Try to fly first class or Premium economy between assignments

Welcome CancunI got a great article today about flying Premium economy.  You can read the whole thing on airfare watch dog.

We always try (and the word is try) to get a First class Upgrade or a Premium economy seat when we travel back and forth from the Travel Nursing assignments or anywhere the flights are over 2 hours..

Are You? At least trying.

In September Kelly the daughter and her parents went SCUBA Diving in Cozumel.  Price conscious I booked us all economy seats in the back of the bus (airplane).  See, I learned a few things when we owned the SCUBA operations in the Caribbean.  Main thing is Economy sucks.  And, sucks even more when the plane is packed, like this one appeared to be when we got to the gate.

Now if you haven’t flown into Cancun, flying into Cancun is much different then flying


back.  Flying to Cancun, most everyone is on vacation, having fun looking forward to their trip.  Very often going to Cancun I enjoy my seat mates and have great conversations.

Not so much on the way back.  I always try to fly towards the afternoon when flying back from Cancun, because the earlier flights, well can smell like puke.


Now for you travel nurses vomit probably does not even register, but for me.  Ohh boy.

On the flight back from Cancun often many passengers partied upVomit to the departure time and are now just getting to their hangover.  You will notice much bigger lines to the bathrooms on the plane coming back.  And they fill the toilets up.

Back to upgrading.  Here is how I always try to get an upgrade.

First thing. Did you receive an upgrade offer when you did your web check in?  Be sure to see if you got one of those offers at web check in and check the price.  I have often gotten cross country trips upgraded to first class for $150 extra or less, and that is worth it. (remember if your traveling to or from an assignment you might be able to write off the travel).

At the gate, when I see the gate agent arrive I get behind 7 or 8 people waiting to talk to the gate agent.  Typically the people in front of me need seat changes, or flying standby and are panicked.  Often they don’t treat the agent very well, so the agent is primed for my kindness.

When I get to the gate agent, I’m pleasant, smile, laugh and make as lite of life as I can.  Then I simply ask if there is any way to be upgraded to First Class.  

If I had gotten the web offer at web check in, I’ll mention that I should have bought that one.  I also offer right then to pay for it if I have to.  Now if they do offer it to you and you don’t want to pay then you can simply smile and decline.  The few times I chose to pay it was a greatly reduced price. Know that many times the first class sections has available seats, and that somebody is going to get those, why not you.

If the agent says they can’t (that doesn’t always mean no) then I ask for the premium economy. Very often they upgrade there no problem with a smile.  If they want payment there, I don’t.

Now they have said no, to the upgrade.  Sometimes No means Maybe.  When in line to board the back of the plane I have been called to the counter my tickets taken and first class tickets given.  Remember somebody is flying first class and they do remember that person that smiled and was pleasant.

Fly in comfort.  take the time, smile and ask.  They can say no and something no means yes.

Where do you want to work next?


Leave a Reply