How Not to Check-In for a Long Haul Flight

Joe here! So, my first post as the less creative and expressive of the Pitkins, but hey, I’ll give it a go!

There we were, the day before setting off on our 6 months travels around South and Central America, super excited/a little bit nervous. Our manager at work had got us on the friends and family list for British Airways, but told us not to get our hopes up for an upgrade. Naturally we got our hopes up!

We decided not to check in online, thinking we might stand a better chance of getting an upgrade if we checked in at the airport.

The next morning, 2 hours early for our flight, full of confidence and happy as larry, we got to the BA check-in desk. Our plan was in three parts:

  1. Be extra smiley 
  2. Drop in to conversation about it being our honeymoon
  3. Keep all fingers and toes crossed

The check-in lady wasn’t having any of it. Not only did we not get upgraded, we were the last people on the plane to check in and this didn’t even get seats together!

I would say we were gutted, but that would be an understatement! We tried to be positive about it, the check-in attendant said we could speak to the crew at the gate and see if anything could be done. This perked us up a bit, there was hope…

Once through security we headed over to the British Airways help desk (keeping to the – extra smiley, honeymoon, everything crossed – plan). Unfortunately they told us it was a full plane and everyone around us was sat together. We tried our best to smile super sweetly and get upgraded to the two free business class seats…

…but more rejection.

They would love to they said, but it’s not something they could do.

Finally, almost defeated, our last chance was the staff at the gate. We executed our plan one final time, desperately smiley this time! Credit to the BA staff, they largely towed the same corporate line.

Thankfully, finally, at last… our lady/hero at the gate saved the day as she told us another couple only had 4 minutes to get to the airport, and it was unlikely they would make it. Luckily for us, not so for them, they didn’t make the 4 minute cut off and we got seats together! Hallelujah. Fran and I reset out meltdown clocks!

Not the upgrade we wanted but at least we were sat together for the first leg of our trip! 

Moral of the story – don’t get your hopes up, check in online the day before like everyone else on the flight, and karma is a b***h.


How did I do? Has anyone else managed to get upgraded? What are your top tips? Leave us a comment below! 

Follow us on Instagram @pitkinswithpassports for more of our travel photos.

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