Do you do it? I do.

Every time I check in I ask. ‘Any chance of an upgrade?’

On a flight from Toronto to Seoul I changed my tack a little. “If there is any chance of a better seat, I would really appreciate it”

I got the usual response, a polite but unmoving face. The ‘do you know how many times I have already been asked that question today’ kinda face. He looked at his computer, pressed a few keys and said

‘I can offer you a window seat in economy.’

I declined. These days I prefer the aisle…less people to climb over.

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The long wait.

After the tense but necessary flurry of activity to get through immigration and security, I was sitting at the gate waiting to board; bored.


I never really listen to these announcements but today my ears pricked up.

‘Can Ms Robyn Lang please make herself known to the gate staff.’

Although I would not class myself as a pessimist, I began to think all the bad thoughts.

Had I lost something? Did I leave my passport at the check-in counter? Did the Mounties finally catch up with me for being 15kph above the speed limit in that last little town??

I approached the desk with some trepidation. The young man who had checked my baggage looked up and recognized me. His eyes creased into a tiny smile which he tried to cover up.

He started apologetically; ‘I am sorry ma’am, we have been unable to find you a better seat in economy but if is OK with you I can give you a window seat in Prestige Class.’

I play along and with what passes for a slightly disappointed face reply ‘Oh really! That’s disappointing! I guess I will just have to take it.’

We both smile broadly. He is as excited as I am! He hands me the new boarding pass and the first time ever my seat number is less than twenty!

I returned to my seat grinning like the Cheshire Cat. A little while later, another announcement is made and a Korean lady about my age, becomes alert. She walks to the counter slowly with the same fear I had felt. She returns to her seat clutching a boarding pass to her chest. She has obviously swallowed the same mouse I did! Her expression mirrors mine and we smile together. Victorious in our upgrades!



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