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This is discounted by the fact that many will already be sitting in the premium cabin.Now to reach invitation-only status can be quite a challenge – unless you are a corporate high flyer, senior civil servant of a banana republic or Mr. British Airways has its invitation only from United Airlines.
Say there are a total of 10 million members – you can expect about 120,000 (1.2%) mid-tier members, 5,000 (0.05%) top-tier members and 500 (0.005%) invitation-only members.
Of course, elite members happen to fly a lot more often than standard members, so their relative density on any given flight will be a lot higher.
At the very least you should always join the airline program which will give you immediate priority over any non-members.
Also consider the distribution of members in a standard frequent flyer program.
This uncertainty is the actually one of the best way the average passenger can circumvent the standard upgrade rules.
Alitalia Airlines Seat Assignment
Because airlines hate delays and sometimes decisions need to be made quickly at the gate to get the flight away on-time.For most flyers getting top-tier status in your program is probably the single best thing you can do to increase operational upgrade chances.In addition, top-tier members can get other upgrade bonuses – priority clearance when requesting an upgrade using points or miles and perhaps some complimentary upgrade vouchers.For example, consider an aircraft with a seating configuration of 127-39-42-8 in economy, premium economy, business and first class, respectively.Now, say the airline has actually sold 146 economy, 51 premium economy, 19 business and 3 first class tickets on a particular flight.Click here to view the full size image (1,020×2,000, 229KB) of .(Note, you may publish elsewhere as long as you use an attribution link to Air Travel or this current page.) So how does an airline normally decide which passengers to upgrade?However most airlines play fair and will generally only upgrade 1 class up.First we can upgrade 5 business class passengers to first class – which leaves 28 open seats in business.We then need to play the airline equivalent of musical chairs and re-jig the cabin assignment. We have 5 unsold first class seats and 23 unsold business class seats – a total of 28 vacant seats in the premium classes. You can see immediately that we have 3 passengers (31-28) who will not be able to fly.On the other hand we have 12 oversold premium economy passengers and 19 oversold economy passengers. We have to find 3 volunteers who are willing to take a later flight with a suitable level of compensation to sweeten the deal.