how do you get "bumped up" to first class.

Jul 11th, 1999, 01:38 PM
Posts: n/a
It is possible to get upgraded if you talk nicely to the airline staff, but if they're overbooked, and they know some passangers will have to be upgraded, they'll look for smartly dressed passengers, usually travelling on their own.
I was upgraded on a flight to london from Bangkok last year. Main reason was overbooking, and most Western Passengers were asked to stay back, as they may have to get a flight with a different airline. As a 'reward', we were all upgraded which was nice! On the same trip, I took a domestic flight with British Airways from London to Aberdeen, and offered to move seats to let a family sit together. The hostess was very gratefull, and gave me 4 bottles of wine before we landed.
Sep 22nd, 2000, 03:57 AM
Mary Sue
Posts: n/a
I traveled alone to Paris last month on Delta and after reading on this forum of other people's luck, thought I would give it a shot. They were very nice about and said that all upgrades on international flights have to be done 24 hours in advance because of the meals. Don't know if that is the truth but next time I will try that. Never hurts to ask!
Sep 22nd, 2000, 03:36 PM
Posts: n/a
I work for one of the major airlines and we call women who smile their way into first class---bimbos.

Hey Laurn-If you're really nice to an airline employee they can show you the cockpit!!!
Sep 23rd, 2000, 07:03 AM
Posts: n/a
Lauren-You make a compelling argument, but you still are a flying bimbo looking for a free ride. Next time you are working the gate, I might upgrade you if you show me your assets or better yet get you a membership in the mile high club!!!
Sep 23rd, 2000, 07:39 AM
Posts: n/a
I can't believe that you people feel like you "deserve" to get bumped up to first class, simply by asking. I pay full fare first class eveytime I fly to avoid what is honestly the general population. People in first class are generally more well mannered, and one is less likely to find those screaming babies or kids who kick the back of one's seat. When people are turned down for free upgrades, I smile. If I'm paying $2000+ for an airline ticket, why should someone who paid a discount coach fair get bumped? I agree that if someone suffers from a problem with the airline, first class can be just compensation--that's fine. It's those who just check-in and ask for upgrades that irk me.

Sep 23rd, 2000, 07:44 AM
Posts: n/a
As a gate supervisor for a major airline with over 20 years of experience, I have seen my share of people try to "sweet talk," charm, cajole, etc. their way into first class. The majority are women and some have even went as far as to promise "favors" in exchange for an upgrade.

While asking is not harming anyone as you say Lauren, it puts the gate agent in an uncomfortable position. We cannot upgrade the tons of people who nicely ask us. Upgrading someone based on dress, looks, niceness is discrimination and bias and opens up a can of worms.

So please, unless you are a frequent flyer with premier or club status, please do not try to talk your way into first class. It makes our jobs a whole lot harder!
Sep 23rd, 2000, 03:47 PM
Posts: n/a

I don't feel I deserve anything besides what I pay for--coach. However, if it is at all possible, I would like to be comfortable on my plane trip. To me, it doesn't matter one way or another because, however you look at it, we all get there at the same time.

I don't feel that first class should be so expensive. I am a well-mannered young lady with no screaming kids, yet, I do not see how in the world I could ever pay the outrageous fares for the oh-so-privilaged. Would you rather sit next to me, a plesant, non-drinking woman who paid for coach, or a drunk, rowdy, loud individual who paid for first class just for the free drinks? Life is full of injustice and unfairness. This just happens to be one of them.


*laughing* Keep dreaming, hun


Part of customer service is being in a difficult position. However, I think majority of the asking stems from gate agents who pick and choose upon will who they think should be bumped up. (See the hosted forum by Jon--an airline attendant) This happens on a regular basis, and therefore, causes others to hope, pray, and ask. Sorry if this bothers you, but like I said before, dealing with customers is part of the job.

To everyone--

I don't know why I am getting personally attacked in this forum. There are plenty of posted discussions like this (ie. tips from those in the airlines and those who are not) all throughout Fodor's. Yet, I have to see any one person tarred and feathered like myself. Guess I am wondering what in the world I did to provoke such hostility. Geez Louise--I haven't flown on a plane yet! LOL I suppose I'll do like I have done--take it all in jest and keep responding! Have a great weekend!
Sep 23rd, 2000, 06:59 PM
Posts: n/a
Here's what I do....Sometimes I get upgraded and sometimes I don't....

We always get to the airport early enough to be among the first in line...I ask if there are any seats available in First Class...If they say yes, I ask how much they would charge for an upgrade....Sometimes they check and quote a full fare (which is always much more than we'd go for) so I say thanks but that's more than we'd like to pay and continue our trip in coach....Sometimes they play around with their computers and then excuse themselves for a minute, then come back and upgrade us for no charge...And sometimes we've been quoted a price like $75 each and we hand them a credit card and we're off....I'd say we end up in first class about 50% of the time and about half of those times we paid some reasonable amount...There isn't any rhyme or reason or airline that I can tell, just luck!....
Sep 24th, 2000, 09:35 PM
Posts: n/a
I am totally on your side. Although
I have paid full fare for a first class ticket and paid for upgrades at the gate, I ahve also received my share of free upgrades. I did not dress skanky, showed leg, nor have I flirted. I politely asked and was given the upgrade. I dressed neatly and unlike the previous posters, have class. Those who berate you and get upset with your request are jealous. Plain and simple. If they were given a free upgrade they would take it. If someone offered them something for nothing, they'd take it. As for DISGUSTED, get off your high horse and 'premier' club ego and come back to reality. There are those who fly full fare and those who fly smart. And for the Gate Attendant who called flirters 'bimbos': don't go that route because your sister or mother is probably doing the same thing. Oh I forgot, they fly discount too.
Sep 25th, 2000, 06:23 AM
Posts: n/a
Sorry ME, I disagree with you and Lauren. Your responses really made me laugh out loud at your reasoning! And Lauren, first class is expensive because the airlines want to keep it exclusive. If you can't afford it, stay in coach!

And Lauren-You are personally getting attacked here because of your hair brained notion that you somehow deserve to be upgraded because you are nice! You need to grow up and face reality that being nice to everybody does not get you free perks. And ME you are so completely full of it!!!
Sep 25th, 2000, 09:41 AM
Posts: n/a

Perhaps you have trouble reading. I have said numerous times that I don't feel I deserve anything but the seat that I paid for. Where you come up thinking that I said I "deserve an upgrade for being nice" lacks support in anything I have said.

All I said is that I would ask if it is possible to upgrade. If it is, I will take it graciously. How that is thinking I deserve something that I didn't pay for is beyond me.

As for first class being expensive for the sake of being exclusive, there is point where expensive gets ludicrous!

You may think I need to grow up and realize that you don't get free perks for being nice, but I do not. Being nice in today's world is a welcomed change, and I often receive "free perks" because of it. How is that wrong? (However, if I don't get anything, who cares?! What am I out of nothing. It doesn't cost a dime to be plesant!) I am nice--that's my normal, everyday personality. If someone gives me something, or if I benefit from being myself, how can you fault me? Fault the world for being so selfish, hateful, and uncaring. Fault the one who gives the free perks for being gullible or whatever you may call it. However, do not fault me for growing up with manners and kindness. What would you rather do, be mean and hateful? Sorry. Not going to happen. It is just the same as a rude passenger getting a lack of service because of his attitude. Whether it's right or not, what services you receive are based on your attitude towards others.


Thanks a million for the post.
Sep 25th, 2000, 09:49 AM
some flier
Posts: n/a
It's has been entertaining to watch the argument. Please keep up both the angry messages and the helpful ones! Here is my strategy for upgrades, and as others have said, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. You must request the upgrade. Start when you make the reservations. Continue at check in and at the gate. Ask multiple agents. Stick around the gate agent until almost everybody has boarded. Ask multiple times. As I was building my miles, before I achieved highest level FF status, I used to do/try anything to get upgraded. These worked: I used to buy peanut M&Ms for a check-in agent in Salt Lake City, hand out free lapel pins (agents loved to wear these). I loved it when the plane was late, especially in Las Vegas on a connecting flight, as the Customer Service agents would upgrade my next flight due to my soft complaint. Once I achieved highest FF status, I never flew coach but always paid coach ( or whatever the travel dept. negotiated discounted rates). Other airlines matched their highest FF plans for a 3-6 mth period. Now it has been a 2+ years since my peak flying days. I'm just a regular traveler, without current high level status. My last fight I used AIRTRAN, which has a policy to upgrade for just $25. I hung around the gate agent, waited until almost everybody boarded, asked, "Can I be moved up front, please?" - and they did for nothing. This worked for both segments. Both times, I was initially given a negative response, once at the departure area and the other time at initial check in. [I didn't realize but AIRTRAN has very cheap walk-up-rates, which is why I took them]

Sep 25th, 2000, 10:16 AM
Posts: n/a
Lauren-Your nicety-nice attitude and whining is getting real tiresome! This site is for people who travel with real advice. Take your sweetness and go post somewhere else as it is wearing thin around here!
Sep 25th, 2000, 10:33 AM
Posts: n/a
Bottom line: Lauren was asking about her chances to get bumped to first class using charm and a pleasant attitude. She was then attacked by jealous, snotty, pretentious, arrogant, "I'm-rich-me-first-screw-the-rest" people.

I find that it does not hurt to ask for an upgrade and the worst thing they can say is no. It doesn't hurt to dress nicely and have a nice attitude while you're asking either. THe forum hosted by "Jon" the flight attendant reiterated my thoughts. So there.
Sep 25th, 2000, 02:28 PM
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"It doesn't hurt to ask, does it." That is the most ridiculous argument I have heard ME. Why are you asking for something that you have not earned and are not entitled to??? IMO, you lack character, integrity, morals and values and you are only interested in yourself and what you can get for nothing! You are irresponsible and guilty of hyper individualism! Quit throwing a tantrum!
Sep 25th, 2000, 03:57 PM
Posts: n/a

That's why I am here--for the travel advice. I will be a first time traveler in December and have been visiting the forums frequently for advice, tips, and hints. That's why I was interested in this forum--a chance to possibly be bumped up sounded nice. However, it got personal. I feel silly now for actually taking the time to reply to their messages, but I felt I had to, not just for my sakes, but for everyone who does ask for these upgrades. I really hope that you don't feel I was whining, just being inquisitive and then, later, defensive.


GREAT TIPS! I find this chat forum entertaining too. I also feel like a fool for responding to those who tried to say I was a "prostitute" or a "bimbo." Oh well...a learning experience for all!


Once again--thanks!
Sep 25th, 2000, 07:48 PM
Posts: n/a
Lauren, don't worry, most people aren't as arrogant as some of these posters. SOMEBODY NEEDS TO GET THAT SILVER SPOON FROM OUT OF THEIR A$$. Anyways.

As for FedUp, if no one opened their mouth and asked for something, then many people would miss out on things they normally would not experience. To berate someone for simply asking is very arrogant. As for "why are you asking for something you are not entitled to?" DO you honestly think, wearing that cheap polyester suit and fake rolex that YOU are entitled to a first class seat? Because your company paid for those business tickets so you can rack up those frequent flyer miles to get free upgrades? Yeah you know it's the truth. Too bad airlines don't require "class" to sit in first class. You snobby people make me sick.
Sep 26th, 2000, 07:03 AM
Posts: n/a
I think I'll go to the car dealer this weekend and buy a new Chevy, since that is what I can afford. But hey, since I am soooo nice, well-dressed and oozing with class, I'll ask the dealer real nice if he can upgrade me to a Cadillac at the same price! Since he has had so many mean, nasty customers all day, I bet he'll be glad to sell me the Cadillac for the price of the Chevy. It doesn't hurt to ask now, does it.

And while I am at it, I will go to the jewelry store and see if I can upgrade that Timex to a Rolex at no extra charge. I am sure the jeweler will be so happy I am nice, that he will do it. It doesn't hurt to ask does it.

And then I'll go to Saks and upgrade that wool coat to a full-length mink. Because I am so nice, well-dressed and classy, I know they will do it. It doesn't hurt to ask does it????
Sep 26th, 2000, 08:27 AM
Posts: n/a
I don't understand what the big deal is here, folks. The plane is going to take off whether first class is full or not, so why not make someone's day and upgrade them if there are open spots? I used to work at the front desk of a nice resort, and we used to enjoy upgrading people if we had empty rooms on our upgraded floors. Sometimes a guest would ask and we would do it, and sometimes we would just give them a key and let them find out on their own. They almost always would call or come back down and be so appreciative. It made their stay special and many of them came back because of the "extras." Management's theory was that a room was going to be used anyway, why not give the guest the best we can? (This is a chain hotel by the way) I guess I think this theory can be carried over into the airlines and I see now problem with it. I'm surprised by the angry responses here.
Sep 26th, 2000, 08:42 AM
Posts: n/a
You are right.

The Rolex and the mink coat are going to cost the retailer some money whereas the empty first class seats aren't going to cost the airlines a dime. In fact, they may get more business through their good business practice and pleasant service. Are you that dumb? Your analogies don't make sense.

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