Upgrades and other über-newbie questions.

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by jgrease, Apr 22, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jgrease

    jgrease Active Member

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    Hello all- I am a relative newcomer to miles and upgrades. I am in the very early stages of planning our next family trip to Europe and I had a couple of questions:
    1. When booking seats on an airline, what are the advantages to booking seats in certain fare classes? If you're paying more for a seat in coach in a different fare class, what is the reasoning behind it?
    2. And this may be related to #1, what does it mean when your seats are "upgradeable"? Is that a free move to the next class?
    3. Open jaw flights- if I'm using Delta, for example, can I make flight plans using open jaw plans? If I want to fly to Spain and fly home from Italy, what is the most economical way to do it?
    I won't be using miles for this trip, so I really want to make best use of every travel dollar. Your help is greatly appreciated.
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Higher fare classes in the same class travel (eg coach) usually have less restrictive rules (refund, change, ...) than the cheaper classes. You pay for more flexibility, essentially.

    Depending on the airline, upgrades may require you to purchase a certain minimum fare class. E.g., on United, you need to purchase W or higher to be able to use a system-wide upgrade. Doesn't mean that the upgrade is free -- it makes you eligible to apply for the upgrade with the certificate (of which top elites have six or more per year). Mileage-based upgrades may also have different $$$ co-payments that vary with the fare class (obviously, lower=cheaper fare classes --> higher co-pay).
  3. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Higher fare classes may be all that are available on heavily booked flights, even if you meet the advanced purchase and other restrictions for the cheaper fare classes.

    On many carriers, higher fare classes can earn additional status and redeemable miles, while extremely low fare classes can earn less than 100% or even zero in some FF programs.

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