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Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

Level Contributor
89 posts
Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

My wife and I will be flying to Shannon Ireland on United in a few weeks. She will be 18 weeks pregnant when we leave and 20 weeks when we return. We bought the tickets before she was pregnant and got them for a deep discount directly from United when they had a big sale after all the bad publicity they had this summer.

I really haven't flown much and have never asked for an upgrade of any kind before. I'm sure she will be able to handle the trip with our current economy seats, but she would be much more comfortable in economy plus or even business class. Is it even worth asking for an upgrade in these circumstances or would it just be rude? I wouldn't ask for one for myself, just for her (although I certainly wouldn't turn it down if they offered one for both of us).

Is an upgrade pretty much off the table entirely since we're not frequent flyers and bought the tickets so cheap? They were about $600 round trip from Minneapolis to Shannon.

I did manage to get her aisle seats on all of our flights. Our flight from Newark to Shannon is sold out in economy, although there are some economy plus seats left, so I'm assuming there's no chance of upgrade in that one, but the leg of our return flight from London to Washington, DC is not even half full with plenty of seats in both business and economy plus.

Not being a frequent traveler, I'm not sure what the proper etiquette is in this situation, but I would like to do whatever I can to make the trip more comfortable for my wife.

I would open to purchasing the upgrade, but I'm not really sure how much we should expect it to cost for a trans-Atlantic flight and we were stressing our budget to pay for this trip even before we found out she was expecting.

Thanks for all the help and I apologize for my ignorance on these subjects!

Jake

Level Contributor
89 posts
31. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

botevplovdiv - I apologize and I think I stated very clearly that I understood this was unlikely, but I feel like asking about ways to make a long flight more comfortable for a pregnant woman is a little less frivolous than asking because of a birthday.

Aberdeenshire...
Level Contributor
490 posts
67 reviews
32. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

Jake, if it's any consolation she should feel absolutely fine at 20 weeks as she'll probably hardly even be showing and the back pain etc wont kick in until later. I recently flew at 32 weeks and felt absolutely fine.

Level Contributor
89 posts
33. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

That actually is very helpful! This is our first child, so I wasn't really sure what to expect at that stage. It's only been in the last week that her morning sickness has more or less went away.

Thank you!

Jake

Aberdeenshire...
Level Contributor
490 posts
67 reviews
34. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

Best of luck! She will want to get some flight socks, they are an absolute godsend to prevent puffiness and feet swelling.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
5,817 posts
51 reviews
35. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

20 weeks is the nicest time of pregnancy, you are past the unpleasant first few months, not huge and uncomfortable and honestly don't need special treatment.

If you want to pay for extra room that's perfect, but yes in the airlines view an upgrade request for that situation is indeed as frivolous as a birthday, being newly-wed or nearly-dead like me.

seattle
Level Contributor
723 posts
5 reviews
36. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

I believe it is called self-upgrade if one available for your class. Airlines are not so generous on such matters these days. Congratulations on your upcoming addition to your family.

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
2,954 posts
204 reviews
37. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

If you don't get the free upgrade, bear in mind that it's not really that long a flight - just under 6 hours Ewr to dub and less to Snn.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
34,166 posts
6 reviews
38. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

"Weird things sometimes happen, but the elites waiting for their upgrades, supported by miles, etc., to clear, will raise hell if a "free" upgrade is given out."

=========

Especially if they're a pregnant woman. I know of many female coworkers who have flown on company travel while expecting. There's no way the airline would know of their condition; they would just be frequent fliers on the upgrade waitlist.

Sorry to sound harsh but this is taking (or attempting to take) a liberty.

Congratulations to you both on your upcoming arrival though, and best wishes.

Edited: 27 September 2017, 10:21
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
53,502 posts
1,800 reviews
39. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

Now, if one is a MP FF, there are "Complementary Upgrades," per his chart:

https:/…upgrades.aspx

So, and depending on variables, such as status, tickets purchased, etc, there *might* be a possibility of an upgrade. Or, and depending on many other factors, maybe not?

Good luck,

Hunt

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
1,558 posts
31 reviews
40. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

depending on your fare code, you may not be able to upgrade it if you wanted to. Deep discount tickets usually are excluded from any upgrade be it paid or frequent flier. as mentioned, just about everyone in economy has a reason why they should get a free upgrade but only frequent fliers would get one IF seats are left after paid upgrades are offered.

Edited: 27 September 2017, 11:23