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6 ways to increase your chances of being upgraded on a flight

6 ways to increase your chances of being upgraded on a flight

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A recent survey found that 65% of people plan to ‘go big’ with their travel plans this year, with many wanting to make up for lost time after the pandemic.

Alongside this, 40% of travellers are willing to spend more on trips, splurging on treats for their getaway.

However, for many, the price of a first-class plane ticket is out of reach. Therefore, Forbes Advisor travel experts have offered advice advice on how to increase your chances of being upgraded on a flight, from knowing when to check in to how to ask for an upgrade.

1. Check in early

When heading to the airport, most people simply try to arrive with enough time to check in their bags, clear security and relax before taking off.

What you don’t know is that the time you check in can influence your chances of an upgrade.

Try checking in either very early – or at the last minute. If you arrive several hours early for your flight, you’re more likely to beat off any competition for first-class or business-class tickets – and avoid missing out to someone who got there before you.

Chances are if the economy cabin has been overbooked, airlines will want to rectify this sooner rather than later to avoid causing delays.

2. Be flexible

Ensuring you’re a helpful and flexible customer can often lead to rewards. It’s not uncommon for some airlines to overbook flights, leading to them needing to ‘bump’ passengers to another flight.

If the airline is looking for volunteers to take a later flight, take the opportunity as it could lead to a free upgrade for your troubles.

If a first-class ticket isn’t offered and you have been bumped (voluntarily or not), it’s always worth asking if they can upgrade your ticket due to the inconvenience.

Another common occurrence on flights is to be asked to move to a new seat by the cabin crew.

While this can be inconvenient, if you’re flexible it could be to your advantage. Say yes to being moved and you could land yourself with a first-class seat – if not, again it’s always worth asking for an upgrade for your troubles.

3. Fly solo


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