Upgrading out of basic economy?

Old Jul 22, 17, 8:58 am
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Upgrading out of basic economy?

My niece and her fiance inadvertently booked basic economy seats and are falling apart at the idea of 4 hours in middle seats apart from each other. Is there a way for them to buy out of basic economy? Else I think a sympathetic GA is probably their only hope for sitting together.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
My niece and her fiance inadvertently booked basic economy seats and are falling apart at the idea of 4 hours in middle seats apart from each other. Is there a way for them to buy out of basic economy? Else I think a sympathetic GA is probably their only hope for sitting together.
The only way out of basic economy is to cancel the ticket within 24 hours (or actually, by the midnight the day) after purchase. Other than that government mandated refund period, basic economy is completely non refundable and non changable. No changes whatsoever are permitted.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:03 am
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The only thing I can think of is to call DL and ask to upfare to V or X or whatever the next available bucket is. In the past that worked for me when my work purchased a T fare and I wanted an M so I could do an overseas mileage upgrade.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:07 am
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Originally Posted by anon2k2 View Post
The only thing I can think of is to call DL and ask to upfare to V or X or whatever the next available bucket is. In the past that worked for me when my work purchased a T fare and I wanted an M so I could do an overseas mileage upgrade.
It seems that upfaring counts as a ticket change:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...l#post27762086

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...c-economy.html

"When flying in Basic Economy, you will not be eligible for: paid or complimentary upgrades..."
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by anon2k2 View Post
The only thing I can think of is to call DL and ask to upfare to V or X or whatever the next available bucket is. In the past that worked for me when my work purchased a T fare and I wanted an M so I could do an overseas mileage upgrade.
That works to go from one Economy bucket to another (or to buy up to F), but neither of those are possible with Basic Economy tickets. No changes permitted whatsoever.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:16 am
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Thanks all - guess it's a live and learn experience.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:21 am
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With the basic economy ticket, the seat can be assigned either at check-in or at the gate.

If your niece and fiancé check in one second after check-in is possible (24 hours ahead of departure time), they might get lucky and have seats assigned. Then maybe there are a couple seats together to which they can move. At least worth trying.

Arriving early and throwing themselves on the mercy of the gate attendant is the second option. Occasionally one is able and willing to help. Within what they are permitted to do, I've found they actually are quite kind.

Third is eyeballing the seat situation when they get on, and maybe negotiating a trade. Iffy, as middle seats aren't good currency. Somebody with a window or aisle stuck at the very back of the plane would be their best bet.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 1:34 pm
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They're actually distraught about spending 4 hours apart?? I mean, they're still on the same plane going to the same destination...

They could always bribe someone to switch seats... probably the only way to get someone to take a middle seat.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by kb9522 View Post
They're actually distraught about spending 4 hours apart?? I mean, they're still on the same plane going to the same destination...

They could always bribe someone to switch seats... probably the only way to get someone to take a middle seat.
Maybe they'll get lucky and someone swaps. Talking to GA seems like a good idea. 4 hours doesn't seem that long but what do I know?
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Old Jul 22, 17, 1:44 pm
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Nah, sorry. They don't want to be in middle seats for 4 hours. Booked through Chase, and very infrequent travelers. I actually don't think Chase's website warns you it's booking basic economy...seem to remember that when using it myself.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
Nah, sorry. They don't want to be in middle seats for 4 hours. Booked through Chase, and very infrequent travelers. I actually don't think Chase's website warns you it's booking basic economy...seem to remember that when using it myself.
Did they know where the seats were when they booked? That would have been a clue about basic economy, wouldn't it?
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Old Jul 22, 17, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
Did they know where the seats were when they booked? That would have been a clue about basic economy, wouldn't it?
No, she mentioned she was surprised Delta didn't let her pick a seat when she booked like American does.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 2:20 pm
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Obviously it depends on the specific flight, but I've seen a good number of E fare passengers getting seats together. I'd say there's a fair chance at minimum they will sit together.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
Did they know where the seats were when they booked? That would have been a clue about basic economy, wouldn't it?
for most FTers probably it would be a red flag, but OP says in the very post you're replying to that they're infrequent travelers. With the added info later of an unfamiliar airline, and booked through an unfamiliar channel, maybe I'm just feeling more charitable but I'm inclined to cut them some slack.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 4:45 pm
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OTOH when passengers with no status buy cheap coach tickets, whether in basic economy or not, the odds are reasonably high that at least one of them will get a middle seat. It's not realistic or reasonable for infrequent travelers to expect good seats (unless they pay to reserve decent seats in advance on airlines that offer this option).
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