If you have ever got an upgrade on a flight.....

(28 Posts)
bramblina Sun 24-Jul-16 00:13:37

.....did you already have seats pre-booked?
I've just read that a way to get an upgrade is by NOT pre-booking your seats. If your seats ARE pre-booked, they cannot be changed.
DH and I are going to NYC for 6 days sans children in December and as this is likely to be a once in a life time (and I'm only talking about the child free trip here....) I would love to try for a cheeky upgrade.

Any expert flyer tips.......?

WorkingItOutAsIGo Sun 24-Jul-16 00:17:20

No idea about that but think much more useful to be a member of the frequent flier club for the airline and be a good customer over a period of years. Airlines are pretty strategic about how they use upgrades these days so the chance of a random one quite low sorry!

AgentProvocateur Sun 24-Jul-16 00:18:21

I've had an upgrade a few times when flying solo - never parboiled seats.

coughingbean Sun 24-Jul-16 00:20:32

Parboiled grin
No Help, sorrybramblina!

GloryHunter Sun 24-Jul-16 00:23:37

We got upgraded last year on flight to Mexico, we hadn't pre-booked seats or checked in online wink

thatstoast Sun 24-Jul-16 00:43:11

When I was upgraded I had booked seats and checked in. It wasn't until we got to the gate they told us we'd been upgraded. We were both members of the frequent flyer scheme.

WoahSlowDown Sun 24-Jul-16 01:02:31

Travellers flying alone are far more likely to be upgraded than couples.

DH flies long haul a lot and has some top frequent flyer membership (not sure what) he gets upgraded to first a lot.

HerRoyalNotness Sun 24-Jul-16 01:07:52

Dh when flying frequently in business has only been upgraded once. he wears jeans and a plaid shirt over a tshirt every frickin time and carries my backpack. So you never know. That's the exciting part, will you/won't you.

trafalgargal Sun 24-Jul-16 13:36:56

If you are upgraded as a frequent flyer it doesn't make any difference if you've pre booked your seats or not.

If you haven't booked seats you are risking the middle seat of three or getting separated if not travelling alone.

eurochick Sun 24-Jul-16 13:59:36

I've been upgraded three times and I fly a lot. Once was a deal at the time of booking. The others were both when people near me were making a fuss about their seats (probably angling for an upgrade). I got upgraded and they didn't. Both times I was travelling alone and the second time I had a shitload of frequent flyer point (it was my 4th long haul flight that month with that particular airline).

HeyMamacita Sun 24-Jul-16 14:06:57

I've been upgrade twice, both times I was flying alone, I had pre-booked seats, but I also checked in very early. I think that's what swung it, as maybe they had a list of people who had checked in and I was near the top??

BeaArthursUnderpants Sun 24-Jul-16 14:49:24

I've heard lots of urban legends about how to get an upgrade but frankly I think are taking a huge chance by not checking in. Unless there is nobody else on your flight with higher status on that particular airline than you, there is virtually no chance of an upgrade. Meanwhile everyone else in economy will have checked in and the only seats left for you will be the middle seats in the non-reclining row next to the loo.

Keep in mind that there's no rule that empty business class seats will be filled. A few weeks ago I flew from Newark to Heathrow and there were several empty seats in business. I heard 2 different people ask (politely) for an upgrade and both were declined.

It doesn't ever hurt anything to ask, and you never know what might happen, but you should absolutely assume that you will be in economy and plan accordingly, including checking in 24 hours ahead to get the best seats you can.

BeaArthursUnderpants Sun 24-Jul-16 14:51:12

Just reread your OP. Of course pre-booked seats can be changed. It happens all the time.

DanniiMinogue Sun 24-Jul-16 16:20:34

I've been upgraded but I was travelling alone. I checked in very very early which I presume helped.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 24-Jul-16 17:27:20

The chances of getting an upgrade is pretty small unless you have a higher tier of frequent flyer status with that airlines scheme. Also NYC is a popular route and it is likely that upper class will be full.

Have been upgraded with pre booked seats. That also happened because the particular flight my family was on was overbooked so they started to look for people to move around the plane. THey picked us because we were frequent fliers with BA and had gained silver tier.

which airline will you be using?

CMOTDibbler Sun 24-Jul-16 17:37:03

I'm a frequent flyer (and at one point was a super frequent flyer, top status etc). Upgrades don't bear any relationship to prebooking, how you dress etc. If they need to upgrade people it works in order of your FF status with that airline, FF status within their group, then how much you have paid for your ticket of people within that category. Obviously people on their own get upgraded more as they fit in anywhere in the cabin.
Its much less common to get upgraded than it used to be as well.

Catinthecorner Sun 24-Jul-16 17:41:38

We were upgraded on our honeymoon on the way back. We asked at check in to be seated together, staff totally ignored our request, so once onboard we (nicely) asked if there were any spare seats so we could sit together.

Shuttled straight up to the business seats, handed champagne, etc.

We asked for a feedback form so we could compliment the staff and were asked not to mention the upgrade as they weren't supposed to do it. Such a shame as they'd pleased us and the two couples we'd respectively been next to as they got a bit of extra space too.

Auntpodder Sun 24-Jul-16 17:49:32

These days upgrades usually go to solo passengers who are frequent flyers and have loyalty cards but sometimes you can get lucky and checking in really early or a bit late is said to be the best way. Generally, the one way you can guarantee not to be upgraded is by pre-ordering a special meal because it's a real faff for the crew to incorporate it in the new cabin.

If flying Norwegian, paying to upgrade at the airport can be a good deal though, especially for daytime flights - and its premium cabins are really nice.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Sun 24-Jul-16 20:24:54

My favourite ever upgrade I was indeed a solo passenger but had done the full check in online. I arrived quite early for my business class flight home from NY and they asked whether I would be prepared to take the earlier flight if they upgraded me to first? It must have taken me one-tenth of a second to accept that one!

My most undeserved by contrast (and many years ago) I was a student arriving a little late for a heavily overbooked flight home to the UK from Boston and they initially put me on standby and then put me in business. I was very scruffily dressed with a rucksack after a summer backpacking! So less logic to that one.

But basically, don't hope for one as you will only be disappointed as its very unlikely: just enjoy your lovely holiday!

lovelyupnorth Tue 26-Jul-16 11:47:15

Used to travel a lot and get upgraded regularly

Join the Ff club and ensure the booking states it's a special trip. You never know.

best one when as a kid flying to Saudi via Amman on Alia and we had too much baggage but rather than charge us they upgraded us to first. As an 12 year old was awesome.

Once when flying back from time Rome pre 2001 they took my request to sit closer to the front literal and ended up jump seating back.

MissMooMoo Thu 28-Jul-16 08:55:32

Been upgraded twice on LHR-JFK.
Both times was the same airline,I was flying solo,member of FF program and the flight was overbooked as it was a few days before Christmas.

TinySalmon Thu 28-Jul-16 09:03:53

I know others have already said this but these days upgrades will most likely go to those who have a frequent flier status with the airline.

Some airlines don't offer upgrades at all anymore because people like me, who PAY A LOT OF MONEY for their business class fares, don't like people getting upgraded for free. Sorry OP!

FayaMAMA Sun 31-Jul-16 12:29:11

I was upgraded when I was 18 travelling the second part of my journey to Australia because they couldn't find my details and caused me to miss my connection causing a panic attack....Guilt upgrade, NICE!

When I was travelling a lot before kids I had FF status and would get upgraded occasionally due to that, always booked seats though before.

blueskyinmarch Sun 31-Jul-16 12:33:35

Me, DH and DD2 got upgraded from business class (booked with airmails) to 1st class. We had booked in and had boarding passes. Lady at bag drop said she was going to tear up our boarding passes and we were shock at her then she laughed and said she was doing it in order to upgrade us. DDs face was a picture. She was aged 15 at the time and could not believe her luck. She already felt very special going business class!

Ruhrpott Sun 31-Jul-16 12:41:06

I got upgraded two weeks ago. I was sat in my seat and was asked if I minded moving by stewardess to accommodate a mother and child. They put me in business class. I was a solo flyer and a member of the frequent flyer program.

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