Robert M. Watts
I just noticed this post. I have upgraded to business class using only my own miles or Frequent Flyer status on all but one occasion in my entire 30-year career, and on that occasion was going directly from Washington, DC to Goa, India, a total trip of about 25 hours. My agency now does not allow any upgrades, and the default in the travel system (E2 Solutions) is to the absolute lowest contract fare available. To me, this is pretty foolish, as allowing booking at the slightly higher Y fare contract rate rather than the rock bottom rate allows a much greater possibility of an upgrade, and is a cheaper upgrade for the passenger for long-haul flights. Perhaps it ought to be at the discretion of the traveler to pay the difference between the two contract fares.