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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

Lancashire, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
Level Contributor
41,455 posts
62 reviews
41. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

Congratulations on your wife's pregnancy. Being pregnant is hardly unusual or deserving of special treatment. There is going to be more than one pregnancy on most flights just like there will be people celebrating a birthday, an anniversary of a host of other special dates. As has been said, around 20 weeks is a good part of pregnancy for most women. I was the exception and had a rather large bump by then which did make certain things more difficult. Perhaps talking to her doctor would reassure her, and he can then advise if eg flight socks are advisable. They're not for everything, pregnant or otherwise, but if he advises them then he can measure her to make sure she gets the correct fit, so they're not doing more harm than good.

Cornwall, United...
Level Contributor
4,010 posts
73 reviews
42. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

If it's any consolation, I've also flown with a broken foot (not yet in a cast so I could fly) and a torn tendon in my knee. Neither flight was 'fun' but both were long haul and was comfortable enough.

Pregnancy was a doddle compared to that!

Toronto
Level Contributor
5,091 posts
34 reviews
43. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

Many years ago, my son and I travelled to Colombo from Toronto via Dubai. He was about 6 at that time. As we were checking-in to our Colombo bound Sri Lankan Airlines flight in Dubai, the agent at the desk looks at our itinerary, tells me that he sees that we have have been travelling for a long time, and upgrades our seats to business class. That was totally unexpected and without even requesting. My son was in heaven as Sri Lankan had a large number of video games available on their inflight entertainment for the business class. That has never happened to us since....so moral of the story, you never know.

Edited: 27 September 2017, 20:47
Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
Level Contributor
45,236 posts
80 reviews
44. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

I can assure the OP that my belly is a lot bigger than his wife's will be at 20 weeks and no one has even offered me an upgrade!!

No chance of her getting one either.

Lancashire, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
Level Contributor
41,455 posts
62 reviews
45. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

Being given one without asking is different to asking for a freebie. Upgrades are one thing I think "if you don't ask you don't get" doesn't apply to. It could leave you impossible to get a gate upgrade.

Houston, texas, USA
Level Contributor
4,339 posts
778 reviews
46. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

You can ask but think your chance of an upgrade is slim to economy plus and zero to business class.

47. Re: Pregnant Wife Flying United. Ask for upgrade or not?

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