Travel Tips

How to Get a Free Upgrade to Business Class on your Flight

8 Tips on how to get a free ugrade to business class on your next flight.

Obtaining an upgrade to business class is a lot harder than it used to be. However, there are still some handy travel hacks which my help you achieve a free upgrade to business class on your next international flight overseas.

Not so long ago, the prospect of getting a free business upgrade on your flight was easy enough. A simple and polite ask to the staff at the check-in counter at just the right moment and time, often resulted in your airline ticket being tagged for a possible upgrade. Particularly if you were travelling alone, dressed well, spoke well and hardly luggage.

But, of course, then auto-check in was created and flight wanted to capitalise more on their more expensive tickets; like business and first. Making it harder and harder for us average ecomomy travellers to achieve in getting an upgrade on our flight.

Here are eight of my best travel hacks which may, or may not; depending how good you are with the power of persuassion and how nice the staff is at the check-in counter, help you get a free upgrade to business.

Dress Well:

You don’t need to dress formal, but you do need to dress the part. Wearing cargo shorts and flip flops is not a desireable outfit to help you get an upgrade. But a good pair of jeans, shoes and top may. And if you don’t fancy sitting on a long-haul flight wearing your best threads, you can always pack a more comfortable outfit to change into once the cabin lights dim.

Ask Politely:

When you’re checking in, ask If they will be upgrading any passengers on the flight and mention you would like to be considered. Saying please here won’t hurt either.

Be on Time With Check In and Time It Right:

If you show up late to check-in, you can forget asking for an upgrade. Do yourself a favour and make sure to check-in with plenty of time before the flight. Leaving things to the last minute, when staff are trying to close off check-in is not only rude, but also unfair when they are trying to ensure every passanger is checked-in and the flight will leave on time.

Don’t be Demanding:

If you’re demanding, rude or arrogant the staff will not only ignore you, they may even bump you to another flight. And, yes, they do do this. I’ve heard some horror stories where this has happened. It’s just not worth it, especially on a long-haul flight. Many of those staff members at the check-in counter are the attendant on the flight, so be nice and smile.

If the Flight is Empty – Little to NO Chance of an Upgrade:

Despite what you may already know, you actually have less of a chance of an upgrade if the flight is empty, than if the flight is full. Airlines carefully plan how much they oversell on flights, with inventory allowing for urgent upgrades should economy be fully booked, or families to be moved around to sit together. So, on full flights an airline is more inclined to upgrade single travellers (and sometimes couples) to help fill up the plane. But, of course, you will not get priority over a paying customer and you may even end up being bumped to another flight. Which brings us to the next tip.

Give up Your Seat if the Flight is FULL:

Let staff now you are happy to give up your seat should it be needed for someone else. This is a small chance of obtaining an upgrade, as they may favour your generous offer and move you to business if there is an available seat. Especially if you are being bumped to another flight. Often to accommodate for the inconvenince caused by them, if you ask for a free upgrade on the flight they are bumping you to, they will do it with a smile. This leads us to the next tip:

If the Airline inconvenienced You – Ask for an Upgrade:

Airlines don’t generally upgrade people for no reason, but if they have caused you a problem, that may be reason enough tp get a free upgrade to business.

Ask Your Travel Agent:

If you booked your holiday through an agency, ask them to contact anyone they know to see if they can get you an upgrade. Whether it be for half price, a major discount or even for free. This is because most travel agents have contacts in the airline business who can help them, by pulling a few strongs. A favour for a favour type of deal. Travel agents also have acess to databases which tell them how full a flight is and how full business class is – so they can give you a good reading on your chances if you decide to ask at the check-in counter.

Last bit of advice: when you arrive at the check-in counter, as about availability in business and how full the flight is in economy as a general question. If seats are available, check-in again at the gate – leaving plenty of time before the flight is being called for boarding. Miracle upgrades often happen at the last minute, when all passengers are checked in and any remaining availability becomes clear. Sit within earshot of the gate desk and listen to their conversations about the possibility of getting an upgrade. But don’t hover or it will irriate the staff.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: