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mika
Topic Author
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Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23DEC

Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:36 pm

I will be flying on a LH B748 between EWR and FRA the day before Christmas eve, booking was made through a travel agent and is in Economy (says class V) on the ticket, furthermore the flight is designated as a AC code share and not with it's original LH flight number. The whole itinerary is YUL-EWR-FRA-GOT, but i'm mostly interested in getting an upgrade on the trans atlantic flight.


Now, since i have never been upgraded before but have heard that it is possible to get bumped into Business under certain conditions, i'm wondering what you guys who are frequent fliers think about how i should approach this.

I have a SK FF card with about 19000 points on it, but the Star Alliance trans atlantic upgrade is 35000 which in finacial terms is about a 400 EUR difference and too much for me as a student. Is there any way that i can get an upgrade at the check in or boarding counter being a Star Alliance FF? I'm considering flying in full business attire to increase my chances.

Thanks for any input!
 
DAL763ER
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:01 pm

Quoting mika (Thread starter):
I'm considering flying in full business attire to increase my chances.

Does that actually increase one's chances? I'd say being very polite and asking about paid/free upgrade opportunities is a good way for it. In my experience, agents appreciate it when they see you're willing to pay for an upgrade. You can always decline later if it's out of your budget.
 
mika
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:58 am

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 1):
Does that actually increase one's chances?

I'm honestly not sure, but I've heard people doing that with the hopes that it would. Couldn't hurt i guess.  
 
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northwestEWR
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:07 am

Quoting mika (Reply 2):
I'm honestly not sure, but I've heard people doing that with the hopes that it would. Couldn't hurt i guess.  

As a gate agent--it does absolutely nothing for you unless you go completely the other direction--wife beater and flip flops. We might think you're a little nuts if you show up in a tux or super formal. Plus you'll be very uncomfortable. I don't recommend trying that.

I'd say your chances are about as close to zero as possible. You're on a V fare class ticket which is a heavily discounted economy fare. You don't have status on LH, UA, AC or even a Star carrier. When I have to upgrade someone because Y is overbooked this is how I do it:

*0) Selling upgrades if applicable *May not be available on that flight
1) My airline's elite members in order of status (highest first, lowest last)
2) Alliance elite members in order of status
3) Y/B/M fares in order of fare class (Y first, M 3rd, etc)
4) Best looking girl who's nice to me

You also need to remember that First/Business typically goes to non-revs on international flights and as a general rule, it's a pretty big no-no to upgrade someone from Y to J on an international flight unless it's a really extreme situation and then it's the above rules.

Your very best bet is to ask at checkin and at the gate about paying for an upgrade. You can always turn it down if it's too expensive.

Edit: Sorry for bursting your bubble but upgrades for nothing are rare domestically, much less internationally.

[Edited 2015-12-01 22:07:58]
 
mika
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:42 pm

Thanks, i really appreciate your honest opinion!

I am not foreign to paying for an upgrade either, depending on how much it'd be. Doing it in online in advance seems to expensive though, as i'd first have to buy 16000 actual FF miles to spend.
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:03 pm

Quoting northwestEWR (Reply 3):
I'd say your chances are about as close to zero as possible.

Actually, since this is Lufthansa we're talking about, your chances are less than that, meaning they are exactly zero. Unlike airlines in the US who upgrade every silver medallion and their dog, Lufthansa has a very strict policy about who gets to fly in the premium cabins. This keeps the premium cabins premium.

Soren   
 
mika
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:48 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 5):
Actually, since this is Lufthansa we're talking about, your chances are less than that

So if my chances to get an upgrade are less than as close to zero as possible; does that mean that i am more likely than not to actually get a downgrade?  

Alright,seems like i will have to see how much they want for the business seat at the gate or check in then. I will pay for it as long as it isn't out of my budget (say 200 EUR). Does it matter at all if i am first or last in the check in line for this (thinking that there might be no-shows in business etc)?

[Edited 2015-12-02 06:51:17]
 
zrs70
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:28 pm

Quoting mika (Reply 6):
Alright,seems like i will have to see how much they want for the business seat at the gate or check in then. I will pay for it as long as it isn't out of my budget (say 200 EUR). Does it matter at all if i am first or last in the check in line for this (thinking that there might be no-shows in business etc)?

If they offer upgrades for cash, they will likely be in the $1000 USD range. Give or take a couple of hundred.

Looking at the flight, it seems pretty open right now (Dec 23, right?)

LH 403 EWR 6:15p → FRA 7:40a
F6 A5 J9 C9 D9 Z9 P6 G9 E9 N9 Y9 B2 M2 U1 H1 Q0 V0 W0 S0 T0 L0 K0

There is no inventory for advance upgrades (using miles or certificates). IF there were, i would suggest trying to get yourself into an upgradable fare and obtaining the miles/ certs to upgrade).

Short that, I would prepare for flying in Economy.
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:06 pm

I would advise:
1) ask at the LH desks if you can PAY cash to upgrade
2) if too expensive, politely decline, and say thank you
3) if you're not time sensitive, you can see if the flight is overbooked. Ask if they need a volunteer for another flight/airline/ They might rebook you on BA via LHR in premium Y or something. Who knows if you don't ask.
4) Fully expect to fly in economy
5) Be super delighted if for some reason at the gate you get upgraded. Sometimes they need to move a single traveller last minute, and they might just remember "that nice guy from check in". With a last minute change, the normal FQTV status prioritising can go out the window.

No. 4 is the most pertinent point! Enjoy your flight (try and get an aisle seat). I did that flight and felt very trapped by the window. Not very comfy seats.

I'd advise to fly in smart causal clean clothing. Fly in something comfortable.
 
mika
Topic Author
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:29 pm

I like your reasoning, especially point nr 3! I've never thought of that, and considering this is the day before Christmas eve we are talking about it might be entirely likely that it's completely sold out in Economy. I will definitely ask them about volunteering to get moved, if i can get on any kind of flight combo that takes me home to GOT before late afternoon on Christmas eve.

 
 
mika
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:31 pm

Just a thought; since i'll actually initiate this booking in YUL (YUL-EWR-FRA-GOT), how does that affect any changes that would be made to my booking in EWR? Considering my bags will be checked from YUL to GOT i mean.
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:29 pm

Quoting mika (Reply 10):
Just a thought; since i'll actually initiate this booking in YUL (YUL-EWR-FRA-GOT), how does that affect any changes that would be made to my booking in EWR? Considering my bags will be checked from YUL to GOT i mean.

As about overbooking in YUL. Who knows, maybe the YUL-EWR flgiht is also overbooked? And bags can always be retagged, even after check in. You could always ask in YUL for the bag to be given a "HOT" tag, to make it easier for them to pull in EWR - just explain what you're doing.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/lufth...s-more/889897-hot-baggage-tag.html
 
zrs70
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:23 pm

Right now, the booking for the LH flight is as follows:

F6 A6 J9 C9 D9 Z9 P9 G9 E9 N8 Y9 B9 M8 U6 H3 Q0 V0 W0 S0 T0 L0 K0

This is to say, they are willing to sell at least nine seats in economy. (There is no way for us to know how many seats are actually available). As the flight gets closer, it will be more apparent if the flight is looking oversold).
 
AR385
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:58 pm

Quoting northwestEWR (Reply 3):
As a gate agent--it does absolutely nothing for you

I´m friends with a number of gate agents and they have a different opinion than yours.

Quoting northwestEWR (Reply 3):
I'd say your chances are about as close to zero as possible.

Maybe, maybe not. I´ve been upgraded many times on LH from C to F, just by asking. In FRA, EZE, MEX, IAH, JFK and ORD. Granted, it´s from one premium class to another but it does not hurt to ask.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 5):
Actually, since this is Lufthansa we're talking about, your chances are less than that, meaning they are exactly zero.

See above.

In my opinion, Mika, just ask. If you don´t have money, just show up dressed nicely and ask. You just may get lucky. It´s been known to happen.
 
rwsea
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:16 am

You might want to check out the cost of upgrading to Premium Economy. Maybe only a few hundred dollars and I think it's worth it over regular economy. I recently took premium economy on SFO-FRA-SFO and found it surprisingly comfortable - I was able to sleep and relax much like I would in business class. Honestly, LH's business class product isn't that great - even the new seats lack privacy, the food is bad and has tiny portions, and service is nothing to write home about. For a ~7-8 hour flight, premium economy seems much more worth it to me. Especially because, as others have mentioned, upgrade chances seem extremely low.
 
mika
Topic Author
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RE: Best Chance To Get An Upgrade On LH EWR-FRA 23

Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:59 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 13):

In my opinion, Mika, just ask. If you don´t have money, just show up dressed nicely and ask. You just may get lucky. It´s been known to happen

Thank you for this input, it's nice to hear someone with a differing experience than what has already been mentioned above.

Quoting rwsea (Reply 14):
You might want to check out the cost of upgrading to Premium Economy.

I'm not willing to pay extra for Economy plus though, if i am going to pay anything it is going to be to get into Business. Thanks for your input nevertheless!

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