Standing in a long and somewhat painful Economy queue at an airport check-in area, looking longingly at the Business and First Class queue, is something we’ve all been guilty of. Not only are the lines shorter for those flying upper class and the overall experience on the flight world class, the carpet at check-in is even nicer. There is also something about it that nonchalantly says, “You know you want this.” Well, actually yes. It might be nice for a change!

With this in mind I have pulled together some tips to assist you getting a flight upgrade. And to be clear, these are not foolproof so put a smile on your face and best of luck. It’s well worth a shot!

Check your points If you are a frequent flyer and are a member of a frequent flyer program, check your accumulated points to see if you are eligible for an upgrade.

Travel at quiet times You are less likely to get an upgrade during busy times of the year. Requesting an upgrade during the Christmas holidays and the Easter long weekend for example will only fall on deaf ears.

Know your aircraft Understanding your aircraft, how many rows and seats are on your plane can really help with securing an upgrade. Always ask at check-in if the flight is full, if it isn't ask for an upgrade.

Be early Your flight may only have one or two upgrade places available, so maximise your chances of securing an upgrade by getting to check-in a little earlier. Failing that you’ll have lots of time to kill at the airport. But at least you’re not stuck at your desk at work.

Watch your emotions Unless you have been well and truly messed around by an airline, keep your emotions in check. Staff at check-in desks see hundreds of people a day, and getting angry or bursting out in tears illegitimately is not going to do you any favours. So be honest and humble in your approach.

Be nice It always pays to be nice, and kindness pays. In the blink of a smile you could end up in first class, especially in situations where someone is already sitting in your seat on the plane. Don’t get angry, your cabin crew attendant might let you sit in upper class!

Dress up Leave the board shorts, torn singlet and double pluggers at home and dress as though you’ve been in either a very important meeting or you are about to fly to a exotic destination which requires a nice outfit. It will help!

Know someone in the industry A lot easier said than done, but if you have friends at an airline this is often the easiest and fastest way to get an upgrade.

Travel on your own Requesting an upgrade for yourself, your partner and your five children aren’t going to work. There just won’t be the space in business or first class to accommodate you. Requesting an upgrade works best when travelling solo.

TipsJaharn GilesComment