I am back in the U.S. this week for Thanksgiving and am just grinning tonight that my little ploy worked.
My company booked me on a non-stop Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Los Angeles tomorrow but I opted to change it to the evening United flight from Frankfurt to Washington tonight with a connection on the late flight to Los Angeles. While I likely would not have had a problem standing by for the business class upgrade on Lufthansa tomorrow, at least I knew I’d have business class on the Frankfurt-Washington flight.
But that was not my reason for the switch–the real reason was the connecting flight to Los Angeles. It was already looking full and this is one of the biggest travel days of the year. Bearing in mind United’s penchant to overbook flights, I thought the flight was a good candidate to score a bump on (an oversell situation where volunteers are needed to take a later flight).
Over the last couple days the flight filled up even more–to the point that I did not even have a seat assignment because there were no unassigned seats on the aircraft. At check-in in Frankfurt this afternoon, I did receive a seat on the flight–35A–but also added my name to the bump list. I was told the flight was “very full.”
At the gate tonight, I approached the agent working the flight and asked her if any volunteers would be needed. Possibly up to three, she said, noting she would not know for another 15 minutes.
Patiently I sat waiting at the gate and much to my delight, my name was soon paged and my seat was needed. With $400 in travel credit in my pocket, I am now off to the Marriott Hotel for a rest before my flights home tomorrow morning.
Rather than going non-stop to Los Angeles, I will travel to Burbank via San Francisco. Dulles to San Francisco is operated by a retrofitted three-cabin 777 and I am confirmed in business class and on the waitlist for first class.
I love it when a plan comes together! It is good to be home…almost.