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Giving Up Upgrades as a Business Traveler

Most of the travel I do comes from work.  The other day, someone asked me, as a Chairman with US Airways, if I fly in first-class every flight.

I paused and thought about it.  My answer was, I get upgraded to first class a lot but I don’t fly in first class nearly as much as I get upgraded.

Some months, I’m gone more than I’m at home.  This is one of those months.  And when you’ve been gone ten+ days, that last flight can be the worse.  It is the one thing standing between you and home (and your family and your bed, and, well, my usual morning routine complete with the coffee I like).

Upgrades are nice.  It’s nice sitting up front, especially when you have to get off the plane and go immediately to a work function.  But when there’s room on the flight earlier that will get you home two hours sooner–there’s no beating that.

That’s why I really like US Airway’s Move-Up policy.  As long as there’s a seat available on an earlier flight, I can move up to a flight up to six hours before.   There’s a fee of $75, but it is waived for elites.  So when a meeting gets cancelled or I make it to the airport sooner than I expected, I always invoke this policy.

When there aren’t seats available, I go on standby (usually with good results).

Don’t get me wrong.  I love upgrades and I love sitting in first-class.  But when you are gone all the time, getting home two hours earlier than expected is the greatest “upgrade” to the trip.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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7 comments

  1. United’s Same Day Change is even better. You can go up to 23 hours and 59 minutes earlier, even the day before, including standby. Or you can go up to 23 hours and 59 minutes later – though you have to find space in your ticket’s booking class.

    Alaska is not quite as good but still better than US. You can switch to any flight the same calendar day – earlier or later.

  2. You can be sure that Move Up fee waiver will be eliminated VERY SOON and probably without notice. I’m surprised it wasn’t killed off last week.

  3. MBAE – Most Boring Article Ever.

  4. Delta used to have a great same day change policy but killed it last year…. I lost a ton of flexibility with that change

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