5 TIPS TO GO FROM BASIC TO A FREE UPGRADE TO FIRST CLASS
- Bump Your Way Up: For the most part the strangest things can happen unexpectedly, especially if your flight just happens to be overbooked. An airline might be feeling pretty generous and offer free tickets, maybe even first class.
- Serving The Country Proudly: Let’s be honest being a person in uniform usually screams “extra perks!” There have been more free upgrades for those who are veterans or those still in uniform than any other group and for good reason. They have done such a selfless act of serving our country so it’s only right for airlines to want to give back.
- Be An Airline Blogger: This might very well work for an expert airline blogger who knows very well how to pitch a story. Imagine being in the blogging field for over a decade and always finding yourself traveling and one day you come across a story of upgrading, so you find yourself purchasing an economy ticket only to be told “no” several times, until someone finally tells you “yes.” And you’re finally approved for one. No one said it would be a walk in the park, but it sure works.
- Cry A River: It might sound lame but having a good cry is the best antidote and it really works. Sometimes sitting in an economy seat comes with a lot of headaches. There’s always that one noisy passenger that won’t let you enjoy what you thought would be the most relaxing flight ever. That annoying passenger that keeps laughing hysterically as he or she watches their two hour long movie while hogging all of the armrest.
The tips for getting a free first class upgrade discussed above are definitely a lot more well-thought out and much more logical than these next few tips that are just downright diabolical when you actually think about it.
Here are some additional tips that are just crazy enough to work when it comes to trying to get a free first class upgrade:
- Dress It Up: For years I have seen this dress to impress tactic as somewhat a winner, because you basically dress up and the flight crew loves it so much they will upgrade you for free. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong. If we were living in an era where first class passengers actually came dressed up on a daily basis then it would definitely work. But unfortunately, first class passengers board planes in pretty anything, including pajamas or worse.
- Kill Them With Kindness: No one ever said that a compliment can’t go far. In fact, showing a bit of hospitality can butter up your flight crew. Maybe even enough to want to upgrade your seat to first class. But let’s be honest. Buying a flight attendant a nice little gift appreciation doesn’t necessarily warrant an upgrade. It doesn’t scream “genuine,” so more than likely it’s not really that successful.
- Frequent Flier Status: There are some great perks when you fly often so why not take advantage of them? Do you take trips more than once a month? Are you always planning vacations throughout the year? If the answer is “yes,” who knows there may be a first class seat waiting just for you.
- Pray For A Seat Malfunction: I know it sounds completely ridiculous. Who really hopes their seat is broken once they board the plane? Maybe a handful, but that’s wishful thinking. But sadly I’ve seen it done and the worst case scenario you might have to go to the great lengths of breaking your own chair. Talk about when desperation sets in? But once you’ve already fully committed you might as well demand to be put in first class once it’s broken. But keep in mind this could all backfire and you’ll be in deep trouble. You could end up being banned from the airline, moved to an uncomfortable middle seat or delayed to another flight, so think long and hard before deciding to break your chair.
- Tell A Little White Lie: The flight crew often loves to celebrate so why not tell them you’re celebrating an anniversary or it’s your birthday. You just might end up with more than celebratory words, instead a surprising upgrade on your special day. Now that’s what we call a celebration!
- Use Sneaky Measures: If all else fails, wait until the last minute to board the plane and find your way into a first class seat. Chances are this just might be the dumbest idea ever. One, the flight crew has a good idea of who belongs there and two, it’s theft. It’s all fun and games until you're escorted off the plane and banned from flying or even worse, hauled off to jail.
In a nutshell, sitting in first class will always be one of the greatest flying experiences ever and some people will do just about anything to get their hands on a first class upgrade. They will ultimately lie, cheat and steal if they have to. But, is sitting in first class worth all the hassle? Is it all that it’s cracked up to be? We certainly hope so. Just make sure that you always choose your battles wisely so that your first class experience won’t be your last. Hopefully these tips were extremely helpful for the next time you think about wanting to fly first class via an upgrade from economy.
Photo: Courtesy of The Luxury Travel Expert