Neat trick on United Airlines

Thanks to everyone for a great PASS US – I had a lot of fun at the conference.

Today, I am heading to Japan. My ticket is an economy ticket, and it is a long flight (around 12h). The price for a business class ticket (two weeks ago) was simply too high – 10K USD. Of course, I am not thrilled about such a journey in cramped conditions. But fortunately that is not what is going to happen: I will be lying down sleeping all of it. Here is how:

First, I asked for a potential upgrade at the check-in counter (hint: always be friendly to the girls there, and never sign up for specialized meals). I am only Silver Member on Star Alliance – but they bumped me up to Economy Plus – 5 more inches of legroom. So far so good…

Second, I asked at the gate itself for an upgrade to business. Because the plane is not full, they sell the final upgrade real cheap: 600 USD for upgrade from Economy Plus to Business.

Result: Trans-Pacific flight for the price of Economy + 600 USD. I will be enjoying my champagne and priority boarding in a few minutes.


  1. Magnus Helmvee   •  

    Hi Thomas,
    That may work at United, but try that at lufthansa and they will put you in the cargo hold, lufthansa is primary just upgrading their own frequent flyers even if you are a Star Alliance Gold member, in the lufthansa miles systems you get automatically uppgraded if you are in the top three classes of their FF system and holds at least a Y ticket 🙂

    SAS is easier its just 10000 EBB points E->E+ if you are lucky E->B, just show up early at checkin an tell them that you wish to upgrade and then go directly to gate to recieve your new ticket 🙂

  2. Marco Russo   •  

    Thomas, I have to say – the more I know you, the more you seems an Italian buddy! 🙂

    • Andrea Uggetti   •  

      Marco, you are right, he looks more an Italian-man than an Nordic man!!!

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