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badice.com ~ travel musings for the masses

A belated “Happy New Year!” to anyone who still visits.

Yes, I am alive and well and back in Houston after a long break for Christmas and the ringing-in of 2008.

My recent trip to Chicago and small town Indiana was capped on both ends with upgrades to first class on Continental Airlines, and I would like to point out a few things.

For one, Continental’s upgrade methods are probably some of the easiest in the industry to acquire, especially after you understand the way it works. As an elite OnePass member, you receive complimentary upgrades whenever there is space available on the aircraft. First to be upgraded are Platinums, then Golds, and finally Silvers. There is also a fourth group of fliers who can be upgraded, the Y class ticket-holders. Y class tickets are full fare economy tickets. After all of the OnePass members have been upgraded, Y class ticket holders are upgraded in order of check-in time (as long as there is space available).

For my trip, the system worked flawlessly. I was set to leave on December, 26th and upon checking-in noticed that my seat was changed to 1B. A pleasant surprise. On the return, I was put in 2A and was going to give the upgrade to my girlfriend Jess but after talking to the gate agent, was actually able to get her in the front cabin with me. I have pondered how the gate agent was able to give me the seat and after watching the gate area I think I figured it out.

For one, this was a packed flight. Since it was the 31st of December, there were not a lot of business travelers (elites) and I’m assuming there were not any Y class ticket holders. I simply walked up to the gate and asked if there was any room in the front cabin. The agent looked at me and surprisingly said “yes”. A few minutes later and Jess had a seat next to me, making the trip home even more enjoyable.

The time in Indiana was well spent with family and it was a real treat to be able to spend more quality time with my grandmother who has not been well over the last year. I will post pictures from the trip as soon as I get them organized and uploaded.

This blog will be seeing some changes and a potential move over the next few weeks so stay tuned.

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