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trickijedi
Topic Author
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 9:02 am

Hi,

I was wondering if it is possible to fly Business (or First) from Coach on a domestic flight just by asking the gate person at the last minute? Say, maybe if the flight is not fully booked and there are seats left on Business Class. Has anyone ever tried this? Any luck?

I was thinking about trying it for the first time on my next flight from ORD-LGA. OK, I might not have any luck on this flight since load factors are usually pretty high for this route but maybe for future flights.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
Guest

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 11:23 am

If you went to an automall and bought a Honda do you expect to ride home in a Rolls Royce? Frequent flyers are the only ones who can buy an economy ticket and upgrade for free.
Iain
 
BLACK BOX
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2001 8:39 pm

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 11:51 am

OH NO - here we go again !!!!!
 
trickijedi
Topic Author
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 11:57 am



C'mon now Ianhol, that was kind of an exagerrated example, don't you think?

I was just inquiring if anyone has ever done this here in this forum. Most times I fly, I am usually the one of the last ones to board so I hear people ask to try to get into a higher class if there are seats available in that class but unfortunately I do not hang around long enough to know the answer. Sometimes I see those same people back in coach later on, sometimes I don't. For the ones who don't, I wonder if they did use their Frequent Flyer priviledge to upgrade or did they just "up" him simply because there were seats available.

I am a United FF member but do not have Premier Status as I didn't fly all of my total miles this year.

Anyway, I was just curious.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
IMissPiedmont
Posts: 6199
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 11:59 am

What's the worst thay can say? No? If you've never heard this before, you will. Try it, you may get lucky. Just expect a no.

Steve  Smile
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
aa777flyer
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 12:01 pm

usually the answer is NO. Most airlines need some type of accountability for upgrades, such as for service failures or for VIP status or top tier frequent flyers. Most just dont give it away for the asking, even if there are going to be empty seats
The TSA was created to make the post office look efficient!
 
Guest

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 12:11 pm

If it is on United, forget it. To increase your chances, just fly more and become an elite member or use your miles. Your chances of upgrading by just asking are zero.
 
Guest

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Askin

Tue Jul 03, 2001 12:25 pm



I once saw a 12 yearold kid ( Flying Alone ) get upgraded on Delta for free. This was done because there was large amount of empty seats on this large aircraft for a short flight. Also so The FA can keep a better eye on him
 
ILOVEA340
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 12:28 pm

I did it once (sort of twice) on continental. On an early morning flight from SFO-EWR I asked the check-in woman if I could sit in Biz. and she said only one biz seat was booked so she game me seat 2A. (737-800) Then on the onward flight from EWR-ZRH I asked the F/A soon anfter taleoff if I could sit in Biz-first and he said I could go up since there were only two people there. It may have helped me being 14 and flying alone but hell its worth a try.
 
ryu2
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 12:48 pm

Once in a great while, if a flight is overbooked in Coach, and you have elite status in the airline's FF program, they will give you a complementary upgrade to business to free up seats in Coach, rather than bumping someone off. It's happened to me.
 
airlinelover
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 1:04 pm

Usually the answer is no, but on some airlines (Airtran) you can upgrade for $25 per segment, space available of course.

Chris
Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
 
Guest

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 1:55 pm

Ryu2,

On CO and NW upgrades are complimentary.
 
exitrowaisle
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 3:17 pm

This is exactly the type of thing i was thinking about on my "go to all one-class" post. Who hasn't been denied an upgrade, and then proceeded to walk through a half-empty 1st class cabin into a crammed-full coach section? Fair or unfair, that's just the kind of thing that can cause a passenger (especially a full-fare coach passenger) to be disgruntled. I can understand restricting upgrades to premium level FFs (and apparently airline employees' kids...kidding!) keeps the "aura" of first class, but whats the point of all this grovelling for a 1.5 hour flight you probably will sleep through? I still think short-segment flights should be all one-class, a la regional jet, and save the 1st class cabins for the longer-hauls (2.5+ hours). Ok guys, prove me wrong!  Wink/being sarcastic
 
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chepos
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 4:49 pm

Last summer when me and my family were going to Orlando on TWA the coach section which we were flying got overbooked and we didn't have seats. The person working the ticket counter gave us an upgrade to First class for free and without us even asking and we were not even TWA frequent fliers.
Chepos
Puerto Rico
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
aussie_
Posts: 1600
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 7:29 pm

Exitrowaisle:

you're not wrong about airline employees' children.

I wish my parents worked for an airline!!!

I met someone whose mother worked at check-in for a european airline who can fly standby for next-to- nothing on any scheduled airline the world over and assures me he is upgraded one in 3 to 4 flights.
 
baldguy
Posts: 139
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 8:31 pm

Two things: first, it's rare to find empty seats in First (at least on Delta, which is where I've done all my F-class flying to date). There are enough elite-level flyers redeeming upgrades to keep those seats full, even without a lot of full-fare passengers on board.

Secondly, the reason F/As and gate agents don't fill First Class is that one of the perks of travelling First is not feeling crowded. An empty seat in front or beside you, fewer people sharing the lav - part of the appeal.
 
Shawn Patrick
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Tue Jul 03, 2001 10:44 pm

Well, if you are flying on United which I assume (ORD-LGA) you are likely to get a "NO". A few weeks back, I was flying from EWR - DEN on a 777. They cancelled that flight. (I wanted on that 777!!) So I got on the last flight outta that place. I asked for a F upgrade, and complained that my flight was cancelled, I'd been waiting for 4 hours, and I think I deserved it. "NO."

Try anyways. Good luck though.

-Shawn
 
HPA318
Posts: 116
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Dont Even Bother!

Wed Jul 04, 2001 2:05 am

Being a gate agent for AA for the past 6 years, I think I've heard that question at least 42,000 times. Every gate agent hates when people ask it so dont bother cause you'll just get the "get on board looser look".
What makes you think that just because the seat is there that you per say deserve it. What about the other 130 people. If you pay for First you get it, if you pay for coach you get it. Noobody gets anything for free. Not even our Executive Platinums...they still have to have a full coach ticket plus buy upgrade stickers, or have a certificate. On the LGA-ORD-LGA every day we have at least 10-15 people standing by for First.....
Sorry, If you want FIrst then pay the big bucks, or get an airline job........we get it for nothing.......ha ha ha...
 
[email protected]
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2000 8:10 pm

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 2:24 am

One trick which sometimes work is:
Show them your business card an told them your company is sending a lot of airfreight with them (how should they check it) , do this at the first or business class check in counter and try to behave like you does it every day, it really worked sometimes.

N.P.M.



 
AA767Boy
Posts: 93
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 4:33 am

Lain is always like that. IF he thinks your post if dumb he bashes the topic and you.
 
SegmentKing
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 4:35 am

trick, when are you flying?
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
 
SegmentKing
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Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 4:41 am

Now that i've read the entire thread, I've never been denied on United (before I was Premier Exec). If a flight is oversold, they'll normally give you First Class just for asking...

anyway, i may have some extra 24 hour confirmed upgrade certificates laying around here, if i have one, I'll give you a one way upgrade.

Nate
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
 
zrs70
Posts: 3774
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 5:04 am

Truth is that these days Y is often more comfortable than F or C. Reason: all the FF's upgrade, making the uppers classes full while Y is not always full.
21 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2021
 
767-322ETOPS
Posts: 319
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 5:09 am

Anyone ever try and bribe their way into a better seat?
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 5:23 am

> One trick which sometimes work is: Show them your business card an told ...

I don't like it.
It's a shame.
Why aren't you just nice and polite to the agent? When she then thinks or even says: "Finall ... a nice pax ..." - it's a good feeling. Better then sitting in F and much better than considered as a big a**.

NoUFO
I support the right to arm bears
 
trickijedi
Topic Author
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 5:31 am

Thanks for the replies guys!!!

I now have a better idea (the how's, when's and why's) of what is involved in simply asking for an upgrade. I have never flown any higher than coach but would like to try it soon, preferably without using my miles. If they say no, it's perfectly fine by me. If they grant my request, then I would probably the most grateful soul on that plane. The reason I would rather not use my miles is because since my sister moved to New York a couple of months ago, I have been saving up the miles for flights to see her instead.

Anyway, it sounds to me from everyone's replies that it's pretty much 50/50, trial and error on the "ask for the upgrade" routine. Aa777flyer also brought up a good point about accountability for the seats. I was wondering about that myself.

Thanks again!

Nate, I am flying ORD-LGA on July 20, LGA-ORD on July 22. Then I will be doing a mileage run from ORD-SJC RT to take advantage of their "double miles" offer either on July 28-29 or August 10-11. That would be great if you could do the upgrade certificates. I'll take you out to Popeye's up in Lake Geneva in return. But we have stop by Annie's before I head back down to the city.  Smile My email is in my profile in case you can do it.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1107
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 5:37 am

Not on United. First is too crowded with non paying employee/owners flying upgraded. Even with Miles or upgrade coupons u can't get upgraded.
 
railmatt
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 1999 12:48 pm

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 7:55 am

Even though I am not an elite member of AAdvantage, the TWA agent readily upgraded me just by buying the upgrade sticker which I think is $50 per 500 miles.
 
trickijedi
Topic Author
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 12:40 pm

AA767Boy wrote: Lain is always like that. IF he thinks your post if dumb he bashes the topic and you.

That's too bad because I've always respected his opinion on aviation. That's alright, I still hold his words valid. I can't change my perception on him based on just this one reply.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
Guest

Hpa318

Wed Jul 04, 2001 1:04 pm

On CO/NW elites get unlimited upgrades, no stickers required. So even the lowest price for coach can get an upgrade.
 
Guest

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 3:41 pm

>> IF he thinks your post if dumb he bashes the topic and you<<

By no means was this bashing the topic or the author, I just wanted to basically state the question in another way. I was always taught you never get something for nothing, and the people who fly first class earn it and are not just given it.

Iain
 
[email protected]
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Wed Jul 04, 2001 5:37 pm

NoUFO

O.K. It's a shame.
But I think you know LH and with that snooty Airline you often have to be an big a****
And when I got an seat in F, I don`t care how.

N.P.M
 
SegmentKing
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Fri Jul 06, 2001 1:59 am

I don't remember a Popeye's up in Lake Geneva.. just a KFC... I know they just redid a bunch of stuff and I think Sentry is open again and they just finished Wisconsin 41 4 lane from Kenosha all the way to the Interstate 43, which may help my drive from ORD... although I don't mind taking Metra to Harvard and having the roomie pick me up. aye aye aye, i miss chicago!

Anyway, you can also purchase upgrade coupons for $200 from United. Call the mileage plus service desk and they will give you more info.

Nate
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
 
SegmentKing
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Fri Jul 06, 2001 2:01 am

Tri-- thinking of Paddock Lake or even Williams Bay?

nate
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
 
SegmentKing
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RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Fri Jul 06, 2001 2:11 am

crap, shows how long it's been since i've been back to Lake Geneva :P Route 50 is now 4 lane that I was thinking of :P I must be thinking of IL 41 or something ? ? i'm just tired.. i have to fly to philly for meetings all weekend and hear it's mega hot up there
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
 
trickijedi
Topic Author
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Fri Jul 06, 2001 3:05 am

Nate, the Popeye's I was talking about is in Lake Geneva right next to the lake. I forget what street its on but its hidden down below the hill almost next to the beach. It's not the chicken chain of restaurants that's comparable to KFC. It's actually a nice restaurant where they grill in the back and it's always crowded. I do know the KFC also, spent too many greasy days there. But I can see the initial confusion because when I think of Popeye's I think of KFC, Church's, etc which I can pick up in Chicago anytime. Wouldn't go up to Lake Geneva just for some grease  Smile. Anyway, let me know when you are back up in the Midwest, maybe we can hang and you can tell me more tips on UAL Mileage Plus  Smile/happy/getting dizzy as I am really trying to accumulate miles for these upgrades and flights in the future. My dad has a cabin up in Lake Geneva which is why I'm up there so much.

Thanks for the advice, I will try that and see what they say.

PS. Route 50 starts off as 4 lanes from I94 then bottlenecks to 2 lanes almost all the way up to Lake Geneva, which I don't mind so much. But those damn speed limits!!!
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
SegmentKing
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Fri Jul 06, 2001 6:07 am

So all 4 lanes aren't open yet?

Um, schedule has me in ORD on the 28th and 29th of July (going to LGA via ORD, hoping to get bumped *heh*), 4th - 8th of August I'll be in the state, then 1-4 Sept I'll be in Chicago. Maybe we can hit Flat Top Grill on Belmont, unless you prefer the one up in Evanston?

In regards to Lake Geneva, I think I know the place you are talking about, it's across the street from Hugs & Kisses. I never really went into town to eat much, as the campaign's office was in Park Ridge, IL so most of my time in LG was sleeping or out sailing on the weekends  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
 
James768
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 11:26 am

RE: Is It Possible To Upgrade To Business By Asking?

Fri Jul 06, 2001 11:52 pm

I was once told that single women (dont flame me to a crisp for sexism please, I heard it from a good source at an airline) are the most likely group of people to be upgraded on spec. The reason being - apparantly - that airlines think single women drink less alcohol and hence won't make the idiot of themselves when the drinks trolley comes round that us blokes would.

Now in my experience some of my single women friends are the biggest consumers of alcohol on earth. Indeed I only found this upgrade fact-of-life out after asking a mate who's a manager at British Airways why they had upgraded a friend of mine BOTH WAYS on a bucket shop ticket between LHR and Miami, while I had never been upgraded anywhere in spite of repeated asking/turning up early/turning up late/being nice/being nasty/saying i needed to work on the flight cos had vital meeting at other end/saying i needed peace and quiet because i had same meeting/turing up in a suit/flirting with (male or female) check in assistant)/trying to look like George Clooney etc.....

My friend, I should add, - who had turned up looking wrecked straight from her all-night leaving party - can drink a London pub dry. I'm sure after a few cognacs she was most entertaining to the rest of the businessmen in Club World. She says she had a ball.

Alas I am a mere married male and have never been upgraded by asking except a) when I've been on a full fare economy ticket and have been late checking in or b) I have called in a favour with a friend at the airline.

James

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