A free upgrade thanks to an aircraft swap: TPG reader success story

Sep 6, 2020

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We want to hear from you! Take the TPG U.K. Reader Survey here.

We’ve been asking to hear your travel success and mistake stories to both celebrate and help our TPG U.K. community — even if you’re not travelling right now.

This week, Shaun emailed in to share his good luck with a recent United Airlines booking.

“I needed to travel from London back to New York at the end of last month. I had booked with United in its premium economy cabin on what was originally scheduled to be operated by what was I think a Boeing 787-10. After booking the flight, the operating aircraft was changed to a Boeing 787-9. The big difference was that the 787-9 aircraft operating my flight does not have a premium economy cabin. 

While sometimes aircraft changes result in you being downgraded to a lower cabin, luck was on my side. I’m writing this to you while sitting in the wonderful Polaris business-class cabin on UA15 from London (LHR) to Newark (EWR).

Rather than downgrade me, they upgraded me instead!”

Related: As good as United transcon gets: A review of Polaris business from New York to Los Angeles on the Boeing 787-10

The pandemic has seen a number of cuts to service standards on board, especially in relation to catering. It is great to hear that Shaun received a free upgrade to a much better seat on his United flight, rather than being downgraded to economy as happens with some airlines.

It’s a good reminder to keep an eye on your bookings to see what aircraft your flight is operated by. In some cases, aircraft are switched to older machines, which may mean you may want to look at picking an alternate frequency. Or, in some cases, you may be rewarded with a newer aircraft. Either way, make sure to keep up to date with your booking so you know what to expect.

Featured image by Zach Griff / The Points Guy

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