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Looked like shenanigans, but FAs helped avoid an empty FC seat

Looked like shenanigans, but FAs helped avoid an empty FC seat

 
Old Dec 10, 09, 9:37 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2002
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Looked like shenanigans, but FAs helped avoid an empty FC seat

Picture this: admitted non-elite college age guy in casual clothes gets moved to the front by a FA after the door closed on a packed flight where only 3 discount upgrades cleared. I can imagine an elite fuming if they saw this.

But in reality...

Was my brother who was #1 on the waitlist as a mileage upgrade ('PR1' priority). Yes, nonelite, but officially first in line and entitled to the next available seat.

Story is this...

Flight was delayed and packed with elites out of IAH. I asked the agent when boarding whether first had boarded full (got the canned 'yes') and whether she'd come down if someone misconnected.

After the door closed a FA noted one empty seat - 3E. She then reviewed the upgrade list with the other FA, made sure no one was hiding in the bathroom, said '11D is first, then 14A, XXX' and headed to the back. I pulled out my PDA and saw my brother still #1 in seat 11D and no more cleared upgrades.

She then came back with no one, talked with the other FA who said 'just verify his name.' She then returned with my brother.

Now picture this in coach...

She walks up to him after the door closes and asks if he's an elite. He says 'no' (correct) and she heads back. An off duty pilot next to him said "you should have said yes...you would have been upgraded" to which he shrugged, not fully appreciating the value.

She then makes her way back, asks his name, he says that's me, and she profesionally says "Mr XXXXX we have a seat at the front for you."

Has all the looks of shenanigans, but in reality the right person got the upgrade.

Of course we know FAs aren't supposed to do this, but to them for being proactive and strict with sticking to the list even when it didn't seem quite right.

to the agent for not making it clear before closing the door, though she did get the delayed flight out quickly.
cerealmarketer is offline  
Old Dec 10, 09, 9:43 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Good story. But how would the GA agent then know to deduct the miles from your account if the GA did not do the upgrade? FA's would not be able to do that.
cova is offline  
Old Dec 10, 09, 9:45 pm
  #3  
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I saw the FAs do the 'list upgrade' on a different flight after the GA ran off the closed the door. I know the policy supposedly forbids this, but it looks like the FAs are following the process better than some GAs - and kudos to them for making the effort.

I'm sure all the Elites on board were furiously refreshing the pda site on their phones and knew they were not first on the list - so I'd hope no one suspected shenanigans.

Apparently Delta GAs, specifically at ATL, are re-writing the 'Shenanigans' manual - it's becoming quite prevalent over there.
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Old Dec 10, 09, 9:50 pm
  #4  
 
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If memory serves, I was list-upgraded on a PHL-IAH segment a few years back - the flight was actually pushing back from the gate when the FA came back and told me a seat in F was available. As I'd already settled in and I had a whole row to myself, I opted to stay where I was - the FA was surprised, but offered to bring me a free drink (presumably she meant beer, since soda & water are free) anyway.
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Old Dec 10, 09, 9:55 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
Good story. But how would the GA agent then know to deduct the miles from your account if the GA did not do the upgrade? FA's would not be able to do that.
Interesting and probably part of why they are asked not to do it.

He had cleard the first DCA-IAH segment a day prior so the miles were deducted. I actually considered redepositing the miles and doing a companion since the 1st leg had no plats on the list as of t-2 hrs and the 2nd flight looked too packed to be a reasonable bet. But the promise of priority over comp upgrades led me to keep the miles in play for the upgrade.
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