Cute: British Airways Upgrades 100 Passengers From Economy To First Class

Filed Under: British Airways, Videos

British Airways sure does a great job with their marketing videos. I love their “BA Magic” campaign, where they’ve encouraged people to write in sharing a trip they’d like to take for a special reason, and British Airways (sometimes) makes it happen in a very special way.

On top of that, British Airways is celebrating their 100th birthday, and it’s also Valentine’s Day, so the airline has been upgrading 25 passengers per day between Monday and Thursday (that’s right, part of this campaign took place today). This is part of their effort of doing 100 acts of kindness to celebrate their 100th birthday.

They’re upgrading economy passengers, but not just to premium economy or to business class, but rather all the way to first class. That’s right, they’re triple upgrading passengers!

Here’s the cute video they put together where they let passengers know that they’ve been upgraded:

I appreciate the variety of people they upgraded, from people traveling for their birthdays, to people traveling to see their spouse overseas, to people traveling to see their grandchildren, to people traveling to funerals.

Well done, British Airways!

  1. All lovely with these feel good videos
    now would they please get some Dam# leg room in business class inter Europe flights?
    Its criminal what they are doing to their customers comfort in a fake premium cabin

  2. I would not feel too good if I had paid $10k to be in the same cabin. BA doesn’t know how to treat premium customers properly.

  3. forcing people to be all crammed into a tiny shopping mall known as London Deathrow T5A until 5 seconds before push back is already the ultimate definition of lack of kindness.

  4. Sometimes you have a real miserable set of people on here leaving comments. And so DYKWIA types – I can’t believe people can be so snobby or spiteful! Nobody forces anyone to fly BA after all.

  5. Not cute.
    Rude and ridicule.
    I have tried many times to upgrade from paid BC to FC, using Avios vouchers, and never succeeded, despite plenty empty seats.
    I have had loads of expired vouchers.
    Grumpy Flemish Frequent Flyer

  6. Lovely, I wonder what would happen if they spent that money on NOT CHARGING FOR BUSINESS CLASS SEAT ASSIGNMENTS?

  7. @CharlesH. @Omar –

    You guys are truly lame.

    First of all, BA F is not exactly the most luxurious aspirational product in the world – more comparable to and excellent international business class. Who cares if someone was upgraded vs bought an F ticket. They get to fly with you and drink all your Grand Siecle.

    This is typical snotty frequent flier attitude. I hope you both get downgraded next flight.

  8. I flew first on BA on tuesday and there were at least 3 people who got upgraded to first. One was an older lady and she was so excited to be upgraded. She was ecstatic when she boarded the plane. It was really heart warming.

    I cannot believe people are really posting negative comments about this. I guess it is just really popular to hate on BA.

    It was my first time in first on any airline (or even business) and I felt that BA did an amazing job.

  9. Two sides to this.

    The upgraded passengers naturally are excited.

    But, it’s really unfair for those who paid for first. The airline should refund the difference between first and economy to those who paid for first. That would be equal treatment.

  10. Back in the 80’s …..
    I remember as the cabin filled and the flight attendant walked the aisle with a smile on her face, she would select people to be moved up to the first class cabin.
    I always dressed well and selected an aisle seat for the common opportunity to be moved to first class. Those were the days ….

  11. @ Mark Really? I mean, my god, man. It’s not like they are bringing a cruise ship to dock on your private resort island. It’s a person or two that will have a memory for life. Are you really that jaded and angry to feel as if your space was violated? I suspect you will survive the horrid ordeal just fine.

  12. I’ve been upgraded twice on BA for no reason I knew of. Think one time was act of kindness bc I was traveling with my in laws who are a bit older.

    And all you haters… If you were getting upgraded for no reason you wouldn’t be saying oh what about the other passengers. Grow up. They upgraded 100 people early in the week as an act of kindness. Obviously you need to learn about kindness if you’re mad about people getting upgraded.

  13. 2nd mark agrees with Stuart that 1st mark is a total jerk

    These days I always buy first class, and typically upgrade my family members that visit me to first class just to give them a fun experience.

    (I should change my “mark” name so I am not confused with the jerky mark)

  14. Unfair to people who paid? Are you guys for real?

    This is the equivalent of winning the BA lottery. Paying customers pretty much are guaranteed a First seat, where as the ones who were upgraded had to be extremely lucky.

    Some people are just so miserable.

  15. Ha classic w negative comments. I think it’s great. I fly loads for work but this reminds me of my first time in business class when I was 28. Upgraded randomly on lan chile from Auckland to Sydney. Was so exciting.

    Good for those people

  16. You negative nellies are sad. It’s a nice touch.

    I remember as a 18 yr old traveling alone, I heard my name called at the gate. I go up and the lady says “here is a new boarding pass” and that’s it. I look down and I thought it was an upgrade but I wasn’t sure so I didn’t board with the first/biz passengers. I stood in line and when I got to the plane, they told me to go left! Numerous premium classes later, that is still my fav memory coz I was just so damn excited to be in biz class. Let these ppl enjpy this luxury.

  17. I think this is lovely of BA. What a sad state of affairs that so many people feel negative about a kind deed being done to others. Someone else’s happiness and good luck should not rob us of feeling joy for theirs. It’s a sad, sad world we’ve become.

  18. Clearly the 100 upgrades were selected partially because they’re “nice” people. Same cannot be said for the demographic that usually flies in F (or anywhere premium for that matter), so I think the niceness and even gentility factor actually increased. And the beautiful automatism here is, if you’re upset that someone next to you got upgraded for free, that’s good, because you’re the kind of person who should be upset frequently.

  19. 25 per day is not exactly a lot of seats for British Airways given they operate thousands of flights each day! Wouldn’t cost them much at all but they gain a heap of publicity. All they are doing is moving people from one seat to another on 25 flights. Still carrying same amount of people on plane. maybe a bit of extra cost for food but thats it.

    Mind you if i had paid a fortune for my first class seat and saw someone upgraded from economy to first , i would probably be a bit pissed off!!!!!

  20. What a wonderful way to recognize customers and it’s great to see they picked people in special circumstances. BA is not my favorite airline, but still congrats on a job well done!
    The negative comments here are just sad, pity you can’t be happy for other people…

  21. Btw this whole game is about flying premium for cheap. I buy lifemiles or Alaska miles and fly lh first to Europe or jal from Tokyo to Ord for 1/10th of the price of others. And I don’t feel bad! He he

  22. I hope some of the comments here are just jokes because I can’t (don’t want to) believe that’s how some of you really feels about an upgrade for just 100 passengers.

  23. As long as they don’t upgrade babies or screaming toddlers, I’m totally fine with econ people getting upgrade to first. I mean some of us are lucky to sit in first/ business all the time due to work etc. It’s nice to see people who normally couldn’t afford or know how to play the game to sit in premium class once in awhile.

  24. Lol, hilarious to read some of the negative comments here.

    Plenty of people here spend half their days figuring out how to fly premium cabins as cheap as possible, but when other people receive a free upgrade it’s ‘unfair’. Grow up, just be happy for them – upgrades happen, deal with it.

    If it was you being upgraded you wouldn’t be so concerned about those other paying customers in First…

  25. Well, now we know a lot of Lucky’s readers are jealous vultures who begrudge anyone but themselves getting a free upgrade. You all make me sick. This site is disgusting.

  26. @Mick – exactly right. Either:
    – Majority of those who do fly biz or first are doing so for work, so not paying for their tickets anyway.
    – Those who can afford to do it on their own dime aren’t typically doing it as a one-off and do it regularly (& I’d hope most have the humility to recognize how fortunate they are)
    – Many of us on these forums play the points & miles game, so we get to fly these classes for substantial discounts to paying passengers

    The only folks who may have a point are those that can never redeem their miles when they want as upgrades aren’t available. But I’m sure they can recognize that the huge impact this may have on those 100 people, the majority of who have likely never had the money or opportunity to fly first. For them, I feel great.

  27. THE worst airline. At the very least they should start by allowing paid Business Club World transatlantic passengers the ability to select their seats. And, when they pay extra to select a seat, NOT to switch them with no notice to that passenger. THE worst airline.

  28. Rob,

    BA making J flyers pay to choose their seats is looking after their elite flyers, who will be BA Gold and can choose their seats for free. It makes sense to reward their best customers at the expense of those who fly with BA rarely.

    Can’t belief all this jealousy of people getting a good deal on a site which is devoted to people getting a good deal!

  29. Whilst some of the negative comments may be a bit harsh, not sure I agree with those simply dismissing them as miserable and jealous.

    I generally travel business on cash tickets (though not with BA with their current product), and generally save my miles for first (unless there is a particularly good cash deal), and like almost everyone on here I would certainly appreciate an upgrade, so could hardly begrudge others getting one.

    However this is a bit different with 100 economy passenger getting an upgrade straight to first. If I had paid for a business class seat and was BA gold and then had several economy passengers upgraded to first on my flight I would be rather miffed.

    I also see how someone who had paid for F on one of these flights may not be so happy, as whilst of course nobody has any right to expect a half empty cabin, it could still adversely someone who had paid to be in that cabin if it was an 8 seat 787 F cabin for example and 3 people got upgraded from economy.

    Not trying to be negative, just my thoughts.

  30. Such spiteful reactions to this heartwarming video. Might I suggest a less gloomy diet? You’ll live longer (I’m a doctor).

    Kudos BA. I’ll happily pay full fare to a company that goes above and beyond to delight its passengers.

  31. So I had been booked into business class by my office and had used my own miles to fly in first class just because I needed to get a good few hours of sleep. A couple of extremely loud and disruptive women had been upgraded and so on my 12 hour flight from London to Singapore I got 1 hour of sleep which meant I had a terrible day. I believe that if you want to be truly kind to people you should at least be polite and remember those who have a good reason for flying first.

    I just feel bad for those who were continuing on to Sydney with those extremely rude women

    Rant over happy birthday BA

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