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There are very few positive thoughts associated with the word wait, and less, the verb waiting. There are simply no positive thoughts associated with the travails one experiences when trying to use miles for an upgrade or free ticket. You check, there’s nothing, they say call back, there’s nothing, you quit your job and check every hour, still often nothing, hire top hackers to tap into the database, still nothing, yet sometimes one opens up. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just call “dibs”?

Occasionally a system comes along that’s so logical and painless, no one could possibly offer it. The “future” of upgrades doesn’t involve a technique any newer than scribbling on paper, yet it offers a system far superior to those employed by many airlines today. Sure, if you’re an elite flyer traveling domestically, many airlines automatically put you on a list but this is different, and this is for EVERYONE. No crazy knowledge of fare classes, hidden lists, just a desire to upgrade. 

Virgin Australia just joined Singapore Airlines in a very exclusive club of airlines which offer upgrade waitlists. If there’s no space to upgrade immediately, you input your wish to upgrade, essentially calling “dibs” if one opens up, and in the event that one does, your upgrade processes automatically based on the order it was requested and you are informed of the success. No checking in daily, no searching third party sites, wasting hours on the phone, committing hacking treason, just say you want an upgrade and if it comes around the system does the rest. 

I mean seriously, how nice would it be if you could just say you want it, leave it and let it happen. Many and most airlines make the act of upgrading so hard that virtually no one is ever able to do it successfully, certainly not an amateur. I really hope that such an elementary system can unlock the future of passenger enjoyment. 

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