Aspirations of flying in a higher travel class?

Old Aug 12, 12, 11:16 am
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Aspirations of flying in a higher travel class?

There are many threads on FT, and in particular in the BAEC forum, of people trying whatever route possible to ensure that they are in a higher travel class than that they would deem "normal". Whether this is brought about using cash or avios to upgrade, or getting that friend of my cousin's neighbour's uncle's cat that works for BA to put the special note in the booking guaranteeing the prized upgrade. Or god forbid, smoozing the poor check-in staff to upgrade them by following one of those ghastly online "how to score an upgrade" articles.

What is it that drives people so potty to get that upgrade, to which essentially is another seat on an aircraft. I am trying to understand the psychology of the whole game.

Granted, I use avios and upgrade to CW from WT+ if the seats are available. However if there was no reward availability, I have no qualms in paying for the seats in CW (or even F if I thought it was worth it) to guarantee I sit there.

By no means am I questioning the actions of posters starting recent threads, however, what I am interested in is, if it is so important to sit closer to the nose of the aircraft, why don't you pay for it in the first place?

Mods: I appreciate this is more of a TravelBuzz thread, however please give it a run in BAEC first where I see the above on a very regular basis.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 11:20 am
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You really mean that you venture into other threads????
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Old Aug 12, 12, 11:33 am
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For me it was doing a RTW trip in 3 weeks in Y. Air New Zealand were great, but OH said he wouldn't do long haul again unless we could afford an upgrade! We could afford paid CW at a push (we did pay for a child CW ticket), but there are other priorities when you have a growing family! I'm only doing short haul for the next year, and after that will do a redemption in J/F somewhere with my 241s. After that I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that premium travel will be gone until the kids aren't coming on holiday with us anymore or we win the lottery!
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Old Aug 12, 12, 11:33 am
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Is the OP really asking why people want to get upgraded?

Because

1) Travelling in a higher class is generally a more pleasant experience
2) They can't, or don't want to, pay more for it, in general or on this occasion
3) Er
4) That's it

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Old Aug 12, 12, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by rossmacd View Post

By no means am I questioning the actions of posters starting recent threads, however, what I am interested in is, if it is so important to sit closer to the nose of the aircraft, why don't you pay for it in the first place?
Well in my case I normally pay (money or Avios) to book the class I want to travel in.

However, I am now facing a potentially poor situation (again...). I paid cash for CW for my next flights. Now it looks like I will have a full CW with potentially a lot of excited non-regular travellers causing a bit of disruption, based on the characteristics of this route and load and past experience. So now I want to get out of it for peace and quiet. However, I am not happy to pay an additional nearly EUR 3,000 one-way to upgrade to F because it would have been about EUR 4,500 to book F return in the first place. I would feel a bit silly to pay EUR 3,000 extra for the one-way flight to be honest based on "if I had booked F in the first place".

So I am hoping for a paid airport upgrade, because every single long haul inbound flight I have taken on have been pretty poor (strange, as all outbound flights have been fine!) for the last 12 months or so and I am starting to feel a bit despondent about my flight-luck (or the lack thereof). I need to fix this situation!

So I could say I am unusually keen on getting an upgrade to F on the next inbound, although it's not like me. However unlike how some people might feel I want to pay cash to secure it, rather than hoping for an op-up or even Avios upgrade. I just don't really want to pay EUR 3,000 one-way!

In fact in some ways I prefer CW window seat to a NF window seat because it's much more private. But I'd move to F to get away from the potentially annoying passengers who may disrupt my sleep by being noisy/using the flash in darkened cabin etc.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 11:49 am
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People need to show off. The easiest way to do this is to travel in a better class of cabin. The airlines started this in the first place when they introduced 747's. Its the same way some people feel the need to drop into a conversation the price they paid for it. I was at a party last weekend, when a friend told everyone the wonderful price of the new laptop from Apple for his wife. It was the real cost, an inflated cost. But with the internet and credit cards everyone can have a nice things and look wealthy. However as swnahunter says, nothing beats pics of a person in club or upper class or first.

I do appreciate the need for people to travel in first and club for health or food reasons. Maybe they cant be so close to many people. But many who are like this pay the money needed or use points.

Everyone knows what first class or business is. There is normally no need to explain that 'man this is cool'.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by origin View Post
However as swnahunter says, nothing beats pics of a person in club or upper class or first.

[...]

Everyone knows what first class or business is. There is normally no need to explain that 'man this is cool'.
You leave Thorsten out of this!
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Old Aug 12, 12, 11:53 am
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I spent years flying TATL in Y on my own money as a young post-doc visiting my GF (now wife) while I was based in the US.

When I returned to the UK and changed jobs to an employer who paid for J flights.
After stepping into premium cabins I didn't want to return to being stuffed in a Y seat (I'm 6foot4), and started to learn how to apply miles to upgrade or redeem in the cabin I wanted.

I'm not a class snob I just enjoy the comfort when travelling.

However, I would never let a lack of redemption availability stop me going somewhere. The point of travel is to get safely to your destination.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 11:59 am
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.....

Last edited by angatol; Feb 28, 15 at 11:06 pm
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Old Aug 12, 12, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by rossmacd View Post
What is it that drives people so potty to get that upgrade, to which essentially is another seat on an aircraft. I am trying to understand the psychology of the whole game.

Granted, I use avios and upgrade to CW from WT+ if the seats are available. However if there was no reward availability, I have no qualms in paying for the seats in CW (or even F if I thought it was worth it) to guarantee I sit there.

By no means am I questioning the actions of posters starting recent threads, however, what I am interested in is, if it is so important to sit closer to the nose of the aircraft, why don't you pay for it in the first place?
Many people simply cannot afford to do this, so it's worth trying quite hard to find a way of doing it via miles/Avios. It's fine for you if you can afford to shell out thousands of pounds per person for a trip, but many people just can't do this. I think you need to be a bit more sensitive towards this group.

However, there are some FTers who are pretty obsessive about much of this game. You don't have to look very far to identify some pretty OCD behaviour here.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by origin View Post
People need to show off.
That sure isn't my motivation. To me, nice airport lounges, great service from airline employees, a very comfortable seat or even bed, an arrivals lounge, etc. are the best kind of luxury -- you can enjoy it discretely. In the real world, I almost never talk about how I often fly like this, except when I'm encouraging a friend to be a mileage geek so that he/she can do the same thing.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 12:43 pm
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If it's a free upgrade you're talking about then if offered one I always accept it. I'm not really that bothered flying in economy class however I think it would be bad manners to refuse.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
However, there are some FTers who are pretty obsessive about much of this game. You don't have to look very far to identify some pretty OCD behaviour here.
Guilty. I probably wouldn't pay full price for F or C seats even if money meant nothing to me. Rarely do airlines price those reasonably. I love the mileage game. I've collected over a million miles via bonus offers in recent years, and I'm an amateur at this compared to a lot of FTers.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 12:52 pm
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For me it's quite simple. I can't afford F. I can maybe afford one J flight a year, paying cash. The rest are WT+ either at my own expense or at my employer's.

However, I like the extra comfort, privacy and service that J or F provide. I use Avios to upgrade where I can or, alternatively, I will try and find a J flight that is cheaper than WT+ and therefore meets my company's travel policy.

For me, travel is downtime away from the BlackBerry and mobile phone and I like to make the most of it. I don't work when I fly. I enjoy the wine, hopefully a new movie, the lounge pre-flight and so on. I'd love to be in the nose every time I fly to LAX but unless I win the lottery that isn't going to happen.

Oh, and as Hiddy says, it would be rude to say no to a free upgrade
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Old Aug 12, 12, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by rossmacd View Post
There are many threads on FT, and in particular in the BAEC forum, of people trying whatever route possible to ensure that they are in a higher travel class than that they would deem "normal". Whether this is brought about using cash or avios to upgrade, or getting that friend of my cousin's neighbour's uncle's cat that works for BA to put the special note in the booking guaranteeing the prized upgrade. Or god forbid, smoozing the poor check-in staff to upgrade them by following one of those ghastly online "how to score an upgrade" articles.
This feels much more driven by the status symbol. Many of these articles that I've stumbled across are orientated towards domestic travelers in the US... most people who haven't flown first class within the US are blissfully unaware that the only redeeming quality of it is that "it isn't coach."


Originally Posted by rossmacd View Post
Granted, I use avios and upgrade to CW from WT+ if the seats are available. However if there was no reward availability, I have no qualms in paying for the seats in CW (or even F if I thought it was worth it) to guarantee I sit there.
Longhaul coach is quite miserable. If you had a choice of a lie-flat bed or a fairly upright seat for 12 hours, which would you prefer?
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