There has been a lot of publicity surrounding Delta “denying” upgrades to the US Olympic curling team, which won a gold medal. I don’t view it as a big deal one way or another. The team nicely asked on Twitter if there was any possibility of an upgrade, and Delta responded and said no. Personally I think they should have said that business class was full or that no upgrades were available, rather than saying that they didn’t have any “upgrades to offer,” in order to avoid backlash. There’s certainly some disagreement about whether it’s appropriate for a team to make a request like that, though personally I don’t view it as a big deal.
Hi, there. Congratulations, gold medal champions! We are honored to be your ride back home! While we don't have any upgrades to offer, we look forward to seeing you on board. Thanks for flying with us! *AJL
— Delta (@Delta) February 24, 2018
It’s interesting that the above interaction is getting quite a bit of media attention, though no one is talking about a certain Canadian gold medalist.
Specifically, Sebastien Toutant won an Olympic gold medal for snowboarding, and is flying from Seoul Incheon to Toronto today on Air Canada. Before his flight he Tweeted the following:
2 days ago i won a Gold medal for Canada and today i’m flying 57A on a @AirCanada flight… What a great Olympic partner [thumbs down] #sarcasm
First of all, it’s interesting to note that the boarding pass specifically said “OLYM” on it, presumably to signify that he’s part of some sort of an Olympic team. It’s also my understanding that Air Canada is giving these athletes some sort of recognition for these flights, which is why the boarding pass shows Elite 75K status on it (he may or may not have earned it otherwise, we don’t know).
As I said with the Delta situation, there’s nothing wrong with nicely asking for an upgrade. But to sarcastically shame an airline (especially the official sponsor of the Canadian Olympic team) for not upgrading you comes across as entitled and pathetic.