First Class Upgrade

Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 09:17 PM
  #21  
 
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You pay for three online, you put your own name with (or without) a middle initial for one of them, without (or with) for the second. John Q. Public, J. Quincy Public. You'll get three boarding passes. You'll need to explain to the TSA types and the gate agent what you're doing, and make sure they don't regard the (middle, I assume) seat as unbooked for standbys. It's a little more hassle than usual, but on a transcon it's a blessing. BTW people do this for their cellos or crated pets (if otherwise allowed) all the time.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 09:19 PM
  #22  
 
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Meant to add, tell the FAs too, and don't expect to get FF miles for the empty seat. Oh, and the "this is Harvey the giant rabbit" carries no weight whatsoever.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 05:27 AM
  #23  
 
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I agree all you can do is ask and see what happens. My only experience in getting upgraded happened when my commuter flight was cancelled between Omaha and Kansas City with connections to Dallas/Ft. Worth. They allowed me to make a non-stop flight out of Omaha directly into DFW on a jet flight in FIRST CLASS! Not only did I get a seat upgrade I ended up at my final destination ahead of my regularly scheduled flight because of BAD weather, amazing!!
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 05:28 AM
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I agree all you can do is ask and see what happens. My only experience in getting upgraded happened when my commuter flight was cancelled (icing) between Omaha and Kansas City with connections to Dallas/Ft. Worth. They allowed me to make a non-stop flight out of Omaha directly into DFW on a jet flight in FIRST CLASS! Not only did I get a seat upgrade I ended up at my final destination ahead of my regularly scheduled flight because of BAD weather, amazing!!
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 06:02 AM
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When we went to Europe last year I asked
the delta ticket lady at the boarding gate, is it true that some passengers get upgraded to first from coach? she told me that its very rare even if the plane is over sold! they will offer an upgrade to first at a discount price
if the plane is over sold for like $700.00 each but a FREE upgrade, No.
That was Delta.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 06:08 AM
  #26  
 
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I have flown international first class a few times using FF miles.

The flight attendants know the FF status of everyone on the plane. They know who is a road warrior and who is on free tickets (me)

That being said, free upgrades, if avaialable, usually go to those with the most miles first.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 06:20 AM
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I almost always get upgraded?
Why? Because I am one of those folks that butter the bread of the airlines.
This year I expect to take 25+ trips, all on AA.
I can assure you they could not care less how I am dressed or how nice I am to them... in fact, they seem to prefer people wo are nice but make no conversation. I see loads of people who try to get upgraded using excuses, arguing, flattering, etc...
The best way to get an upgrade is to be a VALUABLE customer to the airline.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 06:22 AM
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I should add...The flight attendants know who has earned miles from flying frequently and who has earned them on CC or other means.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 06:56 AM
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Dick, that's an easy one... you cannot be Gold, Platinum or Exec Plat on credit card miles.
So, they know who is a freq flyer and they know who is flying on 'free' employee passes.
The flight attendants could not care less who bought a ticket with credit card miles and the information is not broken down to that level on the list they get onboard.
The gate agent can see fare basis, etc... BUT they cannot tell how you earned the miles.
For example, I secure a ticket for my son using FF miles.
The class of service on AA is "T"
The gate agt only knows that he is flying on an AAdvantage tkt. It would take much research to determine how the miles used were secured.
If he was AAdvantage Platinum, an assumption could be made that miles were earned traveling but it would just be an assumption.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 07:05 AM
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That would explain why i got treated so well when flying international first class on reward tix.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 08:28 AM
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If you are NOT treated well flying Internation FIRSTCLASS there is a SERIOUS problem.
On AA, to be in first class you have to buy it (money or miles) or upgrade from a business class ticket (money, miles or VIP upgrade).
No matter how you get there, anything LESS than wonderful service would be unacceptable.
I have always found International First Class on AA to be awesome!
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 08:38 AM
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Your chances dropped this morning with Continental. They announced a reduction in the number of seats in first class, taking an increase in coach seats.

I've had good luck with Continental in the past, but it has been expensive: mucho miles plus cash to upgrade. On the other hand, three years ago they partnered with Quantas to honor our Continental miles and we went to Australia and back (including Continental from LAX to IAH both ways) in royal style.

It's only going to get harder. We're changing strategy and using miles to get tickets. Period. We'll ride in the back.

Jim
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 09:22 AM
  #33  
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I have only had free upgrades twice in my traveling life. Here's what happened:

1. Nov. 2000--I flew BA from DFW to LGW. There was a misprint on my return ticket. I did not know this until I went to the check-in counter and they handed me a business class boarding pass. I never complained about this error.

2. August 2004--I was on a plane from IAH to LGW that caught fire on take-off. Needless to say, there was an emergency landing and evacuation using the slides. They rebooked me on a later plane with an upgrade, which was given to everyone who had been on this ill-fated flight. That is, everyone who decided not to cancel their trip altogether.

Reason #1 was a very nice surprise, but I do not recommend getting an upgrade for reason #2.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 11:09 AM
  #34  
 
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Buying 2-3 economy seats for 1 traveler is a very risky proposition. Seat assignments are NOT GUARANTEED and the airline has the right to re-assign seating as they please. I don't care who you are, it's always possible that the 2-3 tickets could be seated in different rows, especially if it's a full flight. I do not recommend it.

Your miles may vary!
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 12:16 PM
  #35  
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Thank you all for such a lively response! I believe I will just take the bus...just kidding!!! Looks like I will make due with what I have and hope something miraculous happens. Joanne
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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SO has serious long term (45+ years) friends in the industry. Works great.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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It pays to be very large. My father, who is 6'4" and 250 lbs, has been upgraded three times in the past 3 years. Twice while traveling with my equally large uncle when they were seated 3 across with another big man. They simply could not all fit at the shoulders. Once while traveling with my very petite mom when again they were seated with a large man. I think they took pity on my mother who basically disappeared between the two of them.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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AAFF - I suggested 3 seats for 2 pax, not 2 for 1 pax. I've done it on AA on several occasions and have never had any issues with the GAs, FAs, or anyone else. While I know they can scramble seats around, they haven't. Of course maybe "plat" on the BPs helps
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 01:13 PM
  #39  
 
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shaz60,
I mentioned the same last year and was "crucified" for suggesting large folks got priority: I'm 1.75M / 64 kg.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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Mike - Glad to hear they also upgrade those who are metrically large.
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