My brother used to work with Aer Lingus and he says its pretty easy to get upgraded. The check in staff almost always upgrade a few people. If you are well dressed at check-in it really helps. Also if you think you can turn on the old charm with the check-in guy/girl you can politely asked to be considered for an up-grade if the flight is full. If you are a frequent flyer with the same airline that helps a lot too.
Only thing is if youre backpacking the chances are you're always going to look like a cat dragged backwards through a bush when you're checking in.
But it's something to bear in mind for the other times when you're flying. Scrub up well and you may find yourself seated up top.
Scrubbing up also makes you look better for customs checks in other countries
I travelled 1st class on Virgin Atlantic for the first time ever last November, and it was lovely to be able to eat whenever I liked, watch whatever films I liked and be able to lay down to sleep. But if I had to pay for it, I dont think I would bother...it seems a lot of money.
I reckon they could devise a way of fitting loads of bunk beds into the planes like they have on submarines, so those that do want to lay or sleep could. I reckon it would be space saving too.
I always travel in economy since few companies these days want to pay business class fares for lowly middle management employees - and when it comes from my own pocket, no way am I going to pay triple just because of the nicer food. I've flown BA club class once and have been upgraded to business class a couple of times, and sure it's been great, especially on intercontinental flights, but if you really think about the amount you're paying, then the same money will buy you a really nice meal in a top restaurant, and the food will be much better than in business class. And nowadays many airlines have personal video screens with films to choose from even in economy class.
Flying business/first is definitely a dash of luxury, but so is eating in a fancy restaurant, buying new clothes or staying a couple of nights in a 5-star hotel instead of the usual 2-star one. It's just a matter of how you like to treat yourself.
A final note: it's become harder to get upgraded in check-in without having to spend frequent flier miles, at least with the airlines I frequently use. I don't know if others have had the same experience. And it shouldn't be about the way I dress, since I always travel in style (my way of treating myself - it somehow makes the whole traveling experience more romantic in an old-world way when you dress nicely for a flight).
I've been upgraded to Business Class a couple of times, the last with ANA. The service was good, the food and wine selection was much better, and to be able to stretch out and sleep comfortably was sheer bliss. But for that amount of money, I probably wouldn't pay for a seat in the Business Class, it's really just not worth it.
I have never paid to fly in business class, but have been upgraded many times. It's very nice to be upgraded, especially on the red eye flights when you want to get some sleep. I spent 5 months in San Francisco in 2002, and flying back to Toronto I prayed to get that upgrade. Being able to stretch out and get a more decent sleep when you have to go into work is definately a plus.
Is it worth it to pay for the ticket? It depends on what the difference between an economy fare and business class fare is, and how much money you have. Personally, I would probably be willing to spend up to an additional $500 for a round trip flight to get business class if the flight was over 5 hours - the longer the flight, the more I would be willing to spend. I wouldn't pay for business class on flights shorter than 5 hours. I would be more willing to pay for business class on over-night flights.
it's become harder to get upgraded in check-in without having to spend frequent flier miles, at least with the airlines I frequently use. I don't know if others have had the same experience. And it shouldn't be about the way I dress, since I always travel in style (my way of treating myself - it somehow makes the whole traveling experience more romantic in an old-world way when you dress nicely for a flight).
It is not just you. It is very hard to get upgrades now to business class. Even on some flights, the miles won't help! I was an a flight recently San Francisco - Toronto and 11 of the 12 business class seats were SOLD for full-fare. I was on a waiting list for an upgrade (I had a couple of Air Canada upgrade certificates), but only one guy didn't show up so that there were only 2 upgrades to give, and a couple of high-rollers with Air Canada got those.
For all I travel, I am sadly just a medium-roller with Air Canada. I logged around 50,000 miles last year with AC, but there are some people with 100,000+ miles. I think I read about the guy with the most miles in 2002 with Air Canada, and it was around 400,000 miles flown! He was flying basically every other day.
My company's policy is you can buy business class on international flights (i.e. outside North America - Canada to the U.S. doesn't count as international), but my recent trip to Paris I got hosed because the budget for the project I am on was too small to provide business class. D'oh!
I logged around 50,000 miles last year with AC, but there are some people with 100,000+ miles. I think I read about the guy with the most miles in 2002 with Air Canada, and it was around 400,000 miles flown! He was flying basically every other day.
Yup! I remember stories about him... AC gave him gifts galore and created a special "Theshold Reward" category for him.
Super Elite status is earned 100,000 Status miles or 100 Status flights. That's a lot of flying.