Five Ways to Bag a Free Flight Upgrade

Travel Guide

Five Ways to Bag a Free Flight Upgrade

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We would probably all prefer to fly business or first class when we jet off on our travels, particularly if the journey is going to be a lengthy one. Extra legroom and better quality food are just a few of the perks of upgrading from economy, and you are sure to be much more comfortable!

But not all of us can afford to pay the price for more premium tickets. With that in mind, we spoke to travel company Globehunters, who specialize in offering cheap flights, who gave us their five top tips to increase your chances of bagging an upgraded seat, without having to pay a penny!

Join frequent flyer schemes

Joining frequent flyer schemes is usually free, and joining them can be a great way to build up a relationship with an airline, which could mean you’re first in line for spare seats in a higher class if they are available.

Five Ways to Bag a Free Flight Upgrade

Of course, you can only really reach Gold or Premiere status by actually flying frequently, but even if you don’t fly all that often it can’t hurt to sign up, as you will still probably be favoured over those who are not members. You also accrue points on these schemes, which can be saved up and eventually be used to buy upgrades.

Check in early or late

Although it may seem like conflicting advice, arriving either early or last minute can increase your chances of bagging an upgrade.

If you check in early, staff will know you intend to travel, and can upgrade you in advance which saves shuffling around at the airport.

Alternatively, if you get there at the last minute the economy seats may have been filled, so you may get upgraded at the gate. This one is a bit risky though, as you might also get kicked off the flight if it’s overbooked.

Dress the part

If you want to be upgraded to business class, you do actually stand a better chance of being offered a seat if you look like you belong there already.

You’re much less likely to be placed in business class if you’re wearing trainers and a tracksuit than if you are dressed smart casual. So pretending you’re off on a business trip when you’re planning your travel outfit can’t hurt.

Special occasions

If you’re traveling for a wedding, honeymoon, special birthday or anniversary it can sometimes result in an upgrade.

People do try this one fairly regularly, so it doesn’t guarantee you an upgrade, but there is no harm in dropping it into conversation when you check in. You might at least get a bit of special treatment, or perhaps a free glass of champagne!

Don’t aim too high

If your flight has several different classes, you are less likely to be bumped up all the way from economy to first class. However, if you’ve got a premium economy ticket, you stand a little bit of a better chance of getting an upgrade.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas to try out next time you’re off on holiday or flying for business. We can’t guarantee they’ll all work every time, but surely it can’t hurt to try!

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