How To Get An Upgrade To Business Or First Class When Flying
When you’re travelling by air, prices can quickly soar. Depending on your destination, the time when you want to fly, and whether you’re booking ahead or last minute, the prices offered by different airlines can vary wildly.
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But whether you managed to get yourself a good deal or had to pay a bit more, everyone would love to be upgraded. With rumours flying around on how to get yourself bumped up, like saying you’re on your honeymoon, it’s worth knowing the ways that will actually increase your likelihood of getting a seat in business or first class. We’ve gathered some top tips that do work.
Upgrade With Points
Check with your credit card provider whether you can build up flyer points as you spend. If so, you could amass quite a few in a short space of time. Collect them up and treat yourself to an upgrade without having to make up an elaborate story. It’s worth using them on long-haul flights to make the most of the first-class experience.
Be Loyal To Airlines
Do you regularly fly to the same places? Well, if you stick to the same airline and sign up to their loyalty programme, you’ll get rewards for taking a few flights with them. Get a card with every airline you think you’ll use often. Rewards range from in-flight treats to offers on upgrading your existing seats. Just be sure to check your emails before your flight, as they could have offered you a last-minute deal.
Not only will being early minimise the stress of flying, you can be at the front of the queue for upgrade seats. If there are any available, getting there early gives you the best chance of asking for them. After all, 4% of those questioned in a MoneySavingExpert.com poll said they had received a free upgrade by simply asking for one at the check-in desk.
What’s the worst that can happen by asking? They’ll say no and you’ve got extra time to grab a meal before your flight. Be charming when you’re asking, but don’t push your luck.
Obey The Rules
If your tactic is to ask airline staff for an upgrade, you’ll get nowhere if you haven’t followed the rules. You’ll make everything easier if you’re on time, with the correct amount of baggage. Check the fine print of your flight – if the hand luggage is restricted to 7kg, then make sure yours meets the requirements.
Staff will look on your request a lot more favorably if you’re making their job easier for them. The same goes for when you’re on the plane too. Show you can be a good passenger before you ask for a favour – so forget about having one too many drinks and rushing up to them, holding up a queue of other passengers while you make demands.
Think About Your Appearance
Do you usually head to the airport dressed only thinking about comfort? Well, you might have to re-think your outfit. Dress like the sort of person you’d want to sit next to in business class and people should consider your request for a bit longer. In the worst-case scenario (you fail to achieve the elusive upgrade), at least you’ll have been polite to the airline staff and you’ll look great.
Be Kind To Other Flyers
Just as being nice to staff might pay off, if you’re nice to your fellow passengers, it could work in your favour. For example, if you offer up your seat so families can sit together, it won’t go unnoticed. You’ll definitely get some thanks from those you help, but you could get recognition from the airline staff. Whether they throw in a free drink or walk you up to business class, your flight will suddenly get that bit better.
Settle For The Best Of Standard
As a last resort, your best bet for having an enjoyable flight in standard class would be to get an aisle, front row, or emergency exit seat. These are the ones with plenty of leg room. Most airlines will let you check in online and select your seat up to 24 hours before your flight. So set a reminder on your phone and be ready to choose a comfortable seat.
As a last tip from us, we recommend carefully choosing the occasion when you ask for an upgrade. For example, if the airline has inconvenienced you in any way, it’s your perfect opportunity to get them to make it up to you with an upgrade.
Have you ever been upgraded? Share your experiences with us by commenting below.