How to Improve Your Chances of a Free Flight Upgrade


When you are flying, there  are plenty of things that can be a little offputting about travelling in economy class. However, upgrading to a business class or first class ticket can be a pretty pricey endeavour. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy an upgraded flight at some point in your life. In fact, airlines often upgrade passengers for a number of reasons, so how can you improve your chances of a free flight upgrade?

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Join Loyalty Programmes

There are certain loyalty programmes that could help to make sure that you are near the top of the list if a first class seat becomes available. You can also join frequent flyer schemes where you can use your air miles to upgrade your flights.

Turn Up in Good Time

Punctuality can be a great way of improving your chances of a free flight upgrade. If the airline knows that they have spare seats in business class or first class, you may just be lucky enough to get an upgrade, especially if you are at the front of the queue. 

Pick Your Flight Time Wisely

You may not have thought about how your flight time could affect your chances of getting a free flight upgrade, but it could be an important factor. It’s also important to think about who else is likely to be on the flight at that time. For example, if you’re flying to a popular tourist destination during the school holidays, economy class is likely to be full, and airlines may be looking to move some individuals into business or first class. However, if you fly on a Monday morning, business class is more likely to be busy.

Be Polite to Staff

Having a good interaction with a member of the airline staff or the flight crew can make a huge difference to your experience when flying. We spoke to Globehunters, providers of cheap flights, who said,

“If you’re hoping to get a free flight upgrade, one of the best ways to approach it is to be nice to the crew in the airport and on the plane. If you’re rude to staff, they’re unlikely to bump you up to first class. A friendly encounter could be just what a staff member needs to consider you if a seat in first class is available.” 

Try Asking

If all else fails, it can’t hurt to simply ask to be upgraded. Of course, there are some ways of asking that are more likely to give a better chance of getting that upgrade. Don’t try coming up with an elaborate story as airline staff will have heard just about every story possible. Instead, try politely and simply asking. You never know, you might just get a free flight upgrade.

Next time you fly, why not try out a few of these tricks and see if you end up being bumped up to first or business class

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