
 
penguinflies
Posts: 937
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 12:00 pm

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrad

Sun Feb 24, 2002 9:44 am

I like to keep the reservationist on their toes...when they ask "what seat would you like?" I say "3A."

They say, "uuuhhhhh..."

It's just some humor, and when said correctly if could make the their job easier (i'm not picky, I usually end up in a 767, so me in a middle seat is rare anyway, after i used that remark last time the guy gave me 10J, it's like first class, with a wall infront of me).

Makes me happy.
 
9V-SVE
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2001 7:51 pm

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 10:14 am

My family never asks for upgrades, but we were lucky enough to get upgraded to Premium Economy on Eva Air because Y was overbooked.
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1107
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 10:21 am

Are upgrades easy to get for the highest Frequent Fliers? I have been a 1 K (100,000 miles per year) on Untied for several years. I have NEVER been given an upgrade! I have asked, and unless I had coupons, no deal. I have NEVER heard my name called out to "move on up".

Of course, that is whay USAToday reported last week that United is losing so many of their highest frequent flyers. They have forgotten something called "customer service". So after giving UA thousands upon thousands of dollars I can honetly say AF, no, other airlines do not easily give upgrades, if it is the unFriendsly Skies of United!!

PS UA does not have to worry about ordering extra meals. They don't serve them anymore!
 
Guest

TonyBurr

Sun Feb 24, 2002 10:30 am

When it comes to upgrades on CO, NW, and HP, you can get upgraded everytime you fly no certificates required on any elite status tier.
 
AerLingus
Posts: 2280
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2000 9:22 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 12:32 pm

Noethwest automatically gives their most frequent flyers automatic upgrades, no matter how cheap the ticket. My dad can get these upgrades, but what the airline loses in revenue from automatic upgrades they can more than make up for in the fact that his high mileage status entices him to fly NW more often.

Just like it was said before: if you keep them happy, they will fly again. Spending a few extra bucks to placate a passenger is worth the return, IMHO.
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
 
nwa747-400
Posts: 1325
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 2:54 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 12:41 pm

NWA= unlimited domestic First Class upgrades for all elites and those who pay full fare coach.
 
nonrevman
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2001 6:33 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 12:46 pm

There seem to be a lot of factors at play here. One can get free upgrades due to:

(1) Elite status/passenger loyalty
(2) Oversold flights
(3) Paying a full fare
(4) The mood of the gate agent
(5) Being dress nicely in combination with one of the above reasons
 
doug_or
Posts: 3244
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 9:55 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 12:58 pm

I've been given 2 first class upgrades, and i asked for neither. I've gotten plenty of free FF tix over the years, but am not a membe rof any eilte ,ilage clubs. The first was on TWA. I asked if a window seat might be availalbe, and it was.... up in front! too bad it was only 45 minutes (STL-IND). The other time was when United screwed me over. The agent told me i had been upgraded. When i got to the gate, the gate agent laughed. At least i did end up in economy plus on the next segment by luck and over booking.

Doug
PDX/IND/LAF
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
Guest

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 1:03 pm

Why exactly!?!?! I would love to know too...I am always too shy to say "I paid $500 for a journey of several thousand kilometres return. Because I gave YOU my money I want a free upgrade to a class that would cost nearly $1800 for the same journey". I can't believe anyone could be so arrogant to say such a thing! I never ask, but sometimes I get the seat at checkin- just depends who you get. I never smother them with {fake} kindness or any other emotion, I just let them get on with their job, but if they ask me a question, eg "where to today?", , I answer politely- eg Brisbane/or Melbourne/or Adelaide". I usually ask for a window {please} as well.

In Oz, well at least when I have been upgraded, you don't receive the meal. And upgrades to a better seat have dropped off quite a bit I have found. Once I found myself sitting in row 3 {B762, Jan. 97} and from 3 to 7 on a 733 countless times from 1995 onwards {do unnacompanied minors/teens get seated where they can be kept an eye on?, lol}. I am unsure about some of the cabin furnishings in a 733 {whether 4,5,6,7 is J class} but the seats were totally different to the main cabin in that they were very {darker than navy} dark blue velour instead of an ordinary navy blue wool blend, more legroom, and just slightly wider. But still 3+3 seating of course. On the 762 however you had the first class seat {dark blue velour} in 2 + 2 + 2, but with less legroom than first. I have never received a biz or first class meal or snack with those upgrades, only with ff points. Perhaps people from econ are moved up to those rows because they need the plane to balance more effectively? However, I have NEVER NEVER NEVER asked for an upgrade...I just ask for a window seat on the forward edge of the wing- is that the same as asking for an upgrade? If it is, I feel so embarrassed... Innocent

SixStarAnsett

What is the deal with intl. though? Is is diff. from dom?
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 1:24 pm

i dont give any first class or business away.if you pay $299.00 to go from ORD-SFO then you got what you paid for.you always see a y class pax who paid dirt for their tkt to be the first person to ask for a up-grade. a good one i have heard was " i just has surgery on my knee can i get first class" also " i get really nervous when i sit in the back of the plane, can i get a first class seat?" noway do you get first just for showing up for the flight,if thats bad customer service then hop in the family wagon and drive.
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 1:31 pm

philly phlyer has brought up a good point,you need to fill first and business with frequent flyers.airfrancejfk asked if people upgrade them just for asking,the answer is no. will you upgrade a premier on united to give him a good seat? yes. would you upgrade a premier who paid nothing for his tkt? yes. will you upgrade a pax who is on vacation with his 4 kids and whinning wife? noway. big differance philly phlyer. you always take care of the businessman of women.
 
Guest

Ual777contrail

Sun Feb 24, 2002 1:40 pm

Ual777contrail,


What is the situation with people like doctors, college/university lecturers, etc who might not travel much, or not be in f.f. schemes?

Also, do children get to sit up front with fewer people and distractions for the flight attendants so they can be watched more closely {eg so they don't escape in excitement in a sea of people after pulling up at the gate?}.

SixStarAnsett
 
airfrancejfk
Topic Author
Posts: 460
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2002 1:05 am

RE: Ual777contrail

Sun Feb 24, 2002 1:56 pm

As far as I know, lecturers, doctors etc do not receive preferential treatment. Being an international airline, it can be tricky, especially with the amount of diplomats, UN officials, foreign dignitaries etc. that are travelling. Can you imagine what would happen if we upgrade them all. Secondly, children are seated from the middle to the rear of the aircraft. They are always placed on aisle seats to assure constant attention from the FA's.

One last point, Frequent Flyers are very much entitled to an upgrade. In most cases, when we close an AF flight, FF passengers are automatically upgraded. This has in effect created a very loyal clientele among AF's Frequence Plus passengers, to the point where they almost never ask for an upgrade, because they know we'll do our utmost to accomodate them. However, my main point is that day in and day out, we see people with a $250.00 L class economy ticket, wanting to go to F class (I mean forget about J class, they just want to jump straight into first), even though economy is virtually empty. Reading most of the posts here, it seems as if most airlines upgrade passengers when they are full, as is the case with AF. I know of no airline who upgrades $250.00 L class economy passengers on empty flights. If anyone does, tell me, because I will be the first one at their check-in counter asking for an upgrade.
 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3232
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 2:19 pm

TonyBurr I have a hard time beliving that as a 1k you've NEVER been upgraded. I've seen complimentary upgrades given for weight and balance and on empty flts I know I always look to see if there's a 1k in coach that could go 1st class. However, if your attitude is like the tone displayed in your post, noone is going to give you anything for free. That kind of tone is always answered with " Absolutely sir how will you be paying for the upgrade paper or electronic cert?

The last ORD flt the other night had 5 people on it they all sat in 1st per me and the flight attendent.

As for someone asking for complimentary upgrades, I always ask the customer back, If you went to the Ford dealer and paid for a Ford would you ask for a complimentary Lincoln? Complimentary upgrades are special because they are not given out all the time. They are given for a good reason not because someone just asks.

I won't give someone an upgrade on an empty flight if someone else already paid for the upgrade. It's not fair to the first guy who paid for the seat, to have someone get the same thing for free.
You all think of this issue from the perspective of the person asking for the upgrade. think about it from the POV of the customer who DID pay alot of money to sit in a higher class. What a sap they must feel like if the guy next to him just got bumped up for nothing.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
Guest

RE: Ual777contrail

Sun Feb 24, 2002 2:29 pm

AirfranceJFK said: "I know of no airline who upgrades $250.00 L class economy passengers on empty flights. If anyone does, tell me, because I will be the first one at their check-in counter asking for an upgrade." Northwest, Continental, and America West do this but only for their Elite members.
 
Guest

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 2:31 pm

LOL...oh, upgrade this, upgrade that...business class this, first class that...lol! Aren't we meant to love FLYING and AIRCRAFT? Isn't it the same SMOOTH or BUMPY flight whether you are in row 1 or 21?

SixStarAnsett  Big thumbs up
 
Hamfist
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 9:40 am

What About FAA Controllers?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 7:39 pm

Have any of you ever upgraded FAA air traffic controllers? Do they ever ask based on their job? I've heard there used to be a program where FAA controllers could do jump seat familiarization rides. Does that still exist?

 
BlueShamu330s
Posts: 2584
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2001 3:11 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Sun Feb 24, 2002 7:49 pm

Don't know about the FAA, but we used to participate in a familiarisation scheme for UK ATCOs.
However, it is currently on hold TFN.

Shamu
Flying around India
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1107
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Mon Feb 25, 2002 12:11 am

UALPHLCS you read my post correct. I have NEVER been given a complimentary upgrade after years of 1 K status. I do not ask unless I have the coupons. As to attitude, after flyinf UA for 20 years and the declining service, I, like so many FF of UA have just gotten plain old tired of it. I have NEVER shown attitude toward any check in agent. I have come not to expect much from UA. I am just waiting for the day when maybe I am "appreciated" by UA for the many, many, many years and tens of thousands of dollars I have given them. So yes, believe it. I have NEVER had my name called out for an upgrade!
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1107
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Mon Feb 25, 2002 12:19 am

UALPHLCS By the way I live in PHL and of course start my flyding from there, and I have not had a CS call me up for an upgrade!
 
Hamfist
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 9:40 am

Hey UALPHLCS...

Mon Feb 25, 2002 12:22 am

Looks like TonyBurr would like my "Airline Joke" thread, huh? Nothing like seeing another complaint about United!!
 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3232
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Mon Feb 25, 2002 1:21 am

TonyBurr when do you fly? If like most you fly on Sunday nights or thursday and friday when its full and busy f clas will always have a cert. Fly on saturday night I sent out a plane yesterday with 4 in F 2 nonrev to complimentary to premire execs. It happens, just because it dosen't happen to you dosent mean it doesn't happen.
Hamfist just try to keep the airplanes from plowing into one another and we'll do the rest. With your attitude I wouldn't be surprised if you got coffee spilled on you every flight. Fly the Friendly Skies
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
exitrowaisle
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat May 06, 2000 2:32 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Mon Feb 25, 2002 3:54 am

I think most people who ask for "complimentary" upgrades are non-frequent flyers who don't know or understand an airline's policies. It doesn't help when people tell them you should "just ask for one" or smile at the agent or tell them it's your birthday. Honestly, I have never seen that work for anyone. Getting angry for not getting a free upgrade is like paying for a black-and-white TV and getting upset because the store clerk won't give you a wide-screen home theater system. Ticket agents don't run the airline, they might get in trouble for handing out their premium product willy-nilly. Quite frankly, on a domestic flight, you're better off just asking for an aisle or exit row in coach, you get almost the same legroom, and just a slightly lower class of service. I have only been upgraded "free" after I achieved elite status on a frequent-flyer program, and the flight was overbooked in coach. And, I didn't ask for it, the computer system has a tag next to my name saying that I'm an elite FF member. Even then, it's about a 20% shot. My advice...take your seat in coach, enjoy the ride, and if you still feel like a second-class citizen, fly Southwest next time!
 
Guest

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Mon Feb 25, 2002 4:18 am

TonyBurr, I find that hard to believe that as a 1K you still haven't been upgraded. I am only a lowly Premier on United and I have even been upgraded.
 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3232
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Mon Feb 25, 2002 4:48 am

One more item, why do premier member feel the need to ask for a complimentary upgrade? UA gives out the certs! Many was the time a 1k would ask for an upgrade and would whip out a pack of certs you could paper your walls with. If the airline is giving you the means to get the upgrade for free, why ask for the upgrade with out surrendering the certs? EX. the other day I upgraded a Million Miler who had 98 certs in his electronic bank. He obviously didn't buy these one book at a time. He was more than happy to give them up. They hadn't cost him a thing, therefore Comp upgrade.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
Guest

Ualphlcs

Mon Feb 25, 2002 7:35 am

Well, I always buy about three packs of the four 500 electronic certificates, because I obviously would not earn enough based on flying only.
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1107
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Mon Feb 25, 2002 9:14 am

NW-ELITE U may find it hard to believe that I have not been upgraded, and so am I! UALPHLCS, I do not fly at high volume times like a Friday or Sunday night. Often it is Saturday during the day or mid week. I am not saying upgrades do not happen, I know they do. I have heard that often enough from Premier Ex and other 1 K. I am just saying it has not happened to me! I have tried to upgrade with certificates (500 mile and 1 K certificates) and been told that F was full. I can live with that. But when I get on board and see dead heading or whatever UA employees in F it makes me wonder. He may have all those stripes on is sleeve but..... I have used the coupons, no doubt about it. But to just be "called up", sorry no that has not happened. Funny it has happened on US where I have not been a high FF.

So people, you may find it hard to believe, but those things happen in life.
 
seven_fifty7
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 2:54 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrad

Mon Feb 25, 2002 10:12 am

Count me as another one finding it "hard to believe" Tony Burr has NEVER gotten a comp upgrade. If any of this is remotely true, this guy apparently presents himself with a bad attitude when approaching the gate agent. (You can surmise this from his numerous anti-United posts.)

"Never" gotten a complimentary upgrade as much as he claims to fly???

Hmmm. ...Tales from the X-Files if you ask me.
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Mon Feb 25, 2002 11:11 am

i can see there are a few of us here who work for airlines, ualphlcs is one of them.if you dont work for an airline you just dont know what we mean. you just know when to take care of someone, not if their a doctor , or working for the FBI. who cares who you work for, you just take care of your own. if there was a pax a 1k, or even just a premier. i would upgrade them if they were on a $200.00 tkt.you know who brings you money and those who check their brains curbside.the only two groups griping about this topic are those who dont know how an airline runs and those who are behind the lines. maybe not everyone gets that free upgrade but man what a time we live in. 777's and 747's gracing the skys, isnt traveling fun even from a middle seat? just the chance to go streaking through the sky in a 777 vs. a dc3 or dc 8? man what a fun time, and you may not get that upgrade everytime be patient it will happen to us all. keep smilin, buckle up and thank you for flying UNITED AIRLINES.
 
viveAF
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 3:06 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Tue Feb 26, 2002 12:03 am

By coincidence, this has just happened to me....

I was upgraded by AF flying from Tokyo back to Paris last night...

I`ve just posted a trip report in that forum, and it seems that, as mentioned here, it was more than likely my premium level status that did it !

Hope the trip report is not too long.....

 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3232
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Tue Feb 26, 2002 1:22 am

TonyBurr In regards to seeing UA employees in F while you were not upgraded. The ONLY ones you will ever see in F are pilots. Deadheading pilots have it in the contract that they travel BP1b as a deadheader. This is a must ride in F. (see the F/A non rev post for complete Borading priority list) Flight attendents are also must ride but they get upgraded after we finish the revenue upgrades. Also many times the pilot crew desk will oversell F class for the pilots. When this happens CS takes care of the customers and almost always assigns all F class seats to revenue passengers. This forces the pilots to wait like everyone else to see if F will be available, if not they ride in Y. To us overselling F is a travesty. WE do take care of the passengers. Again as a 1k you probably have been GIVEN many UG certs by UA, ask to get on the list, or as a 1K you can call Res 72 hours in advance and confirm an upgrade. Not getting an upgrade at the last minute when you don't ask and don't want to give up free certs... I don't see why you have anything to complain about. Thats my opinion I would have it even if I where Not an employee.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
ryanb741
Posts: 5058
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 6:36 pm

RE: Why Do Passengers Ask For Complimentary Upgrades?

Tue Feb 26, 2002 1:29 am

I get upgraded on SQ all the time. I have a sports injury which causes my leg to lock up after a while of sitting in the same position. I normally ask for a bulkhead seat but have been put in J class every time (6 times).

Maybe it's my good luck! Also, they upgrade my wife at the same time!
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?

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