Last Minute Business/First Class Upgrades

Jul 15th, 2002, 05:00 PM
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Last Minute Business/First Class Upgrades

I heard a rumor that you could pay a small amount to upgrade from coach, to Business or First Class, the day of your flight, if there are seats available. Does anyone know if this is true?

I will be flying to New Zealand soon on United & I would be willing to pay a little more to sit in plusher seats. I don't even care about the service, I just don't want to be bunched up for 19 hours. Yuck!
Jul 15th, 2002, 06:51 PM
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You can't be serious? You probably paid about +/- $1200 for your ticket. Business class paid about $6-7000 and First about $12000. What do you expect to pay to get upgraded? $100, 300, maybe even 500. So why would anybody else pay the going fare for their class of service if they new that all they had to do is show up early at the airport with few hundred $ in their pocket. I hope you really don't believe the rumor, as that's all it is. Unless you're an elite status member with few miles to spare, think economy.
Jul 15th, 2002, 07:22 PM
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On routes where biz/1st are popular - usually those frequented by businesspeople - airlines often plan to accommodate a certain number of passengers in those classes of service. On the day of the flight, and sometimes not until several hours before departure, if they have more seats catered (i.e., food and amenities already stocked to go on board) than there are passengers they MAY offer upgrades for a price. Cost varies, and preference may be given to elite FF's. Bottom line: it doesn't hurt to politely inquire, but don't plan on it, either.
Jul 16th, 2002, 05:28 PM
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Ha Ha Ha! Thanks for snapping me back to reality. It was a pipe dream on my part, but I think I will still try since it's my wedding anniversary. It certainly couldn't hurt!
Jul 16th, 2002, 06:40 PM
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Some domestic airlines, such as Alaska Airlines, allow it for $50, but you won't find it on long-haul flights.
Jul 16th, 2002, 07:57 PM
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United has just started selling Business fare upgrades w/in the U.S. While waiting to catch another plane I heard them announce an $80.00 upgrade availible from Las Vegas to Atlanta. Weren't any avail. when I flew to Hawaii though. Darn! Don't know if these will be avail for int'l travel though. And if they are, they will probably cost several hundred dollars.
Jul 17th, 2002, 08:14 AM
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I know on domestic flights you can often upgrade at the gate if there are unsold/unclaimed first class seats available. Delta for example posts cost and availability on a monitor (ATL-LAX was about $80 to upgrade one way).
Jul 26th, 2002, 01:53 PM
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Actually, I haven't been on a flight in a couple of years (I am a frequent flyer and have flown about 40 times since 9/11) that First Class wasn't completely full. Most were FF upgrades.
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