Empty First class seats, but I'm still in the back.

 
Old Jun 22, 12, 11:02 am
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Empty First class seats, but I'm still in the back.

I am on a flight from DCA-JAX with at least 2 empty seats in 1st. I changed to this noon flight from a later that I was confirmed in First.

I was told First was oversold, so coach it was. Now I sit here looking at empty seats.

Maybe there were some no shows, if so there should have been upgrades at the gate.

Funny thing was this morning it showed First almost empty online, so not sure whats going on.

TT
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Old Jun 22, 12, 11:26 am
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There are numerous threads with techniques on this and how you could've been proactive. Watch GIDS and ask gate agent "has 1st class BOARDED full" would be a place to start.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by MSPDeltaDude View Post
There are numerous threads with techniques on this and how you could've been proactive. Watch GIDS and ask gate agent "has 1st class BOARDED full" would be a place to start.
Watch GIDS??? HAH! we don't qualify for such fancy technology! You must think we're flying DL/UA/AA/airline with a real IT department
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Old Jun 22, 12, 11:53 am
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The way I see it, if you are an upper elite you have two options in life -- board early or wait to board for a very, very low chance of an upgrade. You can ask the GA before boarding if FC has checked in full but I don't believe they ever actually check -- they just trust that system has handled any last minute upgrades. So if you want to give up early boarding and board last, you can then go back to the agent and ask again. Because they're not going to know for sure until every other person has boarded. Lots of times (maybe most of the time) those seats are empty because someone with a FC seat checked in but didn't make the plane. But the GA won't know that until the door closes. Your other option is to try to deal with this on the flight with a FA but that's a huge longshot -- unless you're a CP you have no way of knowing that the seat would even be yours if there was another upgrade processed (indeed, even as a CP you can be outranked). The FA's rarely if ever give on-flight upgrades. It's a ton of headache and embarrassment to go through, and/or boarding last, for the .001% chance of getting in this situation and coming out with an upgrade. Better to just board first in coach and not even worry about it, IMO.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 1:05 pm
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Could have been checked in full with missed connections, right?
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Old Jun 22, 12, 1:19 pm
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The GA is supposed to check for empty seats and then go to the priority list of elites and move them up. Much of the time they are pressured to get the flight out on time so they skip this step.

PS~The FAs are not authorized to move anyone up to F.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 2:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Michael El View Post
The GA is supposed to check for empty seats and then go to the priority list of elites and move them up. Much of the time they are pressured to get the flight out on time so they skip this step.

PS~The FAs are not authorized to move anyone up to F.
agreed. Seems as if on a monthly basis we see a GA walk into the plane before the door shuts and upgrade someone to FC. It's common enough that I see it I would assume it is standard procedure when they have time at the gate.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by webrobby View Post
agreed. Seems as if on a monthly basis we see a GA walk into the plane before the door shuts and upgrade someone to FC. It's common enough that I see it I would assume it is standard procedure when they have time at the gate.
I wouldn't have believed it until it happned to me on a move up from PHL - MCO. I noticed there was still one seat left in F after I had sat down in Y, I asked the FA if F had been checked in full and on cue the GA shows up and says grab your things you're upgraded...^

Go Gators
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Old Jun 22, 12, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by GNVGator View Post
I wouldn't have believed it until it happned to me on a move up from PHL - MCO. I noticed there was still one seat left in F after I had sat down in Y, I asked the FA if F had been checked in full and on cue the GA shows up and says grab your things you're upgraded...^

Go Gators
Sometimes the GAs don't really check so they're pressured to get the flight out on time, I'd have said something before they closed the door.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 4:41 pm
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OP unfortunately asked the wrong question. With OLCI, "checked in full" means nothing. But, if you wait for "boarded full" you will most likely still wind up in steerage and without any OH space.

While it's true that some GA may pull people up, it's really unusual at DCA where there's a huge premium on getting the aircraft out ontime.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by masonuc View Post
The way I see it, if you are an upper elite you have two options in life -- board early or wait to board for a very, very low chance of an upgrade. You can ask the GA before boarding if FC has checked in full but I don't believe they ever actually check -- they just trust that system has handled any last minute upgrades. So if you want to give up early boarding and board last, you can then go back to the agent and ask again. Because they're not going to know for sure until every other person has boarded. Lots of times (maybe most of the time) those seats are empty because someone with a FC seat checked in but didn't make the plane. But the GA won't know that until the door closes. Your other option is to try to deal with this on the flight with a FA but that's a huge longshot -- unless you're a CP you have no way of knowing that the seat would even be yours if there was another upgrade processed (indeed, even as a CP you can be outranked). The FA's rarely if ever give on-flight upgrades. It's a ton of headache and embarrassment to go through, and/or boarding last, for the .001% chance of getting in this situation and coming out with an upgrade. Better to just board first in coach and not even worry about it, IMO.
This is a really good summary of the situation. I, too, prefer to board early. However, I admit to being a persistent "checker" (though with a smile, and not while GAs are occupied with others), and I usually say something as I go through like, "So if you get a last minute no-show in F, you know where to find me" (although I hope my delivery is more charming than it appears here in print). Like masonuc says, it's a low probability event. Of course, hope springs eternal.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 6:13 pm
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Late last year I didnt get an upgrade, so as usual before boarding I asked GA if first was full. She said yes, and that i was second on list.

As I sat in coach, at end of boarding I could see 1 seat in first still avail. The GA eventually came on the plane, to hand a first boarding pass to the guy in front of me. He refused, was traveling with someone else. So now I assume I'd get the upgrade, but GA dissappeard and never came back. The seat remained empty for the flight.

I would guess either time was an issue, or she just didnt feel like going all the way back to gate and coming back.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 6:20 pm
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Today BOS-DCA, with what seemed like a full economy cabin, one seat was open in F when the door closed. the FA came back and took a non-rev passenger (a pilot in uniform) out of an aisle seat and reseated him in F. Another non-rev (a FA in uniform) then jumped out of her middle seat a row behind the seat the pilot vacated, and jumped into his opened aisle seat before the passenger in the middle seat in that row had a chance to move over. Only an hour long flight, so whatever, but interesting to watch it unfold.
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Old Jun 23, 12, 12:09 am
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Originally Posted by Techtravler View Post
I am on a flight from DCA-JAX with at least 2 empty seats in 1st. I changed to this noon flight from a later that I was confirmed in First.

I was told First was oversold, so coach it was. Now I sit here looking at empty seats.

Maybe there were some no shows, if so there should have been upgrades at the gate.

Funny thing was this morning it showed First almost empty online, so not sure whats going on.

TT
When you changed to the earlier flight, did you ask to be placed on the standby list for an upgrade on the new flight? If you are not on this list, you lose out on the chance of a last minute upgrade. They go by the upgrade stand by list not by the list of elites on the plane when doing gate upgrades.
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Old Jun 23, 12, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by whytravelsomuch View Post
When you changed to the earlier flight, did you ask to be placed on the standby list for an upgrade on the new flight? If you are not on this list, you lose out on the chance of a last minute upgrade. They go by the upgrade stand by list not by the list of elites on the plane when doing gate upgrades.
Good questions and actually no, my fault, but here is why. I showed up at about 9:30am looking to get on the noon flight. Online the flight showed many empty seats, than changed to sold out, but actually showed seats to choose, but not buy. I called the preferred desk and they said it was sold out. I figured I would go to the airport(I was staying 1 mile away) see if I could get on the noon flight and if not check my bags for the 2:15pm and take the metro into town.

When I got to the ticket counter I tell the guy keeping the people moving I need a human to change a flight. he has me pull up my reservation on the kiosk and fist thing that shows up is a message saying would I like to get on the noon flight. I say yes, it ask me the regular questions and no boarding passes come out. Funny thing is, it printed bag tags. The ticket agent says it put me on stand by for first(I was booked in first on the later flight). She now spend 25 minutes getting it to give me a seat in coach. I totally forgot to see that I was still on the upgrade list after this.

if so, I was not the only elite on this flight. There was about 6 or seven that boarded in zone one. I also heard some lady ask when Silvers board.

I did wonder one thing, there was a high ranking government official in first congressman or senator of some sort. Secrete service waited with him until the flight boarded and he was met by local Police when the flight landed. I wondered if he had anything to do with the empty seats. I am thinking not, or all of First would have been empty or in his party and I know for sure that was not the case.
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