Bucking conventional wisdom, sometimes you CAN get a free upgrade to business class just for asking. At least that’s what happened to me on Emirates. The meal served onboard will be the subject of this week’s Meal of the Week.
It was March 2009 and I was traveling from Melbourne to Auckland with my uncle and brother. At the time, Emirates had a robust trans-Tasman network (Qantas has now taken over all routes except Sydney to Christchurch). These flights were very reasonably priced and seemed to sell well in the back, but not so well in business or first class.
Check-in was a zoo at Melbourne, with what seemed like a group of 150 Chinese tourists checking in for the flight. Once we reached the check-in desk, I asked the agent if it was possible to “purchase” an upgrade to business class.
She got up from her chair, consulted with her supervisor at a nearby desk, then returned moments later…with three business class boarding passes. No charge.
I’m not sure if we would have received them anyway, but I highly doubt it. See, it still pays to ask even if your chances for success are very slim. Operational upgrades are often needed on oversold flights.
Our aircraft was an A340, which has now been retired from the Emirates fleet. The business class seats were not lie-flat. This flight was before I started to blog, but I did take pictures of the meal.
After boarding, we were offered fresh-squeezed orange juice or water as well as mixed nuts.
Menus were distributed and the breakfast choices included waffles or an omelet. The first course included ripe fruit and a croissant. The dessert (chocolate cake) was also placed on the tray.
The main course included coffee and a scone, along with a cheese omelet, green beans, cooked tomato, hash browns, and mushrooms. I also enjoyed a strawberry banana smoothie.
During breakfast, I enjoyed the ICE IFE system.
Even today I still chuckle about the upgrade. I don’t ask for upgrades very often, but I have not been able to reproduce my good fortune very often (only twice in a decade, to be exact).
Great breakfast on Emirates, though.
> Read More: Want a Free Upgrade? Dressing Nice Won’t Cut It…