Travel Tips

Getting an upgrade: The facts

I don’t think it is just me that always hopes I am lucky when I check in for my flight and hope that I am upgraded to business class, lots of fellow travellers have told me that they are always hopeful that the person at the check in desk is having a good day and feeling generous. An easy way to get upgrade is to be a frequent flyer with an airline, they are more likely to upgrade you if you are a regular customer and they know that they will have more chance of retaining your business if they keep you happy. The last time I was lucky to get upgraded, and it did feel like I’d won the lottery, was when I was put in business class from New York to Paris. It was absolutely amazing! For anyone that has travelled in business class they know that it is a massive step up from economy, it is luxury thousands of feet above the ground. The reclining seats, the free flowing champagne and the tasty food make for a very memorable flight indeed, I felt so refreshed and awake when I landed which is a feeling that I have never had before after a flight. So how do you get upgraded? Well, there is no sure fire way to guarantee it, but you can improve your chances. Here are some things that I always try to do when I fly.



It sounds simple doesn’t it, well that’s because a smile costs you absolutely nothing but can get you a long way when you try to get things. Imagine that you are working at check in or at the departure gate, who are you going to be nicer to – the angry, pushy passenger or the guy smiling nicely and being friendly? It’s a no brainer, this is one area where nice guys definitely do not finish last. I have heard in the past that the check in staff will sometimes add a note to the booking which can be seen by the staff on the gate, so big smiles everyone and be as nice as pie!

Dress Well

If you dress appropriately then you are more likely to be upgraded. If your flight is over booked and you are travelling by yourself then you make it very easy for the check in staff to upgrade you if you are wearing smart/casual or business clothes. If you turn up like you are about to go to the gym or have been partying for the last 48 hours then an upgrade is unlikely. The last thing they want is a negative comment from someone that has paid for business class about a person they have upgraded for free.

Don’t always ask

I know the saying is ‘you don’t get if you don’t ask’ but the airline staff are asked by every other person if they can upgraded, so if you ask them you run the risk of agitating them and blowing your chances. It’s tough not to ask the question, so just follow the pointers above. If it really looks like you’re not going to be upgraded then of course ask politely and with a smile, you never know it might just be your lucky day!