I was dreading a long trans-Pacific flight in economy. I’ve done it many times before, (and Hong Kong to Chicago is quite a bit longer), but this one was particularly bad since was was in the old 777 configuration that American flies. Thanks to several mechanical and other issues on flights to China in recent days, my flight to Shanghai was totally full. I had a little flexibility in my schedule, no checked bags, and realized there was space on the Chicago to Tokyo flight on American in a few hours. Better yet, there was even space in Business Class. I inquired at the gate at the possibility of volunteering my seat, and I was put on the list. As boarding time came, I was sweating it out as I watched the entire 777 board before me.
We’re looking for a few volunteers…
The gate agent told me they were going to use my seat, and were planning to put me in an open business class seat since there was a passenger that would likely misconnect. Fifteen minutes before scheduled departure time, I thought the seat was mine, since the cutoff is typically 20 minutes, but they continued waiting a bit longer. Apparently his flight had landed, but there was still no passenger. He showed up at the gate around 10 minutes before depature, saying he was at duty free, and he was then insisting on waiting for his items to be delivered to the plane. Wow. He made it, and that meant I wouldn’t be going out on this flight. Now I just needed to be placed on the flight to Narita.
My instagram post about my excitement, from 777 to 787 and economy to business!
It took a while, given the agent closed out the Shanghai flight before finishing my ticketing. I also got probably too much insight on the goings on of gate agents. There were a handful of agents working the flight, but at some point all but one left. This was the supervisor helping me, and she was not too happy to be alone. Thankfully after some phone calls to chastise the staff, she was able to get me confirmed on the flight to Narita. Unfortunately, there was no space on the convenient JAL flight from there to Shanghai, but I found space on Air China. This would require me to change terminals at Narita, but that was easier than spending the night in Tokyo and delaying my arrival even longer.
Upgrade to Business Class
Best of all, I was able to confirm my upgrade into Business Class. Since the Narita flight was operated by the 787, I got a lie flat business class seat rather than the angled flat seat on the 777.
Thanks to Daniel for this photo of AA’s 787 Business Class. 6L is my preferred seat.
For this flight I was seated in 5A. This was my first time flying in a forward facing business class seat on the AA 787. I still prefer rear facing seats in this configuration, but those seats do feel a bit narrow at times.
This was my first bump on American. Other than getting into Shanghai later than originally planned, it actually worked out quite well for me.
I’ve talked about getting bumped in the past. It has been a long time, and as I mentioned, this is the first time I’ve done so on American. That may be a factor of less flexibility. I am now often rushing home to see my daughter, so I don’t often have much wiggle room.
How about you? Do you have any bumps from recent flights? How about a case were you were able to improve your flight situation as I did?