It's who you know...

Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:01 am
  #1  
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It's who you know...

On a Club World flight to the US last week, a student-age chap was brought through to an empty seat in front of me by cabin crew and exclaimed 'wow, what an upgrade!'. He proceeded to tell the lady across the aisle that his uncle was a pilot and had 'had a word' to get him upgraded.

Well - I suppose I imagined this sort of thing happened but it did put a slight dampener on what was supposed to be a special treat for us, knowing now that apparently anyone related to a pilot can be upgraded if they 'have a word'. I presume he probably shouldn't have been telling all and sundry about it!

Has anyone else overheard anything like this?
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:03 am
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I have heard this kind of argument before but I can't understand why it would "put a slight dampener" on your experience? How did it affect you in a negative manner?
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by greenchicken
On a Club World flight to the US last week, a student-age chap was brought through to an empty seat in front of me by cabin crew and exclaimed 'wow, what an upgrade!'. He proceeded to tell the lady across the aisle that his uncle was a pilot and had 'had a word' to get him upgraded.

Well - I suppose I imagined this sort of thing happened but it did put a slight dampener on what was supposed to be a special treat for us, knowing now that apparently anyone related to a pilot can be upgraded if they 'have a word'. I presume he probably shouldn't have been telling all and sundry about it!

Has anyone else overheard anything like this?
Yes, captain's prerogative - I hope the young chap enjoyed his flight.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:07 am
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Originally Posted by golfmad
I have heard this kind of argument before but I can't understand why it would "put a slight dampener" on your experience? How did it affect you in a negative manner?
Well, this was a treat for us - we spent a significant amount to upgrade, so it was a little galling to hear someone boasting he got a freebie because he pulled a favour that us regular folks can't.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:08 am
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I have absolutely no problem with this and IMHO it seems a little mean-spirited to resent the young fellows good fortune.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by greenchicken
On a Club World flight to the US last week, a student-age chap was brought through to an empty seat in front of me by cabin crew and exclaimed 'wow, what an upgrade!'. He proceeded to tell the lady across the aisle that his uncle was a pilot and had 'had a word' to get him upgraded.

Well - I suppose I imagined this sort of thing happened but it did put a slight dampener on what was supposed to be a special treat for us, knowing now that apparently anyone related to a pilot can be upgraded if they 'have a word'. I presume he probably shouldn't have been telling all and sundry about it!

Has anyone else overheard anything like this?
its always been like this, and its pretty much true in all industries

many years ago I lived in Dubai and knew many emirates crew. I was always well looked after on board. at the end of a Kuwait to DXB flight I was handed a full bottle of champagne. On one flight to malta I was sat in Y . having eaten the meal from Y I was then presented with a try with a selection of foods from the J service.

It may not have been as brazen as you have mentioned above but it has always gone on and I was always well looked after
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:13 am
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Ah well, maybe I am being over grumpy. I shall go out and try and befriend some pilots.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:14 am
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Originally Posted by greenchicken
Ah well, maybe I am being over grumpy. I shall go out and try and befriend some pilots.
Good plan!
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:17 am
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TBH I have a 'personal policy' not to publicly extoll on board about an upgrade, for exactly that reason.
The handful of times I've been upgraded on board by the CSD I thanked them very much but didn't actually mention upgrade, and didn't harp on about it (aside from messages to family and pictures on social media obviously!).
Interestingly these upgrades came as a very newly minted Silver and a newly minted gold, but have not happened since....
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:21 am
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Perhaps his pilot father could teach him some class and decorum
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by greenchicken
Well, this was a treat for us - we spent a significant amount to upgrade, so it was a little galling to hear someone boasting he got a freebie because he pulled a favour that us regular folks can't.
I remember taking my then 13-year-old son with me on a business trip to New York at Thanksgiving, I didn't want to spoil him so booked us in Premium Economy. BA scuppered that and upgraded us in both directions to Club. The lad was excited and before we'd even sat down with obvious delight he was telling the person across the aisle we'd been upgraded!

He was quickly trained on upgrade etiquette thereafter.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:24 am
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Originally Posted by scottishpoet
its always been like this, and its pretty much true in all industries.
Yes, nepotism exists in all walks of life (although not necessarily to the same extent everywhere) but it is not difficult to understand why some people find it distasteful, even where it is an accepted, lawful and even institutionalised practice. In that sense, I can see where the OP is coming from, even though it is not something that I would care much about in this context and that would spoil my enjoyment of the service.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:38 am
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It's just a perk of the job and as someone says it happens all over industry. As a spouse of an HCC and a parent who was flight crew, I've generally been very well looked after where possible, for which I'm very grateful. However I've always tended (and been instructed) towards the 'low profile' as it's difficult to raise people's hackles if you sit there and keep quiet.

Still if it's first time you can understand his excitement. I'm sure he'll learn if it happens again.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:48 am
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Originally Posted by greenchicken
Ah well, maybe I am being over grumpy. I shall go out and try and befriend some pilots.
You should. People have different privileges in different positions. Friends, family, colleagues etc. Honestly I cannot see how this has affected you. I suggest you try to improve your quality of life instead of being negative towards others. No offence.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 9:53 am
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Originally Posted by NickB
Yes, nepotism exists in all walks of life (although not necessarily to the same extent everywhere) but it is not difficult to understand why some people find it distasteful, even where it is an accepted, lawful and even institutionalised practice. In that sense, I can see where the OP is coming from, even though it is not something that I would care much about in this context and that would spoil my enjoyment of the service.
Exactly. I wonder if those who think it is fine would be as lenient if, say, the 'son of' or 'wife of' is not charged interest on their overdraft like the rest of us because of their family relationship with a banking top executive, escape a driving fine because of daddy's position in the police, or get an assistant job in Parliament as a family member of an MP.

Regardless of what one thinks of nepotism and special treatment, even where it doesn't deprive anyone else of what they are entitled to, and even where we talk of a walk of life where a practice which used to be rife has not yet been formally disallowed, I find it incredibly crass of the beneficiary to talk about the way they were treated due to family protection and i totally see how the op would feel mildly peeved by it. Put simply, that young man should at the very least learn the virtues of discretion.
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