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Is it worth it to upgrade, and what's the best way to do it?

Is it worth it to upgrade, and what's the best way to do it?

Old May 22, 14, 7:09 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 184
Is it worth it to upgrade, and what's the best way to do it?

My husband and I and our 2 kids will be flying PHL>ATL>CUN RT in June. We usually pack pretty lightly, but we'll be there over 2 weeks so there is no way we can avoid checking a bag or 2. I am debating having my husband upgrade to business class for the checked bags primarily, but it would also be a nice birthday treat for him as we've never flown in any premium cabin before. I don't want to upgrade all of us as it would be a waste on the kids, and I wouldn't really be able to enjoy the free drinks anyway.
Since we have a layover, would the upgrade cover both flights? I searched the forum, it looked like I could expect to pay $99 for the upgrade. Can anyone confirm? The first flight back is operated by SWA, but the second is AirTran. Would we need to pay for bags on the way back? If hubby flew business on the way back, do you get anything extra on the southwest flight?
If we upgrade, is it pretty easy to use points for last minute upgrades? I have a good amount of RR miles I could transfer. Most of them are in my account. Can I pay for my husbands upgrade out of my account or would I need to transfer first?
Peridot83 is offline  
Old May 22, 14, 8:53 pm
Join Date: Oct 2010
Programs: My opinions are my own and not that of my employer(s)
Posts: 1,412
1) If either leg on a one way booked via Airtran.com includes a flight operated by Southwest up to 2 bags per Customer are free. (Even an all Airtran itin was booked via Southwest.com bags are free as well.)

2) Transferring points to credits is 4800 points to 4 A+ credits. Once you have those credits in your account you could upgrade anyone traveling with you. No need for transfer. (see the gotcha's below before you transfer)

3) Upgrades using 4 credits per one way can be done after Midnight Eastern time the day prior to departure. Availability might be limited on either leg. But if availability is there on both 4 credits gets you all the way from PHL-CUN in BC.

There are a couple gotcha's that might cause issues.

If it was booked on Southwest.com it might take some doing over the phone or maybe not even possible.

OTOH Let me present another option (Might be of value if you booked with points via Southwest):

If Business Class is still available as an award booking on Airtran.com for 16 A+ credits it's a great deal. That's just converting 19,200 points each way and has been a huge windfall for RR members compared to buying via points on Southwest. Check and book before you cancel your current booking.

If you book a Business Class fare on Airtran the Southwest leg gets Business Select (priority boarding and one free drink coupon) Similarly if you book Business Select on Southwest the Airtran leg gets Business Class and more than a one drink if you so choose.

I assume your return falls after Southwest takes over the CUN route as you mentioned Southwest is then the first leg.

Last edited by traveller001; May 22, 14 at 9:05 pm
traveller001 is offline  
Old May 22, 14, 9:46 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 184
Thank's so much for taking the time to answer. I actually booked on Travelocity.com, because I had points I wanted to use from my Travelocity Amex. It was listed as an Airtran booking though, and shows up under my frequent flyer number on the Airtran website.
Peridot83 is offline  
Old May 23, 14, 7:11 am
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,207
Then you should be able to use the 4 credit, day before upgrade, assuming seats are available. I have observed that these international flights often sell out business class.
rsteinmetz70112 is online now  
Old Jun 6, 14, 5:02 pm
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 5
How do you get thse credits?
GinMeYoon is offline  
Old Jun 6, 14, 5:58 pm
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,207
Originally Posted by GinMeYoon View Post
How do you get thse credits?
You can get them several ways:
  1. You can earn them by flying Airtran
  2. You can earn them by using the Airtran Credit Card
  3. You can transfer Points, Credits or Standard Awards from Southwest Rapid Rewards (1200 points - 1 Credit)
  4. You can buy them (Possibly more expensive than purchasing a Business Class ticket).
  5. You can get them by converting Airtran flight vouchers to credits (This requires contacting Airtran Costomer Service and may not work in all cases)
rsteinmetz70112 is online now  

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