Tours Travel

‘I’m a flight attendant – here’s the secret to getting a free upgrade’ | Travel News | Travel

If you are wanting a free upgrade, make sure you use these secret tips shared by a flight attendant (Image: Getty)

A flight attendant has revealed the simple tricks to try and get a free upgrade ahead of your trip – and some of them you may never have heard of.

When it comes to flying, upgrading to business class can cost a pretty penny, with tickets ranging from an extra £200 to well over £1,000.

But a flight attendant has revealed five hacks you can try ahead of your trip to bag that free upgrade.

READ MORE: Nearly one in three Brits would ditch their friends – to holiday with their mum

Loyalty schemes and frequent flyer status

Airlines reward their loyal customers. By enrolling in an airline’s loyalty scheme, you accumulate miles or points which can lead to a higher status within the programme. Frequent flyers with elevated status are often prioritised for upgrades.

Some airlines also offer complimentary upgrades as part of the benefits for reaching certain tiers within their loyalty schemes.

Speaking to travel tour operator Ski Vertigo, the flight attendant said: “Becoming a savvier traveller isn’t just about packing smart or getting to the airport early.

“It’s really about understanding the whole flying ecosystem. For instance, making the most of loyalty schemes isn’t just about collecting points; it’s about engaging with your airline on multiple fronts, including social media, to be recognised as a valued customer.”

Travel during off peak times

This one might sound simple, but flying during quieter times means you are more likely to get a free upgrade with less competition onboard.

Flying during quieter periods – such as mid-week – can enhance your chances of receiving an upgrade. Flights at these times may have more available seats in premium classes, making airlines more amenable to offering complimentary upgrades.

The flight attendant added: “Having flexibility and a good strategy can be key to getting those coveted upgrades. Flying during less busy times doesn’t just increase your chances of moving up a class; it often leads to a more pleasant journey too. Don’t overlook the simple act of having a friendly chat with gate agents and check-in staff.

“Politely expressing your interest in any available upgrades, and mentioning if it’s a special occasion, can sometimes make all the difference. It’s all about making a personal connection rather than being seen as just another passenger.”

Use credit card perks and airline vouchers

There are a number of credit cards that offer perks for frequent flyers wanting to rack up the points to spend on business class tickets.

Certain credit cards provide travel rewards that include upgrade vouchers or the option to use points for an upgrade.

Additionally, if you have experienced service issues with an airline in the past, you might have received vouchers for upgrades on future flights. Check the benefits associated with your credit cards or any vouchers you might hold.

Check in early or at the last minute

According to this flight attendant, the time you check in for your flight can be vital in securing a seat in business class.

Checking in as soon as your flight opens can place you at the top of the list for an upgrade, as seat assignments are yet to be finalised.

But checking in at the last moment can also be effective because if the economy class is overbooked and there are seats available in a higher class, airlines might upgrade the remaining passengers rather than rebook them onto another flight.

Offer to be bumped from overbooked flights

Airlines occasionally overbook flights, anticipating some passengers won’t show. If you’re flexible with your travel plans, offer to give up your seat on an overbooked flight in exchange for compensation and a seat on the next available flight.

When negotiating these arrangements, you can also ask if it’s possible to be upgraded on your rebooked flight as part of the deal.

This approach requires flexibility and may not always result in an upgrade, but in situations where airlines need to rearrange passengers, they might be more willing to accommodate your request for a better seat to quickly resolve the overbooking issue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *