GETTING an upgrade on a flight is probably the holy grail of the passenger experience – I know I’ve seen people try their best to get it.
You won’t believe how much effort people put into trying to convince us that they should be given a first class seat, as if we have an endless supply of empty seats to give away.
If – and that’s a big “if” – we can upgrade you, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of making a left turn when boarding.
In this latest weekly Sun Online Travel blog of mine, I’ll explain the simplest thing you can do so we can consider putting you ahead – and it’s all a matter of time.
The first thing that can help your cause is a friendship, or at least an acquaintance with one of the flight attendants.
We always put more effort with our friends. Sorry, but that’s how it works.
However, even in this case, you are not guaranteed an upgrade. In fact, many people make mistakes when they are friends with a flight crew who can work against them.
If you and a crew member are friends, or even if you have several degrees of separation from someone on the plane, you might think that you should be the first to board and say hello.
But if you chat with them in this way, then most likely you will not get a better place.
Think about it – we are very busy, we need to get on the rest of the plane, there will always be people, it’s chaos.
We don’t have time and we don’t know how many places we have available.
It’s best to wait until the very end and sit down with the last group, because obviously if you’re the last person we’ll have a lot more time to deal with you and talk to you.
If you want to try your luck, wait until the very end, because then we will have some idea of what kind of places they have and if they can put you in a good place.
There are also a few things you can do at the airport before landing that can also increase your chances.
I’ve seen upgrades for honeymoon couples and people celebrating special birthdays and the like.
We may be there primarily for your safety, but we also want to make sure you have a good flight, so we will do our best to improve the experience if possible.
It’s best to just tell everyone everything throughout the entire process from arriving at the airport to boarding the plane.
This includes the front desk, people dropping off bags, security guards and of course the staff at the gate.
You never know who can help you, and in this way you will increase your chances of finding someone who is willing to give you an update.
Ultimately, it is unlikely that you will be given the best seats, but if you use everything at your disposal, you will have a better chance.
And if not, then you can at least get yourself a freebie.
If it’s your honeymoon or birthday, we can give you a bottle of champagne or whatever to make your trip more enjoyable, even if you’re not in first class.
For example, you may also be given access to an airport lounge. There are many ways to improve your travel experience without taking up more comfortable seats during your flight.
So stay out of the way, get on the plane last, especially if you are friends with the flight attendants, and do your best to let us know that you are worthy of special attention.
It might not work for you, but if you find the right person on the right day, it could give you a first-class upgrade with all the perks that come with it.
In the meantime, this frequent flyer shared how they sometimes manage to get upgrades while flying.
And this flight attendant explained how to improve your chances of getting into first class.
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