Thank you so much for your advice. I just returned from my trip to London and wanted to give you an update.
It seemed that all of my calls and emails to American were falling on deaf ears. When pushed for a valid reason why they could not upgrade us I was told that they had to hold the seats for their elite members. I asked if we could upgrade at the gate, once elite members were upgraded, and was told that it probably wouldn’t work, but that it couldn’t hurt to ask.
Based on your comments I knew not to give up until I had spoken with the lead gate agent. On the day of our departure I was lucky enough to speak with a wonderfully sympathetic gate agent. She said that it was policy to never give complimentary international upgrades and was shocked that someone at the executive offices said that it “wouldn’t hurt to ask” at the gate. She called her supervisor over, explained the situation, and we were immediately moved to business class.
On our way home from London we planned to use the same strategy, hoping that our previous upgrade would give us additional leverage. There was no need to have thought so much about what to say. The gate agent took our boarding passes before I was even finished with my story and said she would see what she could do. We ended up in business class for the return trip as well.
Thanks again for you response. I don’t know that I would have taken things as far as I did without your advice. And the effort was definitely worth it.
One new question. Is there any way to use the fact that I’ve now flown in business class for my last two vacations to obtain future upgrades, especially on domestic flights?
Answered by The Penny Pincher
Thank you for following up with your great story. It is a wonderful example of sticking to the cause. Indeed having a history of flying in first class will aid in getting future upgrades. If you email me your mailing address I will send you a copy of my book.
All the best,