Some things are like the Unicorn, and getting a Jet Airways voucher upgrade is like one of them. Jet Airways gives out a certain number of paper upgrade vouchers to elite members of the Jet Privilege program: 1 to Silver, 3 to Gold and 5 to Platinum members. I had explained the use of these vouchers in this post a couple of years back, and the same rules exist still.
Upgrades are not so hard to use in any other program that I am a member of, such as American Airlines. Many a times, you can get instant confirmations, and at other times they will place you on an upgrade waitlist, which is known to everyone, is rule based, and upgrades clear accordingly.
However, with Jet Airways, the upgrades always seem to go on an upgrade waitlist, and the airline will not clear these upgrades in most cases till the last minute. Everytime I’ve called, I am told there is no availability of seats in the particular class, and hence we will work on priority to clear these upgrades for you. And then, you can keep calling, but the airline won’t budge, till the last minute, on processing these upgrades. As a result, you can leave home thinking you are still travelling in economy and go to the airport and find out you are in business class. I don’t have too much fuss with that, I usually travel light and I want that upgrade confirmed or denied for peace of mind. However, there are others who like to carry big bags and max out their travel allowance, and are denied an opportunity to do so with the airline’s behaviour.
I recently followed up with 9W to confirm an upgrade on an international sector to Europe where I am continuously seeing 5+ business class seats open for the past two months, and these guys can’t confirm it because they don’t see an open seat in upgrade class. The analyst must be a super optimist because he does not want to let go these seats in business class because he expects someone to buy so many of them last minute on so many dates in the months ahead.
I find this lack of transparency for upgrades ridiculous. I think if the airline does not want to honour these certificates or put up such a fight to honour them, maybe they should discontinue them altogether as a part of the elite package.
In my case, I am surprised that these tickets were booked about 5 months back, at a 50% premium to the price they were selling them two weeks back, and placed on the upgrade priority waitlist since then, and yet, Jet Airways sends me a response like this:
Dear Mr. Awtaney,
This is with reference to your email dated May 30, 2014.
We wish to reiterate you that your voucher upgrade request for ####-#### sector dated ####, 2014 vide PNR: ###### is on a waitlist status.
Allow us to mention that Award seats/ upgrade seats on Jet Airways, like most international/domestic carriers, are capacity controlled. There is a certain number of seats allocated for award travel just as a fixed number of revenue seats at various price points. These seats are offered on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.
The number of such seats allotted depends on the demand on that particular route, which varies according to the flight, day, season across the network. Since the number of seats allocated is limited and during busy season the demand for award travel is very heavy, we experience difficulty in booking award seats even when requests are received months in advance.
Mr. Awtaney, we make every effort to get an upgrade seat confirmed before expressing our regrets to our members. Our Service Team continuously monitors flights to ensure we meet requests of our JetPrivilege Platinum members such as yourself.
We do hope you will allow us your understanding in this regards.
Should you require any further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. Do mention your JetPrivilege number and membership tier in the subject line, in your future correspondence.
I question the people on these “efforts” being made, and all they tell me is they’ve sent an email to Revenue Management about this. Not just that, some of them have lied to me saying only two seats are available when I clearly see 5 here, and I even called a TA to check who said the same thing.
Dear Jet Airways, loyalty is a two-way street, and you and me are in this together, right? Or is this only me being loyal to you about flying and you not being loyal to me about the benefits that are to be extended to me?
All I have to say to you is…
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