As a Plat Elite travelling with a non-elite last weekend, I was hopeful, yet uncertain, that we would both get upgrades on any of the four legs of our trip. I called a few days in advance, and the agent said, "I'll go ahead and upgrade you. Your companion will have to wait until the day of travel."
I declined, and I asked the agent if most people divide their records like that. She yes, "Yes, otherwise the elite member would not get the First class seat."
"But what if the other seat never clears? Do the travellers just sit in separate cabins?" I asked."
As it turned out, only one of the four segment cleared for both of us. On one segment, the FA came to me and said that 2B was my new seat. I declined, as I preffered to sit with my partner. The FA seemed stunned (and even annoyed) that I didn't want to move. It was as though it would be better to sit in F and leave my friend on his own.
(As a side note, whenever I checked in and asked about upgrades, the agent would always ask me what level elite I am. Can't they see this in my record? Or is it a different screen?")
Anyway, do other elites actually split their records and travel in separate cabins?
I'm a plat and my Fiancee is a silver (because of me). I always split the record so I get the upgrade in advance. If hers does not clear by the time we're on the plane, I would end up making someone's day by giving the person sitting next to her my seat (since she likes the window seats, I would end up trading my F seat for a middle - now that's dedication!) I always mention this to the F/A first - they're fine with it.
Of course, it has never come up - we're batting 1000 when we travel together!
I would take that route next time. It seems that the odds of you both getting up front are better when one person has already been pre-upgraded.
To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.
Programs: SkyMiles Platinum, AAdvantage ExecPlat, AMEX Plat, United Club (life), HHonors Diamond
I travel solo most of the time. When traveling with a companion, I upgrade them using miles if it is really important. I always book on seperate records. If the companion upgrade doesn't clear, I give the upgrade to my companion and sit in their coach seat. The friends and family I travel with appreciate the rare opportunity to travel in F, while I appreciate the opportunity to upgrade them. I certainly don't mind being seperated from them for a short time. Afterall, we have the whole rest of the trip to "be together." Sometimes a little solitude is nice!
If I had children, that would be a different scenario.
I intend to walk where I choose and not care what country I'm in.
I've run into the scenario where the agent adding the companion to the upgrade list does not do so with the Platinum member's status carrying over to the companion.
Without this entry, the companion falls somewhere near the bottom of the revenue standby list.
Always ask if the platinum status is applied correctly to the companion. I've called FFD from the ticket counter on more than one occasion so the FFD agent can explain the procedure to the ticket counter agent