Doesn’t it seem like airlines keep on decreasing the amount of legroom on flights seemingly by the hour? Aren’t you getting tired of being crammed into an overbooked flight, with someone eating a greasy cheeseburger on your left and someone who smells like they haven’t showered in a month on your right? If so, then you need an upgrade to first class!
But first class is so expensive, you say. That’s true. However, if you know a few tricks of the trade, you might find that you’re able to scoop up a first-class seat on your next flight… For FREE!
If that sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. Plenty of people have cracked the code to getting first-class upgrades at seemingly the drop of a hat. What are their secrets? We’re going to tell you in the next 12 tips for getting a first-class upgrade! Let’s go…
1. Non-Peak Times
If your schedule is flexible enough to permit traveling turning non-peak times and on slower days, this will mean more open seats and more potential for getting a first-class upgrade.
2. Use Your Connections
Know someone who works with an airline? Maybe a family member, or maybe a friend? If so, then milk that connection for all it’s worth. Employees of airlines get incredible perks that they can often share with their friends and family.
3. Book Directly With the Airline
Rather than using a website like Orbitz to hunt for deals, book your flight directly through an airline’s website. Their systems will know that you did, and when it comes time to inquire about that upgrade, you’ll be treated as if you’re loyal to that specific airline.
4. Following Up
If you take the above advice, then be sure to keep an eye on your email. If your flight is overbooked, then the airline will be emailing you to see if you’re okay being bumped to a later flight while receiving a first-class upgrade…
5. Get There Early…
The early bird catches the worm! If you’re at the gate super early for your flight, then you have ample time to chat up the attendants and to see if they might be able to hook you up with that desired first-class upgrade.
6. Or Show Up Late!
Given that many airlines will overbook their flights, if you show up late, then you might get bumped. Time-wise that’s an inconvenience, but if you can stomach that, then getting bumped could equal getting first-class treatment.
7. Go It Alone
Flying by yourself may seem lonely, but consider this. Since you’re just one person, an airline will have a much easier time moving you up to first-class than they will with a couple or a family.
8. The Birthday Discount
Flying on or around your birthday, maybe for a special occasion? Let the gate attendants know about it! From the kindness of their own hearts, they might be able to hook you up in style.
9. Know When to Whine
You know what they say, right? The squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you’ve got something to complain about, then complain about it. In order to keep you on side, a first-class upgrade could be coming your way.
10. Travel Rewards Credit Cards
This one really goes without saying, but if you don’t have a travel rewards credit card for racking up miles, then it’s time to get on that!
11. Loyalty = Royalty
Rather than flying with multiple different airlines, just stick with one and definitely sign up for their rewards program. That loyalty – though it might cost more for individual tickets in the short term – can lead to incredible long-term benefits.
12. Don’t Forget to Ask
Remember this: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Getting that free upgrade is sometimes just a law of averages thing. If you ask often enough, you’re bound to hit pay dirt at least every once in awhile.