Monday, 19 November 2012

How to get an upgrade when you fly

Everyone likes to get something for nothing, and when others have paid full price.  

Getting an upgrade when you fly is something that most people would like to achieve when they fly, and I wondered if there were any tricks of the trade that we could share to getting upgraded from economy to business class or even first class ?

I used to fly out to Hong Kong a few times a year and never quite managed to get an upgrade. But I have asked some frequent fliers and have searched the internet and come up with a few possibilities, and maybe my readers can help share some of their experiences.

Book with a travel agent:

When you book with a travel agent, it is possible, with a valid reason, to have the agent mark your reservation with a comment, such as OSI (Other Significant Information). The record may indicate that you are a VIP or CEO of a big company. If there is a chance that an important decision maker is flying with them, it could potentially mean extra revenue for the airline as they may want to try to win your company’s account.

OSI - might also be a special occasion - honeymoon, anniversary - ask the travel agent to mark your reservation but take proof if you can when checking in too.

Travel alone:

You are more likely to be upgraded if you are travelling alone, rather than with a group of people. 

Make sure you use your frequent flyer card :

If you are a reasonably frequent flyer, make sure you joint the airlines frequent flyer programme. They are more likely to upgrade someone who flies frequently with them, rather than someone who flies occasionally.

Look the part:

Dress at the very least business casual.  Looking like a business or first class passenger helps. Airlines are more willing to upgrade passengers who look as though they will fit in with those who have paid the extra money. 

Have great luggage:

Make sure your luggage is looking great, and especially your cabin luggage. We might have a few suggestions here:
Ask for an upgrade:

If you don't ask, you rarely get it. But ask nicely.


It is free, and if you smile and are friendly, then they might been in a good mood and upgrade you. It's all about who you talk to and how you do it, be polite, smiley and flexible.

How do you get your upgrade ? 

Share your experiences with us ?

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