Questionable On-board Upgrades SCL-ATL

Old May 6, 13, 6:32 am
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Questionable On-board Upgrades SCL-ATL

I was on this flight on 5/4. I was in EC (purchased EC) and there were approx 5-6 open seats in business class. After we took off the purser started pulling people into business class, but I question the methodology that was used in the selection process. For example, a young girl in front of me, couldn't have been more than 22, got upgraded, as well as two older ladies from the rear of the airplane. To me they just didn't look like frequent fliers, I don't know. My question is what criteria do they use and should I have said something or is it better to just shut up and avoid embarrassing myself in such situations? I am only silver, but some of those upgraded just didn't look like elites. Should I write a letter or should I just let it go?
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Old May 6, 13, 6:36 am
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Could they have been nonrevs? AFAIK elites aren't to be upgraded after departure unless instructed by the GA but nonrevs can be moved up.
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Old May 6, 13, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
I was on this flight on 5/4. I was in EC (purchased EC) and there were approx 5-6 open seats in business class. After we took off the purser started pulling people into business class, but I question the methodology that was used in the selection process. For example, a young girl in front of me, couldn't have been more than 22, got upgraded, as well as two older ladies from the rear of the airplane. To me they just didn't look like frequent fliers, I don't know. My question is what criteria do they use and should I have said something or is it better to just shut up and avoid embarrassing myself in such situations? I am only silver, but some of those upgraded just didn't look like elites. Should I write a letter or should I just let it go?
Let it go. I know it might be frustrating, but you don't really have any grounds to complain, since you didn't have an upgrade entitlement on International Flights. In such situations, there's nothing that you can do. I believe it is against the rules, and sadly, sometimes you find FAs who make their own rules. Nonrevs also can be moved to Business, not sure if this is by the book, but I've seen it happen before.

Also, how does a "Frequent Flyer" looks to you?

Nothing stops a 22 year old or a 65 year old from being an elite. In fact, when I was between 18-22, I flew enough to keep status in two different airlines, and most of my classmates who were International Students did too.
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Old May 6, 13, 6:51 am
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Originally Posted by B7e7US View Post
Let it go. I know it might be frustrating, but you don't really have any grounds to complain, since you didn't have an upgrade entitlement on International Flights. In such situations, there's nothing that you can do. I believe it is against the rules, and sadly, sometimes you find FAs who make their own rules. Nonrevs also can be moved to Business, not sure if this is by the book, but I've seen it happen before.

Also, how does a "Frequent Flyer" looks to you?

Nothing stops a 22 year old or a 65 year old from being an elite. In fact, when I was between 18-22, I flew enough to keep status in two different airlines, and most of my classmates who were International Students did too.
I think he's saying they looked like FAs.
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Old May 6, 13, 6:52 am
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This is an MYOB situation. It's a labor-employee issue between cabin crew and DL. OP got the seat paid for and had no entitlement to a freebie had OP not paid for the seat. The fact that others got it for free, slipped cash to the pursar or whatever, is not OP's business.

Not sure what "elites" look like. Just ask the loads of teenage elites out there.
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Old May 6, 13, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
I was on this flight on 5/4. I was in EC (purchased EC) and there were approx 5-6 open seats in business class. After we took off the purser started pulling people into business class, but I question the methodology that was used in the selection process. For example, a young girl in front of me, couldn't have been more than 22, got upgraded, as well as two older ladies from the rear of the airplane. To me they just didn't look like frequent fliers, I don't know. My question is what criteria do they use and should I have said something or is it better to just shut up and avoid embarrassing myself in such situations? I am only silver, but some of those upgraded just didn't look like elites. Should I write a letter or should I just let it go?
I did not realize elite FFers needed to have a particular look...let alone that which would dictate an upgrade.

There are infants, children, young adults, adults, senior citizens of all shapes, sizes, and colors who have elite status. Some may "dress the part" but many do not, even on long flights.

If Economy is not oversold, they are very likely not going to move elites up to open space up front unless it's a routing where elites are entitled to complimentary upgrades (e.g. Mexico). NRSA? Yes.

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Old May 6, 13, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This is an MYOB situation. It's a labor-employee issue between cabin crew and DL. OP got the seat paid for and had no entitlement to a freebie had OP not paid for the seat. The fact that others got it for free, slipped cash to the pursar or whatever, is not OP's business.

Not sure what "elites" look like. Just ask the loads of teenage elites out there.
I disagree. Even if the OP is not entitled to an upgrade, it's the business of all elites when DL fails to follow its own upgrade rules. If a bribe was accepted or if the FA upgraded his/ her own friend or relative not traveling as nonrev, it IS our business.
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Old May 6, 13, 7:01 am
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In answering my own question...

Unlimited Complimentary Medallion® Upgrades

Complimentary Upgrade Terms & Conditions

Availability:
Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades are subject to availability, may not be available on all flights or in all markets, and are not valid for travel to/from Hawaii, Transatlantic and Transpacific destinations. Complimentary Upgrades are not available on flights to/from South American cities that are serviced with our BusinessElite® product (i.e., Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Lima, Peru; Caracas, Venezuela). For travel booked using a SkyMiles Companion Certificate, neither the paid primary passenger nor the companion passenger will be eligible for complimentary upgrades. We limit the seats available for use with complimentary upgrades and may not make seats available on all flights. Upgrade on Award or Pay with Miles Tickets are not eligible for complimentary Companion Upgrades.
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Old May 6, 13, 7:13 am
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FWIW I have been on Int'l flights where nonrevs were instructed to sit in coach for takeoff & landing, then moved to BE at cruising altitude, due to weight & balance. SCL tends to be a heavy cargo route.

I'm not saying this is what happened on the OP's flight, just saying it has happened...and in the situations I witnessed it was done with the full cooperation of the GA, purser & captain.
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Old May 6, 13, 7:34 am
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Thanks for all the responses. Yes it could be that the girl and the old ladies were frequent flyers, what do I know LOL. I guess profiling is not appropriate in this case. I doubt it was a weight-related scenario since there were close to 15 open seats in FC when I checked in, and this is just not an elite-heavy route, at least not on a Saturday night.

BTW, what are nonrevs???
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Old May 6, 13, 7:47 am
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Airline employees and relatives who travel for "free" if space is available, plus their friends and extended family, aka buddy pass riders.
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Old May 6, 13, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Airline employees and relatives who travel for "free" if space is available, plus their friends and extended family, aka buddy pass riders.
Sorry I asked...
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Old May 6, 13, 8:34 am
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I have seen this happen on international flights. I assumed that they were non-revs (including family members and friends traveling on non-rev passes which might explain the senior citizens and teenagers).

I wish they would just upgrade them prior to boarding. Having them clamber over their seatmates and move their overhead cargo up to BE after everyone has gotten settled is rather annoying.
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Old May 6, 13, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
I guess profiling is not appropriate in this case.
Why would you even try? I will be flying up front today...and in a pair of shorts if it is warm enough.
Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
I doubt it was a weight-related scenario since there were close to 15 open seats in FC when I checked in, and this is just not an elite-heavy route, at least not on a Saturday night.
There is more to weight and balance than weight. However, I agree, I don't think this was the issue.
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Old May 6, 13, 9:49 am
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So they won't even upgrade platinums & diamonds on these routes (cause I will probably be platinum later this year). It's just hard to stomach to sit there on that bone-hard seat, having given the airline all your loyalty over the years, and then having to watch "friends & family" of airline employees, who may not have even paid for the ticket, getting moved up front before the eyes of their loyal customers. Just doesn't sit right with me!
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