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33

Probably not the answer you were hoping for, but I think the best way to get upgraded is to fly a lot with the airline. Generally when the flight's overbooked in one class, and they're trying to pick which person to upgrade, frequent flyer status is the first metric they use. The higher your status, the higher up the list you go! Having a high status with a ...


22

Courtesy! In my experience, simply being courteous to those behind the check-in counter (and the baggage handling staff, too) helps a great deal. Most airline staff is perennially overworked, and dealing with grouchy passengers doesn't help their cause. I have gotten upgraded (not only in traveling class, but also with excess baggage) a few times, by just ...


14

Some airlines sell "last minute upgrades". For example Air Canada does this on almost every flight. At first it seemed to be about $100/hr - $500 for a 5 hour flight, for example - but I think it is somewhat less than that now. Depending on whether you think that's a good deal, you could choose either an airline that offers LMU (so you can have a chance to ...


14

No, you don't technically get the same status on other airlines. And it can't be requested. How it works is that Star Alliance has 2 generic levels of status - Star Alliance Gold and Star Alliance Silver. Each particular airline status corresponds to one of these two statuses. For example, if you're a Silver at Continental, you're also a Star Alliance ...


14

I never managed to get upgraded myself, but my supervisor's technique is as follows: He always tries to fly with one airline, collects miles and has the highest possible frequent flyer status. He arrives quite early for check-in and goes to the Business Class/frequent flyer desk, and there he just asks if it's possible to get upgraded. It seems to work ...


13

Bonus tip - on a flight two weeks ago from Los Angeles to Auckland, I was stuck in the 2nd to last row, in the middle between two big military folk. I was not looking forward to this. I'd tried at check-in and at the gate for an aisle seat, but no luck. However, on board I kept my eyes open and noticed the guy next to me had a buddy a row ahead. This was ...


13

No, you don't! From the terms and conditions of American Airlines AAdvantage program: You may accrue mileage only for purchased, eligible, published-fare tickets on qualifying routes used in accordance with all applicable conditions of carriage, tariffs, rules and terms of ticketing and travel. AAdvantage mileage accrual eligibility on airline ...


12

The #1 rule of upgrades is to not believe most of what is said and written about them. There may have been a time (decades ago) when upgrades were at the discretion of the gate or flight crew, and being pleasant and well-dressed might work. These days, some airlines don't even have a premium cabin, and those that do have strict rules about upgrades. There ...


12

By default, yes. There are a few cases where you might not: the company has some sort of flight pass. Some of those passes accrue miles only by being bought, not by being used the company got you a ticket by redeeming miles or the like - reward tickets don't earn miles the company booked and bought a super cheap fare that doesn't earn miles If the fare ...


10

One way that worked for me was when the airline was overbooked, and needed volunteers to take a later flight. It turned out that there was one no show in business class, so they gave my seat to a standby, and gave me the business class seat.


10

The booking class is the basis for the fare you paid. Within the 'economy' ticket section, there are different fare "classes", A, B, C, D, etc, that have different price levels and a certain number of tickets allocated. Different fare classes can also affect what types of rights you have - like if it's refundable or changeable. So you could have 20 ...


10

As to the reason for the name, from the Terms and Conditions: Each upgrade is valid for 500 miles of travel. Each flight segment requires at least one upgrade. Thus, if you wish to upgrade your seat on a flight which is 1500 miles long, you would need to use three of these 500-mile upgrades.


10

They expire after 3 years: Any mileage not redeemed within 36 months of the date of accrual (date of flight, start of hotel stay, time of car rental) will expire at the end of that quarter (e.g. miles expiring in August of any given year would expire at the end of September of that same year), failing other arrangements published in the Miles & More ...


10

Star Alliance doesn't have a loyalty program. The individual airlines within the alliance each have their own loyalty programs, and each program has it's own criteria/promotions/etc. You would need to check with the individual program that you're a member of to see if they have any such promotions, but at least the few that I'm aware of do NOT have ...


10

Almost all frequent flyer programs are designed to reward the flyer without regard to the purchaser, and that has always been the case since the first programs were devised in the early 1980s. There is nothing particularly odd about creating an account for a young child— there are many threads on FlyerTalk about toddlers who have earned gold status but can't ...


9

Check in early! I've been upgraded only once, LAX to Cincinnati. It was a night flight and overbooked, so it was quite nice to get a nicer seat to sleep in. I did not have a frequent flyer deal with the airline nor did I pay or give anybody anything. I also don't fly that much either. The reason I think I was chosen for the upgrade is because I checked in ...


9

I don't believe that the Continental and US Airways programs are directly integrated. It looks like you can earn US Airways miles on some Continental tickets. US Airways and Continental are Star Alliance carriers. So, if you're a member of one of their frequent traveller programs (with sufficient status) then you'll get benefits on other Star Alliance ...


9

Yes, they are both members of the Star Alliance. So, for being gold on USAirways, you are automatically "Star Gold," across the entire Star Alliance network. The benefit of first class upgrades (unfortunately) is NOT one that you will be able to get when flying on Continental. That being said, most other benefits are reciprocal. For example, priority ...


9

There are currently three main airline alliances, Star Alliance, SkyTeam and OneWorld. Wikipedia provides a pretty good overview of carriers to alliances to save you having to check each alliance's website in turn. Have a look through that and see which one you've mostly been hitting. Also, be aware that carriers sometimes enter, leave or change alliances. ...


8

One thing to be aware of is that there isn't a OneWorld frequent traveller program, instead each airline in the alliance runs their own one. There are equivalences between the levels of the programs, see this for details. When flying on any OneWorld carrier, you can earn miles on the frequent traveller program of any others. (However, if flying on a very ...


8

SQ often blocks partner awards for very exclusive classes/flights - like their Suites and the EWR-SIN flight. So it will make a difference if you are trying to use SQ miles, or miles from another *A airline. This blog post has some information in the middle that might help you: http://boardingarea.com/blogs/onemileatatime/2008/05/03/award-booking-question/ ...


8

I don't have a Hostelworld membership, but I emailed them to see what the official stance is (without anyone risking getting their card invalidated). From Louise Clark on the customer service team: Thanks for your email. Gold Cards are registered to one email address so all bookings made with that address will be automatically discounted. You can ...


8

Being 6'4" on a Japanese airline. I was checking in on a partially empty daytime JAL flight from Sydney to Tokyo and they upgraded me to the exit row for free, even though I initially expressed my concern about understanding Japanese in an emergency. No techniques or tricks, just "otherwise"! It's possible that checking in early helped, though. JAL only ...


8

The Lufthansa Miles and More site includes a page to help you find your booking class on your ticket, boarding pass etc. This boarding pass is in Business (C class) - whatever it says on yours where the 2 is, that's your booking class: This boarding pass stub is for Y, one of the Economy booking classes: If you have your itinerary, e-ticket, ...


8

To get the HON Circle Status there is only one way: flying, flying, flying. As of this September only flights in Business and First Class will earn you HON Circle Miles and keep in mind: you have to fly with Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian or their affiliated companies (Star Alliance other than that doesn't count). Check out the program at ...


8

Per stay means no matter how many nights. That said, people who are close to a threshold for number of stays (and who travel light) have been known to book two hotels in the same city and move back and forth between them each day to get 5 separate stays out of a 5-night trip. It's annoying to check in and out like that and I wouldn't do it for 250 more miles ...


8

Update: According to recent announcement, the Carte 12-25 is no more; now it is replaced by two distinct cards, called Jeune 12-17 and Jeune 18-27; they basically offer the same benefits, and an extra year of eligibility is added in comparison to the original 12-25: it is possible to get the card until 1 day before the 27th birthday and benefit from it until ...


8

Generally if you flew with an airline, and you have points with them or their alliance, whoever you hold the points with, you can credit. So I had an itinerary last year that involved some major US Airline (Delta?) and then Alaska Airlines. It's possible to credit Alaska Airlines to One World alliance airlines, and I'm with Qantas. So when I'd done the ...


7

As Gagravarr says, having elite status with an airline can sometimes lead to upgrades due to overbooking. However, as well as offering to pay cash, some airlines will allow elite status members to upgrade in other ways. For example, I have Executive Platinum status with American Airlines. They give me 8 free 'Systemwide' upgrades a year to spend on ...


7

I fly Continental pretty frequently, and to my knowledge they don't have anything called "Economy Plus". They do, however, have "Extra legroom" seats (which I believe is essentially the same thing). United's Elite benefits page states as one of the benefits: Enjoy legroom with Economy Plus® seats on United and extra legroom/preferred seating on ...



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