While accessing my AOL email account (I know, I never left the 90’s) I saw an article about “How to Score Secret Airline Perks.” Most of the “secret perks” fall firmly into the “so what?” category, like champagne on Air France, concierges on Air New Zealand, and food in coach on Continental, but this suggestion stuck out to me:
Y-Ups are special codes on first-class airfare which indicate that the seat can be assigned to those looking to upgrade from economy. To find one of these secret fares, go to your preferred airline’s Web site. Search the first-class seats on the flight you want to take. If any of those seats are tagged to a code like Q***UP, write that code down. Then, search for an upgradeable coach seat (some airlines don’t allow upgrades for super-cheap coach fares) and write down that code, too. Finally, call the airline–they’ll usually waive the telephone service fee for frequent fliers, if you ask–and request that your coach seat be upgraded to the first-class seat. For the price of coach, of course.
What the heck are they talking about? I’m familiar with Q-UP fares, but this has to be some of the worst (or at least most poorly worded) advice I’ve seen in months. Q-UP fares are typically paid (discounted) first class fares, and not upgrades. Yes, maybe it’s a similar price as full fare coach, but I can’t even begin to imagine how many hundreds of travelers are going to be calling their airlines and saying “yes, I want my free upgrade that I read about on AOL.”