For economy and even business class passengers, there’s seldom been a time since the history of civil aviation that the class above yours wasn’t coveted.
Numerous strategies and a combination of words to the check-in staff are said to work, although many of these are closely regarded secrets and those who know often prefer to keep their mouths shut. Thankfully, we’re a lot more open on this blog!
Dress very neatly
Millions of Euros are probably not earned every year through people not dressing appropriately for business deals, and how much more so should it be for this one where actually, you don’t really much to negotiate with? To prove more eligible, a suit, crocodile skin shoes, “replica” watches and designer baggage could all be prove quite important in your quest for luxury.
Be one of the last to book a flight that will probably be full
Busy routes, such as London to New York, will probably nearly always have 100% occupation. It’s also quite likely that they may often be overbooked, meaning if you happen to be one of the last to book before it’s announced full, you’re reasonably likely to get an upgrade.
Start by Travelling Business Class
To the great masses, this is probably quite useless advice, but it is said to be much easier to upgrade from Business to First rather than from Economy to Business – all that Caviar and Truffles can’t go to waste, can they?
Don’t be part of a family
Let’s think about this one for a minute – who would you like to let into a higher class, a noisy, unkempt family with stressed-out Mum and irritated Dad, or a suave, sophisticated individual well versed in the nuances of flying?
Know someone working for the airline or the airline group (e.g Star Alliance)
This is not at all improbable. In 2007, for example, Air France had 104,000 employees. Upgrades are more likely if that person is at least a distant family member, although company policy and other factors may affect this, depending what airline you’re flying. It helps if the Airline is a member of a group such as Star Alliance, as it gives the employee a broader influence depending on which airline you book.
Can I speak to your Manager?
This old trick is pretty high risk. You have to count on the airport check-in staff actually fearing the manager enough that it’s better to run the risk of being spotted upgrading you than to attract attention because of the “feedback” of an unsatisfied customer.
Act like you only belong in Business Class and that Economy is somehow an insult
If one walks in with an air of superiority and as if you were accidentally booked into economy class, this trick has a reasonable probability of actually working. One of the main rules they teach you in many acting schools is that in order to be the character you wish to portray, get into their shoes and pretend that you are him/her – in the same way, be the business class passenger rather than a hopeful economy class one.
Photo of business class on Singapore Airlines flight by Pyonko