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prt01 Oct 22nd, 2007 11:37 AM

Paris via Priceline/Air France-upgrade?
Advice please? Purchased tickets and hotel to Paris for 12/25 via Priceline. Coach seats. Boyfriend decided that he wants to upgrade us to Business. Sweet! Air France won't do it because the "travel agency owns the reservation at this time". Priceline won't go it because they are b*st*rds...even though I want to give them more money, they wont allow. What are my chances for being able to upgrade at the airport the day of the flight? Anyone have a similiar experience? Thank you!!!

WillTravel Oct 22nd, 2007 11:39 AM

I think it's in the Priceline terms that you agreed to that these seats are not upgradeable.

So just relax and enjoy the flight, and with any luck, you'll get a row with an empty seat in the middle.

It would take a miracle to be able to upgrade at the gate, but stranger things have happened. Just don't count on it.

ira Oct 22nd, 2007 11:40 AM

Hi P,

AF has its rules and Priceline has its rules.

Why not use the money to upgrade your hotel room or restaurants?


prt01 Oct 22nd, 2007 11:42 AM

I agree. I told the boyfriend "Let's spend the upgrade money on great food"! But he's a big guy and really wants to upgrade. So if we can, we will. But I hope someone will post that they were able to upgrade in my same scenario? Maybe? Give me some hope?

Andrew Oct 22nd, 2007 12:05 PM

Seems pretty unlikely that you'd be able to upgrade the seats. Assume you can't and hope for a pleasant surprise when you arrive at the airport. Next time, lesson learned.

rkkwan Oct 22nd, 2007 12:13 PM

If they are "name your own price" tickets, then you almost certainly can't upgrade with anything - miles or money. Chances are you can't earn miles either.

If you didn't use the "name your own price" feature (i.e. they already tell you it's AF before you buy), then Priceline is just like any travel agent, and you may be able to do something about it.

Do you even have the AF 6-digit confirmation number for your itinerary yet?

ekscrunchy Oct 22nd, 2007 12:17 PM

I tried to upgade KLM tickets a few weeks ago and was told that unless I had purchased the more expensive "upgradable" tix, I could not upgrade for any price. although I hold elite status with the AF/KLM program. I think it depends on the fare code and if you bought the cheapest tix, as I did, your chances are slim.

prt01 Oct 22nd, 2007 12:21 PM

They weren't "name your own price" tickets. They were just regular reservations. When priceline sent the rez, it doesnt contain any info (like an AF # or ticket class/grade). My hope is dwindling, but the AF person did say that once we start our trip, then AF can make changes to the rez. That makes me hold out hope for upgrades at the airport. And maybe an empty plane because it is Xmas day, after all. Who flies to Paris on X-mas day from Atlanta, GA?
Oh, I guess me.

rkkwan Oct 22nd, 2007 12:32 PM

Airlines have very restrictive and complicated rules about how one can upgrade for international travel. Next time, investigate all the details before booking anything.

I don't know the specifics about AF, but few airlines allow cash upgrade at the gate, short of paying the fare difference between coach and business.

Or if you have very high elite status with the airline in case of an op-up situation (oversold coach, open business seats), you may have a chance.

But to "hope" for something to happen is basically kidding yourself.

prt01 Oct 22nd, 2007 12:37 PM

I'm not kidding myself, I realize my chances are slim. But were I an airline and I had empty business seats and someone willing to pay hundreds of dollars to upgrade from coach rather than let them fly empty, I'd take the hundreds of dollars. Like Delta does. And Air Tran. And a variety of other domestic carriers. I realize it will probably be different for international. Live and learn.

Margo_Chester Oct 22nd, 2007 12:39 PM

Can you call AF and get some seat #s? At least this way your boyfriend won't end up in the middle seat of the middle section of the plane, maybe you can get him an aisle seat?

ira Oct 22nd, 2007 01:14 PM

Hi pr,

You ought to call AF and get your confirmation number and seat assignments.

We always choose aisle seats. That way, we can stretch at least one leg.

During the flight, we switch seats and stretch the other leg.


Christina Oct 22nd, 2007 01:41 PM

I usually fly Air France but this year flew United from Paris, so can't say about the latest, but have never seen AF offer business class at check-in for a few hundred dollars (or any amount). United did, but not AF.

They can't do that randomly for one person, it has to be a policy that the airline makes. Most AF flights I've been on in the last few years are completely full, so they may not have that many empty seats that they need to do that. Lots of people fly on Christmas, I've done it myself and the plane wasn't nearly empty. Some people actually aren't Christian, believe it or not, and the holiday doesn't mean anything to them. Others just don't observe it that much.

JeanneB Oct 22nd, 2007 01:44 PM

Air France Atlanta to Paris: Will you be checking in at the Delta desk?

I had very good luck with Delta in a similar situation last year. We weren't able to change at the gate, but they sent us to an office where we could. (I had not used Priceline, however)

I agree that Christmas Day may give you your best shot at it. Maybe some agent will be feeling "tres merry"! If it's not resolved before you leave, get there super early and take your best shot.

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