“There’s been a change to your flight . . . ”
All in all, not a good message to get, especially when it’s the day of travel. Thank goodness I at least received the phone call early in the day. This of course made me think of little tips on getting good seats on the plane. Fortunately I was able to change my automatic re-routing and keep my upgraded first class seat.
So, while you may not be able to get out of your coach seat without having a whole bunch of airline status, there are little things you can do to improve your situation.
- Always be polite to whomever you are speaking regarding your seats. From gate agents to call center support you want them to be on your side, not against you.
- Avoid traveling on Monday and Friday. Business travel is heaviest on the early flights Monday morning and the end of day flights on Friday. Even I try to avoid these. Nothing worse than checking in and being told your number 12 on the upgrade list and there’s still another dozen Executive Platinum status members behind you!
- Check the seat availability for the flights around your travel time. Often choosing a different flight or an off-peak flight will improve your seats dramatically. You can usually do this during the booking process without leaving your reservation process.
- Continue to check seat availability. Again, if you booked your flight online you will be able to check your seat assignment and make changes to it, up until you have checked in for the flight. People change travel plans all the time so check back, and check back often
- Wait for the upgrades to begin! What, you won’t have an upgrade? Perhaps not, but others will which means they will be moving OUT of their seats. These may be priority seats that you may not have access to online, but you never know!
Upgrades begin up to 100 hours before the flight and will continue all the way to boarding (you’ve seen the priority passengers huddled near the upgrade boarding eagerly waiting their rise to the top of the list).
- Ask at the gate. There will be upgrades going on at the gate, people not showing up for travel, etc. It’s likely you will be able to change your seat, but again – BE POLITE! It’s not that persons fault you don’t like your seat but they can only improve your situation. If you’re rude – it ain’t gonna happen.
Hopefully these tips may help you get a better seat, so safe and happy travels!