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Anonymous13 Aug 2012
Has anyone had a similar problem?
I am due to fly on emirates from johannesburg to london in november/december i purchased a flex ticket but cannot find an upgrade to business class the response on the internet says no seats available please try again closer to departure this is not the first time its happened13 Aug 2012
Yup. Happened to me before. I called Customer Service. They said that seats with upgrades are VERY few on the flight, and are usually available if booked well in advance.
They gave me the same suggestion “please try again closer to departure” – i tried everyday till 6 hours before departure but no seats were available. This was on the Madrid – DXB route.
My understanding is, that they give you upgrades ONLY if they are sure Business Class isn’t going to sell out on the flight.
But if you are a silver or gold member you can try your luck at the check in counter – where you can redeem miles to upgrade. If there is a BC seat available they will upgrade you.13 Aug 2012
That is Strange. Ive never really seen a Gold member fly Economy in my 5 trips! And as a silver i see a 50% chance of upgrading.
Perhaps its the choice or route that has something to do with this? For E.g DXB – BLR: I never get an upgrade! But on routes like Madrid – DXB or SFO – DXB upgrades are given out quite generously.
But not allowing a gold member an upgrade is shocking – considering you clock 50,000 miles on emirates in a year at least!13 Aug 2012
I have on several occasions got the same message, ie, try closer to departure, I normally check several times a week and have quite often managed to get a miles upgrade, last resort is to try in the lounge before departure and very often I have managed to get a last minute upgrade with miles just before boarding.
And the very very last option is to upgrade on board if you see available seats in Business, the purser will do this for you, once I did a double upgrade from Y to F on board, something that is not possible to do in advance.
A tip when about to book a flight to a destination with several flights a day or if you are somewhat flexible with dates is to call Skywards and ask them if there currently are upgrades available on any of the flights you are thinking about booking and then go online and upgrade as soon as you have purchased the ticket, this has worked for me in the past.
For clarity I am talking about upgrades using miles here, op upgrades is of course a different story….13 Aug 2012
Back in April, I booked business class flights LHR-DXB-COK return. Shortly after booking I was able to upgrade the first sector to DXB from business to first. All other flights were coming up as unavailable and with the same messages mentioned above. Calling EK didn’t help other than EK offering to waitlist an upgrade for a week, which never became available. I tried again last week, and a second upgrade appeared for one of the return sectors. Upgrades become available as they gauge demand on the flights, so I guess it will be hit or miss depending on route and seasonality.13 Aug 2012
Which dates if you don’t mind me asking. They used to use D Class for reward seat redemption in Business Class – so I can see on my system what is says (one of the few airlines an agent can see reward activity if it is still D class for redemption which I was told last year). I guess it won’t be different from what you have been told but curious to know and possibly help?13 Aug 2012
When I request availability in D Class I get the following – looks like EK764 is the only flight at the moment with no D Class availability. Could you go EK766 then EK29 – gets you to London 2 hours later?
JNB DXB 1350#0005 EK 762 D4
JNB DXB 2220#0820 EK 766 D5
There is nothing on the 22nd available on any of the 8 DXB-LON flights showing. Nor on the retrun on the 5th +/- 2 days.
The below flights look like they have D Class on the 8th or 10th December
DXB JNB 08/0440 1050 EK 761 D7
DXB JNB 08/1440 2050 EK 765 D5
DXB JNB 10/1440 2050 EK 765 D5
I’m not sure if you can change your current ticket for free or the change fee to any of the above flights if they work for you but thought it may help. Obviously you’d need to talk to Skywards to confirm that it is still D Class which is the “Upgrade” class.
Hope that helps – let me know if I can help any further
Tim13 Aug 2012
Based on my experience on flying DXB-JNB quite a bit, 764 is quite a busy flight, 762 and 766 is normally less loaded, return from DXB the late flight 765 is normally less loaded than the others, November and December is quite some time in to the future and the dates you have is not a busy travel period so I am quite sure you will get upgrades on all legs eventually.
Following up on update from TimFitzgeraldTC it might be worth calling Skywards to check if some of the dates and flights he mentions is indeed having seats available for upgrades and change dates accordingly.
Please update this thread when you have flown to let us know how it went with the upgrades. 762/761 is going to be an A380 again on the dates you have so even more seats in J should be available eventually.13 Aug 2012
travelling on ek from lhr to jnb on 10 march and guess what
no upgrades available on any of their flights from lgw or lhr
being a gold member im considering another gulf airline20 Feb 2013
I’d keep checking in case it does open out. Otherwise as a Gold memeber you can do it at the airport or even on board with the Purser if there are seats physically free. One of my clients did this last week on DXB to Bangkok.
Not as good as being confirmed beforehand but still a chance.
Hope that helps
Tim20 Feb 2013