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Old Jul 16, 12, 5:52 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Utter noob needs advice to help make my BF's father's last trip awesome.

Howdy! This is my first post on the board, but I've been a long-time troll. Here's the story:

My boyfriend and I booked flights LAX-FRA on LH451 on 7/25, returning on 8/30. We booked into business class because we booked early and got a decent price. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, we find out from my bf's dad that he's going to have to go on the heart transplant list in the next few months, and probably won't be able to fly after that again. My bf's mom is originally from Germany, so they're pretty devastated that they wouldn't be able to go back regularly.

We decided to surprise them with tickets on our flight, but since we found this out at about 21 days before the flight, the prices were awful and we could only book economy (V on LAX-FRA and W on FRA-LAX). I'm a brand new M&M member (without even a permanent card).

I'm really hoping somehow we'll be able to upgrade them, I'd feel pretty awful sitting in business while they're stuck in coach. Normally I'd just read every thread on this board and figure it out, but it looks like the number of ways to upgrade are pretty extensive and I just don't think I have the time.

I'm wondering if anyone can give some advice on the best route to take. Business class fares are now $6000 round trip PP ($4500 more than the price of the economy fares we've booked already), so that's not really an option. I thought about trying to buy systemwide upgrades (at least for LAX-FRA, since they're in V and it looks like that's upgradeable), but I know that's a no-no because of the "void if bartered or sold" thing.

Anyway, ALL advice is appreciated. I really want to make this a memorable trip for them since it might well be their last.

Also, if anyone could check the upgrade inventory for me, I would be so appreciative. We're booked on LH451 on 7/25, and LH450 on 8/30. I thought we'd be on the new 747-8i by then, but they gave our plane to New Delhi instead of LA!!! GRR!

Thanks so much!!!
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Old Jul 16, 12, 6:22 pm   #2
 
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Have you thought about swapping your business seats for their economy ones?
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Old Jul 16, 12, 6:26 pm   #3
 
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Are you sure he should be flying at all with end stage heart failure like that? Check with his doctors. He might need supplemental oxygen, they may recommend he not fly such long segments, etc.

Doc
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Old Jul 16, 12, 6:32 pm   #4
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Yep. You and SO take the coach seats and give the business class boarding passes to the parents. However, no going back and forth during the flights; two elders stay in business (although they could briefly go back for a visit once or twice with FA's permission) while you and the SO STAY in coach throughout the flight with no exceptions short of a life and death emergency.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 6:46 pm   #5
 
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Yes, we've thought about giving them our business class seats. However, that doesn't really satisfy their desire for it to be a "family" trip, which is why we want to move them UP, not just swap places. We wanted everyone to be together.

And Doc Savage, he's been cleared by his GP and his cardiologist for the flight, they modified his medications and prescribed oxygen. That part, at least, is under control.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 6:51 pm   #6
 
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Also, we need to keep my BF in Business Class, as he's a big guy all around and doesn't fit well in coach, and is at risk of a blood clot without being able to stretch his legs out.

And also, yes, I am aware that an option is for my boyfriend and his father to be in business and his mother and I to be in coach.

Again, shuffling the seats we current have isn't what we're looking for.

All I was wondering is the best, easiest, and most cost effective way to UPGRADE two economy seats to business. We don't mind paying. I'd just like to avoid paying $9000.

Thanks.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 8:45 pm   #7
 
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To be honest, if he is really never ever going to fly again, he's going to save tens of thousands of dollars over his remaining lifespan so I don't really grok why paying 9K this time would make any difference in his lifestyle.

Do you know what the phrase "I've been a long-time troll" means? I think you do, but maybe the other people responding to this wind-up don't...It's creative though, I tip my hat to you for creativity. You seldom see a good troll that people swallow that easily these days...

If there is any fact behind the troll, and you actually do need an upgrade, for pity's sake, why don't you call the airline and ask them the procedure and the costs? Don't you have to inform them anyway about the oxygen tanks or you just planning to sorta spring it on them at the gate?
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Old Jul 16, 12, 8:50 pm   #8
 
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Are you people for real? You're officially the least helpful, rudest, most condescending soulless people I've ever had the misfortune to run across. I ask for help or advice (which I thought was still allowed on forums) on the best way to do something NICE for someone (we spent $3000 on tickets as a gift. EXCUSE me if a total of $21000 isn't in the budget), so that we can all be in business class together -- and I get this:

1) Give them our tickets
2) He shouldn't be flying
3) Give them our tickets and stay the f**k out of business class after we give them our tickets
4) Pay $18000.

Seriously? I hope to hell if any of you you are ever new at anything, or need advice on anything that you get more helpful advice than I did here. Oh wait...that's probably not going to be a problem. Clearly this board is populated entirely by supercilious know-it-alls. And I guess I was more of a 'lurker' than a 'troll', peachfront...humblest of apologies for my misspoken slang. This is my first thread here. Don't worry, though - it'll be my last. I learn from my mistakes.

I'll just go f**k myself now.

Last edited by projectfilly; Jul 16, 12 at 9:00 pm..
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Old Jul 16, 12, 9:51 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectfilly View Post
All I was wondering is the best, easiest, and most cost effective way to UPGRADE two economy seats to business. We don't mind paying. I'd just like to avoid paying $9000.

Thanks.
Pity that you're leaving.

Unfortunately, there isn't. Lufthansa is not known for their easy upgrades. It's pretty much "large sum of cash or sit where you are, thanks for flying with us", especially from lower fare classes like yours.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I would probably do the seat shuffle in your shoes. It's likely that you'll still have a good trip if you have a good attitude towards things. Hope it goes well.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 10:10 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectfilly View Post
Are you people for real? You're officially the least helpful, rudest, most condescending soulless people I've ever had the misfortune to run across. I ask for help or advice (which I thought was still allowed on forums) on the best way to do something NICE for someone (we spent $3000 on tickets as a gift. EXCUSE me if a total of $21000 isn't in the budget), so that we can all be in business class together -- and I get this:

1) Give them our tickets
2) He shouldn't be flying
3) Give them our tickets and stay the f**k out of business class after we give them our tickets
4) Pay $18000.

Seriously? I hope to hell if any of you you are ever new at anything, or need advice on anything that you get more helpful advice than I did here. Oh wait...that's probably not going to be a problem. Clearly this board is populated entirely by supercilious know-it-alls. And I guess I was more of a 'lurker' than a 'troll', peachfront...humblest of apologies for my misspoken slang. This is my first thread here. Don't worry, though - it'll be my last. I learn from my mistakes.

I'll just go f**k myself now.

Well that was a rather unexpected post . . . you seemed pretty nice in the first post.


I will add that the only real option to accomplish your goal (two more seats in business for limited cost) is with miles. It doesn't seem like you have thosands of miles around, and no time to get them, so it probably isn't really an option.

Frankly, the other advice given to you was accurate and thoughtful. There just isn't a way to get cheap business class flights when LH is charging a lot. People suggested you switching seats (with a reasonable warning that you should not expect to switch seats frequently or have all four people in business).

Other than the brief confusion over your use of the word 'troll' (as you have said, you meant lurker) every post has been respectful. I'm not sure why you are so upset at us FTers. After all, you did say, 'ALL advice is appreciated'.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 10:18 pm   #11
 
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Wow... Just.... Wow!
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Old Jul 16, 12, 10:37 pm   #12
 
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Yes, it is true, you get what you pay for. And paying Y with the expectation of having the curtain behind your back may be a bit unrealistic.

But you all could have been a bit nicer in saying so...
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Old Jul 16, 12, 11:02 pm   #13
 
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You know, it's a shame that it took letting my inner crazy out to actually get some helpful responses from people.

You're right, I did say that ALL advice was appreciated. But since the tone and topic of the post was in asking about ways to upgrade these seats, that was the "all" advice I was soliciting. I wasn't expecting "Pay the $9k per person" or "Just give them your seats", since the topic was "how can I upgrade?" Just like I wasn't expecting advice on how to fix a leaky faucet, how to bake fantastic chocolate chip cookies, or how to build a model airplane. It's all about relevance to topic, really.

I don't have a bunch of miles around, no. This is my first trip out of the country. I guess I just wanted us to enjoy it equally, but since we already spent $3000 for their tickets on top of $7000 for ours, I just didn't have the ability to add an additional $18,000 to that total.

Just for the record, I would never play the 'We'll sit here for an hour, then we'll switch' game. I have a bit more self-respect than that.

We're totally willing to pay for the upgrade, I'm not trying to get something for nothing, which people seem to assume. I guess I'll just have to hope that on the day of the flight they have an 'upgrade sale', which is what the CSR at Lufthansa said might happen.

His parents have flown coach every trip they've taken to Germany, which by now is more than 20, but they did so without FF accounts - otherwise this wouldn't be an issue.

I just wanted to do something nice for them, that's all.

I appreciate those of you who came in with some genuine insight about LH's practices post-tirade. Oh, and sschwenk? Thanks for being the only one to (at least kind of) see my point.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 12:30 am   #14
 
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Don't take the guys on here too serious. They are mostly a bunch of very nice people (they're just very good at hiding it sometimes).

As for your trip: LH is a very bad airline choice for cheap upgrades. Contrary to US carriers they protect their premium cabins and rather have seats in business empty than selling them cheaply.

Sometimes they do sell upgrades at the airport in the US for a discounted rate - best to ask at check in. Though don't get your hopes up, this doesn't happen very often.
On the return from Germany there is no chance of that happening. If you do ask they will offer you the fare difference between what you paid and full fare business, and you'll wish you hadn't asked when you hear the figure.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 12:32 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sschwenk View Post
If you do ask they will offer you the fare difference between what you paid and full fare business, and you'll wish you hadn't asked when you hear the figure.
Yeah, I got that earlier. I called in just out of curiosity to see about upgrading now, and the very nice lady said "Okay, hon, the fare difference plus the change fee will be $9134.25....per person. You wanna go ahead and do that?"

At which point I came on here to ask for advice...which is probably why the "suggestions" I got from the first few replies rubbed me wrong.

Thanks again, and I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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