Passenger Declined Upgrade: Have You?

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Old May 20, 19, 6:44 pm
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Passenger Declined Upgrade: Have You?

On my flight this morning -- 2.5 hours on an Oasis 738 -- I was seated in 9C (MCE) and at T-10 the passenger seated in 6B (FC) retrieved his baggage and left the plane. The GA offered an upgrade to the passenger next to me in 9B but he declined the upgrade! The GA left the plane and did not return to upgrade a different passenger. The flight ended up leaving with the seat empty. There were 40 people on the upgrade list, and the flight ended up being delayed 30 minutes at the gate to resolve a maintenance issue.

So my questions -

1. Do any of you have a scenario in which you would elect to remain in a middle seat (even if in MCE) instead of accepting an upgrade? I admit I have declined an upgrade on a flight where FC has almost no benefit (sub-hour flights without meal service, and already comfortably seated in an aisle seat).

2. Was the GA supposed to upgrade #2 on the upgrade list? Or was there a difference because the seat had been occupied? They did end up boarding an additional MC passenger during the delay.
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Old May 20, 19, 7:22 pm
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1. I probably wouldn't decline an upgrade if I were in a middle seat (even MCE). But perhaps if I were in MCE and there was an empty middle (or better yet, an empty row). I get a free snack and drink in economy, which is often better than the food served in FC, and if there's no one next to me in economy, I would consider that better than having someone next to me in first class. Also, I would consider declining an upgrade if it were a bulkhead seat in first compared to exit row in economy.

2. The GA's first priority is to get the plane out on time. So no, I don't think the GA has to upgrade anyone if the flight is going to be (or already is) late.
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Old May 20, 19, 8:02 pm
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I agree - I would rather be in the exit row of a A321 then bulkhead F (US configuration). Even the other rows in F are confining and tight. AA has devalued F so much - tight pitch and bad food - it is questionable whether you would want an upgrade.
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Old May 20, 19, 8:46 pm
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Non-middle MCE over domestic F bulkhead any day.
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Old May 20, 19, 8:48 pm
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I always upgrade. The only exception would be if I am seated next to the world's hottest woman and she says she will marry me if and only if I refuse the upgrade.
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Old May 20, 19, 10:10 pm
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happen to me the guy next to me declined the upgrade I was next on the list but they closed the gate. Made me so upset. I wanted to tell the flyer that if you dont want the upgrade dont go on the list.
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Old May 20, 19, 10:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Amil View Post
happen to me the guy next to me declined the upgrade I was next on the list but they closed the gate. Made me so upset. I wanted to tell the flyer that if you dont want the upgrade dont go on the list.
Putting to one side the fact that upgrades for some are automatically requested, I think there's a difference between being upgraded before one has boarded and being upgraded after one has already settled into a nice exit row/MCE seat. There might not be overhead locker space available up front anymore, and it might be a hassle to pack up stuff already unpacked and move.

Next time, you could try speaking up and saying that you know you're next on the list and that you'd be happy to take the available seat up front.
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Old May 20, 19, 10:16 pm
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I could imagine declining an upgrade if the overhead bins were full and the upgrade would put me far enough forward that I would have to wait until everyone else is off before being able to go back and get my bag - especially on a short flight or with a tight connection.
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Old May 20, 19, 10:27 pm
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On a recent ~250 mile flight, TWELVE people declined the free upgrade...the GA was incredulous (as was I, honestly)
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Old May 20, 19, 10:45 pm
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I would usually accept an upgrade, if offered.

Exceptions would be:
1) On flights where I plan to sleep some and I already had an empty section, not that it happens much these days.
2) I'm already seated in the exit or bulkhead row and the middle seat remained empty.
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Old May 20, 19, 11:36 pm
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Originally Posted by flightrisk View Post
On my flight this morning -- 2.5 hours on an Oasis 738 -- I was seated in 9C (MCE) and at T-10 the passenger seated in 6B (FC) retrieved his baggage and left the plane. The GA offered an upgrade to the passenger next to me in 9B but he declined the upgrade! The GA left the plane and did not return to upgrade a different passenger. The flight ended up leaving with the seat empty. There were 40 people on the upgrade list, and the flight ended up being delayed 30 minutes at the gate to resolve a maintenance issue.

So my questions -

1. Do any of you have a scenario in which you would elect to remain in a middle seat (even if in MCE) instead of accepting an upgrade? I admit I have declined an upgrade on a flight where FC has almost no benefit (sub-hour flights without meal service, and already comfortably seated in an aisle seat).

2. Was the GA supposed to upgrade #2 on the upgrade list? Or was there a difference because the seat had been occupied? They did end up boarding an additional MC passenger during the delay.
Maintenance you say? What a coincidence
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Old May 20, 19, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by flyingeph12 View Post
Putting to one side the fact that upgrades for some are automatically requested, I think there's a difference between being upgraded before one has boarded and being upgraded after one has already settled into a nice exit row/MCE seat. There might not be overhead locker space available up front anymore, and it might be a hassle to pack up stuff already unpacked and move.

Next time, you could try speaking up and saying that you know you're next on the list and that you'd be happy to take the available seat up front.
why do you assume I didnt speak up? As a matter of fact I did speak up and told the GA as she said she would be right back and never returned. I asked the FA she said the gate closed. I only thought for 500 miles or less its automatic oh well i guess EXP could be auto as well, I did tell AA via Twitter about the FA walking away without a response but no real outcome.
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Old May 21, 19, 1:00 am
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I declined an upgrade a few weeks ago on TLV-MUC on Lufthansa. They were going to take me out of my window seat and put me in an aisle seat in "Business" which on the LH A321 is just a coach seat with an empty middle seat. I chose to stay at the window in order to sleep.
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Old May 21, 19, 1:24 am
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Originally Posted by Amil View Post
why do you assume I didnt speak up? As a matter of fact I did speak up and told the GA as she said she would be right back and never returned. I asked the FA she said the gate closed. I only thought for 500 miles or less its automatic oh well i guess EXP could be auto as well, I did tell AA via Twitter about the FA walking away without a response but no real outcome.
Well, in that case, your anger should be directed at the GA, if anyone (the GA’s primary responsibility is to get the flight out on time, but certainly shouldn’t lie to customers). In my opinion, a person might have any number of (good) reasons to decline an upgrade.
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Old May 21, 19, 1:28 am
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When I was Plat, on the LAX - SFO route, many times the GA could come in after I've been seated and advise I've been upgraded. I've always declined, since it's not worth the effort to get up, move my bag, and make my way up front.

I'd appreciate the upgrade before boarding, not after. Not an issue unique to AA, happens to me on AS too, where I'll likewise decline, unless it's a tcon, of course.
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