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Old Nov 12, 13, 7:58 am   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Traveling with a friend

Hey all,
I'm getting ready to make a christmas trip with my roommates girlfriend to go see him. I'm a GM and ran into trouble when I tried to get my dad upgraded with me about a month ago. I'm just curious what the best course of action is to get her on my itinerary so she can utilize my free bags and chance at upgrades? No tickets have been booked yet, I think we're going to book them tonight. Any suggestions help!
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Old Nov 12, 13, 8:06 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Russell View Post
Hey all,
I'm getting ready to make a christmas trip with my roommates girlfriend to go see him. I'm a GM and ran into trouble when I tried to get my dad upgraded with me about a month ago. I'm just curious what the best course of action is to get her on my itinerary so she can utilize my free bags and chance at upgrades? No tickets have been booked yet, I think we're going to book them tonight. Any suggestions help!
This sounds like the plot of a movie I once chanced upon very late night on Cinemax....
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Old Nov 12, 13, 8:08 am   #3
 
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When you travelled with your dad, were you on the same reservation? It sounds like maybe not. I would recommend booking together so she can share your GM benefits.
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Old Nov 12, 13, 8:08 am   #4
 
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If both should be on the same itinerary (same booking) you should not have trouble with the bags. For upgrades chances are slim as people with a companion are relegated to the end of the line when it comes to upgrades. So, the choice is either getting both of you free bags (two tickets on same itinerary) or a higher chance of an upgrade for you but no free bags for the companion (separate tickets).
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Old Nov 12, 13, 8:15 am   #5
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A party of two when only one has status is very unlikely to be upgraded. Both of you will fly in coach. But if you have separate records, then you can check her bags with you (how many bags will two people need?), and you will still have a chance at the upgrade. You can swap seats with her if you want to be really nice.

Bruce
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Old Nov 12, 13, 8:21 am   #6
 
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As others have said, you should do one of the following things:


1. Book both of you in the same reservation. She will get all of the shared benefits. (Bags, sky priority, free EC... Assuming its domestic, and an upgrade chance). If you two remain on the upgrade list in the same reservation, your priority both will that of hers aka, after all medallions and companions of PM/DM.

2. Do the same as above but call in or tweet to have the reservation split. Be sure to have selected EC seats first. Her seats will remain next to you, and you will need to remind the agent to keep the upgrade request for both of you in tact. Be sure to split, if you're going to, at least 4 days before your flights. (Keeps you together in case there is a schedule change, but allows you the chance of an upgrade at the GM window). Your upgrade priority will be GM and she'll be after all medallions and companions of PM/DM.

3. Book separate reservations. Have them linked. Have the agent move the friend to EC with you and process the upgrade request. (No advantage over splitting).

FWIW, I travel all the time with non-statused fiends. I always take the route of number 2. I'd rather have one of us in first as opposed to both in coach. Also, agents can see in the reservation history that you booked together and had the pnr split. More often than not, all additional bag fees were waived for the companion even though at the time of the flight, we were in separate pnrs. That's not always consistent.

Good luck!
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Old Nov 12, 13, 8:38 am   #7
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Originally Posted by iflyalexair View Post
...I travel all the time with non-statused fiends.
OMG!

How do fiends get status, anyway?

Bruce
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Old Nov 12, 13, 8:42 am   #8
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If you will have separate PNRs at your upgrade window, be sure to put her in the better seat so that whoever stays in coach will have the aisle or window seat, not a middle in EC.
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Old Nov 12, 13, 8:55 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by iflyalexair View Post
As others have said, you should do one of the following things:


1. Book both of you in the same reservation. She will get all of the shared benefits. (Bags, sky priority, free EC... Assuming its domestic, and an upgrade chance). If you two remain on the upgrade list in the same reservation, your priority both will that of hers aka, after all medallions and companions of PM/DM.

2. Do the same as above but call in or tweet to have the reservation split. Be sure to have selected EC seats first. Her seats will remain next to you, and you will need to remind the agent to keep the upgrade request for both of you in tact. Be sure to split, if you're going to, at least 4 days before your flights. (Keeps you together in case there is a schedule change, but allows you the chance of an upgrade at the GM window). Your upgrade priority will be GM and she'll be after all medallions and companions of PM/DM.

3. Book separate reservations. Have them linked. Have the agent move the friend to EC with you and process the upgrade request. (No advantage over splitting).

FWIW, I travel all the time with non-statused fiends. I always take the route of number 2. I'd rather have one of us in first as opposed to both in coach. Also, agents can see in the reservation history that you booked together and had the pnr split. More often than not, all additional bag fees were waived for the companion even though at the time of the flight, we were in separate pnrs. That's not always consistent.

Good luck!
I think one thing to remember is that your travel companion needs a skymiles number applied to the reservation if there is to be any (albeit a very small amount) hope of getting an upgrade. Per the DL website "Your traveling companion must be a SkyMiles member." Perhaps this issue has led to some pax not getting companions listed for UG.
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Old Nov 12, 13, 9:01 am   #10
 
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Everyone has given OP great info but I'd like to throw out one more thing from recent experience. Hubby is GM and until two months ago always booked our reservations together. Due to some glitch with DL credit, we had to book two separate reservations and then have them linked.

It didn't go as smoothly as you would think. Hubby has SKY boarding and I had lower boarding status but that was taken care of by understanding GAs. Hubby got TSA precheck and of course I wasn't granted that benefit. We used carryons only so bag fees weren't an issue. Out of 3 flights, 2 had equipment changes and our seats together were rows apart with me in a middle seat. I understand that sometimes things happen but for that trip, linking the reservations together didn't work for us!
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Old Nov 12, 13, 9:24 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by TvlPeach View Post
Everyone has given OP great info but I'd like to throw out one more thing from recent experience. Hubby is GM and until two months ago always booked our reservations together. Due to some glitch with DL credit, we had to book two separate reservations and then have them linked.

It didn't go as smoothly as you would think. Hubby has SKY boarding and I had lower boarding status but that was taken care of by understanding GAs. Hubby got TSA precheck and of course I wasn't granted that benefit. We used carryons only so bag fees weren't an issue. Out of 3 flights, 2 had equipment changes and our seats together were rows apart with me in a middle seat. I understand that sometimes things happen but for that trip, linking the reservations together didn't work for us!
Having split PNRs that have been noted as linked only helps with manual intervention, and is not seen when the computer automatically rebooks things such as seats during an equipment swap. However with split PNRs, as long as one person has SKY for boarding it's generally fine for traveling companions to board (or access TSA) with the SkyPriority person (if there's time and the gate agent isn't mobbed, it doesn't hurt to warn them in advance - otherwise just keep the SKY bp as the first seen when you hand them the bps). Precheck is person specific though, so even being on the same PNR would not have qualified you for that.

For the OP - if it's important you two are seated together, use one PNR*, if the upgrade chances are more important then you want to split the PNRs. You'll need a skymiles number for your companion (as was mentioned by Timmy83). That's my guess for why your upgrade request didn't transfer to the gate on your recent trip with your father.

*You should be able to get her bag fees waived as long as you're with her when she goes to check the bags... if you're arriving separately to the airport and had planned to meet at the gate though, then you want her on the same PNR so her bp will indicate skypriority to check bags and access expedited TSA lines.
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Old Nov 12, 13, 1:44 pm   #12
 
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[ Precheck is person specific though, so even being on the same PNR would not have qualified you for that.

Totally understand that! Unfortunately, when my husband saw "Precheck" on his bp and knew that he should do the right thing and join me with the "commoners", he wasn't such a happy camper He never has Precheck on his bp when we travel on the same PNR. I just threw in my two cents to the OP because I was assured by the DL agent that linked our reservations that we would be treated just like we would be on the same PNR. He also scored an upgrade to a totally empty first class cabin with me still in the back.
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Old Nov 12, 13, 1:57 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Russell View Post
Hey all,
I'm getting ready to make a christmas trip with my roommates girlfriend to go see him. I'm a GM and ran into trouble when I tried to get my dad upgraded with me about a month ago. I'm just curious what the best course of action is to get her on my itinerary so she can utilize my free bags and chance at upgrades? No tickets have been booked yet, I think we're going to book them tonight. Any suggestions help!
What I've done in a situation like this is buy the tickets together and then have them split the itinerary. Every time I've done this my girlfriend has still appeared on the upgrade list (albeit at the bottom) and had access to Economy Comfort.
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Old Nov 12, 13, 2:41 pm   #14
 
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Wow thanks for all the help! As some of you may have guessed, when I was traveling with my father he didn't have a skymiles account and wanted to earn his AS miles. We booked it separately because he joined me at one of my layovers. Luckily there was an awesome gate agent after me being persistent because I knew there were several empty seats in F he put my dad with me up there! So what I'm understanding is there are 3 different options we can go by, 1) Book together and have her have my benefits but have a low chance of upgrade. 2) Book together and then have them split the reservations and I would get my upgrade and she'd get an upgrade after everyone. 3) Book separately and have them connect the PNR numbers (She'd need a Skymiles number for this?)

I'm doing this as a favor for my best friend, she doesn't want to travel alone and we both need to get up there for his christmas party. Plus she's never flown in first class before, what are the options of me getting an upgrade and just giving it to her? I've been up there countless times. I'm not sure if booking together is an option, her parents are getting her a ticket.
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Old Nov 12, 13, 2:57 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Russell View Post
what are the options of me getting an upgrade and just giving it to her? I've been up there countless times. I'm not sure if booking together is an option, her parents are getting her a ticket.
You know what seat she's supposed to be, she knows what seat you're supposed to be in. It technically is against the rules but I've never had a flight attendant so much as bat an eye. I always just swap boarding passes once we board just in case but she's never been asked to show one.
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