I have never, ever been upgraded on a flight before and it really pisses me off. It’s like being picked last for sport. Which happens to me with more regularity. Also I fly a lot, heaps more than almost anyone I know, so it’s a statistical anomaly that it’s never happened to me. It seems like every person I’ve met has been upgraded at least once. I’ve been quizzing people for years about how they managed to wrangle their way into the curtained mecca of the business class section. Here are my findings.
How To Get Upgraded On Your Next Flight
I have it on good authority that your comfortable travel clothes that look like pyjamas, just won’t cut it. Airlines have no control over what paying business class passengers wear but apparently if you wear stilettos, they are far more likely to get you to that amazing recliner chair and French bottled water than if you wear your summer holiday sandals. I also heard a rumour that men will not be upgraded unless they’re wearing a suit. You heard it here first.
Check in Early or Late and In Person
If there are spare business class seats on a flight, they’ll fill almost all of them early. This means that the well dressed couple that show up 2 hours early for the flight are a shoo-in. Your other option is to arrive JUST as the last passengers are walking through the gate. If there’s a spare seat and you look fabulous and important, you might just get a last-minute upgrade. If you check in online and rock up to the gate 20 minutes before boarding your chances are almost zero.
Tell A Good Story
According to a particularly reliable source, couples on their honeymoon aren’t the favourites for upgrades anymore. A friend of mine works for an airline and she said that she once upgraded a woman because she had recently got divorced and her ‘cheating scumbag husband’ had finally paid the settlement, so she was off to spend 6 weeks in Italy. So be honest about your travel plans, you never know, they may just pique the interest of the check in person behind the counter.
Be Very Polite
This one is pretty obvious but some people don’t know the difference between posh and asshole. It’s okay to enquire about an upgrade but be charming, polite and mind your Ps and Qs. Don’t walk around like you own the airline. Delusions of grandeur will keep you firmly planted in economy.
Ditch The Kids
This one is pretty obvious and also kind of discriminatory but it’s unlikely an airline is going to put you and your three children under the age of 5 in business class for free. It’s probably best to wait until you’re on a naughty weekend away with your significant other before hinting for an upgrade at the check in counter.