The Spouse and Upgrades Debate

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Post #6 compliments of Mr. Deals…

Last week Mrs. Deal wrote a guest post on the MilesQuest blog on the topic of “The Spouse and Upgrades Debate.” Today though, I want to tell my side of the story…

This is going to be a quick story about a fantastic trip Mrs. Deals and I shared to Hawaii about 6 months before we got married. We decided somewhat last minute that we wanted to go on vacation and had all sorts of free nights to use at Hyatt thanks to Mrs. Deals taking advantage of her constant travel. Hawaii sounded great and even better, we were both able to get the first week of December off. This is a fantastic time to travel if you don’t have kids. Reason being, all the kids are in school and the hotels are pretty empty and relaxing, especially in Hawaii. On top of that, it’s just cheaper (even though we were going primarily with free flights and hotels).

Mrs. Deals and I are loyal to American Airlines and we (she) had a few vouchers to burn on flights. At the time, Mrs. Deals was in heavy travel mode and living comfortably with Executive Platinum status while I had nothing. That’s cool though, because I had gotten used to traveling with someone who had Executive Platinum as some of the perks transferred over to me – free checked bags, premium seat choice, the occasional upgrade, etc.

So the trip was about 10 days, with 5 nights in Kauai and 3 nights in Oahu. We loved it, and anytime we think about taking a vacation, Hawaii always comes up in the conversation. Kauai is just fantastic as it’s very small and easy to navigate. The beaches are beautiful and you can snorkel right off the sand just about everywhere you go. Oahu was all about the North Shore. As a surfer, I felt like we had to visit the mecca of surfing, Pipeline. We spend 2 days driving up from Waikiki beach (about an hour) and watched some amazing surfing in death defying waves. We loved it. We’ll be blogging more about it, not to worry.

Back to the real point of this story, the travel. Like I mentioned, upgrades were a part of Mrs. Deals Executive Platinum status. On our way home from Hawaii we had booked a redeye (to maximize our travel experience). Upon checking in we immediately sought upgrades for the flight as Mrs. Deals had a few 500 mile upgrades she could apply to the trip. The problem was, there was only 1 seat available in business class.

Mrs. Deals figured it wasn’t worth it and said we should just sit together in coach. I thought to myself, let’s at least get a meal on this long flight home! I pushed her to go get the upgrade and we discussed swapping seats in the middle of the flight. She started out in business class (BIG MISTAKE) and the plan was to swap sometime around the meal so we could both have a little something to eat. Well the swap never happened and Mrs. Deals enjoyed a nice meal by herself up in business class, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t thinking of me. She was nice enough to send back the ice cream sundae to me in coach. When the flight attendant gave it to me, I couldn’t help but laugh because I knew that she was not leaving this seat. I will say I enjoyed the sundae, but I think the little girl sitting diagonal from me on the aisle was really jealous.

I learned my lesson. From now on if we are ever in this situation, I’m starting in business class. As I write this though, I am in a business class seat on a redeye back from LA. This is all thanks to an eVIP upgrade Mrs. Deals was so kind to let me use…

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  1. When I’ve given my upgrade to my other half, somehow Economy Plus seems so painful. And, whatever she says, it always seems to make it worse…

  2. I guess I don’t really understand this “spouse and upgrades debate.” Maybe I’m just way too conditioned by MY spouse. When we travel together, it’s a foregone conclusion that I must ensure we are BOTH upgraded. There *is* no other scenario to consider.

    • @Gary – I am still conservative with my miles, so do not use miles for upgrades. If one of us can get a complimentary upgraded seat – why not! This seldom happens, so not to worry, Mr. Deals and I fly next to each other 99.99% of the time.

  3. @NB – haven’t tried economy plus but I’ll take what I can get.

    @Gary – You’ve spoiled your wife!!! I don’t mind the occasional upgrade. It just seems so sweet when it happens.

    • It is not meant to be sad! We both have a good sense of humor and think it is a funny story. He was very happy with the ice cream sundae let me tell you!

  4. From what I understand, most FAs and most airlines frown on a mid-flight switch between cabins. You’ve only paid/redeemed for one person to get the premium food and all the booze, and they don’t want to serve that to two. You should always ask nicely first, and they may say ok, but don’t be shocked if you’re denied.

    • @Swag – The flight attendant was really good about sending back the ice cream sundae, but I agree – do not assume they will allow this.

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