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Ever Get Bumped to First Class When Flying?

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I've heard situations where people flying economy have gotten bumped up to first class.


How does that happen and is there a way I can encourage that to happen?

(I've heard dressing nicely, believe it or not, is one way).


Is this all true?


 
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I've been bumped to first class on inter-island flights b/c the desk agents recognized me. A lot of it was familiarity & friendliness so it definitely helped.

Internationally, I was bumped up to first & enjoyed every minute of it. It definitely helps if you're dressed well & polite to desk agents. I can't say if they can track your flying history upon check-in, but I assume frequent flyer miles help.

 

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I think dressing nice might have something to do with it. I was flying with a huge group of people for my work and 2 girls got bumped up to 1st class and it was funny because they were the best dressed girls. They look like they have money, they like to act like that too so I think they were spotted by the airline. This didn't happen only once but twice during this trip and it was the same 2 girls. I don't know how they do it but it was kind of odd that it was these 2 girls both times.

 
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So if my husband & I go on vacation this year, I'll have to dig out my very best. Hmmm....how do you dress like "first class-ish" when you're flying to the caribbean? No jeans, no track suits....that's simple....shorts? khaki's???

let's hear some suggestions (I'm on mission here
)

 
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I'd do linen pants, espadrille wedges, cami/tank & a hip jacket or cardi. A nice flowing skirt w/a lightweight sweater & strappy sandals would be good. No open tank tops & rubber flip-flops. IMO, khakis might be too casual for an upgrade.

I say as long as you're dressed fashionably & not in shorts, your chances are better. Don't bother w/a suit b/c it just doesn't fit in properly for the climate. An upgrade to business class isn't all that bad either.


 
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Ooh!! Thanks for the tips. I'll remember those.
Now I just gotta tell my husband to NOT wear jeans on the plane which he always does.

 
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I would think your clothing absolutely has something to do with getting bumped up to first class. The airlines would probably want you to blend in with the others. First class is supposed to be high class, right?


 
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Originally Posted by Amethyst Ooh!! Thanks for the tips. I'll remember those.
Now I just gotta tell my husband to NOT wear jeans on the plane which he always does. If you're flying to the Caribbean,(chances are slim to none) its very hard cause most of the seats on the plane to that destination are packed..
I've been going every single year for the past 8-9 - and the one time I got bumped to first class was because 2 of my friends work for American Airlines @ JFK Airport and were able to do it, because a couple of seats were available, and the rest of the plane was full. I made sure I saw them before I checked in, cause they had to do some changes on the computer prior to me going to the desk to board.

Regulations and security are very tight, ever since 9-1-1, doesn't matter who you know, you can't get away with what you use to be able to get away with..My friends who are in Special Services at the airport can no longer do it for me, nor anyone else.

Hey, You can't even board a plane now with a cigarette lighter, - they take that away!!!

The best way of getting bumped, is Get Voluntarily Bumped: Those who volunteer to give up their seats in oversold situations not only get discounted, or free round trip tickets or other compensation, but will often end up in first class on the next flight out if coach is also oversold on that flight.

Another thing....you can always do is - write the airline if something wasn't "right" on your flight - (ex: taking off late, -not weather related), lost luggage, missed a connecting flight due to their fault, or any bad experience. And you will 9 times outta 10 be compensated...I know for sure, cause I did it twice, and one time received $500 credit, and a $250 credit towards another flight to be used within one year..They gave me vouchers of which I applied towards my future trips... Good Luck, & Hope to see ya in Paradise !


 
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With men, it's harder. I would think that a nice pair of casual trousers (non-twill khakis from Gap) would be sufficient. You just don't want to look like everyone else, but more put together. For some reason, I'm envisioning a Hampton's preppy look--something cool & hip that Puffy would wear.

This w/either a short-sleeved shirt &/or jacket:



Or this w/a pair of navy trousers & non-see-through shirt:



Or variations of these:









IMO, as long as he's not wearing a cotton pair of khakis, sneakers & either a t-shirt or generic everyday polo, he's got a better chance of getting upgraded.

 
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I've been bumped twice. I never really considered that it had anything to do with my clothes, but I was dressed nice both times. Once I was in dressy clothes (iirc, I was on a business trip) and the other time, I was casual, but still looked quite nice - I guess it was preppy-casual. I always thought it was because I am very friendly with everyone. Who knew?!


Originally Posted by Amethyst I've heard situations where people flying economy have gotten bumped up to first class.

How does that happen and is there a way I can encourage that to happen?

(I've heard dressing nicely, believe it or not, is one way).


Is this all true?


 
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I usually fly first class on NWA. My husband has a platinum elite status therefore we always get bumped up if there is open first class seats (which there usually are). AS for the dressing up bit I don't really think it matters. YOu should see how some of the other first class passengers are dressed. Some of them look like complete slobs. I think a lot of the time the ticket agents simpy look in the computer to find solo flyers and then ask them it they like to be upgraded. For example a couple of months ago my mom flew out to Las Vegas to meet her sister and right before they were about to take off an agent came onto the plane to ask if she wanted to sit in first class, of course she said yes. Now my mom is a sweatsuit type of traveler so it definately was not her clothing.

Also, it certainly helps just asking if there is any availability and being kind to the ticket agents. They have the power to put you in first class or the last aisle next to the bathroom. LOL

 
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Wow - these are all such great tips - thanks everyone!

I'm always nice to any airline personnel. However, I'm also a nervous-white-knuckle-flyer, so maybe they sense my tension or see the terrified look on my face sitting there waiting to be called to seating.


K*O* - I usually go to the Carib once a year - I see you're a Carib-lover too (just noticed your name under your screen name)


I've never flown first. It would be nice to experience it for the extra leg room, etc., etc.

 
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Originally Posted by K*O* If you're flying to the Caribbean,(chances are slim to none) its very hard cause most of the seats on the plane to that destination are packed..
I've been going every single year for the past 8-9 - and the one time I got bumped to first class was because 2 of my friends work for American Airlines @ JFK Airport and were able to do it, because a couple of seats were available, and the rest of the plane was full. I made sure I saw them before I checked in, cause they had to do some changes on the computer prior to me going to the desk to board.

Regulations and security are very tight, ever since 9-1-1, doesn't matter who you know, you can't get away with what you use to be able to get away with..My friends who are in Special Services at the airport can no longer do it for me, nor anyone else.

Hey, You can't even board a plane now with a cigarette lighter, - they take that away!!!

The best way of getting bumped, is Get Voluntarily Bumped: Those who volunteer to give up their seats in oversold situations not only get discounted, or free round trip tickets or other compensation, but will often end up in first class on the next flight out if coach is also oversold on that flight.

Another thing....you can always do is - write the airline if something wasn't "right" on your flight - (ex: taking off late, -not weather related), lost luggage, missed a connecting flight due to their fault, or any bad experience. And you will 9 times outta 10 be compensated...I know for sure, cause I did it twice, and one time received $500 credit, and a $250 credit towards another flight to be used within one year..They gave me vouchers of which I applied towards my future trips... Good Luck, & Hope to see ya in Paradise !


WOW, that was facinating! I would never have known all that goes on in Airports and people are given first classs seats if they dress right. I do sometimes wacth a programme called Airport and like KO said, if you write a letter complaining about something they usually refund you or give you creidt.I saw that happen the other day when teenager's terrorised fellow passenger's.Funnily enough it was an American Airport and not (Heathrow) as it sometimes is on the programme.The Chigago police were called in (and they were looking mighty sexy with their hats and SEXY accents. Paradise here i come!
 
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I went twice on a plane, and it was 50 and 100 seats to go and back from Ireland. So I don't know, there wasn't 1rst or 2nd classe.


 
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I've never been bumped for free. But when you get to the airport to check in you can pay a very nominal fee to get first class if they are available.

When I flew back from Fairbanks, the week before our flight I asked about upgrading to first class. I was told $1500 a PERSON. But if I waited to the day we check in it would only be $50 a person. We waited and then paid the $50 a person when we got there. It was so worth it. You take a chance but it's cheap and worth it if you can get it.

 
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Wow - that sounds like a good plan. I just might do that. If its only $50. then its worth it.

thanks for the tip!


 
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Originally Posted by Charmaine Oh thanks for bumping this! I was just reading my lastest issue of Glamour or Cosmo, and I saw they had a few silly tips to get bumped up when flying. One of them, they said, works better if you're alone...pretend that you're on your honeymoon and that your fiancee dumped you for a stripper! LOL! when i went on my honeymoon, USAIR said "we dont upgrade for that anymore". I was like, ok. whatever.. You have to check with the airlines, cuz some of them, if you are not an "elite" member, they wont let you. Its stupid, i know. I flew FC to Alabama, i was by myself I check availability when i got there .and able to upgrade on the self service kiosk...
 
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So what's the right way to go about doing this? Just walk up to the check-in counter in the airport and say "you have any empties in first class?"


seriously, I'd like to know - don't wanna make a fool out of myself.


 
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