Have you ever wanted to fly first class? Do you like the spacious seating area or the perks that first class travelers get? Most airline passengers would love the ability to sit in first class, but most cannot afford the added expense. In some cases, you can still enjoy first class without paying the full price. How? By upgrading.
When it comes to first class upgrades, many coach passengers want to know what they can do to get one. You can continue reading on for a list of suggestions. Please note however, that many of these suggestions are hit or miss. There is no guarantee you will get a first class upgrade. In fact, your chances are small, but since these steps are easy to implement, you have nothing to lose by trying them.
So, how can you score an upgrade to first class?
Volunteer to get bumped. Right now, airlines are in financial trouble. They have raised fares and cut flights. Since there are fewer planes in the air, more flights are booked to capacity. Not only that, but airlines regularly mess up and overbook flights. Flight attendants and ticket counter representatives are left scrambling to solve the problem. First, they look for bumped volunteers. If no one comes forward, they make the decision. Those bumped travelers are angry and likely to cause a scene. Airlines want to avoid this, so some are willing to bargain. Offer to be the passenger bumped, but only if you can get a free upgrade to first class on your next flight.
Volunteer if they want to move passengers to first class after boarding the plane. On occasion, planes are unbalanced in terms of weight. In smaller flights with first class seating, some passengers are asked to move from the back to the front. If you hear a flight attendant discussing this problem or are asked, take it. You get a free, no-hassle upgrade to first class.
Dress nicely. It sounds silly, but if you look important, people usually think you are. Airlines cater to those they believe to be important. For example, if you dress the part of a businessperson, you are more likely to get a free or discounted upgrade to first class when asked. It is hard to get this step to work, so keep comfort in mind. If your upgrade request is denied, don’t be stuck four hours on a plane in an uncomfortable business suit.
Complain about the competitor. There is a lot of competition among airlines to prove they are the best. You can use this to your advantage. Was your previous connecting flight on a competing airline? State your displeasure, even if it was a good flight. You have nothing to lose by stretching the truth a little bit. Airline representatives want you as their customer. They may take the opportunity to upgrade you to first class free of charge. In some cases, it is their attempt to show you that they are better and to have you become a long-term customer.
Join a frequently flyer program. If you fly on occasion, even once or twice a year, join an airline’s frequent flyer program. If upgrades are available for free or for a discount, they usually go to preferred customers first. These are frequent flyers. Since these programs are free to join, you have nothing to lose. When asking for an upgrade, don’t be afraid to toss around your frequent flyer status. Remember, these preferred customers the airline wants to keep happy.
Finally, the best option is to pay for an upgrade. Yes, a free upgrade to first class is nice, but they are usually rare. It is cheaper to upgrade to a first class seat than to buy one right from the start. When upgrading, wait until you arrive at the airport. Upgrades are cheaper at the last minute. If you have frequent flyer miles, apply them towards the upgrade fee. It reduces the costs.