Ok, so I am having a problem remembering how I upgraded to first class about a year ago using a frequent flyer ticket. I just called Continental and was told that you can only upgrade when a ticket has been purchased. Is this correct? I seem to recall upgrading twice before and I thought that I had used ff miles to obtain the ticket initially. What is the correct information?
Thanks for your help.
I'm a bit confused about your post.
Is this a paid ticket or a ticket purchased with ff miles?
You can upgrade a paid ticket using miles for the upgrade. Call the airline. (Depending on the airline and where your traveling, there may be fees involved based on the fare class of the paid tickets. Typically no fee for domestic tickets unless you're hit with AA's expedite fees, but some airlines only allow upgrades on certain fare classes for international tickets, and some charge a fee for upgrades with miles if you're in a discounted fare class.)
You can't upgrade a free ticket purchased with the airlines own ff miles. If you want to travel in first class, you need to purchase a first class award. That said, if the first class award is available on the flights you want, and you have enough miles in your account, you may be able to exchange your current coach ff awards for first class ff awards, but there may be a per-ticket fee involved in the exchange.
I hope that's all clear. I tried to describe two different cases above, because it wasn't clear to me if your tickets are paid tix or free ff award tix.