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Has anybody tried this for a discount

Indianapolis...
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Has anybody tried this for a discount

Will be flying to Europe in April 2013. Hubby realy wants to fly 1'st class, however I am a little frugel and can't see paying aprox. $5000.00 each.

Have read tips online about asking to upgrade to 1'st class upon check in if available at a big discount (we have done this succesfully on a domestic flight).

Another option is to search for a Z fare although I will be booking as far in advance as possible so I don't expect those fares available at the early booking. But not certain as I've never heard of this until researching today.

My ? is have any of you done this and what was your success rate, and how do I go about it booking online?

Of course I expect no upgrade but would consider us lucky to even have the option for a discounted 1'st class fare.

Thanks for any and all advice.

Llandudno North...
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1. Re: Has anybody tried this for a discount

Transatlantic upgrades to 1st are rarer than rocking horse sh*t.

When they do become available they go firstly to any FF with elite or gold or equivalent status.

Next they would go to anyone in business class at a reduced price.

So to stand any sort of a chance you would probably need to buy a business class ticket and then ask at the gate for a price for upgrade or hope the whole aircraft, bar first is full so they move people up a class starting at economy all the way up to business.

Chances of this less than 1% but, there is no harm in asking.

If you were thinking of purchasing a economy ticket and asking to buy an upgrade to 1st your chances I would say would be 0%

Good luck

:-)

Stuttgart, Germany
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2. Re: Has anybody tried this for a discount

Do you really mean international first class or domestic first/intl.business?

Which airline do you want to fly? do you have any status with them?

uk
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3. Re: Has anybody tried this for a discount

As mentioned above, what class do you want to fly? I am guessing Business Class based on the fares you mention.

Transatlantic, airline dependant, four classes of service are offered, Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First.

Many airlines do try and sell upgrades on the day at a reduced price if they have cabin availability but this is dependant on a lot of factors.

In most cases you can only buy an upgrade by one class, so if you have an EC ticket, it would be highly unlikely you could upgrade to First.

In terms of actual experience, I've done a few TA flights with USAirways recently and at OLCI I've been offered to chance to upgrade from EC to their BC offering Envoy Class for $399 and $599 (this is a two class aircraft) out of Manchester. I have star alliance Gold Status however so this may have been a factor. I declined on both occassions as I'm happy in EC for short day time pond hops.

I also frequently travel with British Airways and when I check in at Manchester, UK (my home airport), they are usually offering upgrades to the World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) cabin for around £200, subject to availability. I have never seen such an offering at LHR however and believe that such offers are more frequent at outstations.

I have also enjoyed quite a few upgrades in my time but I am a frequent flier and it has always been with an airline (or alliance) with whom I have had top status. It is unlikely that you will get a free upgrade without status but I aknowledge that this isn't something you claim to be looking for.

In summary I would say that my experience points to pay for upgrades being available on the day but are the exception rather than the norm, especially on very popular routes.

If you really want to fly First, the only way you can gaurentee it is to pay for it.

uk
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4. Re: Has anybody tried this for a discount

Actually, just remembered Emirates did upgrade me from EC to business once and I don't have status with them so miracles can happen!

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Has anybody tried this for a discount

We got upgraded from Business to First once with Emirates, and without even asking. We had no special status with Emirates apart from having bought Australia-Europe round trip tickets in Business.

But it was a short-haul trip from Madrid to Dubai, and First on that plane was not as good as Business on the long-haul A380.

Dublin, Ireland
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6. Re: Has anybody tried this for a discount

I once inquired about buying an upgrade to Business with Miles (AF) I was told that I could only if my economy fare was the full fare or something close to that.

Not sure it applies to paying upgrades but it would make sense.

Mokhotlong, Lesotho
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7. Re: Has anybody tried this for a discount

Thai Airways does socalled standby upgrade regardless of ec status ticket. You pay a fixed price which depends on the route. E.g. JNB to BKK is $ 925.-- o/w.

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: Has anybody tried this for a discount

So jemima, the chance of standby upgrade to business on Thai Airways does not matter what class of economy ticket you already have, is that right?

Seattle, Washington
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9. Re: Has anybody tried this for a discount

thaiairways.com.au/…

Note these are only available from a few airports; MEL, BKK, SYD and BNE.

Indianapolis...
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10. Re: Has anybody tried this for a discount

Thanks guys for all of your help. Got my answer. Looks like it's not gonna be happening for us this trip. Here's to wishful thinking though.