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First Class all the way

Let's face it; air travel just isn't what it used to be.  So, when faced with sitting in a crowded middle seat and paying a la carte for checked bags, food (primarily snacks), extra legroom, and many other options, first class isn't always something we think we can afford.  However, it's not always out of our reach. You don't need to have an elite frequent flyer status, thousands of frequent flyer miles, or an unlimited budget.  You just have to ask!

Recently on my first flight sans kids from Portland, Oregon to Honolulu on Alaska Air, when checking in, I asked the agent if there were any upgrades available.  Now, I don't have an elite frequent flyer status and didn't even have any miles with this airline.  However, the agent informed me that for $150, I could upgrade.  When considering the fact that I had one checked, overweight bag that was going to cost me $70 ($20 for a regular traveler checked bag and $50 for being overweight), I thought it was worth the cost.  I almost forgot about the other first class advantages: fast track lane through TSA, pre-boarding, free meal and drinks (including alcoholic), free Digiplayer (giving me free movies, TV, and web access).  Adding the costs that these would have cost me in my regular coach seat, $150 was a value!

So, on the return flight I again asked for the upgrade.  Unfortunately, there were no seats available.  But, just for asking, the agent put me on the waitlist, stamped my coach ticket with the MVP Gold Lane access (giving me the fast track TSA lane and pre-boarding advantages) and also checked my overweight bag for free!

Upgrades may not always be available, but the worst that can happen is that they say no.  The best is that you get the upgrade!  

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