Denied Upgrade

 
Old Mar 5, 13, 11:49 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tampa, FL
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Denied Upgrade

So I got to my gate almost at departure Time. I ask the gate agent if there are any upgrades and she says that they are all full. When I get inside the plane I notice that there is 1 open spot in first. I ask the attendant and he says that he would have to sell it to me. I mention my Elite Status and he says let me confirm with Gate Agent. The Gate Agent stated that it was too late to give me the upgrade. Yet it wasn't too late to charge me for it?

I wonder if and how I should file a complaint. Feels weird as its a privilege and not mandatory... but the Attendant was very rude!!!!
AFONTANEZ is offline  
Old Mar 5, 13, 12:33 pm
  #2  
 
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Sounds like BS. The gate agent is supposed to do the upgrades automatically at T-40, so you should have had one waiting for you if there was, in fact, a seat available.
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Old Mar 5, 13, 1:59 pm
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What flight/date?
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Old Mar 6, 13, 7:10 am
  #4  
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It was this past Saturday... Flight from SJU to TPA at 11:50AM.

I fly this route alot and have not always been given an upgrade which is OK for me... but what really upset me was the attitude of the gate Agent and the fact that they offered to sell me the upgrade.
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Old Mar 6, 13, 10:59 am
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That shouldnt be happening. I recommend asking for a supervisor and explaining your situation next time you come across anything resembling an event like this.

These situations should be dealt with right there and then, its hard to rectify it (ie: give you your alotted seat) after the flight has already occured although I fully understand.

In any case if your username is any hint I can see where you sat and who exactly was checking you in so I will look into this further. Thanks for bringing it up, this kind of stuff really gets me worked up, about 100x more than someone complaining about an airline because they are stuck and its snowing cats and dogs outside.
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Old Mar 7, 13, 6:44 pm
  #6  
 
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seat chart on iPhone

Here's what I like to do. Bring up the flight seat chart at least one hour before departure on iPhone (within an hour you won't be able to pull up the flight at all). As long as you don't close it out you can keep refreshing the seat chart. If denied an upgrade, show the GA that seat(s) are available, and point out that you know exactly which ones. Take a screenshot of chart and photo of empty seat when you get on the plane. May not get you the upgrade, but will help your arguement later.
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Old Mar 7, 13, 6:57 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by dmbolp View Post
Here's what I like to do. Bring up the flight seat chart at least one hour before departure on iPhone (within an hour you won't be able to pull up the flight at all). As long as you don't close it out you can keep refreshing the seat chart. If denied an upgrade, show the GA that seat(s) are available, and point out that you know exactly which ones. Take a screenshot of chart and photo of empty seat when you get on the plane. May not get you the upgrade, but will help your arguement later.
I actually email the seat map page to myself. Each time I open the link, a refreshed seat map can be viewed, showing realtime seat availabilty.
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Old Mar 18, 13, 12:51 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by DoctorK View Post
Sounds like BS. The gate agent is supposed to do the upgrades automatically at T-40, so you should have had one waiting for you if there was, in fact, a seat available.
A lot of agents do not "blindly" do upgrades at T-40. I call Elites up by name in order of check-in. If you don't respond I move on to the next one. I have to many examples of Elites not wanting the upgrade because I only had the 1st row available or they were traveling with someone on a different reservation and wanted to keep their seat. Now I have upgraded them, they don't want it and I can't get their old seat back. I do not upgrade until I have them in front of me so no, your boarding pass will not be waiting for you in some cases.
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Old Mar 18, 13, 9:57 pm
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Originally Posted by airtran1 View Post
A lot of agents do not "blindly" do upgrades at T-40. I call Elites up by name in order of check-in. If you don't respond I move on to the next one. I have to many examples of Elites not wanting the upgrade because I only had the 1st row available or they were traveling with someone on a different reservation and wanted to keep their seat. Now I have upgraded them, they don't want it and I can't get their old seat back. I do not upgrade until I have them in front of me so no, your boarding pass will not be waiting for you in some cases.
An Elite business traveller travelling with someone on a different PNR is likely going to be upset if they were upgraded blindly.. I've seen many turn down the UG to sit with their travel partner(s).

I've upgraded an Elite to a window seat and had them want their exit row aisle back... which luckily was still available.

There is nothing automatic about UGs. And blind upgrade can carry a host of issues. Airtran1 IMHO seems to address all issues properly with a face to face first.
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Old Mar 22, 13, 6:23 am
  #10  
 
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That's frustrating to me when I'm making a tight connection and I miss an upgrade. When I ask a gate agent about upgrades and they haughtily dismiss me because they do it automatically. Why can't people just follow the same procedure. As a (valued?) customer, predictability is important to me. I don't really care what the procedure is, just be consistent, please!
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Old Mar 22, 13, 8:44 am
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It's a moot point now with the full dismantling of AirTran in the next couple of years, but I agree that the lack of a consistent elite upgrade procedure is maddening. You find some gate agents who are very proactive, and upgrade elites in order of check-in time; others who upgrade in the order of who approaches the podium; and others still who don't care at all and don't do upgrades unless asked.

A solution would be better IT--have an automated upgrade process like Delta. But of course Southwest isn't going to invest in such a thing with business class going away soon.
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Old Apr 15, 13, 11:59 pm
  #12  
 
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The First Class cabin on Airtran/Southwest will soon be removed by Southwest..so you wont have to worry about any First Class upgrades anymore!
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Old Apr 16, 13, 8:50 am
  #13  
 
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Do elites get upgrades for reward flights also?
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Old Apr 16, 13, 12:55 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I already posted on southwest board also...

I am A list preferred and A +.
I booked an Airtran flight with points on soutwest system, I tried to get upgraded or check in before going to the airport...was told I could only do it at the airport.

Once I got to the airport I was told try at the gate....At the gate they tell me the upgrade is available...I had to wait so they could issue again my boarding card. Then right before boarding I am told..."sorry since you booked on the southwest system we have no way to issue the upgrade to you"...
Has anyone faced the same situation yet ?
If we are A + and A list no upgrade will be available if flight is booked on the southwest system ?

Do flights need to be booked on airtran system in order to get upgraded as a A + and A list preferred ?
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