If you know me, you know that I don’t stray much from Star Alliance unless it is a “review” trip for the blog. Yesterday, however, I found myself on KLM and encountered an unexpected upgrade surprise.
My business partner and I needed to get from Frankfurt to Amsterdam and KLM fares were much more reasonable than Lufthansa. We booked “Economy Light” fares, which includes one carry-on item and one personal item, but no checked baggage. Traveling with hand baggage only is essential to us, but when we are on a longer trip the carry-on bags tend to exceed both the size and weight requirements for discount economy class tickets.
While checking in for the flight on the KLM mobile app, I navigated to the seat assignment page. There, I encountered this:
You can see that Economy Comfort upgrades were selling for 10EUR and business class for 59EUR. Both sections offer an extra three inches of legroom. Intra-Europe business class on most European airlines offers an identical seat with lounge access and a meal. I already had access to the Air France lounge in Frankfurt by virtue of my Priority Pass membership and I certainly did not need to waste 59EUR for a small meal.
Even so, we decided to upgrade to business class. Why? Luggage. If our luggage was “caught” at the gate, we would have had to pay almost the same amount and remained in the back of the plane.
When paying for the upgrade, the app glitched and consequently showed business class confirmed but our original seat assignments still intact. A call to KLM web support quickly fixed this. The agent who helped me was charming.
It was a wise move. When it came time to board, the gate agent carefully checked carry-on bags (this was Germany after all). More than a few passengers were ordered to consolidate or pay to check a bag. Even though our bags were oversized, the gate agent took a look at our business class boarding passes and said nothing.
I’ll have more details on the flight later this week.