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Upgrades on Airlines

Rhode Island
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Upgrades on Airlines

I'm travelling to Maui and Kauai for my honeymoon in about 3 weeks. We are coming from Boston, MA. We are hoping to get an upgrade to first on any of the different flights. Anyone ever have this happen? We thought we would just keep saying that we were going on our honeymoon and hope for the best. Thanks for your help.

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Elk Rapids, Michigan
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for Lanai
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1. Re: Upgrades on Airlines

I don't want to pop your ballon jazz6661 but about half the people going to Hawaii are going for a honeymoon.

As to getting an upgrade, every flight I have been on first class has been totally full. People tend to use their frequent flyer miles to get up there for their vaction/honeymoon/celebration.

Having said that I suppose there is a very slim chance you might hit the right time, right person, right flight to get an upgrade. Be nice at check in. Inquire if there is any possibility of an upgrade (that would be when you mention it is your honeymoon). You might also ask if they could put you on a standby list for a free upgrade. It is possible (again a very slim chance) that a couple may miss the flight and leave two seats open.

No matter if you make it up front or not you will love Hawaii...congrats on the upcoming nuptuals.

One other possibility is, if you are a frequent flyer on the airline you are taking you may be able to purchase a fairly cheap first class upgrade voucher on ebay. I have never done that but have noticed them for sale there so assume others have.

Kihei, Hawaii
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2. Re: Upgrades on Airlines

I sincerely doubt you will be able to smooze an upgrade. I fly between this rock and the mainland every couple weeks and I have a hard time upgrading with my miles. Most times the flights are full of paying customers, but I have been unable to upgrade with my miles on flights with available seats because the airline has told me there were no more upgradeable seats. Of course, if I was willing to pay for the upgrade...

Only once in my travels have I seen flight attendants upgrade a coach passenger to first class and that involved a full flight and a child sitting in the exit aisle.

Edina, Minnesota
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for Lanai
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3. Re: Upgrades on Airlines

Yes, I have to agree with the other comments. I am usually able to get an upgrade on NWA from Minneapolis using miles. But I have to book the ticket 350 days in advance to snag a couple of the maybe 4 seats per flight they offer for upgrade. It is now about $4000 for a first class ticket from MSP to HNL on Northwest, and the airline would like to sell as many of those as possible - especially now that they are in chapter 11. You never know, you may be a lucky person, but if you are that lucky, I would invest in a couple of lottery tickets. Then you could pay for the 1st class tickets.

Ocala, Florida
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4. Re: Upgrades on Airlines

My son and his new bride, flying Delta to Maui for their honeymoon were indeed lucky enough to get upgraded to first class! The had a wonderful time on the flight, receiving free vouchers for drinks and just being pampered in general. They mentioned that this was their honeymoon when they asked if anyone would be willing to be bumped on the overbooked flight. I guess since they didn't want to be bumped, they put them in the only available seats left...first class! I can tell you that this was only the start of what turned out to be the most wonderful, still talked about vacation of their lives! I hope your honeymoon will be as wonderful. Congratulations!

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Birmingham, Alabama
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5. Re: Upgrades on Airlines

I fly a lot and I've never been able to upgrade .... however, if you are supernice, it might happen ... you never know. Probably depends on how full the flight is and on what airline you are flying. (If Delta, I'd bet no .... but others seem to have had okay experiences.)

One other suggestion -- and I am just guessing at this -- but if you can get into the airline club (Delta Crown Room, etc.) (maybe buy a day pass?) you might talk someone there into upgrading you. They seem to have more power than the typical gate agents.

If you don't get the upgrade, though, no worries -- first class isn't what it used to be, but Hawaii is :) You won't be missing much by sitting in coach and you'll have a wonderful time!

If you are taking the red-eye home, I sometimes find that sitting on an empty row in coach (where you can stretch out) is better than sitting in first class. (Depends on the first class seats and how full the plane is. Some first class cabins have the seats that almost lay flat ... others just have bigger seats than coach. You can see what your flights have at www.seatguru.com.

If you fly coach, pick up some food in the airport. I've given up on coach-class airline food. YUCK!

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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6. Re: Upgrades on Airlines

2 options:

1. Pay for the upgrade at the ticket counter with:

a. cash

b. freq flyer miles

2. If coach is really overbooked and they have open seats in first class, you can volunter to give up your coach seats. The risk is if there are not any open first class seats, you get left behind with a voucher in hand instead of your butt in seat.

I see option 1.b happen almost everyday to Maui, occasionally option 2 will work, better do your homework.......hint......hint if you want to try this.

Mike in Tulsa

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Rhode Island
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7. Re: Upgrades on Airlines

Thanks for your replies everyone. I knew it was a long shot but thought if enough of you said it had happened for you - then maybe!! My fiance is going to look into using his miles for an upgrade but I think it may be too late for that. I just have to gear up for a long, long flight to paradise!!

Asheville, North...
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8. Re: Upgrades on Airlines

I've had all sorts of adventures with upgrades. As for simply asking because it is your honeymoon, well, heck, asking doesn't cost anything! Plus you are going in October, not what I would think would be the busiest time of year. Ask away! Remember, courtesy is contagious.

I have been upgraded to first class most often when being voluntarily bumped to a later flight. I almost always ask about overbooking, and so far this year have gotten voluntarily bumped three times. One of those resulted in a first class seat on a later flight.

As for my honeymoon next summer, I booked it 329 days in advance of my return trip using both his and hers frequent flier miles for first class round trip tickets. I have since seen on the "check available seating" web page for the airline that six more seats have been booked on the same flights. Want to bet how many of those are frequent flier redemptions?

Best of luck to you, I hope you get your upgrade.