Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Air Travel
Reload this Page >

How to get an Upgrade? Here is what happened to us.

How to get an Upgrade? Here is what happened to us.

Aug 23rd, 2004, 12:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 269
How to get an Upgrade? Here is what happened to us.

yesterday I read a post under the title "how to get an update" and thought I would post our last experience.

In May this year my husband and I flew from London to Seville with British Airways. We had booked economy seats, £ 110.00 each. My husband was away on business and I flew from my local airport to London to meet him there.

My husband is a frequent flyer with British Airways and holds a Executive Club Gold card. This enables him to check in and choose his seat 24 hrs before the flight. He did this, and choose seat 11C (aisle), which is by the emergency exit. When I checked in for my first leg of the journey(6 hrs before the flight) I requested 11A (window) for the London - Seville leg. By doing this we hoped that the middle seat would remain empty, but if not one of us would move into the middle seat.

We met up at Gatwick, had a nice lunch at the Lobster Bar before boarding the plane.

All was well, until one American gentleman and his wife stopped by our seats. She said "this is my seat" and pointed at the middle seat. The man then said to my husband - "you ae in MY seat".
My husband very calmly and politely said "there is obviously a mix up here" and called the cabin attendant. She looked at the Americans boarding card and told him his seat was across the aisle, one row behind and in the middle.
He was not happy with that! The c/a said she would look into it, went away and 5 minutes later came back and asked if my husband could move to 3C which we knew was business class. My husband replied politely "what about my wife". The c/a said apologetically "sorry only able to move one of you", and my husband gallantly gave the seat to me.

The Americans now had the window and middle seat, but the man was still not happy. He turned to my husband and said "now, ARE you going to move?" My husband's reply was "why should I?, I was allocated this seat" and continue reading his paper.

I installed myself in the front, and was watching the dispatcher and the purser checking thru the passenger lists. I knew what was happening and about 10 minutes later, the purser asked me "which seat is your husband in". So my husband was upgraded as well, and sat in the seat across the aisle from me. We enjoyed the champagne very much.

And the Americans? Well, they ended up with an emergency exit row to themselves, and they (he) were still complaining. And from we heard from our other travel companions, they (he) had made quite a fuss at the gate too.

On the way back, we sat in steerage..

OT is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 09:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 621
You know, I once heard a story about an American who was considerate and had a good sense of humor. I think he tends to fly mostly to Latin American countries though...

Bon voyage!
TioGringo is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 10:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 269
I know lots of Americans who are considerate and with a sense of humour.

This guy could have been English, German, Norwegian, French, Japanese etc.

they did not introduce themselves, so we just called them "the Americans"

did not intend to offend any one out there.
OT is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 03:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 191
hmmmm, so the Americans were rude for mistaking where there seats were and then being unhappy that they would not be siting together but the Brits who spent GBP110 and then scammed there way into business class are proud of what they did. Righty ho.
JohnK is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 03:52 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 117
As an American I must say, The brits are
the most polite people I've met BUT,
They all seem to have hard feelings for the Americans! Why is that?
bigboy72712 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 04:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,611
I didn't take OT's post that way, it was just a way of identifying them. It could have just as easily been the Seniors, or the golfers.

Keith is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 06:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 269
Keith, thanks for the support, like I said I never intended to offend any Americans, it was as you said for pure identification. Every nationality has its rude members, including the Brits.

As for the upgrade, - it was the Gold card that did it not our nationality (and I am not British either).

There have been occasions when we have been late checking in and ended being seated away from each other, no big deal to us.
OT is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,107
The closest thing I found to being derogatory was the comment about sitting in "steerage" on the way back - as that's surely where I would be both ways .... but even that comment wasn't enough to "raise the fur". I hope we don't have to start identifying parties in any stories or anecdotes in these forums as "Party-A", "Party-B", etc., just to avoid offending anyone.
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 10:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 269
Here in Britain "steerage" is a well used slang expression, we also use "cramp class", all meant in a humourous way.

On most private travels and even sometimes on business travel, we travel in "steerage".

(you say tomatos, we say tomatoes etc)
OT is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,591

OT, now you've offended (by lack inclusion) those unfortunate souls among us who say "tamaiters"!

Good story, thanks for sharing. Good to see the rare post where somebody behaves well (as opposed to where the poster behaves badly and is proud of it).
mrwunrfl is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 08:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 269
Sorry, that's a new word to me.

Glad you enjoyed my story. Now I am off to Sevilla again, this time on frequent flier miles and, as usual, in steerage.
OT is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 276
Quite amazing. When Americans are insulted by other nationalities on this board, they get on their high horse but they'll be the first ones on many columns here to insult people from other countries when visiting. I'll be the first to admit that many an American I've seen vacationing are used to getting their way and think being aggressive and speaking loudly with an attitude will work with people from other countries. It's quite rude and arrogant. Just my opinion but how many times have we read a review from a visitor outside the U.S. where they pointed out the "locals" were rude without someone jumping down their throat? How many times have you read that the French or Jamaicans were rude and nothing was said afterward? I'm never surprised by behavior of most Americans and neither should anyone else. It's a culture clash. Why else do you think that an American woman visiting Italy would speak English louder thinking she'll be understood?
BjorkChop is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 689
Sorry, BjorkChop, just couldn't let that pass. See, I cover both bases by virtue of having dual citizenship. Grew up in England, and have lived in the US for many years.

It's my observation (in many countries) that parochialism isn't limited by nationality, but by personality. You're just as likely to hear a (fill in your nationality of choice) speak louder in an effort to "help" someone understand what they're saying in their native tongue.

However, I will grant that the ability to be multi-lingual seems to be less valued in the US than most everywhere else. I personally try to always learn at least a little of the language, even a tough one like Turkish -- maybe that's just my English roots showing? It definitely makes a trip more fun, and most folks seem to appreciate my effort, however lame...
SB_Travlr is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Air Travel
May 27th, 2016 12:10 PM
United States
May 19th, 2008 04:41 PM
Air Travel
Jun 19th, 2006 01:29 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:26 AM.