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Is Pestering Gate Agent the Only Way to Get a Standy Upgrade Processed?

Is Pestering Gate Agent the Only Way to Get a Standy Upgrade Processed?

 
Old Jun 9, 14, 5:10 pm
  #1  
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Is Pestering Gate Agent the Only Way to Get a Standy Upgrade Processed?

An observation/ rant about standby upgrades from coach on a 321 headed to SEA.

Today, I inquired about the upgrade list with the representative in in the club in PHX and she told me I was first on the upgrade list and that they'll process at the gate if someone doesn't show. The boarding process begins and I wasn't upgraded, no big deal except that a seat went out empty in F and now I'm sitting next to someone who is too large for a typical coach seat.

Two weeks ago flying PHL to PHX I had a similar scenario. At OLCI I was added to standby upgrade list and when I check with club representative she tells me I'm first on the list. But she suggested that I go down to the gate to tell the GA that I'm there and want the upgrade.

So my question is this, is pestering the GA the only way to ensure that standby upgrades will get processed?
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Old Jun 9, 14, 5:17 pm
  #2  
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There's a difference between pestering and inquiring. I'll often let the GA know that I'm no. 1 on the list and ask if they'd like me to board or wait. No recent US experience, but I've never sat in Y on AA or US when there's been an open at seat.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 12:19 am
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What Blumie said -- though a good GA will bring you the upgrade on the plane. I've had it happen.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 12:27 am
  #4  
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Always inquire nicely (be courteous and on your BEST behavior). That lets the GA know that you are at the gate. If boarding begins and your name has not been called, then POLITELY ask the GA whether you should board or wait for the upgrade.

That's really the best that you can do. After the flight, you can always speak with Customer Service about a missed upgrade.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:41 am
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One thing I do is check the mobile website for the upgrade list. If I am number 1 and it appears there is a seat I'll politely ask the GA if they think I will clear the upgrade or not about 2 minutes before boarding starts. Typically (3x this year) they hand me a boarding pass in F.

While the seats in F should not go out empty there are extenuating circumstances for the seat to go empty (its inoperable, last minute no show as the door is closing, etc).
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Old Jun 10, 14, 7:47 am
  #6  
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The GA's priority is for the aircraft to push on schedule. Processing UG's is way down the list from getting that done. Pestering is a good way to 100% assure that you sit in steerage.

Politely asking is another thing. Same thing with boarding. US does not generally board the aircraft to find UG's, so unless the GA tells you that he will come find you if you clear, do not count on it. Wait at the gate or board (understanding that you won't get an UG).
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Old Jun 10, 14, 9:01 am
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I have NEVER seen a US GA process an upgrade up the gate. It just doesn't seem to be part of their SOP. Anytime I have inquired, I have simply been told "F checked in full, please board now" (usually without them checking anything).
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Old Jun 10, 14, 9:06 am
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I inquired with a GA on a BOS-PHX flight who confirmed I was first on the list, but there was only one seat not checked in. As I went to board with Group 1, he told me to stand aside and wait for 3 minutes at which point if the last guy hadn't checked in, he'd give me the seat. Which he did. I've had a GA call me up for an upgrade on PHX-BOS, too, after I first asked about my place on the list.

Last edited by 02143; Jun 10, 14 at 9:11 am
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Old Jun 10, 14, 9:26 am
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Originally Posted by doctor15 View Post
I have NEVER seen a US GA process an upgrade up the gate. It just doesn't seem to be part of their SOP. Anytime I have inquired, I have simply been told "F checked in full, please board now" (usually without them checking anything).
That is usually the case as you are the Nth person asking and they checked few minutes ago
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Old Jun 11, 14, 5:53 am
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Originally Posted by doctor15 View Post
I have NEVER seen a US GA process an upgrade up the gate. It just doesn't seem to be part of their SOP. Anytime I have inquired, I have simply been told "F checked in full, please board now" (usually without them checking anything).
I had a GA come back to find me in 23F on an A321 to field upgrade me (1st on list, late no-show in F) in DFW after all boarding had been completed. I didn't even bother mentioning anything at the gate, since the mobile website showed F checked in full.
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Old Jun 11, 14, 10:41 am
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I've seen a US agent get a Silver that had boarded in Y to move him up to a no-show seat in F.
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Old Jun 11, 14, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by aamilesslave View Post
I've seen US agents upgrade elites that had boarded in Y to move them up to a no-show seat in F.
I see this happen often in ONT and PHX.
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Old Jun 11, 14, 7:33 pm
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Interestingly, I've been called up by the GA before after I had sat down in 9A a couple of years ago when there was a no show from PHL-MCO, I was a SP. Second time I saw it was when I was CP and GA plucked the guy next to me in the bulkhead from JAX-CLT. They hadn't rolled out the online upgrade standby list yet so I assume I was outranked...Regardless, it definitely happens and I was always told that that is the protocol.

Go Gators
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Old Jun 12, 14, 11:57 am
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PHX-SAN last week.

Was number 2 on the upgrade list. My connecting flight got in a little late so I the boarding was already underway, when I went to the gate I asked if any upgrades for first had cleared and was told no. Sat down, checked the mobile site again and saw that #1 on the list did get upgraded after I got on the plane.

Makes me wonder if I would have waited and asked, since there was a no show and I think the bulkheads were blocked out.
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Old Jun 12, 14, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by aamilesslave View Post
I've seen a US agent get a Silver that had boarded in Y to move him up to a no-show seat in F.
That happened to me too way back when I was Silver. Good thing too because there was now a very large and unhappy man hovering over me insisting I was in his seat

I've had standby upgrades processed by gate agents just before the boarding begins, paging me over the PA. It has happened 3 or 4 times in the last couple of years.

However, now that we're in a post-merger world I don't count past experience as indicative of likely future experience.
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