IStock 124029812, Missy E

How to get a flight upgrade….

Throwing tantrums, chatting up check-in staff, and putting on weight: some may work and others not, but the saying is … if you don’t ask you won’t get 🙂

1. Travel at quiet times

You’ve got a better chance of upgrading to business class by ‘booking a flight on bank holidays and at other times of the year when business users are less likely to fly, as the seats tend not to be taken up.

2. Spend lots of money

Sometimes, you have to invest to get a return. Airlines like when you spend and they will reward you

3. Be loyal to your airline

Another flight upgrade secret: simply join the airline’s loyalty program. Even if it’s at the lowest level, you’ll get rewarded first. Make sure you get a card for each partnership accordingly.

4. Be early for your flight

Your flight may only have one or two upgrade places available, so maximise your chances of bagging them by rocking up at check-in ten hours before the scheduled departure. If it backfires, you’ll have to kill a murderous amount of time in Starbucks.

5. Be late for your flight

Be late without reserving your seat: if you’re lucky and if the flight is overbooked, you might just be able to bag a premium-class ticket. However, it is a dangerous game and can work against you! If you’re too late, you might miss the check-in time, or they might have already sorted their overbooking problems by giving upgrades to the passengers ahead.

6. Check your emails

The frequent flyer above also recounts that Air France emailed him a couple of times on the day of departure, offering a cheap (not free) upgrade. “I’ve twice missed this because I didn’t check my emails close enough to departure. One of these times, I had even called the airline to ask if they had any deals, and they said no! So keep checking your emails even up to a couple of hours before you fly.”

7. Get mad

This can sometimes work, but it all depends on the circumstances and the situation. If the airline has royally messed up then read them the riot act as they will capitulate especially when they overbook flights

8. Be nice

Kindness pays, so pay it forward with interest and you could be in first class in the blink of a smile.

9. Dress up

And no, we don’t mean turning up at Stansted as the Blues Brothers. Leave the tracksuit at home and dress as if you’ve just been browsing the FT in the exec lounge – either full-on formal or business casual (pink herringbone shirt, beige chinos, tan brogues) does the job. Wearing your sinday best is always a plus

10. Try your luck

Don’t be afraid to ask for an upgrade, of course, they could always say no but what have you got to lose? Dress well, be nice, and smile sweetly and please might just do it you never know.


Until da next tyme


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