Would you turn down an earlier flight if it meant giving up an upgrade?

I am currently sitting at the gate for my flight from PDX-DFW on American. My weekend has been spent on a mileage run to Anchorage to aid in my requalification for Exec. Plat. on American. Final routing was MCI-DFW-SEA-ANC-PDX-DFW-MCI, with upgrades cleared for all segments (except the AS codeshare flights to/from ANC).

My Alaska Airlines flight from Anchorage landed early enough that I could have made the 5:45am (v. 7am) flight to Dallas, yet I chose to stick with the 7am flight because I had already received my upgrade to first class, and choosing the earlier flight would mean sitting in economy. Normally, I have no problem sitting in economy, but the thought of a hot meal and a larger seat (which means I can get some sleep) seemed like the better option to me. Of course, the only downside is that I could have gotten home two hours earlier if I had taken the 5:45am flight.

What would you have done in the same situation?


anthony b October 13, 2013 at 10:23 am

Daniel, I would have taken the later upgraded flight as well.

David B October 13, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Did it once though would not make a habit of it. Flying AA as an ExecPlat, I got into ORD early and saw a flight to SJC was departing a two hours earlier than the one I had booked (and was confirmed in F on). No F space was available on the earlier flight but the gate agent said she'd give me a seat in coach with extra leg room and block the other two seats in the row (a 738). Had a very pleasant flight with lots of room, a substantial comp sandwich and bag of almonds, and several free alcoholic drinks. Was thus able to enjoy the balance of the day in San Jose. This was only one of two non-F experiences on AA domestic I've had on two cabin aircraft since I started flying them again following the 1K status match. (Certainly a better CPU rate than I've had on UA since the merger!)

I would never have given up the upgrade! :)

rocky October 13, 2013 at 03:07 pm

If you're exp I would have taken the earlier flight, you probably could have goT a seat in main cabin extra with extra leg room and a free drink and snack. Its not a long fight and it would be worth getting home early.

Fly earlier. I do it all the time. Especially if it means actually getting home earlier. I've done middle seat in E-, down from an upgraded seat, to get home earlier. Not every time, but often enough.

Mike October 14, 2013 at 01:24 pm

For a little over an hour difference? Stick with the confirmed upgrade. If it was two or more hours, I might take the earlier flight.

Graham October 14, 2013 at 07:07 pm

Definitely would have kept the later flight. Economy is just such a difficult place to be these days, especially on a longer route such as PDX-DFW.

I would stick with the upgrade because I usually write while at the airport anyway.

RDimperio October 15, 2013 at 10:56 am

I was tempted by an earlier flight but kept my First seats. Wrong choice for travel on a regional jet. In retrospect I would have preferred the earlier arrival in coach. There is nothing special on an United EMB 170 for a 2.5 hour flight.

Roberto October 15, 2013 at 10:59 am

I have a time threshold on this. Sometimes a couple of hours makes no difference to me. But 3+ hrs. difference. I jump on the next flight. The food factor is also good, I enjoy having a meal on a flight with a nice view of the sky.

I do it weekly. Upgrade > arrival time.

bobsgt January 7, 2014 at 10:36 am

Giving up an upgrade to wait at DFW instead of PDX? (You still had to go DFW-MCI, yes? And you make no specific mention of an earlier DFW-MCI flight- just eluded to it...) I would prefer to wait at PDX for sure. (And keep the upgrade)