Subject: Re: Best seating on airplanes?
Hi Al and Ziners:

We book Coach, we strive for First. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. On our last trip to Spain at the check-in I asked if there were any upgrades available. I was curtly told that the concierge makes that decision and I would have to ask at the gate. One thing to remember is that you have to dress the part. I was wearing the ubiquitous blue blazer. You will not get a free upgrade if you dress for coach. At the gate the concierge was Brunhilda reincarnate. Her attitude was simply, "I do not have time for you, after this I have to invade Poland." She was blonde, tall and truly a force with which to be reckoned. I said thank you and as I was slinking away she said, "Let me see your tickets." It was not a question, it was a command. As I returned to Jan she asked if I had any success. I told her that I was fearful that we had been downgraded from coach to baggage. A few minutes after the boarding began I was paged to the desk. Brunhilda took my boarding passes and gave me new passes. I did not look at them until I returned to Jan who promptly asked where are we. Fearful that we really would be with the luggage I looked at the passes. Jan was in 1B and I was in 1C across the row. Wow. After we boarded, Brunhilda came on board and told me that she gave us the upgrade because my attitude was correct (subservient) and I was appropriately dressed for First Class (remember the ubiquitous blue blazer?). Her demeanor softened. She told me that I would not believe the stuff people pull to get upgraded. She said we were nice and she rewarded us. A few minutes later she approached us again. She told us that a family of three was in Business, Row 8, and asked for two aisle seats. "Would you mind swapping with them?" I told her that we were at her command, she was nice enough to give us Row 1, we would accommodate her request. She told me, "I will not push it." We never saw her again and it was a great flight to Madrid.

By the way, while we have had good success upgrading on the way to Europe, we have been successful only once on the way back. That was on British Airways.

Tom in Carlisle