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Airline seat upgrades.....any secrets?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by carguy, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. carguy

    carguy F1 Rookie

    Oct 30, 2002
    3,313
    Alabama (was Mich.)
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    Jeff
    I'm flying to Japan on Friday to learn a new process for our company. They are so generous as to fly me in coach. And at about 14 hours it will be a very loooong trip. I'm tempted to pay out of my own pocket for an upgrade to business class. But for some reason I seem to recall that if there are seats available and you know who or how to ask, that you can sometimes get an upgrade for little to nothing. Can any well travelled individuals share any secrets about this? Thank You very much.
     
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  3. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
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    Jan 21, 2002
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    dave m
    Schmooze them at the gate!? Do you belong to that carriers miles club.
    Its tougher nowadays to get "bumped" up. Too many people have been figuring it out. Longer the flight more motivated people are to have the same ideas.
     
  4. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
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    Jan 21, 2002
    6,067
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    dave m
    My situation. Im going to NCAA finals in San Antonio. Best deal so far is Northwest out of Hartford for $478. Stops in Newark on way. Can i call them and say i'll miss my flight yada yada. But i can make it to Newark (same distance from my house) and board the flight without too much drama?
    Direct out of Newark is double the price.
     
  5. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    www.flyertalk.com

    Check out this site and inquire on the board that is for the airline you are using.

    And then.......forget it unless you want to get laughed at by the gate crew and pax nearby.

    There are no secrets for "mere mortals" to get upgraded with. With all the tricks I know....and having "Star Alliance Gold Status" on AC and UAL I still only get my upgrades cleared 35% of the time.

    The only hope for you is to call ASAP and book the "exit row" seat as it has more legroom.

    FWIW.....you'll need a fare that qualifies for an upgrade.....(read more $$ that the company probably didn't pay).....you'll need "status" as a frequent flyer (50K+ actual miles flown in a calendar year minimum).......valid upgrade coupons or e-certs (bought, earned or given free to a status flyer).........no other flyers with status ahead of you on the waitlist.........a situation where the front is not sold out (rare these days as all airlines have shrunk their front cabins dramatically)...etc....etc.....sorry to be harsh but 2 weeks ago I flew 24 hours in the back after I was bumped of the top of the waitlist for the last "J" seat by a "Super Elite" as I am just an "Elite" on AC.

    Oh well........
     
  6. carguy

    carguy F1 Rookie

    Oct 30, 2002
    3,313
    Alabama (was Mich.)
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    Jeff
    LOL !! I didn't figure the prospects would be good. But never-the-less I want to Thank You guys for responding. I simply hate flying, or even driving if it's going to take longer than maybe 4 hours. I go nuts! Oh well, they have booze on them there planes....
     
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  8. lesterm

    lesterm Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    608
    Durham, NC
    Yeah, the ability to get an upgrading is largely dependant on your status with the airline. Two of my uncle's have Lufthansa Senator cards and they have no problem getting upgrades. They even transfer their upgradings to me with no problem. However, whenever I try to get upgraded, there are always certain "issues" that I encounter, i.e. reduced, non-upgradeable, fare, etc.

    I hate flying as well =( On the longer flights I usually bite the bullet and pay for business class.
     
  9. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    23,199
    Taxachusetts
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    Raymond Luxury Yacht

    I looked into this and was told that if you do not show up for any leg of your journey, the whole thing is cancelled, no exceptions, no refunds, etc. A few times I've found a round trip ticket cheaper, or a ticket with a stop on the way to somewhere else, but the stop is where I want to go and its cheaper. I've booked the flight, got off at the stop and that was that. But they cancelled the rest of your travel even BEFORE things got to strict lately.
     
  10. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran
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    May 14, 2003
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    Hubert
    All I can say is....

    It's great to have the American Express BLACK CARD!!!! Yeah BABY!!!
     
  11. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    May 28, 2003
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    Bastuna

    Hubert, what is that thing? It looks scary.
     
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  13. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran
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    May 14, 2003
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    Hubert
    that credit card is like an undercover FBI agent. Noone knows about it...well.....most people :)
     
  14. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    May 28, 2003
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    Bastuna
    So what does it do?
     
  15. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    May 28, 2003
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    Bastuna
    I'm sorry for the ignorance. I don't really believe in credit cards. I just got my first card a couple of years ago. Anyways, I really am curious about this black card leviathan that you have.
     
  16. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    May 28, 2003
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    Holy crap. This is what I uncovered.

    American Express developed the black 'Centurion Card' for their very best customers. It is so exclusive that you won't even find details of it on the American Express website. It's available through 'invitation only' and reputedly requires card spending of US$5,000 per month.
    This kind of spending brings plenty of benefits, including a personal travel counselor to handle all travel needs, and a personal concierge to help with anything from special occasion planning and selecting ideal gifts, to locating unusual items.

    James Bush, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing, said at the launch of the card: "We created the Centurion Card in response to customer research that identified a small but affluent group of cardmembers for whom individual attention and access to previously unavailable elite travel benefits was of great interest."
    As part of the service American Express has, for example, arranged for a brass band to play outside a London flat on Valentine's Day and for European Cup football tickets to be hand delivered outside a stadium in Spain. In addition to this personal attention there is access to a wide range of travel and retail privileges.
     
  17. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
    4,274
    dusty old farm town
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    Tyler
    Ryan, there are a lot of threads in the archives about the AMEX black card if you're interested.
     
  18. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran
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    May 14, 2003
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    Hubert

    That is not correct. A Black Card holder must charge at least $150k on the card annually to be in good standing.

    ALL I can say is that if you travel a lot....the black card kicks some serious a$$!
     
  19. Onlinesys

    Onlinesys Formula Junior

    May 1, 2002
    425
    Hong Kong
    The AMEX Platinum annual fee is US$650 and US$1300 for the AMEX Centurion over here in HK
     
  20. fanatic1

    fanatic1 Guest

    Nov 1, 2003
    553
    columbus
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    philip
    Holy Crap.........Hubert Has a Black Card...............WOW!! Awesome Man. I've heard about them for a long time, never seen one.....WOW!

    WOW!
     
  21. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    44,702
    Texas!
    Hubert, can you post a better pic? I can make out most of the numbers... :)

    Dr "Black Gold" Tax
     
  22. MikeZ_NJ

    MikeZ_NJ Formula 3

    Dec 10, 2002
    1,533
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    Mike Z.
    :)

    Yeah, we talked about that Black Card in an earlier thread, but I've never seen one - that's bad ass.
     
  23. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
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    Jan 21, 2002
    6,067
    Stepford, Connecticut
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    dave m
    SRT Mike. Thanks for the reply. I was afraid of that. Guess i'll be flying out of Hartford as the price now out of Newark is triple!
     
  24. matkat

    matkat Formula 3

    Mar 18, 2003
    1,840
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    Dave McGuire
    Pay for the upgrade yourself,being in the Business I would not give them the pleasure of grovelling just for them to turn you down.
     
  25. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran
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    May 14, 2003
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    The Centurion annual fee over in the USA is $2500, $1500 for additional cards.
     
  26. Alxlee

    Alxlee F1 Rookie

    Apr 8, 2002
    3,697
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    Alex Lee
    Oooh, the Black Card, nice!
     
  27. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    http://www.flyertalk.com/travelfr.shtml

    There's an AMEX forum on Flyertalk.com.......lots of black card guys over here......and lots of interesting info as well......

    Check it out......just scroll down the page.

    Hubert888.....you lucky dog !!!

    I survive with a regular M/Card........
     
  28. viper

    viper Karting

    Jan 26, 2004
    88
    CHICAGO, IL
    Full Name:
    DR. J
    Not only does the Black Card have to spend $150,000 per year on it, it is also a $2500 annual fee in the United States and a $1500 additional card fee.
    I have heard though that overseas they were not as strict and have come down on the spending requirement and annual fee. But in the U.S., they continue, which is excellent. At one day in the 80's the platinum Amex used to be the ****, but now every day ordinary people can get it. Congrads to Hubert, it shows a life time of success.
    DrJ



     

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