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Tips needed! How to get upgraded for free?

Tips needed! How to get upgraded for free?

Nov 20th, 2002, 05:54 AM
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Tips needed! How to get upgraded for free?

Am flying round the world next year and would love to get a free upgrade if there are any available. Am flying with Cathay Pacific, Qantas, BA and American Airlines.

Is this impossible if I'm carrying a backpack, even if I am dressed smartly?


Nov 20th, 2002, 07:25 AM
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unless you are a member of the airline's air miles scheme or look very smart - backpacks are scruffy
Nov 20th, 2002, 07:26 AM
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if you happen to look like Gisele Bundchen or some other supermodel you stand a better chance
Nov 20th, 2002, 07:31 AM
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For your attention, not ALL backpackers are scruffy!
Nov 20th, 2002, 08:21 AM
captain Scarlet
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The airlines you've mentioned all belong to "Oneworld". These guys don't upgrade since they do not usually overbook their coach section.

It doesn't matter how well you dress up you still need $$$ if you wanna sit in the forward section of the plane. Try showing up naked with your backpack
Nov 20th, 2002, 08:45 AM
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I have been upgraded twice on Cathay from coach to b-class. But both times I was travelling with suitcases and looked smart. I have travelled loads with a back pack and never had an upgrade. Sorry Sonia, however smart your clothes and person look, if you are carrying a backpack it creates the wrong impression and makes you a less attractive passenger upgrade if the airline needs to upgrade anyone.
Nov 20th, 2002, 11:28 AM
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During our RTW trip, my husband and I got upgraded a couple of times, usually without even asking.
Once, this happned on an Air New Zealand flight because they were overcrowded in coach and the ticket agent said we were "tidily dressed".
It was a nice bonus, but don't expect it to happen much. Be very polite, friendly, and as well dressed as possible. Then just ask, it can't hurt! Also, it's easier to get an upgrade for 1 person than for 2.
Nov 20th, 2002, 02:21 PM
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1. Join one of the airlines frequent flyer clubs (if they all belong to OneWorld - then you can earn miles on all flights credited to your airline of choice).
2. Use miles to upgrade. You may gather enough miles with your flights to be able to upgrade some segments of your trip. This is free with the use of your miles.
3. Dress nice and ask. It never hurts to ask, and being a member of the frequent flyer club *might* help.
4. If you get enough miles to make 'status' - e.g. some sort of elite level (silver, gold, etc.) then you may be upgrades for free, without using miles. If you make status you may be entitled to certain upgrades - regardless of how you are dressed.
5. Read about the gold and platinum challenges on American Airlines. Go to www.flyertalk.com and do a search in the American Airlines forum for information on the challenge. It may be a way for you to easily make status and get some upgrades.
6. If the flight is overbooked, volunteer to be bumped. You will get some sort of compensation (e.g. a voucher towards a future ticket) and may be upgraded on the next flight.

As a backpacker who traveled to Asia 2x last year and Europe 1x - it is possible to get upgraded. I sat happily in first with my backpack and travel pants!
Nov 20th, 2002, 06:04 PM
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I got upgraded twice with CX and for both times the flight was full. Airlines usually only upgrade passengers if economy class is full. Generally, I find that status members of their frequent flyer program, and persons who travel alone get better chances for upgrade. As in clothing, I dressed pretty casual for both times that I got an upgrade.
Nov 20th, 2002, 09:40 PM
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Sonia-Those of us who spend the big bucks to sit in the pointy end of the plane don't appreciate it when the airlines sit passengers who paid a fraction of our fare up there with us unless that passenger is a million mile member of their frequent flyer club. If you want the good seats, you gotta pay for them. The old fashioned way.
Nov 20th, 2002, 11:25 PM
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No need to be sour kh. From the look of all the replies, I just might get away without paying £££'s for it!!! ;0)
Nov 20th, 2002, 11:29 PM
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Dream on Sonia! The odds are against you girl.
Nov 21st, 2002, 12:41 AM
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You get what you paid for...
Nov 21st, 2002, 02:05 AM
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If you walked into a store and paid S1,000 for a TV set, and having paid for it another customer walked to the cash desk and was charged $300 for the same TV, would you be xxxxx off?
If you paid $1,000 for a flight and at check in you saw someone else handing over $200 for a ticket on the same flight would you smile and say 'Good luck buddy' or what?
Nov 21st, 2002, 02:57 AM
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It is possible but the odds are not stacked in your favour.
Nov 24th, 2002, 09:20 PM
Michael Garvey
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Anon - While I understand the point you were making, price differences happen all the time in the airline biz. You may have paid $400 bucks for a ticket, but the person next to you may have paid $700 depending on booking times, promotions, etc.
Nov 25th, 2002, 04:11 AM
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Aron in the biz it's called yeild managment.. and the airlines update thier fares about 250,000 times a day ..

I got this info from "Travel Detective" by Peeter Greenberg
Nov 29th, 2002, 12:35 AM
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If I paid a $1000 for my ticket, and the guy next to me paid $200, I would be pissed off, not at him, but at myself. I would politely ask him how he got such a good deal
Nov 29th, 2002, 03:13 AM
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My goodness there are some grumpy rich people out there. I hope if I ever do have any money I will be a bit less snobbish about it.

Unlikely, on both accounts, but I can always dream...
Nov 29th, 2002, 05:53 AM
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Normally, I'd say you had a good chance with a short skirt, some heels and some well directed flirting. But, with so many gay men in the airline industry, the chances are low with that approach. But try the pilots. Everyone knows what players they are.

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