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What level status must you be for free upgrades?

What level status must you be for free upgrades?

Old Jun 17, 19, 5:55 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 103
What level status must you be for free upgrades?

Iím Bronze, almost silver, so only lowly. Iíve never been upgraded for free, nor do I expect it of course.

However, what sort of level do you have to be to get free upgrades? Or is it more luck?
demolineux is offline  
Old Jun 17, 19, 5:58 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Brighton. UK
Programs: BA Gold / VS /IHG Platinum & Ambassador
Posts: 11,275
This question gets asked on a regular basis

BA does not upgrade passengers just because there is a free seat.

If it has to upgrade because of overbooked cabins then status is a factor but is not the only factor in the decision making process.
UKtravelbear is online now  
Old Jun 17, 19, 5:59 pm
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: BA GGL, UA Premier Gold, Marriott Plat, Hyatt Explorist, Various Rental Car Statuses
Posts: 104
Iím a high revenue GGL and almost always buy J. In 3.5 years in that position Iíve have been upgraded six times. If you buy Y or W you will see frequent upgrades on some long haul routes like JFK as a silver.
MTJ Bound is offline  
Old Jun 17, 19, 10:44 pm
Join Date: Nov 2008
Programs: AA EXP/LTP 4MM, BA GGL/CCR/GfL, HH Dia, SPG Plat/LTP
Posts: 9,585
Originally Posted by MTJ Bound View Post
Iím a high revenue GGL and almost always buy J. In 3.5 years in that position Iíve have been upgraded six times. If you buy Y or W you will see frequent upgrades on some long haul routes like JFK as a silver.
Impressive upgrade quota. I interprete your "always buy J" as tix in J cabin, or is it J fare class?

Also, with an F op-up roughly every seventh month, how many LH per year do you fly, if you don't mind me asking?
onobond is offline  
Old Jun 17, 19, 11:53 pm
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 37
The flight has to be oversold to be upgraded free.
Many bronze do get upgraded. I see lots of Bronze and even Blue get upgraded on the Indian, Dubai, Nairobi/Abuja/Lagos routes where most travellers dont have exec club memberships and BA often oversell Traveller cabins due to high no show rates.
speedbuslhr is offline  
Old Jun 18, 19, 1:50 am
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: LON
Programs: BAEC, Accor
Posts: 1,537
Also, is BA more likely to upgrade a passenger who they know is prepared to pony up for premium classes, or a passenger they see regularly and has a particular profile and maybe little or no status but has always travelled down the back? Giving a regular traveller in Y a taste of W or J might be seen as more of a potential opportunity to tout what life in front of the curtain is like and upsell their product. Someone who has already paid up for a premium cabin is already sold on the experience opportunity and their perception of the value of the premium cabin.
plunet is offline  
Old Jun 18, 19, 1:57 am
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: London
Programs: BAEC bouncing from Blue to Gold to Blue VSFC Red CXGreen Club Accor Platinum Hilton Silver.
Posts: 842
My score is 1 as blue about 10 years ago my first BA flight after swapping from VS and nothing since as a bronze silver or gold. I must add that around 50% of my flights there was no higher cabin and also I have been enjoying other Oneworld carriers so the may affect my statistics.
And as the old saying goes... I pay for the cabin I am prepared to travel in, and without any real expectations of upgrades.
thejohn is offline  
Old Jun 18, 19, 2:26 am
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: London
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 542
Back in the days when I was Gold. Always flying W I did 12 sectors over the years and was upgraded to J 50% of the time LH. SH ratio was much worse (flying Y) only upgraded 10% over 20 sectors.
jday is offline  
Old Jun 18, 19, 2:30 am
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Scotland
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 380
In many many years of travelling I have been upgraded a couple of times as blue, but never as silver or gold.
One upgrade on AA
anniegray is offline  
Old Jun 18, 19, 3:04 am
Join Date: Mar 2014
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 369
I agree (anecdotally) it is not so much about status but about the route you are on and time of year., BA will upgrade when oversold and their algorithm may not necessarily pick only by status but also who matches a profile - for example in an oversold WT+ cabin they may have a number of Silver members and it could be that BA upgrade the one who has never tried business class to give them a 'taste'.

In 3 years of Silver I never got an upgrade on BA, but did on AA (and also status matched to Delta to get upgraded with them). My partner did get a long-haul upgrade as Silver, by travelling in WT+ on a very busy route (SYD-SIN-LHR) at a very busy time (coming back at New Year for the start of the working week). I see the status benefit mostly about luggage and lounge access, and Avios useful for upgrades but we very rarely get a chance to use them.
konagirl2 is offline  
Old Jun 18, 19, 3:20 am
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 50
Flying JFK-LHR and vice versa, I noted my sister who was bronze would nearly always get upgraded from WT to WT+. When I was bronze along with my family of 5 who were bronze too, we were all upgraded from WT to WT+ for about 95% of our transatlantic flights.
F10GLA is offline  
Old Jun 18, 19, 3:26 am
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: UK
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 101
If been upgraded once, it was my 2nd flight ever with BA and I was blue. Nothing since then.
milkyway88 is offline  
Old Jun 18, 19, 3:30 am
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: LHR
Programs: BAEC Gold, *A Gold, HH Silver, IHG Gold Elite, Sixt Gold
Posts: 390
In 3+ years of being Gold and taking 4-5 long haul flights in J I was never upgraded. I was upgraded once this year to CE on a short haul, effectively a downgrade if you factor in I traded an extra legroom seat for a standard one...
frandrake is online now  
Old Jun 18, 19, 3:30 am
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Glos
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 6,028
I think it is route and cabin dependant. I think the sweet spot is WT+ to Club World, if you pick the right flight with a small WT+ cabin. I've found many other factors, but normally a single passenger on a booking helps - I've only flown four sectors in WT+ in last 2/3 years and been upgraded twice. Never J to F. I imagine this is harder due to the number of PAX in J, I'm too low down status order.
mikeyfly is offline  
Old Jun 18, 19, 3:52 am
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dubai
Programs: BA Exec club Bronze, Emirates Skywards Blue
Posts: 15
I am Bronze, and in the past year I have flown 6 long haul sectors with BA. Last summer I had booked WT+ from Dubai to Heathrow and got upgraded to Business. I had a lovely message on MMB a few days beforehand saying I was chosen to experience it.
Then at Christmas, I was flying back from JFK-LHR-DXB and we had booked WT+ (was with my husband and he is not Bronze) and we both got upgraded to Business for the entire journey. We were upgraded on the LHR-DXB leg at checkin in JFK and then just before boarding whilst we were in line at JFK we got the tannoy announcement for a new boarding pass.

On the same 2 journeys I was booked in WT from LHR back to DXB and no upgrade. And we flew DXB-LHR-LGW-BGI in WT on the outbound route and no upgrade.

So my record for the past year has been pretty good!
purplevicki is offline  

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