AA upgradeWhen First Class is Cheaper than Coach
Back in December, when my dad and I went to Las Vegas to play golf with a PGA Tour Pro for Expedia and MasterCard’s Priceless Moments, we flew from LA on American Airlines. When I checked him in for his return LAS-LAX flight, I noticed they were offering upgrades to First class for just $45. I jumped all over it because I wasn’t going to be there to travel with him (I was heading to Europe for a Christmas Market cruise) and I wanted him to be more comfortable, and given more care from the flight crew.

It was a good deal—but it would have been even better had he been checking two bags or more. How’s that? On American and most other legacy airlines, there is a $25 charge for the first checked bag and a $35 charge for the second. As you can see from the screenshot above, the $45 upgrade not only included a more comfortable seat but up to three checked bags, priority boarding to guarantee overhead bin space and free drinks!

Moral of the story? When you check-in for your flight, see if the airline is offering an upgrade because sometimes it might be cheaper than flying coach with bags (and sometimes even without).



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11 Comments On "Travel Tip of the Day: When First Class is Cheaper than Coach"
  1. Phyllis|

    I did this several times on Air Tran. I looked for double miles but didn’t see them. I called. They didn’t give the correspondingly higher miles for the first class flight because it had not been a first class ticket purchased as such. It had been a coach ticket. And those were the miles I received.

  2. Carmine|

    Do u ck with the airlines online or at the counter at the airport?

  3. Anonymous|

    Not sure.

  4. Kristy|

    He checked his dad in and has a printscreen, so it had to be an online check-in.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      It was online.

  5. Anonymous|

    Delta never does this.

  6. george|

    Delta is begining to be a last choice for flyers.

  7. Richard Choate (@fireski2003)|

    How do you find out if the airline is offering upgrades prior to your flight? Is it offered just for an individual flight or is a wide open offer. I struggle just to get an emergency row seat.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      It all depends on the airline and the flight load for that particular flight.

  8. Richard Choate (@fireski2003)|

    But how do you find out if the airline is offering upgrades prior to the flight?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      You don’t! Otherwise, the airline wouldn’t be able to charge $$$

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