I am currently 40K feet above the ground en route from JFK to SFO, just finished Inglorious Basterds (didn’t like it), and I thought I’d try out United’s GoGo internet service. I’m impressed.
My 1100 flight was oversold and I added myself to the volunteer list and told the gate agent that I wanted the bump and would not mind flying directly into LAX (I was scheduled to fly JFK-SFO-LAX). She said the next flight with seats available would not be leaving till 1800. No problem, I said (I was hoping just for a r/t voucher but this would have meant another $600 in travel credits). She told me to have a seat, and I asked if I could go the Red Carpet Club for a few minutes. She said, "Sure." Big mistake.
I returned to the Red Carpet Club, had a little snack, used the restroom, and returned to the gate. There, I found the same gate agent processing two VDB passengers, then walk away. I asked another gate agent about processing my bump and she said that they did not need my seat anymore–and was a bit snippy about it too. The first agent never promised me a bump and I did not feel like fighting, so I just boarded the flight and will chalk this as a lesson learned the hard way.
If you want a bump, STAY IN THE GATE AREA. ‘Nuff said.