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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Any tips on being upgraded to first/bus. class for free? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jamesbond
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Just wondering what has worked for you at the airport in the past to get you upgraded?

Bond James Bond
jl1717
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A ton of airline miles usually does it for me. Keep flying with the same airline (I use Delta) and sign up for their "sky miles" program (that's what Delta calls theirs). Also, just asking does it sometimes, they are people too and can be "schmoozed" into things Smile
The Village Idiots
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If you are traveling allot you must enroll in a sky mile program with every airline. You can sign up for most all of them online and they then mail you the card, be sure to print out the number as some won't mail you the card till you have flown with them.

Besides that, jl1717 is correct. Fly with the same airline as much as possible. I hit a million miles with American this week. I haven't flown in coach in a very long time. And when I did it was a fluke.

Before I was Exec Plat I would be very nice to the ticket agents and just ask for an upgrade. I would tell them it was my birthday. They were holding my passport at the time and could check to see if I was telling the truth but they normally just laughed. Get them to laugh and when you first approach the counter ask them how they are and listen to the reply. Be sincere to these nice people who have a very tough job.

I would think James Bond would be buying first class tickets anyway?
Some are born idiots.

Some are made idiots.

Some have idiocy thrust upon them.
Sealegs
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Other than paying either with airmiles or cash/plastic there's a few things that can tip things in your favour but all they do is slightly increase your odds.

1, Be nice to the check in staff. They are doing the same thing over and over so if you engage them in a friendly chatty manner they will be more likely to look on you kindly. And besides it's just good manners.

2 Look the part. If you're dressed like a slob it's not going to help

3 Ask. The worst that can happen is they say no.

4 Mention casually and conversationally (but importantly without complaining) some minor problem that you've experienced with the airline in the past and express how greateful you are to be, on this occassion, getting such helpful and welcoming service from whoever it is happens to be dealing with you.

5 If you can get hold of them attach 1st class luggage tags of the company you're flying with onto the bags you're checking in. This indirectly points to your having taken your last journey with them in 1st class and by implication makes you a valued customer.

None of these things are going to get up upgraded on a regular basis but none of them require much effort and most of them just require you to be a pleasent person.

Although I realise that I might be ascribing a cause and effect when in fact there isn't one I am sure that on most of the occassions I've been upgraded some of the things I've mentioned here have been a factor. They have also helped me avoid having to pay excess baggage on many occassions too.

Of course it could just be a combination of being pleasent to people you interact with and what goes around comes around. I'd be ok with that too.

Neal.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
jl1717
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I was talking with Joel Bauer (back when he was a trade show performer and not Dave Dee marketer) and he told me one way to increase business and do LESS shows is to tell the client that you require a 50% deposit (which I think everyone pretty much already does) and that the client needs to pay for lodging (done too) and, here's the kicker, the client needs to pay for first class air travel.

I was speechless and Joel told me if they ask why reply with something along the lines of, "You are hiring a professional entertainer to do something that no other regular persona can do and you want to keep that persona as happy and as comfortable as possible right? After doing this so many times I know what makes me happy and comfortable, so I perfer to fly first class."

WOW!!!

I tried it on a rather wealthy corporate client where I didn't really need the show, but they were paying me a ton of money anyway so I thought I'd try it. IT WORKED!

I've tried it a few times after that and now it's pretty much the norm and it helps weed out the clients who are penny pinchers. don't want to "open the red velvet rope" to those kind of clients. I want clients who give me what I want when I want it. Realize I don't come off as arrogant when requesting this. I feel them out as we chat about the show and their goals.

Try it and you might find it works. It does for me. I do less corporate work (by the way, I only do this with corporate clients because they have the money) but make more money. I also do school shows within 100 miles of my home which I've come to love simply because it's easy money with little travel and I'm home in time by at latest 2 pm.
tparrett62
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Glad to hear it works for you, jl1717, but I'd watch trying that stunt too often. Some of the biggest companies in the country are cutting out a lot of frills, and that includes First Class airfare for all but their TOP execs. These companies are not "penny pinchers", they're companies that realize they have to justify their expenses to their shareholders. I have a feeling they'll be the ones around when the recession/not-a-recession ends, and the ones that spend like the dot-com companies did last time are going to be hard to find.

I'd personally rather have the extra money in my pocket, not the airline's. If they can throw that kind of money around, get it yourself. I think showing a little respect for your client's expense account will build a better relationship in the long run.
jl1717
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Tparrett62,

I had a feeling this would happen, but let me try and explain before it gets really blown up. I don't do it all the time. Mostly when the client is a past client who knows that's how I perfer to travel so they are not opposed to it and expect it.

If a new client contacts me then I usually don't do it. I am right there with you, I want that client for life and I'll work hard for them and I won't do it.

Plus, since I have so many airline miles it only costs about $50 more for first class (on average), but that will be going up very soon I think, with the way airlines are operating now.

Long story short is that the clients I do this with are used to it and know that when they call me to rebook me. Plus, I very rarely do shows for new clients...in the corporate market. I try to stay with the same companies that way I am not constantly prospecting.

It also puts me in a class by myself. Remember that a client will pay you more if your perceived value is high. And when I request first class the perceived value goes up.
tparrett62
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I'm confused-

"I don't do it all the time." vs
"I've tried it a few times after that and now it's pretty much the norm ". Conflicting statements.

You don't do it with new clients, only after you've established a relationship with them, then you drop the boom? That doesn't follow the Red Velvet Rope principle- you let them in the door, and then hit them with a surcharge that you didn't tell them about?

I think it would be better to do it up front and winnow out the "penny pinchers", rather than lulling a new client into thinking you'll always fly coach and then after you've gained their trust, hit them with, "By the way, I prefer to fly First Class". To be honest, we all do.

"And when I request first class the perceived value goes up." I'm not sure I buy this. Certainly the client's cost goes up, but are they really perceiving additional value? Sometimes more expensive equals more value, sometimes it's just paying more for unnecessary frills. Without any sort of name or profile, it's hard to know how valid your information is. Coming from someone like Richard Osterlind or Anton Zellman, I'll buy it. Until then, it sounds like theory or a one-time occurence.
jl1717
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Tparrett62,

I'm not saying what I do is the absolute truth and end-all-be-all, but it is what I do and yes, sometimes I do it and sometimes I don't.

Believe what you want, but this is what I do and I was just offering a different point of view because it works for me and it allows me the freedom to choose who I work with and when I work. I don't have to book every show that comes through my office, just what I want when I want.
RobertBloor
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Quote:
On 2008-05-27 17:50, Living Illusions wrote:
Jl1717 sure sounds like Josh London.

Kevin


Took the words right out of my keyboard.
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
James Munton
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Quote:
I'm not saying what I do is the absolute truth

I was thinking just that.
magicofCurtis
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I have been upgraded to first class once because the lady who was monitoring the line said that my carry on bag is too heavy for a coach ticket. She asked what I had in there and I said my sexy shoes and I do not want to check them because I do not want to loose them ( I said in a laughing manner...) I showed her these cool shoes she agreed, and said if you were flying in first class I could take the larger bag... I asked well could you bump me up to first class or the shoes are going have to be checked... She laughed and walla first class ticket... But, I have a friend who works at Delta and they are cutting down on upgrades and questioning them more now since they are under tight budgets... Sometimes depending on your member status you can get upgrades for free or for $50.00

I have had companies buy first class tickets in the pass. In my contract rider it states something on the order...
Non-stop and the most direct flight only. Any flights over 4 hours requires a business class or first class ticket. All international flights must be refundable and changable business or first class flight.
Layovers should not exceed 60 minutes when possible and all flights must be approved prior to purchase.

I like the four hour clause for a number of reasons. One of them being CA is a large state and the entertainers are flown to other cities that are at least a 5 hour drive away usually, but only a 40-60 minute flight, plus this cover Las Vegas. The four hour clause also shows that you are flexable and sensible. Also, usually most nonstop flights in the US are right around 4 hours...
I also practice this with my own wallet. If the flight is international I go first class, if the flight is local cheaper the better!.... SO I kinda expect the same treatment with my corp clients. Smile Smile
TheDean
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Hehehehehehehehe...
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
Justin Style
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I do 2 things to get an upgrade.

1) At the counter, I offer to make love to the agent. Works every time and once in a while I get the upgrade, too.

2) On board, I complain to the flight attendant that the slob next to me won't stop farting! And I use the word Farting. I always get moved to another seat; however, if it's not first class then I offer to make love to the flight attendant. Works like a charm.

Good luck
Destiny
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I've tried singing to them.

Last time I did 'Till the Lights of London Shine Again' but they thought I was just joshing.

Destiny
stoneunhinged
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Quote:
On 2008-05-28 12:16, Justin Style wrote:
I do 2 things to get an upgrade.

1) At the counter, I offer to make love to the agent. Works every time and once in a while I get the upgrade, too.

2) On board, I complain to the flight attendant that the slob next to me won't stop farting! And I use the word Farting. I always get moved to another seat; however, if it's not first class then I offer to make love to the flight attendant. Works like a charm.

Good luck


I'd like to try this soon. But my wife might get annoyed.

Especially if she's the slob who's farting.
Justin Style
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ROFLMAO!!!
airship
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I was on a United flight once and they ran out of luggage space, so they took my bag and strapped it into an empty first class seat. I begged to change places with my bag - no dice. "Against airline policy." Smile
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
magicofCurtis
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Danny you are a great magician! You are able to make post disappear when they are not in your favor!
You should be a magician and not a a hypo......
Destiny
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Curtis,

The post is still there - Danny told you when you opened your eyes you would not be able to see it. Any minute now you will start to moonwalk.

Destiny
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