Does choosing a meal ruin your chance of an upgrade?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  handbag 1 Nov 2018
at 21:41
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  • BugAdvisor
    Participant

    I’ve always heard that requesting a special meal, as in gluten free, vegetarian, Kosher, Halal, meant that your chance of an upgrade were ruined – the equivalent wouldn’t be available in Business Class.

    But how about selecting one of the standard meals in advance?

    In my example, I have two seats on a BA flight to LGW-MCO in Premium Economy (or WTP+). One BA Gold and one Silver – so perhaps in the running for an operational upgrade. Under ‘manage my booking’ we can choose from one of two standard meals:
    Seared British Fillet Steak with Porcini Herb Crumb, Dauphinoise Potato & Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale Rich Jus
    Marinated Massamon (sic.) Chicken with Jasime (sic.) Rice & Choi Sum Cabbage
    Both sound very nice, despite the misspellings, although I’m guessing the reality will be somewhat different.

    If we choose one of the above meals – does that impact our chances of upgrade?

    Prize to anyone who mentions ‘First World Problems’ in their response!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    on BA – the answer is Yes (although I am sure exceptions have been made)..

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    rferguson
    Participant

    Hey Bugadvisor I did reply to your question but for some reason it isn’t showing.

    The short answer is that YES, if you order a SPML you will still be considered for an upgrade.

    The policy changed about six months ago and originally it was the case that if you ordered a SPML you wouldn’t be considered for an U/G.

    If you order a SPML and the U/G happens same day as departure you may still receive the SPML you ordered in your original cabin.

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I’ve also heard it does with any airline, not just BA. If they upgrade you, it would mean someone who takes your seat on a full flight will get your meal choice instead of the standard meal so best to have a good meal beforehand (or after) and hope for the upgrade.


    rferguson
    Participant

    Sorry just to add your UG chances will not be impacted whether you pre-order a regular meal choice either. Just the same caveat will apply regarding what you will receive if the UG happens close to departure.


    rferguson
    Participant

    I’ve also heard it does with any airline, not just BA. If they upgrade you, it would mean someone who takes your seat on a full flight will get your meal choice instead of the standard meal so best to have a good meal beforehand (or after) and hope for the upgrade.

    Exactly LP.

    So say WTP is full and there is a need to upgrade a customer to CW. They upgrade a customer who has ordered a Diabetic Meal. Another customer from WT will likely be upgraded to WTP (WT is nearly always overbooked). But the trucks are usually being loaded up the day before at the catering unit so the WTP catering will still include the Diabetic Meal.


    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    Having flown this route a fair few times I wouldn’t get your hopes up on an upgrade. CW has always been universally busy.

    Unless you are on a newer 772, which is rare for LGW, you will get to ‘enjoy’ BA’s original WTP product which IMHO is the worst premium economy seat / IFE in the sky. That said, when I flew in J on this sector a few weeks ago the CW IFE was dreadful; small screen, poor resolution only loaded with latest releases and about 7 films in something called movie library. Sitting in row 4 I was constantly missed out by the cabin crew as one worked from the front and one from the rear. Worst flight in a long time.

    There is quite a discrepancy between the older 772 and newer versions in both WTP and CW.

    However, as you say, a little bit of a first world problem(!)


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Having flown this route a fair few times I wouldn’t get your hopes up on an upgrade. CW has always been universally busy.

    Probably due to a number of upgrades from WTP 😉


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    Two weeks ago I flew LHR > LAS and had booked in WTP. I had pre-ordered Beef. At the gate I was upped to CW and, when meal service came around I was asked “you ordered a special meal?” No. “OK, let me check” followed by “you ordered beef” It was actually one of the best fillet steaks that I ever had on an airline. Medium rare, big and tasty. On the way back, to LGW, I had booked CW and again had the beef. No comparison with the outbound meal.

    So, to answer your question, no, it does not stop an UPG.


    Sandie
    Participant

    Interesting! So despite holding Platinum level and usually on a full fare economy H/B/Y ticket my VLML stands in the way of an upgrade, I will be passed up by default?

    I was always in the assumption most loyal or paying customers (i.e. highest membership tier, highest miles balance, higher fare class) were the first in line to be upgraded.


    rferguson
    Participant

    Interesting! So despite holding Platinum level and usually on a full fare economy H/B/Y ticket my VLML stands in the way of an upgrade, I will be passed up by default?

    I was always in the assumption most loyal or paying customers (i.e. highest membership tier, highest miles balance, higher fare class) were the first in line to be upgraded.

    Sandie – in short…NO. Ordering a SPML will have no bearing on whether you will be selected for upgrade or not.

    Upgrading at BA works like this – on flights where there may be the need to upgrade (due to overbooking in economy) BA uses a ‘Discretionary Upgrade Tool’ (DUT). The DUT is basically a list of those eligible to be considered for an upgrade. Where you are on the list doesn’t necessarily depend on your CIV or Tier level. The system also takes into account previous upgrades, how many flights are done on BA and other factors. One factor that USED to restrict someone of being on the DUT is whether they had a SPML ordered/in their profile. Primarily because the meals for a flight are prepared before the UG will be actioned.

    This has all changed now. In 2018 ‘we have to treat everyone the same’ if you have a SPML ordered/on your profile it will not affect the possibility of being upgraded.

    Edited to add – the above applies to BA flights i’ve no idea how other airlines work their upgrades.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    handbag
    Participant

    If you are on a BA flight and you do get upgraded and you ordered a SPML, that you would still like to have, then mention it to the Crew. If for instance you ordered a Kosher Meal, it will have been loaded. If you are not offered it, then will still be sitting in the WT Galley. Personally, if I wanted it, I would mention as early as possible. There are often several spare SPML from Upgrades, “I didn’t order it” and no shows. If a Crew member comes into the galley and asks for a SPML for someone that hadn’t ordered, it would then be given away to them, as I would think it was not needed.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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