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A Quick Guide To Getting A Free Flight Upgrade

The dream of travelling business or first class when you’ve only had to pay for an economy ticket is one that many of us have. That little bit of extra luxury can make all the difference, particularly on a long-haul flight, but not all of us can afford to pay the premium for these tickets off the bat, and instead pin our hopes on getting lucky and being upgraded.

According to Globehunters, there is no sure way of bagging yourself an upgrade besides paying for it, but there are certainly a few things you can try that may increase your chances if there is an upgrade available.

Read on for a quick guide to some of the things that may just help your chances a little bit!

Become a frequent flyer

Generally, when an upgrade is available, things such as how loyal you are to the airline will decide your fate when it comes to being chosen for an upgrade, to a certain extent. Those customers who spend a lot of money with the airline do tend to be favoured.

Use points

Besides paying with money, paying with points is the most foolproof way of securing yourself a seat in first class.

The UK does not have as many options as the States when it comes to the availability of air miles, but you can still earn them using credit cards and Tesco Clubcard points. For those based in the UK who would like to know what the options are for collecting points, this post from Pommie Travels gives an excellent and detailed breakdown.

Get bumped

Once again this is not a failsafe way to get an upgrade, but one way people do sometimes get upgraded is getting bumped from a flight.

An overbooked flight will require people to give up a seat, and so there’s no harm in going up to the gate and volunteering with a couple of conditions if you hear an announcement calling for volunteers.

These conditions could be that you want flight credit or an upgrade on any replacement flight, or that you still arrive at your destination by a specific time. There’s no guarantee that it will work but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.

As stated in this article from Smarter Travel you need to make sure you arrive at least 15-30 minutes before your departure if you wish to be bumped voluntarily. Those who arrive late may just forfeit their reservation and receive no compensation. It’s always best to arrive as early as possible and be polite to any airport staff and gate attendants.

So those are a few of the most likely ways that you could be in with a chance of getting an upgrade for free! While there are many tips floating around, we feel that these are the most realistic.

If you want some more flight upgrade tips, you won’t be successful trying these out yourself, but just for amusement’s sake, here is a selection of the funniest stories of how people have managed to bag themselves a free upgrade before!