9 Tips And Tricks For Getting A Flight Upgrade

9 Tips And Tricks For Getting A Flight Upgrade

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Most of us don’t have thousands of dollars to splurge on a first class plane ticket, and while it’s getting harder to win the travel lottery and get a flight upgrade, with these tips , you might be able to enjoy a more luxurious flight – without the hefty price tag!

1. Dress to impress

While it may be tempting to throw on some trackie daks and an old t-shirt to ensure maximum comfort on a flight, it’s not going to do you any favours when you’re angling for an upgrade if you look like you just got out of bed. Dress smartly and look the part; by wearing clothes that belong in business class, there’s more potential you may get an upgrade.

2. Smile and be polite

Airports are chaotic places, full of stressed people who are often looking for someone to take their frustrations out on. Unfortunately, airline staff are usually at the front line of people’s anger, so by remaining calm, polite and friendly, you’ll earn extra brownie points, which could lead to you being at the top of their list for an upgrade.

3. Just ask for an upgrade

What have you got to lose? One of the most basic tips for snagging an upgrade is to simply ask. The worst thing that can happen is you get told no. Some airlines state they refuse anyone who demands an upgrade, so make sure you follow the two points above – be polite and dress well – and you might be lucky enough to get some extra leg room at the emergency exit row, or even into business class. It can’t hurt to try!

4. Say if it’s a special occasion

It’s one thing to ask for an upgrade, but it’s better still to give a reason. Nothing says upgrade like the phrase ‘it’s our honeymoon’! By giving a reason for wanting an upgrade, like a special occasion you’re celebrating, airline staff are more likely to be more accomodating. At the very least, you might score a free meal or glass of bubbles.

Romantic couple sitting on beach jetty on tropical island
Are you celebrating your honeymoon? Let airline staff know

Of course, they’ve heard it all before, and can likely tell the difference between a genuine loved-up couple embarking on their post-wedding romantic getaway, and liars. Be truthful, and if you are genuinely celebrating, say something.

5. Join an airline loyalty club

Even if you’re not a frequent traveller, airlines often have special deals, which can include upgrades, and they’re more likely to reward someone who’s a loyal customer.

6. Check your seat for anything wrong

Tray table stuck? In-flight TV not working? Seatbelt doesn’t buckle? That could work in your favour when it comes to getting an upgrade. If anything isn’t working properly, notify a flight attendant – passengers who are assigned to faulty seats are usually placed somewhere else, and if it’s a full plane, that new seat might just be in business or first class.

7. Don’t drink too much before your flight

It goes without saying, but although it’s tempting to throw back a few celebratory drinks at the airport bar in preparation for your holiday, if you’re intoxicated when boarding your flight, not only are you basically guaranteed to not get an upgrade, you might even not be allowed on the plane! Always be sensible with alcohol; airline attendants do not want to have to deal with drunk passengers regardless of where you’re sitting.

Friends at bar drinking beer
While it’s tempting to have a few drinks at the airport before your flight, don’t go overboard

8. Give up your seat for a later flight

If you don’t have a pressing deadline and you’re on an overbooked flight, volunteer to catch the next flight instead. Airline staff will be grateful that you’re switching flights without a fuss, and you might just be lucky enough to be rewarded with an upgrade on the next flight.

9. Rely on luck

At the end of the day, flight upgrades are fairly rare, and every airline is unique and has a different set of rules on how they issue flight upgrades. You need a mix of patience, a good attitude and unfortunately, a whole heap of luck, but hopefully these tips help put lady luck in your corner.

Even if you don’t manage to snag an upgrade on your flight, there are other ways to travel in style. Book a private transfer to and from the airport on Jayride.com so you can enjoy a little luxury. Browse airport transfers on Jayride.com today.


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Nothing says upgrade like the phrase ‘it’s our honeymoon’! By giving a reason for wanting an upgrade, like a special occasion you’re celebrating, airline staff are more likely to be more accomodating. At the very least, you might score a free meal or glass of bubbles.

3 thoughts on “9 Tips And Tricks For Getting A Flight Upgrade”

  1. Robert Hendy

    Those upgrade tips were quite interesting as we are travelling Melbourne to Cairns with 90 year old mother in May to her Grandaughters wedding. Mum has not flown for 25 years so is a little anxious, your tips may well help.
    We had a lovely surpirse last month with Tiger air when they offered an upgrade purely because we were quite early and asking for help and were very polite.

    1. Kate Reynolds

      Hi Robert – great to hear that you got an upgrade, being polite and friendly goes a long way! Hopefully you’re just as lucky with your next Melbourne to Cairns trip, and that the trip goes smoothly for your mother, and she enjoys the wedding! Remember to tell airline staff if your mum is feeling a bit anxious – even if you don’t get an upgrade, they’re usually very accommodating and understanding with anxious flyers 🙂 -Kate, the Jayride Journal

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