Called the FD Elite desk this afternoon in an attempt to secure a couple of upgrades. Spoke to a friendly, competent and helpful agent. A few observations.
Both flights were wide open ( J9 C9 Z9), yet it was only possible to upgrade one of them. This confirms that the special allocation for PEs has gone.
Upon my question whether there was any point in calling to ask again, and if so when, it was suggested that I try a few days before departure. There was no point in calling regularly before then.
I was informed that I could upgrade in the lounge, JNB not being one of the destinations where upgrades are limited to certain booking classes only. The agent made it clear, however, that a change in this rule could not be ruled out.
I use my miles exclusively for upgrades, and used to score 100% until January of this year. Only half a year ago, an agent got yield management to release two seats for me "only because you are a PE". No longer.
As far as I'm concerned, the special upgrade bucket for PEs was the greatest feature of the FD program. I suspect it will only get worse from here.
Exactly the same for me too. Flight from LAX - AMS in early January is wide open in WBC but twice now FD desk has found zero upgrade availability and I was told by one agent "that although you are PE I have been told there is no point in me asking again" On my latest call agent told me that all WBC seats had been sold for that particular flight so I made a dummy booking both with klm and NW,..guess what...no problem! I have also recently bought tickets for our summer vacation to the USA. For the past 3 years shortly after buying the tickets around this time, I have always been able to secure upgrades for both outbound and return flights in July, but not this year!!
Something very definitely has changed.
Last edited by Exraf; Nov 16, 04 at 6:03 pm.
I forgot to mention that, having secured an upgrade, I always ask for a seat allocation. This has never been a problem, but now I was told to "call back tomorrow", because the upgrade had to be confirmed first.
They seem to have gone from one extreme to another. From being able to upgrade as long as there was a single seat open in any bucket, and being waitlisted on those rare occasions there was not; to very limited availability and no waitlisting. Perhaps it makes sense from a yield management perspective, but it certainly isn't the way to stimulate loyalty.