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Old Dec 18, 02, 3:47 am   #1
 
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Operational Upgrades

I seem to have no luck with free operational upgrades, and never had with Swissair or Crossair. I was sure I was going to get one last Friday on the way to Hong Kong as eco was quite oversold, but no chance. Perhaps if one has quite a mileage balance they expect one to pay for it, which I was happy to do so. I just wondered what other people's experience was in this domain. In the days prior to FFPs, I used to get upgraded all the time on VS (Virgin) and BA.
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Old Dec 18, 02, 4:26 am   #2
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as eco was quite oversold

* did they bump (offered compensation) any eco passengers?
* were there any business seats available?
* other eco passengers (with better/higher status) being upgraded?

I think it is a (regarding earning) wiser policy of most non-US-carriers to only comp passengers, if eco is completly full. Otherwise too many (potentially paying business class) passengers would speculate and not pay the premium in the first place.
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Old Dec 18, 02, 5:48 am   #3
 
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Rudi,

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">
I think it is a (regarding earning) wiser policy of most non-US-carriers to only comp passengers, if eco is completly full. Otherwise too many (potentially paying business class) passengers would speculate and not pay the premium in the first place.[/b]</font>
There are not so many full flights at the moment that I would like to take that chance, ending up in Y on a trans atlantic flight.

I have to say that although I have had elite status for quite some time I never get upgraded, the only times it happened was when I was traveling with my girslfriend on reward tickets http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif. KLM often upgrades me when I show up in a suit with a Y ticket on EU flights for no particular reason ...

Peter
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Old Dec 18, 02, 8:14 am   #4
 
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I have been operationally upgraded on 3 out of 4 transatlantic flights this year on LX. In all three cases, Y was completely full (every single seat taken) and there were even more Y pax waiting. C usually had a couple of seats free.

Twice, I was already upgraded at check-in, once I had already settled into my Y seat when the JFK station manager came and invited me to sit upfront.

It was always based on status (I'm only TCQM and must have picked flights with no TCGMs in Y).

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Old Dec 18, 02, 9:53 am   #5
 
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It's an interesting topic. I can't really answer Rudi's questions, as I checked in at GVA and am not sure what happened with bumping at ZRH. I suspect, as I said, people missed their connections due to fog delays. Looking back at the economy cabin gave an impression it was full, but there might have been a seat here and there. Are you suggesting that European carriers don't upgrade at all unless they really have to, and only then to status members?

For Airoli, I was wondering if you were travelling on off-peak special offers, or at prime time such as during the Summer. Sabena once upgraded me once on the plane. I had settled into what must be the best economy seat, and someone came along and unceremoniously chucked me out of it. I immediately moved, presuming I had made a mistake, but both our boarding passes shared the same seat number. On the strength of that strange occurrence, the chief cabin stewardess invited me into business.
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Old Dec 18, 02, 10:22 am   #6
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European carriers don't upgrade at all unless they really have to

Yes (not only Europen carriers, most carriers outside NorthAmerica, and I think that's god business for the airlines)

and only then to status members?

Not only, but priority to status members.
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Old Dec 18, 02, 2:32 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Concerto:
For Airoli, I was wondering if you were travelling on off-peak special offers, or at prime time such as during the Summer. </font>
I'm always flying on discounted student fares. One trip was at the end of May, the other one in mid-October.



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Old Dec 19, 02, 9:59 am   #8
 
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I'm TCQG, and I always fly on discounted youth fares. So far, on all flights since the start-up of Swiss to and from the US (8x), without exception, I have been in C-class due to overbooking of the Y cabin. In addition, I had two operational upgrades on Avros to Hamburg.

Most european flights usually aren't full - but longhaul to US usually are, especially during the summer months when I fly ...

I do consider myself very lucky, though.
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Old Dec 19, 02, 10:31 am   #9
 
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You must be, for I've been wondering what happened to those regular upgrades of the pre-FFP days.

I tend to agree with the discussions on other forums that it makes sound business sense not to upgrade unless absolutely necessary, and I believe that Lufthansa is even more unwilling than SWISS to dole out free upgrades. On the Air France forum, however, mention is made of the fact that Frequence Plus Rouge (=Travelclub Gold) members benefit from regular free operational upgrades. Once again, I tend to take the middle view that an ever-so-occasional sweetener to elite passengers can go a long way.
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Old Dec 19, 02, 10:38 am   #10
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by ch_usa:

I do consider myself very lucky, though.
</font>
Yes you are...

I m also a TC Gold member and this year I was "only upgraded" 4 times (2 in Europe and 2 from/to the US) out of more then 35 flights.

Most of the time it depends on the "team" you have at the gate for last minute operational upgrade if the flight is not full.

Hope to get more next year.

kooks http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/wink.gif
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Old Dec 19, 02, 10:22 pm   #11
 
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Yes, the gate team is important, but do they really do "operationals" if the flight is not full?

For Airoli, are most of your long distance flights originating in ZRH without a connector? I almost always begin in GVA with connection in ZRH, and therefore already have my boarding pass considerably before others have checked in at ZRH. Furthermore, I often get a seat assignment, so I am sure of a bit of legroom thanks to an emergency exit.
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Old Dec 21, 02, 10:30 am   #12
 
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within europe it is not very commom to get an upgrade but when i fly transatlantic most of the time i got a free upgrade 3 times without asking and almost 5 times by asking at the checkin counter and asking for the supervisor in ewr and iad
and when i´m not so lucky i take an upgrade at the gate with miles.
but i have to admit before oktober 2001 it was easier to get an upgrade
by the way i´m TCGold that´s the key word for a free upgrade

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Old Dec 21, 02, 2:09 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by medico:
but i have to admit before oktober 2001 it was easier to get an upgrade
by the way i´m TCGold that´s the key word for a free upgrade

</font>
Being TC Gold is not the key to be upgraded for "free".
I experienced more than 5 times empty F seats and travelling with a C-class tket and not being upgraded even with no more then 1 or Circle members in the flight with a C-class full.
Even asking kindly at checking or the gate even asking the Superviser.

kooks.
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Old Dec 22, 02, 8:40 am   #14
 
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I think that I will give up even asking: it never seems to work. Perhaps that's the wrong attitude, but I was told that at check-in they don't have a lot of power to do that; the gate's the place, and I suppose the supervisor the one. But should one take seat assignments, however?
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Old Dec 22, 02, 11:48 am   #15
 
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Well, I'm TCGM now (technically, but I guess the system is not updated until the end of the month) and fly back EWR-ZRH tonight. We'll see how full that flight is... *hopehope*

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