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Upgrade

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm flying tonight, and I was wondering if any of you had any tips how to be upgraded. I'm flying British Airways Club World (Business Class).
I've often been upgraded from economy to business, but never from business to first. Are there any sure fire ways to ensure this; maybe in terms of dress?
I'd certainly like to be drinking Romanee Conti instead of Margaux.
post #2 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bouji
I'm flying tonight, and I was wondering if any of you had any tips how to be upgraded. I'm flying British Airways Club World (Business Class).
I've often been upgraded from economy to business, but never from business to first. Are there any sure fire ways to ensure this; maybe in terms of dress?
I'd certainly like to be drinking Romanee Conti instead of Margaux.

Sure, pay the upgrade fee.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117
Sure, pay the upgrade fee.
Okay, possible ways, without paying
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bouji
Okay, possible ways, without paying
Many airlines have a program where you can "pay" for the upgrade with frequent flier miles - no idea about BA in particular.
post #5 of 20
The last two times I flew,the people in Military uniforms were allowed to move up to the first class seating. Now, I'm not sure if they were in the Military, but they were wearing uniforms.

So, if you have a Military uniform, give it a try. Should work!

**** Of course I'm being jocular. But if you get a chance, do try to get the Bulkhead seats. It's not First Class, but it's very roomy and comfortable. The last time I flew to Hong Kong(an 18 hr. flight, from Houston, Tx.) it was a lifesaver.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnoldh
The last two times I flew,the people in Military uniforms were allowed to move up to the first class seating. Now, I'm not sure if they were in the Military, but they were wearing uniforms.

So, if you have a Military uniform, give it a try. Should work!

I used to have one when I was in school, sadly I don't anymore.
post #7 of 20
As I understand it there are so many people with miles buying upgrades that there aren't enough first class seats to go around those with miles, much less any left over for free upgrades. So, I think it's simply a question of supply, and no amount of dressing up will help.
post #8 of 20
I hear they prefer to give upgrades to those wearing short-sleeve shirts.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnoldh

**** Of course I'm being jocular. But if you get a chance, do try to get the Bulkhead seats. It's not First Class, but it's very roomy and comfortable. The last time I flew to Hong Kong(an 18 hr. flight, from Houston, Tx.) it was a lifesaver.

I find Club World seats are more than large enough for me - I'm only 5ft 9"
post #10 of 20
BA lets you upgrade with miles - but it take a lot of miles. Off the top of my head, I think it takes about twice as many miles to upgrade from C/J into F Class as it does from Econ into C/J. BA's corporate policy is to be very protective of First Class and only upgrade people into it as a last resort.
post #11 of 20
My ex is a flight attendant for Air France and she works primarily in First class. (These last few years I have always been upgraded from economy to Business Class for no fee after paying 10% of economy price). Anyway, she told me that they never upgrade anyone to first. Maybe there would be extreme cases where the manager would but she was not aware of any case xhere that happened.
post #12 of 20
Bouji -

Did you succeed in your attempt to get upgraded?

My guess would be not, because from what I understand it is very tough to get upgraded now without being a high-level frequent flyer with the particular airline. I know that I used to get upgraded quite frequently, but the last few times I've flown, I didn't even get a second look. From one article that I read, it seems the airlines have taken the upgrade decisions away from the gate employees and set up computerized systems that automatically track the passengers and rank them based on their status in the airline's frequent flyer systems.

Unfortunately, that means if you're an infrequent flyer like me, you really stand no chance of being upgraded.

As I started to mention, I went through about a 5-year period where I would get upgraded nearly everytime I flew. Especially on the old AmericaWest Airlines, which would consistently overbook their flights and then move a few people to first class and offer vouchers to others to hold off until the next flight. For some reason, I always seemed to be one of those who would be called up and be given me a new boarding pass for first class. (Come to think of it, maybe I should have got some phone numbers from those gate agents ) However, the last few years, this has become a memory.

Personally, I'd prefer to believe it's the new system rather than the fact that I am now a few years older and possibly less attractive to airline workers.
post #13 of 20
I once got bumped from "World Traveller" (i.e., Cattle Class) to Club World by being friendly and having a bit of banter with the check-in person. It helped that I have a truly HORRIBLE passport photo (captured mid-sneeze, believe it or not). We all chuckled, she called her friends over, they chuckled, and then ... BAM ... she said "Wait a minute," made a phone call, and then told me the good news. Since then, I always try to have a laugh with the check-in staff. A bit of a joke about the passport photo, some humorous small talk, various other bits of banter and then once you've softened them up, you can pop the question. It has worked every single time. If club world isnt comfy enough for you, though, you've got other problems
post #14 of 20
I used to get bumped from business to first quite a bit -maybe one in 4 legs, but that was because I flew a great deal between 2 certain stations, and I was well known by the teams there. I do not know any other way to do it for free.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford
Bouji -

Did you succeed in your attempt to get upgraded?

Going (from London Heathrow) I did not get upgraded, but on my return (from Abu Dhabi) I did, the reason for which is because at the check-in counter was a Filipino lady, who was a pain...
First off, she told me my seat was not confirmed, even though I had done this. I presented her with the reference number, and she was set straight.
Then, as the system in Abu Dhabi airport is that all checked baggage is scanned before check-in, and they put a sticker on it to confirm it, she tells me that one of my suitcases was not checked... So I went back to the scanner, and the Arab man there laughed at me and says
"You cannot get passed here without the bag being scanned!"
Whilst pointing at the sticker at the bag... I explained about the check in woman, so he was more sympathetic and stuck another few sticker on for me and said
"Now she can't argue"
Then when I went back to the counter the Filipino lady starts telling me that my bags are overweight. I respond that I am unable to take liquids in my hand baggage and this is why... She makes a phone call..
Luckily at this point, an attractive Arab lady at the next counter, who had been watching this whole fiasco from the beginning because her counter had been vacant, says:
"Sir, I'm so sorry for the inconvenience, the lady serving you is a trainee, and would you like to come over here"
A few minutes later, a normal check-in, and I was upgraded by the Arab lady too.
It's actually pretty shocking, the difference in service between BA Club World and Emirates Business Class...
When I fly from Dubai to London, you take a seat in a check in area only for business class passengers, whilst an attendant takes your bags, tickets, and passports; they offer you a drink, and 5-10 mins. later they return with your boarding pass, and that's just on the ground.
In the air, and this is in BA 1st class, I had to ask a couple of times to have my wine refilled - this has never happened to me in Emirates, even Emirates economy, which I have flown short-haul between Dubai and Tehran. I also just did not find the overall etiquette and politeness of the staff as good...
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