I recently wrote about a free business class upgrade on Emirates…just for asking. Now I have another chapter to add to that story, this time on Lufthansa.
John and I were traveling from Milan Malpensa to Frankfurt last week. When we showed up to the airport, we received news that our 7:30p flight had been cancelled due to high winds in Frankfurt. I was booked in business class and John in economy class (using miles).
The 6:30p flight to Frankfurt was delayed till 7:30p. We asked to be placed on the delayed flight, but was told it was full. After 15 years of flying, I know how the game works and just asked the agent to keep refreshing the availability…I knew that with many missed connection in Frankfurt, other passengers would be rebooked on other routes.
Sure enough, it only took five minutes before both John and I had a confirmed seat on the flight. Both of us were placed in economy class. For such a short flight, I really did not care about the downgrade: I just wanted to get to Frankfurt.
We encountered a further delay until 8:15p. At the gate, I noticed the duty manager was present and not busy. I approached him, mentioned I originally had a confirmed business class seat, and asked if any business class seats had opened on this flight.
He replied, “Ah, Mr. Klint. I’ve been looking for you. Yes, I have to move a couple passengers up to business and I have a new boarding pass for you.” He had already printed it and exchanged my economy class boarding pass for a business class one.
I thanked him, then said, “You mentioned that you have to upgrade another person. Would it be possible to upgrade my colleague, who is traveling with me on a separate ticket?”
The duty manager asked for John’s name, I provided it, and he proceeded to upgrade him to business class.
“It’s your lucky night,” he said. “It never hurts to ask.”
The flight was operated by Lufthansa CityLine using a CRJ-900. The 2-2 seating on that aircraft in business class is identical to economy class, except you get both seats. I’ll review this flight and the very crowded Lufthansa lounge in Milan next week.
Lesson learned once again: it never hurts to ask for an upgrade. Just don’t expect it.