Earlier this year I wrote about how it often looks like gate agents process upgrades incorrectly, but there are perfectly innocent explanations that customers usually don’t see.
Whether it’s a three cabin aircraft and business to first class upgrades looking like someone skipping the upgrade queue over someone in coach, or someone being added to the list after upgrades have already been processed, out of order upgrade lists don’t always mean something was done wrong.
At the same time, things sometimes do appear to be done wrong. I was flying Dallas Fort-Worth – Boston and I was in seat 5E. The flight began boarding early so a couple of minutes before scheduled boarding time group four was already on the plane. First class overhead bins were full.
Throughout the boarding process 4B remained empty. We pushed back and 4B was still empty. We took off and 4B was empty.
There were 16 people on the upgrade list. On the American Airlines mobile app it appeared as though no upgrades were processed at the gate.
It turns out:
- an Executive Platinum’s upgrade was processed, but that passenger sat in back, apparently unaware of the upgrade
- there were nonrevs waiting to take the flight however that list appears not to have been processed, even though we took off with empty seats in back (and in front).
Had nonrevs been cleared onto the flight someone would have had a boarding pass with the coach seat that our Executive Platinum presumably flew in and they would have learned 4B was for them.
It turns out this Executive Platinum member probably got a free buy on board sandwich in back, while the special meal I ordered was miscatered. They did have the tray to the kosher meal, but everything on it was completely frozen. Maybe not having an upgrade processed isn’t a total loss, after all.