10 tips to getting an upgrade on your flight


Unless you are made of money, most of you can appreciate how awesome it is to get an upgrade on your flight, or that feeling as you check in or board that today is your lucky day and your name will indeed be called and you will be invited to ‘turn left’ or to ‘head upstairs’ (Airbus A380 for those of you smirking right now).  It rarely happens but here are a few tips to help increase your chances of getting an upgrade on your flight.

1. – Ditch the family.  You will never get a flight upgrade for a family of four inclusive of two small children so book your ticket separately and walk a few steps behind the rest of your party.

2. – Check-in online and book yourself an emergency exit seat.  Not all airlines will let you do this but when you can it’s a win-win situation with one prize slightly more luxurious than the other.  If you have booked that seat and someone else comes along that needs it more, you have a high chance of being bumped to a higher class of flying.  Take my word for it, a flight from London to Quito is much more enjoyable this way.

3. – Ask.  Age old saying, ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’.

4. – Get engaged/married.  What happens in Vegas……..is totally worth a first class flight home.  This is not a myth, it does happen when there is an upgrade available.

5. – Be flexible.  Flights get overbooked, it happens.  If you are flexible with your time however and offer to wait for the next flight, your chances of an upgrade are pretty high.

6. – Fly off peak.  A weekday afternoon or on a flight arriving in the early hours of the morning and out of school holidays.  The kind of flights business travellers and families won’t be on, therefore it won’t be fully booked and the upgrades will be available.

7. – Miss your flight.  This is not a recommendation and is only really feasible if it is not your fault you missed the flight, you sit and plead your cause for 3 hours whilst your fella runs to and from the bathroom with food poisoning and you are dealing with someone sympathetic.

8. – Find out where the flight attendents drink and make yourself a special friend.

9. – Complain.  If your back-seat tv is faulty or your chair doesn’t recline make your discontent known and ask for another seat.  If there is one available ‘at the far end’ you may be in with a shot.

10. – Smile and be friendly.  If it works for hotels, in theory, it could work on flights too.

So those are our secrets, if you have any stories or tips on getting an upgrade on your flight then share them with us!


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About Cheska Bennett

Cheska is a resident blogger at Beat the Brochure who has spent many a good year backpacking round the world, as well as a stint living in Beijing. Cheska has visited 6 out of 7 continents and will, repeat will, visit the last one before turning 30. Cheska is an avid CSI fan, streetfood expert and cat lover who can often be found with chocolate on her desk.

4 Responses to 10 tips to getting an upgrade on your flight

About nancy hasle says:

Cheska, thanks for sharing on my facebook page. I am going to retweet too.


About Cheska Bennett says:

Thanks Nancy, glad you enjoyed it! If you have any more tips or fancy guest blogging at some point we would love to hear from you!

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    About Tripious says:

    You can guarantee I’ll be asking for an upgrade when we check in for our honeymoon to Malaysia in September… I might even walk up to the desk with a limp!

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