Premium Service first class, a $400 bump, and first class on the next flight…

…the only thing that could make this day any better is ice cream!

Yes, it has been a good day so far. The Tampa ground crew were quite excited this morning about the aircraft swap from a regular 757 to a Premium Service 757. As I was checking in my favorite service director in Tampa asked whether I wanted anyone else upgraded, because they’d just be upgrading non-status passengers otherwise. Sadly I didn’t have a traveling companion for once! As I mentioned yesterday, I had the same plane from Tampa to Washington to San Francisco (both flights were supposed to be a regular 757, but both became a Premium Service 757 — meaning 72 fewer seats!). I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had placed me in business class proactively on the connecting flight.

I asked the agent to place me on the bump list for the second flight, and he literally laughed out loud when he saw how badly the flight was oversold — “happy I’m not working that flight!”

The flight to Washington was fairly uneventful. Sitting across the aisle from me was a FlyerTalker, and being in first class on a Premium Service 757 wasn’t half bad. We’ve come a long way from Ted!

I get to Washington, where my connection was leaving from the same gate. At the counter is a line 20 people deep, and I constantly hear the agent saying “you’ll need to sign here,” meaning she was already voluntarily denying people boarding. I went online to look at “My Itineraries,” and noticed that I had already been rebooked in first class on a later flight.

I went to the Red Carpet Club, where the cheery agent gladly processed my bump.

While I don’t get Premium Service business class, I was originally booked in coach (and probably wouldn’t have cleared my upgrade), so I’m a happy camper being in first class a couple of hours later $400 richer.

My next flight is zeroed out as well, so crossing my paws that I’ll get lucky again… and also crossing my paws that I don’t overdose on pretzels here in the Senator Lounge…

Filed Under: Travel, United
  1. Serious props, Ben. Wow.

    I’m waiting for the next entry, “…but WAIT, there’s more!”

    What a 180 from your previous worry of coach on the transcon.

  2. You may have gotten the seat, but I’m sure you didn’t get the P.S. meal.

    Coins, have you ever flown P.S. to/from JFK? If so, what was the difference between ‘real P.S.’ and TPA/IAD P.S.?

  3. So did the RCC agent put you on the volunteer list and bump you after you went in there? Or were you previously on the volunteer list (TPA agent?) and the RCC just said, “yup here you go.” Why were you automatically bumped off that flight and re-booked on a later one if that was before you went to the RCC to get bumped?

  4. @ Dan — Hah, I’ve flown PS many, many, many times, in both first and business (well over a dozen each). The similarities end with the seats. On PS you get the DVD players and the food is substantially better. Either way first class is only staffed with one flight attendant nowadays, though.

    @ FriendlySkies — I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t check, since I was wondering the same thing. Spent most of the flight talking to the FlyerTalker seated across from me, so didn’t have a chance to check.

    @ DiscoPapa — I added my name to the list in TPA. I assume some GA saw I was on the list while I was in-flight from TPA to IAD, given how oversold the flight was, and went ahead to protect me on a later flight before the flight disappeared. So by the time I got to the RCC I just mentioned I was already on the VDB list and protected on the next flight, and just asked her to process the compensation, which she could easily do.

  5. Hey Lucky, I am sure it is odd to post a comment to a post four years ago but I figured my bump story fits here. Flying back home from Christmas in Denver on Sunday and boarding had just completed on the embarrer that I was flying into Manchester from my layover in Chicago on. Sitting in the single side of the plane being a big and tall guy I was miserable. My head was hitting the ceiling above my seat and I was pressed against the arm rests.. Then the gate agent came on board and made an announcement. A passenger somehow got his ticket canceled and they needed a volunteer to make room and offered a First Class seat on the next Boston flight and 500 in voucher needless to say I rapidly hit my call button and got offloaded. They even have me $14.00 in meal vouchers. It was a great Christmas present from United.

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