How Complimentary Upgrades Work

Old May 27, 19, 12:32 pm
  #766  
 
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Originally Posted by brizone View Post
Last week on MCO-SEA in 6A+B, just before departure I was upgraded at T-20. My companion on the PNR was MVP, but they had only one seat available which they gave to me.

I chalked it up to a non-standard gate procedure at an AS end-node (can't see that happening in SEA), but it does happen.
Did you check your reservation afterwards? The agent would have had to split it. This may not be noticeable if it's your final journey leg, but if you had subsequent legs the companion would have been on a different record.

It's not a question of whether a gate agent might do it, it's a fact that technological limitations of the airline reservation system require all parties on a single PNR to be in the same cabin. Unless this agent is moonlighting as a professional computer hacker and has years of coding under his/her belt, your PNR was split.
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Old May 28, 19, 12:40 am
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Originally Posted by brizone View Post
Last week on MCO-SEA in 6A+B, just before departure I was upgraded at T-20. My companion on the PNR was MVP, but they had only one seat available which they gave to me.

I chalked it up to a non-standard gate procedure at an AS end-node (can't see that happening in SEA), but it does happen.
One it's under gate control anything can happen. The gate agents can do whatever they want. There is a procedure that they are supposed to follow -- whether they do or not is another story. This is why I always go say hi to the GA when my number on the list is smaller than the number of F seats available. (ETA: The procedure that I'm talking about here is asking before they split you)

But the upgrade processor will skip you if there is not enough U space for your whole party.

Last edited by VegasGambler; May 29, 19 at 4:28 pm
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Old May 29, 19, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by sudobuntu View Post
Did you check your reservation afterwards? The agent would have had to split it. This may not be noticeable if it's your final journey leg, but if you had subsequent legs the companion would have been on a different record.

It's not a question of whether a gate agent might do it, it's a fact that technological limitations of the airline reservation system require all parties on a single PNR to be in the same cabin. Unless this agent is moonlighting as a professional computer hacker and has years of coding under his/her belt, your PNR was split.
I just called them to see, and that is in fact exactly what happened in order to make the upgrade happen!
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Old May 29, 19, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
This is why I always go say hi to the GA when my number on the list is smaller than the number of F seats available.
I was puzzled by the entire episode, but now I realize that the gate agent saw me getting my friend's elderly mother up to the gate to get her boarded early. I told her to go sit in 6A, which confused her since I had booked her in 17A (since she has no status, but I combined her with her son who was MVP to at least get the exit row, planning to likely swap later). The gate agent had just scanned her ticket and told her 17A, but I told her again to take my seat in 6A, and that "I'll go sit in back". All right in front of the agent.

When they boarded 75K I think I was the first one up there, and thanked the gate agent as I scanned in. I think she must have remembered us later when handing out 1F...
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Old May 29, 19, 3:07 pm
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Sounds like it all happened at T-1 hour which means it was completely under the GA's control. No rules regarding U space, no upgrade processor, etc. The GA in theory can give any empty F seat to whomever they want, but I'm guessing the official policy is to follow the processor list.

While the upgrade processor would've skipped a PNR with 2 people (only 1 seats), it's very likely that a human GA will just go to the next person on the list. If they decline because they want to stay together, go to the next person on the list. Maybe some GA's follow the processor rules and skip PNRs with 2 people, which is why its always a good idea to check in with them before on upgrade status and clarify your intentions, and hope they remember

I've been that "next person" on the list and had the guy literally in front of me talking to the GA decline to split up, then they gave it to me
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Old May 30, 19, 4:52 am
  #771  
 
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Originally Posted by brizone View Post
I just called them to see, and that is in fact exactly what happened in order to make the upgrade happen!
This begs the question! If a PNR with a companion flying on a companion certificate is split, can the companion fly any/all downline segments without the primary traveler?

James
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Old May 30, 19, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by nearlysober View Post
Sounds like it all happened at T-1 hour which means it was completely under the GA's control. No rules regarding U space, no upgrade processor, etc. The GA in theory can give any empty F seat to whomever they want, but I'm guessing the official policy is to follow the processor list.

While the upgrade processor would've skipped a PNR with 2 people (only 1 seats), it's very likely that a human GA will just go to the next person on the list. If they decline because they want to stay together, go to the next person on the list. Maybe some GA's follow the processor rules and skip PNRs with 2 people, which is why its always a good idea to check in with them before on upgrade status and clarify your intentions, and hope they remember

I've been that "next person" on the list and had the guy literally in front of me talking to the GA decline to split up, then they gave it to me
i was told via email from customer service that since 1st class seats are held until 1 hour before departure that any premium seats made available by passengers get upgrade to 1st class will be given to standby passengers, no status required.

I'm 75k and was given a middle seat in back of plane, while standby passengers were given upgraded seats.
Customer service said that gate agents are to be focused on getting seats for everyone and not worrying about upgrades.
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Old May 30, 19, 8:10 am
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Originally Posted by Tankerman View Post


i was told via email from customer service that since 1st class seats are held until 1 hour before departure that any premium seats made available by passengers get upgrade to 1st class will be given to standby passengers, no status required.

I'm 75k and was given a middle seat in back of plane, while standby passengers were given upgraded seats.
Customer service said that gate agents are to be focused on getting seats for everyone and not worrying about upgrades.
I have never had a problem with this. Get to the gate when the GAs do, and when they are not busy (they are usually not busy when they first arrive) just let them know that you didn't get a chance to pick a premium seat, but from the upgrade list you see that person XXX is likely to get upgraded and ask if they can move you to that seat when that happens. I'm planning on doing this again today as I am stuck in E- but I see that 6A and 6F are probably going to be upgraded.

Once they assign a seat they are not going to move someone so you need to make this request before they start upgrading people.
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Old May 30, 19, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I have never had a problem with this. Get to the gate when the GAs do, and when they are not busy (they are usually not busy when they first arrive) just let them know that you didn't get a chance to pick a premium seat, but from the upgrade list you see that person XXX is likely to get upgraded and ask if they can move you to that seat when that happens. I'm planning on doing this again today as I am stuck in E- but I see that 6A and 6F are probably going to be upgraded.

Once they assign a seat they are not going to move someone so you need to make this request before they start upgrading people.
why should I need to grovel at the gate.

AS website states the policy and they have now decided to do something else.
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Old May 30, 19, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by Tankerman View Post

why should I need to grovel at the gate.

AS website states the policy and they have now decided to do something else.
AS policy says that you can select a premium seat, not that one will be selected for you. How does this go against policy?
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Old May 30, 19, 9:10 am
  #776  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
AS policy says that you can select a premium seat, not that one will be selected for you. How does this go against policy?
The seats arenít made available on the app or website, even though they are available.

Upgrades are supposed to be automatic, not after begging. Iíve been 75K for many years and have never had to go beg for an upgrade...
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Old May 30, 19, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Tankerman View Post
Upgrades are supposed to be automatic, not after begging. Iíve been 75K for many years and have never had to go beg for an upgrade...
I don't think I was begging more than being punished, earlier this year, when an SFO gate agent told me upgrades are not cleared until after the flight is completely boarded. I watched everyone board and I was the lone passenger left at the gate on a flight that showed F2 while I was #1 on the upgrade list. At that point I was called to the gate and handed a new boarding pass.
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Old May 30, 19, 4:54 pm
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
I don't think I was begging more than being punished, earlier this year, when an SFO gate agent told me upgrades are not cleared until after the flight is completely boarded. I watched everyone board and I was the lone passenger left at the gate on a flight that showed F2 while I was #1 on the upgrade list. At that point I was called to the gate and handed a new boarding pass.
Looks like the GA was just saying total BS... come on ... upgrades are not cleared until after the flight is completely boarded? Why? Who came up with this rule? If there is a F seat just before boarding opens, the GA needs to assign those seats to either buy-ups or to the elite members... what the point of getting everyone inside the plane and then upgrading? sounds stupid... I feel like AS has like really bad GA and FA in some segments.. ive always found PDX and SEA agents more knowledgable than SFO/SJC/LAX agents... and I dont know what to do when they come up with BS like this.. coz I cant just like argue over them (im introvert) coz that will make the situation more unfavorable to me... Sigh...
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Old May 30, 19, 6:20 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
AS policy says that you can select a premium seat, not that one will be selected for you. How does this go against policy?
you should read the entire section about how upgrades are supposed to be doled out. Youíre cherrypicking.
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Old May 30, 19, 9:25 pm
  #780  
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
This begs the question! If a PNR with a companion flying on a companion certificate is split, can the companion fly any/all downline segments without the primary traveler?

James
Probably.

I've had a family member get separated before on a flight before and I was still able to fly. The companion did leave before me
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