5 Ways to Get Upgraded
If you rarely fly, you may mistakenly believe that first class seats, also commonly known as business class seats, are only for the rich. They are expensive, so only the rich must be able to afford them. This is not true. Did you know that many of the people sitting in first class did not pay full price for their ticket? In fact, some are relaxing in first class with a free upgrade from coach. How does this happen? How can you get an upgrade to first class?
1 Pay for an Upgrade
When it comes to paying for an upgrade, you have two options. Most airlines enable flyers to upgrade their seats to first class on their website. If you monitor your flight and know that first class is quickly filling, you may want to upgrade your seats in advance. You can usually do this on the airlineís reservation website or over-the-phone with a representative. You can also upgrade at the airport ticket counter. When checking in, ask if there are first class upgrades available for sale. If there are, purchase an upgrade. They are usually cheaper at the airport and at the last minute.
When it comes to paying for your first class upgrade, you have two options. You can pay the traditional way with a credit or debit card. If you are an avid flyer and have accumulated frequent flyer miles, use these to pay for the difference. While it seems like a hassle, you save more money than just using your miles to buy a first class seat.
2 Ask for an Upgrade
Whether you want to pay for a first class upgrade or not, just ask. It all depends on how you ask, who, and when. If you ask the airline representatives at the check-in counter, you will likely have to pay for your first class ticket. These individuals specialize in making and changing reservations. If you want a free upgrade to first class, wait until you are inside airport security. This group of airline workers takes your tickets. Before the flight boards, just ask if there are any additional first class seats available. If there are, you may get a free first class upgrade.
3 Be Nice
When it comes to asking for a first class upgrade, whether you pay for it or want it free, be polite. You must be on your best behavior. Even if first class seats are available, flight attendants are under no obligation to provide upgrades, especially free upgrades. The key is to be polite. Right now, most airlines have low approval ratings. Customers are upset with the long lines, airport security, rules and restrictions, and high airfare. Many take their anger and frustration out on flight attendants and ticker counter representatives. Being polite not only puts a smile on their face, but it may get you an upgrade.
This approach is hit or miss, but there are times when flight attendants must scatter the weight on a plane to balance it. This is a safety issue. In small flights with first class, this can result in passengers from coach being put in first class for free. Many times, flight attendants ask for volunteers or seek out passengers flying alone. If this happens on your flight, be one of the first to volunteer. Since you are doing the flight attendants a favor by volunteering to relocate, you get a free first class upgrade.
5 Get Bumped
Most times, getting bumped from a flight is an air travelerís worst nightmare. Not everyone is traveling to relax or see friends and family. Many travelers are on a strict deadline. These individuals may be flying to attend an important business meeting, see a sick relative, or attend a special event. If you are traveling just because, offer to be the person bumped from an overbooked flight. With that said, state you want something in return. That is a free upgrade to first class. Most flight attendants and ticket counter representatives will quickly accept your offer.