Club Completely Empty but Upgrade Refused

Old May 30, 22, 9:53 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Which I suspect is only one of the reasons why you got a no. Congrats to you both on your marriage.
Choosing to run a cabin empty can affect crew levels as well, and as a result no J cabin available for upgrades or possibly sale.
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Old May 30, 22, 11:23 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
The UK psychology about asking for something is fascinating, and mostly revolves around balancing two divergent aspects: (1) the embarrassment potential of a possible refusal, against (2) someone else getting something you don't. Hence the thinly veiled hostility even to the idea of asking for an upgrade: in doing so the asker is normalizing the requests to the point where in order to avoid missing out it becomes necessary to risk embarrassing refusal oneself.
For a slightly more American perspective on this topic, the following book is pretty good. It even has a chapter on airline upgrades (though clearly pre-DUT). In a nut-shell, you need to ask in a way that makes the other person want to help you.

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It
Amazon Amazon
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Old May 30, 22, 11:32 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
I would never ask, I maybe old fashioned but have too much respect for myself to do this.
So when checking in to a hotel, you would never inquire about the possibility of a nicer room? I always do and have had some decent success. My motto is it doesn't hurt to ask...the worst that can happen is they say no. I always ask nicely or even jokingly. I have also asked at shows....I was recently moved to a better seat at a Vegas cirque show because I asked. I am sure that wouldn't have happened if I didn't politely ask. Also restaurants. It has nothing to do with respect.
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Old May 31, 22, 12:21 am
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This thread reminds me of when I used to handle departures to obvious honeymoon places.

Half of Economy had a special message on the lines of “passenger on honeymoon pls consider upgrade”. At the gate there’d be a procession of newly-wed husbands trying to score an upgrade. Some would go the chummy way, some would attempt the pity way, some would refer to the cousin of their hairdresser’s football mate who had a sister who worked in BA, some (almost always with a chevaliere on the pinky) would go the “do you know how much money I move through BA?” way.

And. it. never. happened.

mainly because the powers of a gate agent are next to inexistent, mainly because the upgrade function is fully automated, but the truth is that “free doesn’t exist” and if you want something, well, you got to pay for it.
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Old May 31, 22, 12:38 am
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by Delboy65 View Post
As we walked to a machine, where she checked us in, I joked how "the problem with these machines is you cant ask for an upgrade"
and in reply she said "come back to the desk when your done and I'll sort it out for you" !!
This is a key observation...

On those occasions that I get to speak to check-in staff, I've been known to ask, in a conversational sort of why, "any upgrades on offer today?" - usually the answer is an apologetic "No", occasionally you get offered a price (sometimes worth taking, usually not)... once I got moved from Y to J (skipping W) for free :-)

But as others have observed, if you don't ask, the answer is No.
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Old May 31, 22, 12:46 am
  #36  
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Originally Posted by corky View Post
So when checking in to a hotel, you would never inquire about the possibility of a nicer room? I always do and have had some decent success. My motto is it doesn't hurt to ask...the worst that can happen is they say no. I always ask nicely or even jokingly. I have also asked at shows....I was recently moved to a better seat at a Vegas cirque show because I asked. I am sure that wouldn't have happened if I didn't politely ask. Also restaurants. It has nothing to do with respect.
I think with hotels the situation is different. If you hold status, part of the deal is upgrades subject to availability. I am lifetime bonvoy platinum and would expect some sort of upgrade, and sadly these days you do need to ask, whereas being silver BA would never expect an upgrade or ask for one ) even in the past when I was GCH.
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Old May 31, 22, 12:58 am
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Originally Posted by Cyberhacker View Post
This is a key observation...

On those occasions that I get to speak to check-in staff, I've been known to ask, in a conversational sort of why, "any upgrades on offer today?" - usually the answer is an apologetic "No", occasionally you get offered a price (sometimes worth taking, usually not)... once I got moved from Y to J (skipping W) for free :-)

But as others have observed, if you don't ask, the answer is No.
I only ever asked on BA once and it was a few years ago. The upgrade was given With other airlines I have asked and with some success. I would not criticise anyone for asking, as I see it blagging is part of being a frequent flyer.
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Old May 31, 22, 2:05 am
  #38  
 
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I have never asked for an upgrade but have been the fortunate recipient on a number of occasions. On my most recent TATL I was upgrade from W to J on both legs.

I think being a solo traveller helps.
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Old May 31, 22, 2:14 am
  #39  
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Originally Posted by corky View Post
So when checking in to a hotel, you would never inquire about the possibility of a nicer room? I always do and have had some decent success. My motto is it doesn't hurt to ask...the worst that can happen is they say no. I always ask nicely or even jokingly. I have also asked at shows....I was recently moved to a better seat at a Vegas cirque show because I asked. I am sure that wouldn't have happened if I didn't politely ask. Also restaurants. It has nothing to do with respect.
No I would not ask a hotel about the possibility of a nicer room, I would expect the best room in the category that I had paid for, if I were to be given a nicer room it would be because it was the hotels decision. Personally I see asking for an upgrade as a form of begging and that is why I said I have more respect for myself.
When I was a CSD and boarding customers probably around 10% of customers would ask for an upgrade and in the days when you could pay for upgrades onboard I told my crew not to assume that they wanted a free upgrade and to say yes if asked, when I had a moment I would inform them how much it cost, well you can guess what happened?
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Old May 31, 22, 3:15 am
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
I would never ask, I maybe old fashioned but have too much respect for myself to do this.
I would be too embarrassed to ask, nothing to do with my self-respect. I just pay for the cabin (usually business) I wish to travel in so upgrading to the next one doesn't usually occur to me.

However I have in the past been offered upgrades on outbound TATL flights from LHR. It happened on a route i flew frequently and as a solo traveller on a Saturday from WT+ to Club.
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Old May 31, 22, 3:22 am
  #41  
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Originally Posted by 12d121 View Post
When the plane departed, the whole of Club was empty. Every seat empty.
It would have been interesting if you had offered to pay for an upgrade. It's possible that you might have been told that you could upgrade, but there would be no catering for you - an aspect of the flight being planned to operate without any passengers in Club. Of course, it's also possible that if you had actually started to pursue that route, you might you have been told pretty quickly that you couldn't upgrade even for payment.

Comair has its own issues at the moment, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the effects are not publicly obvious.
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Old May 31, 22, 3:37 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by 12d121 View Post
I have no issue about the upgrade being refused and want to make it clear this isn't a post to moan about them saying no. But it got me thinking more broadly about upgrade policies, when they are given for free etc. Given Club was completely empty it seemed odd they didn't entertain it but thought maybe Comair only upgrade for certain status passengers?
I was once told that the crew does not load the flight with business class food and drinks.....just in case people are upgraded (for free). It's all done with as careful pre-planning as possible. Please don't think there's business class food and drink going to waste as there's no-one booked into business.

Also, there's the crew requirements, too. If there's no-one (or hardly anyone) booked into business, the crew can be allocated elsewhere. If you get upgraded - for free - and almost the only person in business, then this requires crew to be on standby and much more. There's a cost for this.

Please think things through.
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Old May 31, 22, 4:04 am
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
The whole idea of free upgrades from honeymooners/birthday boys/charming grandmas is very much an urban myth across most of the world’s contemporary flying industry.
Interestingly my first ever upgrade was on honeymoon flights to an Indian Ocean island. I'd booked Club. At the checkin desk at LGW we were met by a rep from the travel company we had used who knew it was a honeymoon. Checked in & I didn't mention a thing. Got to the gate & were given new boarding passes in 1st.

No status (is Blue a status?) & to this day I still think the rep had a word after we had checked in.
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Old May 31, 22, 4:25 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
.. in the days when you could pay for upgrades onboard..
I wonder why BA stopped offering this - it seems like a decent revenue stream to have; if was sat beside a screaming baby or maybe a row with no window, I could see myself using this!
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Old May 31, 22, 4:26 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by chriswiles View Post
I was once told that the crew does not load the flight with business class food and drinks.....just in case people are upgraded (for free). It's all done with as careful pre-planning as possible. Please don't think there's business class food and drink going to waste as there's no-one booked into business.

Also, there's the crew requirements, too. If there's no-one (or hardly anyone) booked into business, the crew can be allocated elsewhere. If you get upgraded - for free - and almost the only person in business, then this requires crew to be on standby and much more. There's a cost for this.

Please think things through.
This is exactly the sort of info I was looking for. I did say in my post I had no issue with not being upgraded but I was wondering what the operational considerations were - which you have addressed so thank you
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