How to get a first class travel upgrade
How to get a first-class travel upgrade
Travelling first-class is a luxury that most of us would rather forgo for the sake of saving money on our plans. After all, what's a few hours in the aisle seat next to the toilet in exchange for a cheaper ticket? However, if the opportunity to travel first-class were to present itself, which of us wouldn't jump at the chance to have leg room, hip room, and to not have to do elbow battle with a stranger for the merest sniff of arm rest real estate? That's why we're going to examine a few ways to secure an upgrade without paying upgrade prices.
Something that is worth mentioning before we begin is that the global effects of COVID-19 have led various countries to introduce different levels of travel restrictions - always follow the most recent information for updates before you travel (and check out details of corona travel cancellations from this infographic if you are affected by changes to your plans).
Special occasion? (Why not let the cabin crew know?)
Birthdays and anniversaries are common reasons to travel. People love to get away to celebrate life's milestones. Although it's not a guaranteed way to get bumped up into business-class, you can try your luck by mentioning the fact that you are celebrating a special occasion to the check-in staff and to the flight crew. At the very least, they may surprise you with a free drink, but where first-class upgrades are available, you will be perhaps the only people on board who will stand out as being deserving of the upgrade.
Examine your seat for defects
When you sit down, examine your seat for defects. This could include a faulty tray table, or a faulty arm rest, or any issues with the headphone port or the air-con controls. If you find anything is amiss, mention the problem to the flight crew. The crew will naturally be obliged to find a solution to the issue, such as switching seats. Where there are no available seats other than first-class, you could receive that much coveted upgrade.
Volunteer to give up your seat on over-crowded flights
Airlines notoriously overbook certain flights. This means that more tickets are sold than the plane can accommodate, for reasons of ensuring that no seats are left open in the event of a calculated number of passenger no-shows. Occasionally, where seats have been overbooked, a full number of ticket-holding passengers arrive that cannot all be seated. When this happens, the airline will ask if anybody would like to sacrifice their ticket to fly on a later flight - this is where you can bargain for a first-class upgrade on a later flight.
Get to the check in desk early
If a first-class traveller knows they aren't going to make their flight, the chances are that they will let the airline know. This means that a first-class seat has been paid for and is now not being used. You can take advantage of this simply by being the first person in the queue and asking the question about upgrades!