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Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

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Adelaide
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131 posts
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Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

Hi, my husband are travelling to Hawaii and Alaska in September for our 19th Wedding Anniversay.

How hard or hard easy is it to get an upgrade with the airlines, namely Hawaiian Arlines, Alaskan Airlines and Northwest Airlines.

You see so much about people asking for upgrades buyt I wanted to know do they really exist and if anyone can provide any tips on possibily getting one. Do they charge for this or can you score free upgrades. Same deal with hotels, namely the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We stay there every 2 years and never been game or cheeky enough to ask for an upgrade.

Some advise or tips would realy help.

Rockport...
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1. Re: Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

If an upgrade is available, Hawaiian Airlines will offer it to you during check-in. The upgrade is not free, but is less than paying full price. I don't remember exactly what we paid, but want to say it was around $400/each from hnl to lax.

Saratoga Springs...
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2. Re: Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

We have a friend that works for an airline, and she recently told us that you will never get a free upgrade on an airline. If there is an empty first class seat you might be able to PURCHASE the seat, but it will never be GIVEN away. My SIL hurt her back pretty bad on a recent vacation, she even had a "doctor's note" and the airline still wouldn't upgrade her seat unless she paid for it. As far as hotels go, it will depend on the occupancy rate, if there are a ton of empty rooms they may upgrade you. Be sure to join any "frequent guest" programs you can, they are all free and might help.

My best advice is to always pay for what you REALLY want, then if any extras come along, it will be that much better, but it won't adversely affect your trip if get your hopes shot down, remember, most people on vacation in Hawaii are celebrating something special, honeymoons, anniversaries, milestone birthdays, etc., they can't all get freebies.

santa cruz
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2,313 posts
45 reviews
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3. Re: Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

I've seen the Hawaiian upgrade price go up ad down in the pass. I've seen it as low as $200 each.

I'd check in early and if you can live with the price go for it. It would be a nice way to start out your special trip.

As far as hotels are concerned it seems that it's harder these days to get a free upgrade. With so many people celebrating something special with a trip to Hawaii I guess I can understand. I'd maybe call ahead to check on your reservation and mention what you will be celebrating with the agent.

congrats on your 19 years! we're celebrating 18 years this summer!

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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19 reviews
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4. Re: Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

On Hawaiian: You don't have to wait until check-in to purchase an upgrade to first class ... but if you buy your ticket with miles, you cannot upgrade with miles.

Airlines let the first class seats go empty unless someone buys them.

Don't get your heart set on hotel upgrades - however, in situations like your loyalty to HHV, it pays to bring to their attention that you are a loyal guest. They won't figure that out on their own. It doesn't hurt to ask, nor does it hurt to FAX the hotel (many don't bother to reply to e-mails) a couple weeks in advance and let them know that you would appreciate a free upgrade - and mention a special occassion. I mention "free" because I have had hotels upgrade us and assume that we wanted to pay for the priviledge. You live and learn ... and sometimes get good deals.

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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53 reviews
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5. Re: Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

I was upgraded once to First Class on NWA but it was a situational thing. A , how shall I say this....person of large size had the seat next to mine and there was no way she was going to fit between the arm rests. The plane was full except for one first class seat. This person insisted upon being upgraded as I had pretty much refused to lift the armrest and have her take half my seat. She was really giving the attendant a lot of grief and finally the attendant asked me to get up and promptly escorted me to first class. Other than that I have never been given an free upgrade. NWA will offer a discount at the last minute if seats are available but with less flights these days and people upgrading with miles first class is generally booked up.

As to a room upgrade, it costs nothing to ask and if they have a room available you might get it. Best bet (as someone said) book what you want (like partial ocean view) and if you snag an upgrade to full ocean view be thankful.

Guildford, United...
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6. Re: Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

If for any reason you're plane is delayed or there is some sort of other interruption, by all means try the sob story that it is meant to be a special occassion and they've ruined the start etc!!!! as a friend of mine recently flew with BA and got a free upgrade to first class as she had a sprained ankle and said her foot had to be elevated and her flight was only delayed by a couple of hours (so i guess it is always worth checking!!!!)

Also, with the hotel, a lot of them offer Romance/Honeymoon Packages - why not contact the hotel and ask them if they run any of these programs? If you mention how loyal you have been over the years, they may offer you a free/cheaper upgrade without it seeming as though you are evn asking for one!!

Good luck, and post back to let everyone know how you got on, and congrats on the 19 years - I am getting married in hawaii next year, so would like to think in 19 years we could go back too!!!!!

Edina, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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31 reviews
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7. Re: Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

Northwest will upgrade a coach ticket for 35,000 miles per person. They usually limit that to 2-4 seats per plane, so these are hard to get. I always try to book them 352 days in advance (the first day they allow booking).

Portland, Oregon
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1,957 posts
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8. Re: Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

You can get free upgrades on Northwest--if you are an elite frequent flyer, if the stars align, and if there's room, which there usually isn't. Otherwise, you will have to pay, either in $$$ or with miles. But Dr. V is right; getting seats on upgrade is tricky, especially to Hawaii, and you'd need to book early, and check to see if any upgradeable seats are even available when you purchase.

I have read on Flyertalk.com and other air travel forums that even asking for a free upgrade upon check-in will automatically disqualify you, so keep that in mind. Again, the airlines want their money, and passengers wanting something for nothing get nowhere with them.

The guy in front of us last summer got moved to first class from coach, but only because they were trying to find seats for a family with young children to sit together in coach, and they needed him to move. He was quite happy!

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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53 reviews
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9. Re: Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

Actually lexigirl that is not exactly correct.

"Your WorldPerks Elite status may be used to upgrade travel on the domestic portion of an international itinerary. Only the U.S. mainland portion of your itinerary is eligible for upgrade travel to or from Hawaii via a gateway connecting flight when a change of flight number exists."

So you could get an upgrade from say ORD to LAX but then it is back in coach for the flight to Hawaii from LAX if there are two different flight numbers.

Palm Springs...
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103 reviews
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10. Re: Hawaiian Airlines Upgrades

there are never , well 99.9999 % against a free upgrade. and on domestic flights....forget it on International like from OZ to Hawaii . ( 8-9 hours)

I got a comp up grade once in 30 years of flying out of London to SFO....however I eas on a 'full fare-non discount ticket" and Was flying over 200,000 miles a year with that airline.... and had a cargo contract with them as well.

Buy the up grade while they are still available...its a long flight.....Check Seat guru for details...Hawaiian has the smallest first class seats with not much more recline than coach. Bit its better than coach.