We’ve all had that dream. You’ve booked an economy ticket, make your way to the counter and the attendant checking you in looks at the screen longer than usual, makes a phone call, prints tickets and then casually says ‘It looks like there have been some changes to your ticket today and you’ve been upgraded to Business class, enjoy your flight!’.
And then you wake up.
For some lucky travelers however this isn’t a dream and scoring a free upgrade IS possible – but there are a few tricks to making it happen.
Dress the part
Let’s be honest. Do you think if you rock up wearing your comfy ‘at home’ trackies they will take you seriously? Look respectable, neat and SMILE – it goes a long way!
Fly Midweek or Off-Peak
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work that you may have a better chance of an upgrade when there are actually spare seats on the plane!
Celebrating an occasion?
Is it your honeymoon, birthday or special anniversary? Make sure you tell flight attendants. You may not be lucky enough to get an upgrade, but you may get a free special champagne, toiletry pack or extra dessert!
Loyalty is key
Let’s face it, if you’re not a frequent flyer or a long time member of the airline's loyalty program it’s unlikely they will have pity on you and treat you to an upgrade over more loyal flyers. And if you don’t get a free upgrade, using your frequent flyer points to upgrade is an excellent and more affordable way to fly at the front of the plane.
Get there early
Upgrades are determined on a first in basis. Get to the airport early so when you’re checking in you have time to chat with the agent and ask for an upgrade instead of begging them when there’s a queue of 100 people behind you! And remember – SMILE.
Go it solo
If you’re traveling as a family of four it’s pretty unlikely you’re going to score an upgrade for all of you. Traveling by yourself will definitely increase your chances.
You won’t get anything if you don’t ask!
Be brave. You’re only dealing with another human being and what’s the worst could happen? They say no, maybe have a giggle with their work colleagues over lunch and you will never see them again. And imagine if the answer is YES!