Business Class upgrade

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Grupet
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Business Class upgrade

Postby Grupet » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:03 am

So I recently got back from Hong Kong (JFK - HK) flying with Cathay Pacific. I bought the ticket directly on Cathay's website and I paid full price (meaning not a discounted ticket) I bought a round trip ticket on Premium Economy (just me), which is a $2800 ticket and I used my Amex Platinum card to pay for the flight.

So both ways I got upgraded to Business Class, which is a $7500 ticket. My question is, could it be because I used my Amex Platinum card to pay for the trip, or was I just lucky? I don't have any relationship with Cathay other than a coach class ticket about 4 years ago. (but no Cathay points or Cathay member award or anything like that)

BTW, what a different it is flying Business Class. It's a whole other experience...

Thanks
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whit
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Re: Business Class upgrade

Postby whit » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:24 pm

My colleague who doesn't have an amex..does get upgraded sometimes, it depends..he's always hoping and nope, doesn't buy anything other than the regular cabin tickets

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Business Class upgrade

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:44 pm

I think it's pretty uncommon for anyone to pay full fare for a business or first-class seat. That $7500 price may be inflated to create the appearance of savings. I think most people get an upgrade as a card perk or pay with miles.

WEMC cards give upgrades on full fare tickets with some airlines, but not Cathay. I go for cheap cash prices or bargain use of MRs/URs for economy, so I'm not sure which cards are best.
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flan
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Re: Business Class upgrade

Postby flan » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:46 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I think it's pretty uncommon for anyone to pay full fare for a business or first-class seat. That $7500 price may be inflated to create the appearance of savings. I think most people get an upgrade as a card perk or pay with miles.

WEMC cards give upgrades on full fare tickets with some airlines, but not Cathay. I go for cheap cash prices or bargain use of MRs/URs for economy, so I'm not sure which cards are best.


Airlines are sensitive to who paid what for a ticket. Someone paying full freight for premium economy is probably paying more than the median passenger in the business class cabin (lots of whom are frequent fliers on status upgrades, having bought a plain economy ticket.), and so will get treated well. There's a whole lot of variation between routes and particular flights on a route. If those seats are going to be empty, they'll find someone in the back of the plane to put in them, because it costs them close to zero to do that, and makes someone very happy, who might spend more money with them in the future. So luck probably plays a role.

Elijahmex
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Re: Business Class upgrade

Postby Elijahmex » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:16 am

Grupet wrote:So I recently got back from Hong Kong (JFK - HK) flying with Cathay Pacific. I bought the ticket directly on Cathay's website and I paid full price (meaning not a discounted ticket) I bought a round trip ticket on Premium Economy (just me), which is a $2800 ticket and I used my Amex Platinum card to pay for the flight.

So both ways I got upgraded to Business Class, which is a $7500 ticket. My question is, could it be because I used my Amex Platinum card to pay for the trip, or was I just lucky? I don't have any relationship with Cathay other than a coach class ticket about 4 years ago. (but no Cathay points or Cathay member award or anything like that)

BTW, what a different it is flying Business Class. It's a whole other experience...

Thanks


That is indeed true. I am 6'3 and the difference is night and day & then of course the service...
Most of the flights I take are 6hours or more so it makes a huge difference!
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rockyrock
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Re: Business Class upgrade

Postby rockyrock » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:05 am

Most likely has to do with you buying a Y/B class (full fare) ticket. A company I used to work for would buy us Y class tickets whenever we were traveling six time zones, that way we would get upgraded and arrive on the job more rested. The trip home was just a standard refundable economy and we rarely got upgraded.

Sounds like a good deal you got though. Even discounted, it would have been much higher than $2800 for a business class ticket. Be careful, it doesn't take much to get spoiled...
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Battery111
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Re: Business Class upgrade

Postby Battery111 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:41 pm

Agreed. Paying for a Y ticket is much more likely to net you an upgrade. Your payment method means nothing. There is nothing in the PNR(Passenger Name Record) to denote you paid with a special card. That's not to say it's not possible, it's just not done. Working the airline loyalty game to get an upgrade on any sort of predictable basis is a whole side career in and of itself. However, it's not completely magic and random as the occasional traveler occasionally is led to believe. The class of fare paid is a big part, but your status, whether it be with that airline or the alliance they belong to, plays an equally large role. Those advice articles you read about dressing well and smiling at the gate agent are only going to help you if the flight is crazy overbooked in coach, crazy underbooked in business/first, and not a lot of elites are flying in coach. Yes, sometimes one gets lucky, but it's truly the exception.

All that being said, JFK to HKG for $2,800 is a cheap Y fare.
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MrMosby
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Re: Business Class upgrade

Postby MrMosby » Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:32 pm

Paying for a full fare alone won't get you upgraded though if their are other people higher up the upgrade chain than you - or people willing to pay. You did get lucky from that aspect :-)
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