My father, my son, and I are flying from Boston to Cairo on Swiss this August.
My son, who is 12, founded a small charity to help a child that we already sponsor through Childreach. This boy and his family live in a tiny house with a cardboard roof and James has raised money to build the family something more permanent. The project was so successful (he raised 5x more than his original goal) that we’ve now “adopted” the entire village and will be putting the rest of the money towards upgrading the village school. So that 100% of the money can go to the charity, my family is paying all administrative and travel expenses out-of-pocket. Needless to say, all we could afford were economy seats for the flights.
I have recently written to the Chairman, CEO, Marketing VP, and Customer Service VP of Swiss asking them if they’d be willing to upgrade our seats to help out with this humanitarian project. I had hoped to be able to tap into the 90,000 BA miles I have to try to work an upgrade, but Swiss has decided not to join the OneWorld alliance. I think I also have access to around 100,000 AAdvantage miles, but I’m not sure that helps.
I’ve flown economy to Cairo many times, so I know it’s not as bad as it seems, but I would love to be able to celebrate James’s sense of activism and his hard work to make this project a success by surprising him with business class seats. Any other ideas you can suggest to get us upgraded will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!
Answered by The Penny Pincher
I have a few suggestions for you. First congratulations to your son on a great achievement.
I suggest contacting the press relations office for Swiss (see info below) and informing them about your story. Stress the good nature of your trip and the possible positive press this could garner for them. They might consider this as a sponsorship venture. Be sure to stress that you are willing to pay for your economy tickets but would appreciate any special accommodations they could offer—such as an upgrade.
Another option is to look at Randy Petersen’s Miledonor.com site. This is a site where individuals can donate and seek donations for non-profit flights. I recommend submitting your son’s story. I believe that there is a good chance that a generous benefactor with too many miles will offer to assist you.
All the best, and I hope your son enjoys his trip. He did a really nice thing.
SWISS Corporate Communications
P.O. Box, CH-4002 Basel
Phone: +41 848 773 773
Fax: +41 61 582 3554