Upgraded for just for dressing up?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by hulagrrl210, Nov 17, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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  2. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    If they didn't know who he was... how were they able to identify that he was the person who was dressed nicely and then call him by name over the PA?

    Even if his analysis is correct it's a sample size of 2...
     
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  3. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    I'm not sure the way you dress has much to do with this. I was upgraded from economy to business class on BA a couple of years ago. At the time, I was wearing shorts & a t-shirt.
     
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  4. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    In a day where elite upgrade lists often exceed the number of premium cabin seats (by integer multiples), an upgrade priorities are automated, it is extremely unlikely that wearing a coat in tie has any impact on an upgrade. Thirty years ago, this might have made a difference...but with manifests with status listed clearly, these sort of appearance-based upgrades largely fall into the fantasy category.
     
  5. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    This isn't a new story, it's a reprint of something AirfareWatchdog posted a while back.

    It's absolute BS. The only time I've seen non-status pax upgraded was when Y was overbooked and there were no more elites to upgrade. After that, they went by fare class (usually the people who bought last minute and paid the most). Yes, maybe they were dressed a little bit better than the family who bought their ticket 8 months before, but that was likely not the reason.
     
  6. Travelsavant
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    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    United double-upgraded him from E to First on the 3-class LAX-JFK route with no status just because he had a suit on? Give me a break. If it actually happened, then it was because they ID'd him. Oh and they paged him too...yep that really happens all the time to normal road-warriors who aren't travel writers. Bet the next story will be on how to get upgraded on your super-saver E- ticket because it's (a) your birthday, (b) just married/honeymoon, (c) you name it.
     
  7. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I do make an effort to dress appropriately when flying (but I was never the type to wear PJs to class). Still, I don't think that has anything to do with whether the computer assigns me an elite upgrade three days out.
     
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  8. ceieoc

    ceieoc Silver Member

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    I was wondering why wearing a tuxedo on every flight failed to score me an upgrade. I'm changing back to my gym clothes for my next flight segment.
     
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  9. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I agree. When I've received op ups, I'm pretty sure they had no idea who I was in the busy gate crowd or the fact I may have been dressed in casual dress...was in BusinessElite either way. :)
     
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  10. TravelMusing

    TravelMusing Gold Member

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    Sometimes, I think we forget that the all the people we meet while on our way to board the plane are humans too. And these same humans have impressions, perceptions, likes and dislikes. And some of them even have the authority to override whatever assignments the computer system churn out.

    I think a lot of us like to put our bets on our self-attained elite rights, and our entitlements, rather than on our interactions with the people who make up the travel industry.

    I know that I get the extra touch of service many times, because I do not discount people. Sometimes, I score big, and sometimes, I don't score. And whether or not I score, I always walk away satisfied that I have made a connection, no matter how small.
     
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  11. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I though it looked familiar! When I first read it I thought op-up. That is the only scenario under which I could see the airline being so generous to someone without status.
     
  12. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    I don't believe the story for a second.

    But if such urban myths encourage the traveling public not to be sucha buncha slobs, I would perpetuate them.
     
  13. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I completely understand what you are saying, but in my experience, being friendly/ looking nice has maybe only got me a smile in return, or encouraged someone to do their job like they already should be doing in the first place, but never an upgrade from Y to first on a 3-class airplane.
     
  14. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    I think this is a really great point! It's easy to get lost in the rules and regulations. I certainly make a personal effort to try to be friendly with everyone while I travel - especially when there are problems because that's when everyone is the most stressed.

    However, it's very difficult for the agents to override the upgrade list these days even if they wanted to. The only time dressing nicely is likely to help you with an upgrade is during irrops or overbookings when the gate agent has the ability to make upgrades without consulting the upgrade list - and it also requires that a) the gate agent cares about how you are dressed and b) the gate agent has the time to come find you (if they don't already know your name) to give you the upgrade.

    All in all, it is nice to be well-dressed when out in public and to consider the feelings of others - traveling or not.
     
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  15. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    I agree that being nice can help, but not in regular operations.

    I always am nice to agents who are giving me a VDB since I want that voucher, and try to help them out with alternate routings. I have asked to be placed in F or J on the next flight and I'm sure being nice helps with that. But it also helps to have status.

    I also tend not to dress down on planes, but that's just me in general. I love the winter months though cause I can wear a sweater over a comfy t-shirt :D

    Keep in mind that operating outside the rules can have severe consequences for gate agents.
     
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  16. thrashsoundly
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    thrashsoundly Silver Member

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    I can't imagine upgrades based on attire these days, but when I was a kid traveling the world in the 80s it happened to our family on several occasions. My parents would always dress my brother and me in shirts and ties to fly. It probably had more to do with the culture of flying back then, but the occasional upgrades for the "cute, well-dressed family" were certainly nice perks, more so for my parents I'd suspect.

    My brother and I got used to it, but still hated it and certainly didn't have a choice. In retrospect it seems like a smart idea, but like I said, I don't expect the tactic to work any more.
     
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  17. HCSmooth66

    HCSmooth66 Active Member

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    I tried this once, and wasn't really expecting any success and it didn't work. I agree that on most domestic flights the chances of an upgrade due to how you dress are slim and none. It's hard enough to get an upgrade if you aren't in top tier status on a lot of flights. I don't know how that works internationally though, especially in a program like Delta that doesn't do automatic upgrades for elites unless they buy a Y, B, M fare. Maybe putting on a suit for a flight to Europe would get you upgraded from a very friendly agent. It's just such a long shot. Plus, the way I travel and pack for an overseas trip I don't want to be lugging around a suit, tie, dress shirt, pants, and shoes.
     
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  18. TravelMusing

    TravelMusing Gold Member

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    You did not get an upgrade, but you did get a friendlier experience though.

    The thing is... we should be connecting with others because we recognize and value the other person for who he or she is, and not because we hope to get something in return.

    And if we do get something extra as a result of our actions (being friendly), then that's a bonus, but it's not a given.

    I think I am going to have to stop my commenting, before I am labelled as pollyanna-ish... :D LOL! ;)
     
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  19. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    I've gotten upgraded for "no reason" twice. Once, maybe 7-10 years ago or so, I simply noticed that there were multiple empty business class seats (TATL) and asked if my brother and I could be moved up to which the flight attendant said "that's not possible" but then came back just before pushing back from the gate and asked us to follow her to our cozy J seats. The second time was 3 days after I had ACL replacement surgery so I was all but useless and my knee was basically locked straight. I asked the BA gate agent (TATL again) if there was anything they could do and they bumped me to WT+. I was happy, but definitely hoping for club world and when I got on the plane, a flight attendant saw me and said that they would try and get me a business class seat and they did!
     
  20. global_happy_traveller
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    global_happy_traveller Silver Member

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    i've seen a gal with better physique and cute looking face than mine without status being upgraded to the emergency exit row along with her bf

    My AC*G request? sorry sir, $89!
     
  21. Dovster
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    Dovster Gold Member

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    The strangest upgrade I ever had was an op-up on a Delta ATL-CDG flight. What made it so odd to me is that not only was I an FO at the time, but I was flying on an Air France ticket at a deeply discounted rate.

    It certainly was not based on how I was dressed as the GA had no idea of who I was when she called my name.

    I am positive that there were higher-level medallions than me and can only think of two possibilities as to why I was given the upgrade:

    1. AF may have overbooked the flight and by giving me (possibly the only Delta medallion on an AF ticket) Delta was able to charge AF at a higher rate.

    or

    2. I had asked for kosher food. On Delta flights (other than to/from Israel) the Y and J kosher meals are identical and this meant that Delta didn't have to give me a Biz Elite dinner.
     
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  22. Andyandy
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    Andyandy Gold Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  23. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I doubt it matters much but I don't think you hurt your chances by dressing nice.
    Personally I'm shocked at how many people I see dress so crappy on flights. Did you really wear your PJ bottoms, flip flops and Ed Hardy shirt to the airport? Did your mom see what you had on before you left the house? Are Crocs the best shoe to wear through the airport? I'm not some elite person. In fact I'm so spread between airlines thanks to my employer that I don't have much status anyplace but come on guys. We aren't headed to Wal-mart for a hangover breakfast egg and sausage run on a Saturday morning. Oh and that 40 year old guy that's trying to dress like a 17 year old vanilla ice....Your not really coming off all that cool at the airport to me. Yes I feel better.
     
  24. SEABrad

    SEABrad Silver Member

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    While I respect your viewpoint, I have to slightly disagree. Why do we put so much emphasis on dress, income, etc.? Personally I'd rather sit next to someone who is friendly (wearing Ed Hardy and flops or whatever) than someone in a suit who exhibits any type of behavior we FF may have seen on airplanes that we sit back and think "really" (IE moving a bag because that is "my space", being rude to a FA/other pax, etc.)

    I'm a dress down type of guy. I work a job where jeans and a polo shirt is about as dressed up as I get - and I love that. I'm 100% honest when I say I could not work a "real" 9-5. I put a tie on for weddings and will wear a tux for mine. When I fly, I would prefer to be comfortable. If that means cargo shorts and a Sounders jersey I don't see the huge issue. Does a seatmate being "under dressed" somehow affect your flight experience? As long as said person is being respectful, I think that is what matters.

    Again, too much emphasis is put on what you have or wear instead of how you treat others. (Just wanted to present a different viewpoint :) )
     
  25. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Unless someone's dress is obscene, they ought to be able to wear whatever the hell they want. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but if you're so insecure that you can't stand other people wearing clothes you may not like, you have major issues.
     
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