Interesting Upgrade Question

 
Old Mar 6, 09, 7:22 pm
  #1  
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Interesting Upgrade Question

So here is an interesting upgrade question:

I was on a flight today (in F) and someone got up and switched seats with someone in the back to sit next to their spouse. In exchange, a non-elite got the F seat. So far it sounds kosher - that woman earned the seat and chose to give it to someone else. I overheard the GA saying to the FA, "That isn't right, there are elites on the list that should get that seat". The FA said, "Well, its her seat to choose who sits there."

So what do you think?
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Old Mar 6, 09, 7:23 pm
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Wirelessly posted (Treo 650: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/Palm-D060; Blazer/4.5) 16;320x320)

I guess he should have rejected or accepted the upgrade prior to boarding or just let his companion have the upgrade.

Last edited by Lurker1999; Mar 6, 09 at 7:25 pm
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Old Mar 6, 09, 7:26 pm
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That would have been my first instinct. I wouldnt have even considered the list unless it was mentioned. I know in the past I traded my F seat with others too.
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Old Mar 6, 09, 9:22 pm
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No it isn't right at all - if the person gave up their F seat, it should have gone to the next person on the list.

It sounded like the FA had a strong opinion about it, and she could have summoned the GA to upgrade the next person on the list and send the non-Elite to the back.
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Old Mar 6, 09, 9:44 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
No it isn't right at all - if the person gave up their F seat, it should have gone to the next person on the list.

It sounded like the FA had a strong opinion about it, and she could have summoned the GA to upgrade the next person on the list and send the non-Elite to the back.
I get upgraded. It's my seat. I can give it to my wife if I like, or if I'm traveling alone the hot redhead in 12B in hopes of......
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Old Mar 6, 09, 9:48 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Rich and 50 is the same as middle-class and 30
Now I DO agree with THAT part of your post.
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Old Mar 6, 09, 10:10 pm
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Did said person pay for F or where they upgraded? I presume, since the wife was in the back it was an upgrade, but no matter IMO. It is his seat to give to whomever he chooses. I understand the argument about upgrades, and if I was next on the list I might be peeved but I am not aware of a rule in the contract of carriage on that one (doesn't mean there isn't I just don't know it)

If the person paid for F even more so. I have seen folks in F give their seats to members of the military for example, or as noted above "hot" ladies even (one sat next to me once, which seemed to defeat the original seatholders purpose ).

Tangent to that, I was travelling in uniform, a couple of years ago, and received several of my platinum upgrades, and once had a snotty row-mate who assumed someone just gave me the seat and made some snide comments as such. Humourous for me really.

Ciao,
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Old Mar 6, 09, 10:12 pm
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A few years ago I gave my Plat upgrade to a friend who broke his ankle on the trip we were on .
I told the ground staff what I was doing it and they were not happy with me .
A few minutes later the companion upgrade cleared and we were both up front anyways.
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Old Mar 6, 09, 10:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Lurker1999 View Post
Wirelessly posted (Treo 650: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/Palm-D060; Blazer/4.5) 16;320x320)

I guess he should have rejected or accepted the upgrade prior to boarding or just let his companion have the upgrade.
i disagree it was their seat & they chose what they did. it was theirs 2 dew wat dey did wit it
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Old Mar 6, 09, 10:23 pm
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Once a seat has been assigned to someone it is no longer in "the bucket" for the airline to upgrade someone else into it. The passenger can, at his sole discretion, occupy the seat or give it to absolutely any other passenger he wants to give it to.
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Old Mar 6, 09, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
Once a seat has been assigned to someone it is no longer in "the bucket" for the airline to upgrade someone else into it. The passenger can, at his sole discretion, occupy the seat or give it to absolutely any other passenger he wants to give it to.
This is not factually correct. The seat remains the sole property of the carrier. Seat swaps can be done, but the crew should be notified. A seat swap between members of the same traveling party should never be a problem, but a customer giving their seat away to some random person is something the airline staff can disallow.
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Old Mar 6, 09, 11:01 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
This is not factually correct. The seat remains the sole property of the carrier. Seat swaps can be done, but the crew should be notified. A seat swap between members of the same traveling party should never be a problem, but a customer giving their seat away to some random person is something the airline staff can disallow.
Yes, the seat is the property of the carrier, BUT for this flight it has been assigned to someone. This person can use it or re-assign it as he sees fit, to a relative, a friend or a total stranger. Airline staff have no saying on someone swapping seats, unless it compromises safety.

I do not recall a single instance in which you would need to 'notify' and/or get 'approval' from the crew for switching seats; this makes no sense.
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Old Mar 6, 09, 11:49 pm
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I agree that an FA should be notified of such a seat swap, but cannot think of a case in which a swap would require "approval," as long as both parties agree to the swap and it does not somehow create a safety issue (trying to move perhaps a disabled person into an exit row seat, for example might be a safety issue)

There have been cases when traveling with my mother, for example, when my upgarde has cleared but there was not room to upgrade both of us. In these situations, I sit in the back and give my seat to my mother. I notify the flight crew of the change (I do not ask permission), and she sits in F.

In such a situation, the seat is my assigned seat for the flight and I can chose to let my mother (or a friend, etc.. ) occupy it if I wish to switch seats. The people who were waiting behind me on the upgrade wait list are not entitled to the seat. It is my seat for the flight, and I chose to let a traveling companion sit in it instead.
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Old Mar 7, 09, 12:38 am
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I think a seat in F is an excellent bargaining chip for any seat in Y.

Say you were hoping to get upgraded with your non-elite traveling partner, and to maximize your chances you take the EUA and hope for a companion upgrade. Meanwhile, your existing seat next to your partner gets filled. Companion upgrade doesn't happen.

If you ask the GA for a downgrade, you probably won't get your original seat back. And when you get some random new seat (probably middle, on a full flight), it's not a great bargaining chip toward trading with the person next to your partner. But an F seat? Almost guaranteed you'll be right back where you were. Unless your companion is that hot redhead and the person would rather sit next to her than go up to F.
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Old Mar 7, 09, 7:21 am
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I actually saw this same thing happen a few weeks ago ONT-IAH. The GA would not allow the swap and everyone ended up having to swap seats back. It was a mess. Yes, another Elite got upgraded (and then complained when there was no room for their bag up front), and no, the person didn't get their seat back. They ended up swapping seats with the original person who took the first class seat. It was a middle seat for a middle seat, so it was an even trade, but could have been much easier for all involved.
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