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    Former MSE Lawrence
    Have you ever been upgraded on a flight? Poll results/discussion
    • #1
    • 2nd Jun 08, 10:28 AM
    Have you ever been upgraded on a flight? Poll results/discussion 2nd Jun 08 at 10:28 AM
    Poll Started 2 June 2008:


    Have you ever been upgraded on a flight?


    It’s the holy grail of all travellers to hear those glorious words “we’re upgrading you" - yet how often does it really happen? Have you ever been upgraded from economy to premium economy, business, or even first class?


    Which of these is closest to your experience?

    Never/rarely fly - 19% (1701 votes)
    I fly enough, but never been upgraded - 50% (4379 votes)
    Been upgraded once - without asking - 19% (1652 votes)
    Been upgraded once – we asked - 4% (374 votes)
    Been upgraded once – as compensation for not going on overbooked flight - 4% (312 votes)
    Get upgraded regularly - 4% (388 votes)


    Voting has now closed, but you can still click 'post reply' to discuss below.

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    Last edited by Former MSE Lawrence; 09-06-2008 at 1:18 PM.
Page 1
  • sdooley
    • #2
    • 2nd Jun 08, 2:31 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Jun 08, 2:31 PM
    Another option - fly only on budget airlines...
    • Tojo Ralph
    • By Tojo Ralph 2nd Jun 08, 2:51 PM
    • 7,841 Posts
    • 12,268 Thanks
    Tojo Ralph
    • #3
    • 2nd Jun 08, 2:51 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Jun 08, 2:51 PM
    It’s the holy grail of all travellers to hear those glorious words “we’re upgrading you" - yet how often does it really happen? Have you ever been upgraded from economy to premium economy, business, or even first class?
    Originally posted by MSE Lawrence

    And just how are the poll results going to answer the question? :confused:

    Never/rarely fly....
    So that's zero upgrades out of near zero flights.

    I fly enough, but never been upgraded....
    So that's zero upgrades out of an unknown quantity of flights.

    Been upgraded once - without asking....
    So that's one upgrade out of an unknown quantity of flights.

    Been upgraded once – we asked....
    So that's one upgrade out of an unknown quantity of flights.

    Been upgraded once – as compensation for not going on overbooked flight.
    So that's one upgrade for a specific reason out of an unknown quantity of flights.

    Been upgraded more than once.... (Had it been included)
    So that's an unknown quantity of upgrades out of an an unknown quantity of flights.

    Get upgraded regularly....
    So that's an unknown quantity of upgrades out of an an unknown quantity of flights.

    So how often do upgrades actually occur? :confused:
    Last edited by Tojo Ralph; 02-06-2008 at 3:30 PM.
    The MSE Dictionary
    Loophole - A word used to entice people to read clearly written Terms and Conditions.
    Rip Off - Clearly written Terms and Conditions.
    Terms and Conditions - Otherwise known as a loophole or a rip off.
  • t_fairy
    • #4
    • 2nd Jun 08, 3:47 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Jun 08, 3:47 PM
    I have recently been upgraded for the first time in my flying career!
    My family have lived in various countries so I have probably flown long haul about 30 times in my life, and on a recent work trip to NY I got upgraded on my outbound flight from economy to premium economy.
    3 of my colleagues were also on the same flight and they all got upgraded too, and the only thing we have in common is that we hold Virgin Silver cards, and as far as Virgin knew, we were individual passengers.
    I think from my understanding they had overbooked economy and had upgraded their "loyal" customers.
  • Plum Pie
    • #5
    • 2nd Jun 08, 4:06 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Jun 08, 4:06 PM
    I make 1 round trip by plane per year have been upgraded once, in 2005.

    I'd bought a bargain flight from London to Shanghai via Travelocity, economy class in Air France and arrived very late for my return flight (I was flying in the evening and beer is very cheap in China ). I was in a right state as I thought I might have to buy a second ticket. (I'm not a very experienced traveller!) The AF staff member didn't bat an eye and just said 'There's no room on the flight you booked, so we will put you in business class on the next flight'. Result!

    (Apart from waking up half way across Russia with a storming hangover and thinking I had SARS.)
  • bunking_off
    • #6
    • 2nd Jun 08, 4:51 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Jun 08, 4:51 PM
    Off the top of my head, been upgraded about half a dozen times.

    Used to have a BA silver card. Flew about 10-15 times a year, mainly in Europe.

    ...we both got upgraded on a return from Paris after my getting down on one knee for the (then future) missus. Didn't ask for an upgrade, it was either happy co-incidence or they spotted I was travelling on leisure for once.

    ...we both got upgraded from premium economy to business both ways on the honeymoon, after I mentioned the purpose of the trip.

    I did once manage to act as a complete numpty on a flight back from Japan. Had been out on the pop the night before, had a thick head, and when told at the gate they were having to move me I objected as I wanted to chat with my mate on the way back. It was only when I looked carefully at the tickets I realised I'd turned down an upgrade from business to first...D'oh!

    Times have changed now & I don't fly much. However, given the choice of constant flying and the odd upgrade versus flight once in a blue moon and no upgrade, I'll take the latter anytime. The current BMI advert is truer than you can possibly believe...
    I really must stop loafing and get back to work...
    • pkempc
    • By pkempc 2nd Jun 08, 5:35 PM
    • 123 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    pkempc
    • #7
    • 2nd Jun 08, 5:35 PM
    Have you ever been upgraded on a flight?
    • #7
    • 2nd Jun 08, 5:35 PM
    Only once - flying with Virgin Atlantic & returning from a military exercise in SoCal six of us were upgraded from cattle straight into Upper!

    Lie flat beds, edible food, unlimited free bar, massage & some rather posh socks which I've still got. Almost as good as kipping in a hammock in the back of a 'fat albert'!

    It's good to know that Richard Branson appreciates the forces even if HMG doesn't.
    Assume 1st – then check the facts!
    • frugalpam
    • By frugalpam 2nd Jun 08, 8:34 PM
    • 2,237 Posts
    • 4,844 Thanks
    frugalpam
    • #8
    • 2nd Jun 08, 8:34 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Jun 08, 8:34 PM
    I've been upgraded once - without asking I'd flown from Manchester to Atlanta cattle class, but was offered a free upgrade from Atlanta to Tucson, to business class. It was HEAVEN to be able to lie flat and sleep - but by doing so I missed out on the free drinks, good food etc

    On the Manchester to Atlanta leg of the journey though - a guy came up (who was in Business Class) and was chatting to the guy sitting next to me. Turned out they were long lost buddies. He asked me if I wanted to swap seats - free exchange for me to travel the 9 hour flight business class. The air steward wouldn't let us do the exchange as it said it was 'against health and safety policy' :confused:
  • Maisie
    • #9
    • 2nd Jun 08, 8:40 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Jun 08, 8:40 PM
    We were upgraded to business class on a flight Heathrow/Los Angeles.

    We had checked in and waiting for the flight when an announcement came over the speakers asking us to report to the desk.
    Were most surprised when they asked if we wanted to go business class.
    • Rtype
    • By Rtype 2nd Jun 08, 10:51 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Rtype
    I get upgraded on every flight, but thats only because my other half is cabin crew
    She says that it happens very rarely and the only time it does is when the airline have made a mistake or the cabin crew have an extraordinary reason i.e. honeymoon etc..
    Nice to save.
    • whowants2brich
    • By whowants2brich 3rd Jun 08, 7:47 AM
    • 483 Posts
    • 1,165 Thanks
    whowants2brich
    I once flew across Australia with Quantus, my parents were in business and I was in economy. I checked in with my parents, in the business check-in desk, yet they didn't even think of upgrading me at all, she happily checked me in for cattle class.

    We then found out that my parents were the only people in the business class part of the flight, so the cabin crew let me go up and sit there for a few minutes to talk to them... rather than being at the back on my own. Still, didn't get any of the food/drink...

    I've never been upgraded, though have a honeymoon to get through next year so we shall see how all that goes!
  • hnswst
    pure luck
    I was upgraded once from steerage to business. BA Gatwick to Baltimore. Pure chance. I got to the desk just after the last economy seat was filled. I'm inclined to think that all the 'how to get upgraded' advice is nonsense
  • teddyco
    Flying with Delta Airlines in 2006 Gatwick/Atlanta and asked to be upgraded. I am 6.5 feet tall and have trouble with economy seats. Was friendly with check in person and they agreed to move us from economy to business class. As a result, I always ask for an upgrade but don't always have success.
    • oldagetraveller
    • By oldagetraveller 3rd Jun 08, 12:53 PM
    • 3,306 Posts
    • 1,803 Thanks
    oldagetraveller
    Often, as part of my job, economy airline travel was required. On every occasion at check-in I ALWAYS asked (very nicely) if there was any chance of an upgrade.
    50% of the time it worked. You usually get nowt if you don't ask
    R.I.P. U.K. Democracy.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 3rd Jun 08, 5:48 PM
    • 8,115 Posts
    • 42,285 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    And just how are the poll results going to answer the question? :confused:

    Never/rarely fly....
    So that's zero upgrades out of near zero flights.

    I fly enough, but never been upgraded....
    So that's zero upgrades out of an unknown quantity of flights.

    Been upgraded once - without asking....
    So that's one upgrade out of an unknown quantity of flights.

    Been upgraded once – we asked....
    So that's one upgrade out of an unknown quantity of flights.

    Been upgraded once – as compensation for not going on overbooked flight.
    So that's one upgrade for a specific reason out of an unknown quantity of flights.

    Been upgraded more than once.... (Had it been included)
    So that's an unknown quantity of upgrades out of an an unknown quantity of flights.

    Get upgraded regularly....
    So that's an unknown quantity of upgrades out of an an unknown quantity of flights.

    So how often do upgrades actually occur? :confused:
    Originally posted by Tojo Ralph
    It isn't going to answer the question "how often do upgrades actually occur" its giong to answer the questions "how many people have been upgraded".

    Answering how often it occurs isn't possible with our poll software.. I deliberately set the question this way to get a flavour of scale not exact numbers... of course it misses recency as well... yet there are still many interesting notes to be drawn...
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 3rd Jun 08, 6:12 PM
    • 13,549 Posts
    • 18,824 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    When I used to work at Marconi and we travelled to our German offices on business, we'd always hoped that our boss Tony would be flying with us - as I was told that his party always seemed to get an upgrade...

    Although that was usually coming back, as he had German surname from his ancestry.
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021
  • teddyco
    Martin,
    You were successful in pounding the banks to get unfair charges reduced.
    Perhaps you could work on the government in getting legislation on the size of economy seating aboard long haul flights?
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 3rd Jun 08, 6:40 PM
    • 13,549 Posts
    • 18,824 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    teddy, that would require international legislation to make it fully standard across the globe: a UK law (I think) would only apply to carriers who operate out of the UK. Although convincing the EU would take a lot of buying of coffees and biscuits...

    I like the idea though!
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021
    • Tojo Ralph
    • By Tojo Ralph 3rd Jun 08, 7:13 PM
    • 7,841 Posts
    • 12,268 Thanks
    Tojo Ralph
    Answering how often it occurs isn't possible with our poll software.
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    I note your point with regard to how many folk have been upgraded at any point in time, however I have mistaken the question to be the one in the opening blurb which asks how often do flight upgrades really happen? .... a question that is not going to be answered.

    To answer the how many folk have been upgraded at any point in time question, Yes and No would have done.

    I deliberately set the question this way to get a flavour of scale not exact numbers... of course it misses recency as well... yet there are still many interesting notes to be drawn.
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    The problem is that you won't get a flavour of scale and of frequency at which flight upgrades really happen.... You will only get the percentage of people who have been upgraded at some point in their life.
    Last edited by Tojo Ralph; 03-06-2008 at 7:30 PM.
    The MSE Dictionary
    Loophole - A word used to entice people to read clearly written Terms and Conditions.
    Rip Off - Clearly written Terms and Conditions.
    Terms and Conditions - Otherwise known as a loophole or a rip off.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 3rd Jun 08, 7:31 PM
    • 8,115 Posts
    • 42,285 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    I note your point with regard to how many folk have been upgraded at any point in time, however I have mistaken the question to be the one in the opening blurb which asks how often do flight upgrades really happen? .... a question that is not going to be answered.

    To answer the how many folk have been upgraded at any point in time question, Yes and No would have done.



    The problem is that you won't get a flavour of scale and of how often flight upgrades really happen.... You will only get the number or rather the number and percentage of people who have been upgraded at some point in their life.
    Originally posted by Tojo Ralph

    Point taken on the title...

    Yet what I wanted from this poll (as I intend to update the upgrades article) is that there is a realistic and possible chance of an upgrade. Yet I certainly do not intend to suggest there's a probable chance. It does mean for those intent on it - it is somethign that does happen.

    Of ocurse we're doing lots of other work on it too - but this poll is really helpful
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
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