The Ultimate Upgrade Guide for Air Travellers

The beginning of the 21st century has seen a change in airline policy. September 11th 2001 threatened to change the world of aviation “forever”. Of course it did not but it did hasten a move amongst all airlines to become much more hard-nosed about their commercial reality. If there has been a change it is in the much greater commercial focus of virtually every airline. Nowadays, they have to make sure they look after their best customers. Inevitably, this has a knock-on effect to the way in which they upgrade passengers.

So let’s be sensible about this. Getting an upgrade is getting something for nothing and, as we all know, nothing comes totally free. We are talking about substantial amounts of money. The difference between an Economy and a Business ticket or between a Business and a First Class ticket can be a thousand pounds or more. Which other commercial organisation can you visit and expect to be given goods worth a thousand pounds for free?

But passengers get upgraded every day – some individual passengers seem to manage it on almost every flight – and airlines accept that the upgrade is part of their commercial life. I would guess that by far the majority of long-haul flights have a number of upgraded passengers on board. Getting an upgrade is part of the game of air travel. The object of this report is to show you how to play the game.

So, as in any other game, the only way we will come out on top is to get into the mind of the other side – the airline. We need to understand why an airline might give an upgrade, so we can make sure we are in the right position to get it. There might be nearly 400 passengers on a Boeing 747 and only 80 or so if them in premium cabins. Clearly, not everyone can be upgraded so how do you make sure you are one of them? The answer is to plan in advance – it might not always work, but if you want to play the game you have to have a strategy.

The first thing is to understand why an airline should upgrade at all. Why do they give away expensive seats? They are not mad, but they are very commercially- driven organisations. Broadly, there are two reasons:

1. To optimise aircraft capacity and revenue

If an aircraft has 320 seats in Economy, 75 in Business and 14 in First that means it can carry a total of 409 passengers. The aim has got to be to fill as many seats as possible and get the maximum revenue. What do you do if you can sell 360 seats in Economy, 40 in Business and 8 in First? Do you actually turn away the last twenty in Economy and let the plane go with empty seats? No, of course not – you juggle the passengers around to make sure you get everyone on board and the maximum revenue. In the past, a couple of airlines have claimed they never upgrade but I am afraid I just do not believe them. If you have a full aircraft leaving Singapore for London and you have a waiting list in Business and empty seats in First do you turn away passengers who are offering to pay £1,500 per seat? Somehow, I don’t think so.

2. To please individual passengers

If an aircraft has free seats in both Economy and Business then it does not actually need to upgrade anyone. However, they might choose to do so for their own commercial reasons.

The way the airlines behave in these two circumstances is quite different. Let’s look at how they do it.

To Optimise Aircraft Capacity and Revenue

If the airline knows the booking situation in advance they can plan rationally and will probably look at the following factors:

  • Holders of the airline’s loyalty card – obviously taking higher-status cards in order. They might also look at employees of large corporate clients.
  • In theory, they should look to upgrade those with full fare Economy tickets but there are so many fare codes that this could prove too difficult to do in a hurry.
  • It is easier to move single passengers around the aircraft. A couple or a group of three or more who have reserved together could prove harder to move.
  • Passengers who have requested special catering will probably be ignored – it is just too much trouble to provide the special catering for the upgraded class.

You should note that some airlines offer special corporate deals to large customers which might mean that the company pays for Economy but its staff are put in Business on an “as available” basis.

Some airlines seek to reward their best individual customers by upgrading on a semi-official rota basis. They might look at a passenger’s history and see if it is their turn for an upgrade.

If airport staff have to juggle passengers at the last minute because too many booked passengers have turned up then they might not have time to assess everyone logically.

In this instance, single travellers will certainly have an advantage and especially high-status cardholders. Whether you asked about upgrades or not at check-in, a clerk might have marked you as “SFU” (Suitable For Upgrade). Contrary to popular belief this does not necessarily mean wearing a suite and tie but it does mean you should be reasonably dressed for the circumstances. Jeans might well be acceptable whereas track suits clearly are not. For most airlines, “SFU” means someone whose dress and manner would not look out of place in a premium cabin. Put yourself in the position of the check-in staff; they will ask themselves if the passenger appears polite. Someone who is going to make a fuss about seating is unlikely to be upgraded because they are just as likely to make a fuss about the upgraded seat. In other words, “SFU” is a person who is polite, easy-going and unlikely to give anyone a problem!

To Please Individual Passengers

When an aircraft is not full an airline might still upgrade depending on some of these factors:

  • If you have a high-status card, your number might just come up! In other words, the airline has decided that today is the day to be nice to you.
  • Your company might have a corporate deal which allows for regular upgrading.
  • The airline might have noticed that you used to be a regular passenger but have not flown with them for some time. There could be perfectly innocent reasons but they might decide to make a special effort to welcome you back. This would particularly apply to an upgrade from Business to First.
  • If you have had a problem with a previous flight (which you have complained about in a sensible way without getting hysterical as some passengers do) then the airline might make a note to upgrade you on the next possible occasion.
  • The late arrival of a group of four passengers travelling together (especially a family) might mean the staff wants to juggle passengers. Rather than just remove you from a seat you have been allocated, it is easier to upgrade you!
  • You need to remember that there are no hard and fast rules. Airlines differ as do staff within them. In particular, staff at an out-station might be much more customer-friendly than those at its base where it has a dominant position.

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is among the largest cities in the United States and one of largest metropolitan areas. Incorporated in 1837 with only thirty residents. Atlanta’s ongoing growth is nearing the six million mark. Atlanta is the economic and cultural center of the south.

The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport located only seven miles from downtown Atlanta is the busiest airport in the number of passengers served. Local Tour Operators can get you the cheapest airfares and cheapest car hire prices in Atlanta. Join the more than 90 million passengers from the United States, Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa passing through Atlanta airport annually.

To plan your Activity Holidays in Atlanta depend on Local Tour Operators to find the best deals. Making direct contact with Local Tour Operators saves you time and money on airfares, accommodations and tours to help make your Activity Holidays more enjoyable. By booking Direct through Local Tour Operators, your Activity Holidays can include the best all Atlanta has to offer.

The story of the 1939 film, “Gone with the Wind” is the story of Atlanta’s early history and parallels the early history of the United States. The region was home to the Cherokee Nation until 1836. Atlanta was the home of Martin Luther King, a civil rights leader killed April 4, 1968, advocating civil rights for all citizens. Atlanta is the economic and cultural centre of the south and home to the world’s largest indoor aquarium and two prized polar bears, gifts from China.

Atlanta is a one the best tourist cities in the country among Worldwide visitors. Direct booking of Tours, sporting events and other activities is best way to get the best deals. Local Tour Operators can arrange your Activity Holidays itinerary for you based on your personal preferences. As a city with an $11.4 billion hospitality industry Atlanta’s Civic Visitors Bureau wants their Worldwide visitors to enjoy the Activity Holidays and feel at home in Atlanta.

To plan your next holiday vacation; weekend breakaway Atlanta spring break or summer holidays make all your arrangements by booking Direct through Local Tour Operators. You can rest assured you will enjoy great activity holidays while visiting Atlanta.

Atlanta offers many free and discounted activities and events. There are many Tours of the Botanical Gardens, The World of Coca-Cola; The Georgia Aquarium (the world’s largest); the Atlanta Zoo and Inside CNN, Atlanta. Museum Tours include Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the High Museum of Art and The Atlanta History Center.

Whether you enjoy sports; shopping; visiting museums and art galleries, an active nightlife or worship services in one of Atlanta’s many churches, you can find what you want in Atlanta. Sports bars, cafes, diners, and elegant restaurants offer you southern style cooking, which will have you begging for recipes. Special needs food is available, as is vegetarian meals and meat lover specials. Good food at budget prices is waiting for you in Atlanta.

The Ultimate Beginners Guide To Choosing A Road Bike

Getting a road bike can be a large commitment especially due to the fact you’re embarking onto a new hobby and passion. You never know where it could take you, in a few years time you could be cycling everyday and competing. However for now we’ll just assume you’re gearing and really excited to start your new hobby.

Everyone needs to start somewhere and hopefully this guide is a good place to start. There are many different questions that beginners ask and this guide should cover the main ones.

Below are some things to think about when looking to choose your road bike: ]

Your Bike Compared To Your Skill Level
A road bike should always be chosen with heavy regard to your skill level. Obviously if you’re a beginner you’re going to want a road bike that’s reliable, is comfortable, is the right price and has enough gears to help you get over challenging hills.

You may be new to road bikes but not new to biking overall. Road biking is slightly different to standard biking but there are principles that apply. Look below and try and decipher what level you’re currently at when you bike or what level of commitment you’re trying to obtain.

Low Level Biker
Choosing a low level road bike can be tricky due to the fact many road bikes these days are very expensive. However all is not lost as you can get some great road bikes for decent prices if you look around. You may not get all of the features but you can be sure to get a road bike that does the job. If you’re just starting out and not sure how much you’re going to be using it then you should consider the pricing.

Medium Level Biker
A medium level biker is someone who has had a good amount of experience with bikes and many other different types including mountain and triathlon. A medium level biker should be looking at road bikes within the medium range which is anything up to 500. If you’re going to be taking it seriously then this is necessary. The best road bikes aren’t necessarily the most expensive so it’s best if you do some research beforehand.

High Level Biker
If you’re enthusiastic about biking and it’s a big part of your life but you’re looking for a road bike then you should make sure you’re getting the best possible. It’s known that road bikes can be expensive but if you’re dedicated and sure that you’re going to be using it often then it’s wise to invest a good deal. Most of the high level road bikes are over 500 with most being over the 1000 range. Anything over that and you’re looking at top competition standard. A high level road biker would need as many gears as possible especially to take advantage of certain conditions, make sure you don’t sell yourself short.

The standard amount of road bike gears you’re likely to find in most online and local stores are 14-33 gears. A higher amount of gears will give you the most flexibility when you’re going to tackle hills or bumpy roads with different environments. In most cases it may not be necessary to have a lot of gears, especially if the roads you travel on are mostly flat and have a similar surface. Before you consider how many gears you need look at the environments you’re going to be traveling and use that to make a decision.

Sizing Considerations
As with everything in cycling, the most important factor when it comes to buying a road bike is size. Ideally you’re going to want a bike that fits your dimensions uniquely and gives you a comfortable fit. There are three main benefits to purchasing a road bike that fits.

Comfort – With a bike that fits well and suits your physique you’ll be riding for longer without any discomfort. This is important for any journey but especially so for those long rides which can drain you. A good indicator of whether a bike will fit you is if the seat is in a comfortable position.

Efficiency -How fit and strong you are will dictate how much energy you can exert and also how much the pedals will help you to move forward. However every human body is limited in how much energy it can exert no matter how fit or strong you are. You should try and find a bike that makes it easy to peddle and also make good use of your natural body physique.

Speed – The biggest thing to slow any biker down will be his own weight and also the wind resistance that is pushed against him. That’s why you should find a bike that feels great when you sit and peddle but also when you get into full throttle.