I had to check a bag this morning. I don’t do that often on domestic flights. Since I’d have to visit the counter anyway, I didn’t bother checking in via a mobile app.
My first segment was already upgraded to first class, but my connecting flight wasn’t. When the agent checked me in, I dropped off the upgrade list. I didn’t check the upgrade list once I had been checked in That is a rookie mistake.
I didn’t ask about my upgrade at the club. I boarded my first flight and pulled up the mobile app and figured I’d look at the upgrade list, since I was within the window to see it at that point. My name wasn’t on it.
I didn’t think this would be a big deal. I knew there were still two first class seats available, they were just being held until the gate. I’d stick my name on the list when I landed.
By the time I landed, though:
- My connecting flight was delayed.
- There had been an aircraft swap from a 737 to an MD80. That has 10 fewer coach seats and the flight was already oversold.
- To accommodate passengers, they processed the upgrade list – while I still wasn’t on it.
- Since there’s no ‘C’ seats in coach on the MD80, I had to be moved.
- I was moved to an aisle in ‘regular’ economy.
I wound up in regular economy not in first class because I didn’t check the upgrade list.
Now, I’m flying a lot more economy these days thanks to British Airways 4500 point short-distance awards on American and US Airways (and >making full use of the Royal Jordanian website while doing it). But that puts me into Main Cabin Extra with additional legroom.
I’m typing this post with the passenger in front of me reclined. And let me tell you, it’s tight. Although clearly it’s possible to use a laptop even in coach (and I carry a big laptop, since I’m a one machine kind of guy — my work computer, travel computer, and entertainment device all in one.
And it’s not so bad for a short sub-1200 mile flight. In fact, just the little kindness that is the flight attendant approaching me unasked to see whether I’d like a complimentary cocktail and sandwich (as is American’s policy for top tier elites) makes the whole experience seem that much more civilized. The chicken cobb sandwich was at least as good as what I’d have gotten up front.
Nonetheless, it seemed worth a reminder to do what I forgot or became too complacent to bother with: always check the upgrade list when you think you’ve been added to it.