For most travelers, spending thousands of dollars for a business class ticket in order to fly in comfort is not an option. However, many lucky passengers are known to get an upgrade on flights from economy to business class. That makes us wonder: are there any strategies that one could use in order to get such a lucky break? There most certainly are some guidelines which travelers can use. And that is the topic of our guide today. Airline check-in staff looks for and requires certain things from travelers before they can upgrade them. Take advantage of these loopholes so you too can avail of these strategies:
Table of Contents
- 1. Be the early bird
- 2. Travel off season
- 3. Dress the part
- 4. Ask!
- 5. Use a negative situation to your advantage
- 6. Look when you book
- 7. Take advantage of friends or relatives
- 8. Join the frequent flyer program
- 9. Travel alone
- 10. Be polite, be nice
- 11. Let them know about special circumstances
- 12. Buy an upgrade
1. Be the early bird
The early bird gets the worm and this is true for airline upgrades as well. Try and check in several hours before your flight is scheduled to depart. People who get in super early can get bumped on to the spare seats available on the flight and most people do not have to pay extra for it.
2. Travel off season
The easiest way to get an upgrade on flights is choose the low key or less busy times of the year. This is the time when business people are not around to buy those business class seats. Bank holidays as well as Christmas are good times to get upgrades when fewer people are traveling for work.
3. Dress the part
First impressions always count. Airline staff members are known to look out for how well a person is dressed before selecting them for an upgrade. Avoid wearing shorts or casual/dirty/stained clothes if you want an upgrade on the flight.
Do not hesitate to ask for an upgrade. While checking in, especially for an international flight, the checking-in flight attendant can take a look at the seating chart and give you an upgrade if seats are available. Note that most upgrades happen at the last minute-so stay within ear-shot at the gate desk to stay informed, in case you are given a negative answer at first. Be polite, be subtle when asking.
5. Use a negative situation to your advantage
If the airline has inconvenienced you for some reason, such as mismanaged your meal choices or misplaced your luggage, you can use the situation to your advantage. Tell them politely that you have been inconvenienced and ask them if they can give you an upgrade. Whatever you do, do not make up the situation or make use of your imagination; it has to be a genuine situation wherein the airline has indeed caused you discomfort.
6. Look when you book
Special promotions while booking can also give you an upgrade. Call the airline up and who knows, for a nominal fee, you can be upgraded to business!
7. Take advantage of friends or relatives
If you know someone working in the airline; ask them for an upgrade.
8. Join the frequent flyer program
Be loyal to one airline. Frequent flyer programs entitle you to upgrades and you can use your accumulated points for upgrades or discounted seats/products too.
9. Travel alone
Kids/families usually do not get upgrade on flights. So travel alone where possible.
10. Be polite, be nice
When asking for an upgrade, be polite, smile and be helpful. Niceness can take you ahead in the game. When asked to switch seats, say yes-who knows, you might be upgraded to the business class. Treat airline staff politely-and they just might be willing to upgrade you. When asking for an upgrade, be subtle as an outright demand for an upgrade may not go well with some attendants.
11. Let them know about special circumstances
Pregnant? Just married? Let the staff know! Who knows they might fuss over you or feel inclined to do something nice for you! Many couples on their honeymoon are known to get upgraded on flights.
12. Buy an upgrade
Upgrades are often listed in classifieds! Buy one at discounted rates where possible.
Try these 12 easy ways to get an upgrade on your next flight.