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# 1
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WHIZKID2
Old 21-02-2005, 11:39 AM
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Default Upgrade Flights

Insert From Martin

There was an original Great Hunt on how to get a flight upgrade, unfortunately when we switched software to improve the chat forum it was lost. Therefore there is a full summary article of what was said available here

Please continue the discussion below

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Just Booked Flights For 4 To Oz For June With Ba Via Singapore
Husband & Son 6'4, Husband With Back Problem
Any Tips To Get Extra Leg Room Or Should We Just Pay The 270/sector To Go World Traveller Plus And Can We Still Do This Now I've Paid Deposit

Also Anyone Know Good Place To Stay In Sydney Near The Rocks,
And In Port Douglas

Last edited by MSE Martin; 07-06-2005 at 12:01 AM.
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# 2
saveapenny
Old 21-02-2005, 1:22 PM
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You can call the airline and get your seats but not sure how many days before you travel they allow you to do this so call BA
Find out which plane operates the routes and then get a seat plane either from http://www.seatguru.com/ or the BA site
You might get WT+ cheaper when you get to the airport 270 seems alot of money if you can land some of the WT seats with extra leg room for nothing
If you look anything like your passport photo....Your too ill to travel
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# 3
chalky_bertie
Old 21-02-2005, 3:04 PM
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Seats with extra leg room such as bulkheads and emergency exit seats are only allocated on day of departure. On BA the bulkhead seats are given priority to mothers and children and then to other folks. As your husband has a back problem it could be worth trying to gain a doctors note and seeing what they can do - maybe worth a try - however your husband may not recieve the emergency exit as you have to be "physically fit" to be able to open the doors.

WT+ is worth the money as we really enjoyed it and the seats have more room and you can get loads of sleep on night flights but 270 per sector is quite expensive as they will probably count it as 2 sectors there and 2 sectors back.
**BERTIE**


Did you Know: It costs more than 325,000 a day to run the lifeboat service? (with no government funding) Please donate to the RNLI
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# 4
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Old 21-02-2005, 4:04 PM
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However with online check-in, you may have the possibility of nabbing bulkhead / emergency exit seats. I can confirm I've done this in the past.
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# 5
margaret
Old 21-02-2005, 5:46 PM
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You have to be there really early to get a bulkhead seat at check-in.
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# 6
Murphy_The_Cat
Old 21-02-2005, 10:43 PM
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From my experience as a 6ft 4 in man flying with BA - you're stuffed.

31" seat pitch is the worst around and our 'National' carrier offers it.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but BA long haul for a big bloke is the absolute pits.


MTC




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# 7
Fatboy_NSS
Old 22-02-2005, 1:10 AM
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As a tall bloke (6'3") I wouldn't recommend going for the bulkhead seats. You might get a couple inches extra legroom, but you will have a wall in front of you, so no room to stretch your legs out under the seat in front.

If you want a free upgrade, dress smartly (ie shirt and trousers, definitely not jeans and t-shirt) and get their several hours before the flight. Even then your chances of upgrade are probably less than 10%. If you definitely want the extra room and can afford it then pay for it!
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# 8
Murphy_The_Cat
Old 22-02-2005, 8:51 AM
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Fatboy_NSS

you are correct about getting a bulk head stopping you sliding your legs forward.

But, if you were lucky enough to get a bulkhead seat you could at least get a lot more lateral movement and you would feel a lot less jammed in.

I had the misfortune to travel cattle class with BA from Nairobi - Heathrow. I was incapable of moving my legs in any direction and once the man in front reclined his seat I had the pleasure of my in flight screen less than a hand span from my face for a 9 hour flight. And he had to be woken up to enable me to eat my meal (not enough space for tray to open)

Disgusted

MTC

p.s. i don't know how easy it would be to do but........ find a way to cancel your tickets with BA (mabye under the distance seeling regulations) and rebook your flight with Air New Zealand who would offer you an extra 3" of leg room as standard. It may cost a few quid more, but certainly not 270.00 per section, per person that BA are wanting to charge you. Weigh up the pros and cons. A few extra quid to travel in comfort against possibly losing a few days of your holiday through discomfort brought on by your bad back being restricted by BA's seating policy.

p.s. on a quick search i found Heathrow - Sydney for 753.20 incl tax on Opodo flying with Air Zealand in June.




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# 9
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Old 22-02-2005, 8:59 AM
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Thai airways also give you 34 inch leg room. I'm sure they fly to Sydney (via BKK).

If you have a non flexible ticket I think the charge is 200 to cancel your ticket.
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# 10
Robert5988
Old 22-02-2005, 9:27 AM
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"Seats with extra leg room such as bulkheads and emergency exit seats are only allocated on day of departure."

That is not strictly correct. Those frequent flyer members with 'elite' status can pre-book those seats at the time of booking.

Also those who have a connecting flight can get those seats allocated when they turn up for the first flight - often hours before the desk opens for the main flight. e.g if flight is from London, a passenger flying down from, say, Glasgow can get a emergency exit seat for the flight from London allocated at Glasgow.
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# 11
Murphy_The_Cat
Old 22-02-2005, 10:50 AM
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rupenshah is absolutely right and Thai airlines would charge 639.30

MTC




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# 12
chalky_bertie
Old 22-02-2005, 3:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert5988
"Seats with extra leg room such as bulkheads and emergency exit seats are only allocated on day of departure."

That is not strictly correct. Those frequent flyer members with 'elite' status can pre-book those seats at the time of booking.

Also those who have a connecting flight can get those seats allocated when they turn up for the first flight - often hours before the desk opens for the main flight. e.g if flight is from London, a passenger flying down from, say, Glasgow can get a emergency exit seat for the flight from London allocated at Glasgow.

It's what I have been told by several airlines but they do have to see you if you sit on the emergency exit row.
**BERTIE**


Did you Know: It costs more than 325,000 a day to run the lifeboat service? (with no government funding) Please donate to the RNLI
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# 13
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Old 22-02-2005, 3:16 PM
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This is from personal experience with BA flying long haul to both Kenya and India. Both times used online check in and got good seats (as according to seatguru). Have had bulkhead seats, emergency exit seats and the seats right at the back (where they are only two per row). Am Exec club member, but only Blue.
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# 14
chalky_bertie
Old 22-02-2005, 3:21 PM
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Thanks for that rupenshah - i am only a blue member and wish to have those "better" seats this year (BA) so will use on-line check-in before we set off to airport.
**BERTIE**


Did you Know: It costs more than 325,000 a day to run the lifeboat service? (with no government funding) Please donate to the RNLI
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# 15
joa
Old 22-02-2005, 3:30 PM
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Default For Whizkid ...

At last, something I can help with (been reading this board for ages but never really been able to help before).

Partner and I off to Oz in 30 days time ... booked with Maylasian Airlines (34" seat pitch blah blah). Booked online as Dr instead of Miss. Apparently this is one of the best ways to get upgraded as they check the passenger list if economy starts to look full up. Also, top tip is to dress like you should be in 1st class .. I don't mean tuxedo or ball gown but nice casual clothes not including jeans.

For those of you thinking you may be called upon to give 1st aid on the plane if you book as a Doctor, think again .. there is more than 1 type of Dr .... I'm going to be doctor of psychology !

For places to stay .. we are staying at the Pacific International Hotel in Sydney, it's right near Central Station so easy travelling. We are paying $85 per room per night. There is cheaper available but we liked this one for his proximity to the traines/metros. (email them at hotel.sydney@pacificinthotels.com). I just asked them for a good deal and they gave me corporate rate. In Port Douglas we are staying at the Coral Apartments (stay 7 nights, pay for 6). Check them out at www.portdouglascoralapartments.com.au

The apartments are great as each of them have a washing machine as well as a dryer .. all good stuff. They're near to all of the restaurants and activities and all of the Reef tours pick up from Port Douglas too.

Have a great time, only 30 days to go for me before I get 4 weeks of fun in the sun !!
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# 16
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Old 22-02-2005, 4:13 PM
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Few things about the UK-OZ (Kangaroo) route.

It is one of the busiest routes for many airlines (BA, Quantus, Thai, Singapore, Malasyian, etc) as a result the flights are often packed. This could be good or bad news for free upgrades, as in there will not be any seats left at all.

Remember many airlines operate a four class strucuture meaning if by chance you get a free upgrade it will be only from one class to another (i.e. from economy to premium economy).

Free upgrades are very, very, very rare now (not saying its not possible though, but just it is an exception rather than a rule). Free upgrades will go to frequent fliers with staus (in frequent I mean top end people who fly alot, and not on cheap econ tickets but on full fare tickets).

Dress to look like you should be upgraded. Fair enough, that would normally mean wearing a suit or looking very smart. Considering you have a very long (about 22 hour) trip ahead of you it could get quite uncomfortable wearing a suit on the flight if you don't get upgraded. Also the suit is going to get seriously creased, you will have to pay for dry cleaning / pressing costs.

Free upgrades come about (if they do at all) if you are travelling alone, it is virtually impossible to get one if you are in a group (i.e. travelling with family).

Best way to get an upgrade, pay for it.
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# 17
margaret
Old 22-02-2005, 5:54 PM
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[QUOTE=joa]At last, something I can help with (been reading this board for ages but never really been able to help before).

Partner and I off to Oz in 30 days time ... booked with Maylasian Airlines (34" seat pitch blah blah). Booked online as Dr instead of Miss. Apparently this is one of the best ways to get upgraded as they check the passenger list if economy starts to look full up.





A colleague tried this trick also. He booked as Dr. However, they looked at his passport and called him 'Mr'. He was very embarrassed as he knew that they had realised his con.
It seems it is a popular thing to try and they look out for it! Another one is Rev.
I have been upgraded a few times, but my passport SAYS Dr. I worked hard for my Ph.D. We were delighted that he was caught out!
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# 18
joa
Old 23-02-2005, 8:23 AM
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Default passports names ...

My passport doesn't say Miss, Mrs, Dr or anything else ... how come?!!!!
Very strange, just has my first and last name and an F for female.

It probably won't work anyway as the person above quite rightly said that upgrades are rare nowadays ... mind you, my colleague did it and it worked for him and his partner so I'm up for trying it.
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# 19
mystic_trev
Old 23-02-2005, 10:01 AM
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There used to be a thread on this site called "the free upgrade hunt" or something! Unfortunately it appears to have gone missing - which is a shame as it had some interesting posts on it.

I'm a frequent flyer, averaging a flight a week (economy) so have seen most of the ways people have tried to get a free upgrade. Here a a few of the do's and dont's....mainly dont's!

Ask at check in - Waste of time as the average asking rate is about one in ten passengers.

Dress smartly - Only gives you an outside chance, and then you probably won't get the upgrade until you're at the gate.

Say you're to tall, or suffer from a medical condition - If you're fit to fly then tough - If you needed more legroom you should have paid for it!

Say you're a Doctor or a Security guard - No hope!

Know someone who works for the Airline - Good chance if there's availability and the friend has got someone to note your relationship on the booking.

Frequent flyer membership - Gives you a better chance.

Remember if you've got only paid for an economy ticket you have NO right to be upgraded, whatever your circumstances, if you do it's a bonus!

Now the good news? In the past year I've only been upgraded once on long haul. I arrived for a flight over 3 hours before departure to be told there were no aisle or window seats available as they had all been pre booked. I pointed out (very politely) that I'd done all that was reasonable in the circumstances and wasn't very happy. I then asked if there were any seats available anywhere else on the aircraft (yes I know it amounts to asking for an upgrade - but notice the way I politely put it!) I then got an imediate upgrade to Business which I was well happy! I know it also helped that I was traveling alone, this gives you the best chance of being upgraded - Familes, you can forget even thinking about it!

So 50 flights and only one upgrade - What about the rest? Well on about half the flights I travel on I'm able to get the better seats in economy - how? It's a skill you develop over time and using a bit of psychology. When checking in be polite and friendly. Let's face it a job at a check in counter aint the best in the World. Putting on a friendly manner and a smile really does help, but don't go over the top!
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# 20
joa
Old 23-02-2005, 11:38 AM
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Fabulous !! I love the 'have you got seats elsewhere on the airplane' .. that's great !

One question .. why would someone say they are a security guard?! I know I've put myself down as Dr but really, security guard?! ha

BTW, one way to get seats together without paying extra on short haul or Florida (so far) is to be a veggie or at least book a veggie meal for both journeys. I always do this as I'm a veggie and we always get our seats prebooked for some reason .. I presume so they know where we are to hand us our thrown together meals !

Have fun everyone. I will, even if we are in economy !!
Ken Livingstone is my mum
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