What used to be a no-brainer if you were in the travel industry, has become one of the most difficult things to accomplish with all the frequent flyer mile programs offered by the airlines leaving few first class seats unoccupied these days. However, getting upgraded to first class by an airline is something that is possible if you understand the way the air travel system works and key points to focus on in getting upgrades free or at little cost. This can make your flying experience much more pleasant, if seats are available. It is important to remain friendly and personable with airline staff. Upgrades can be offered at virtually any step in the air travel process. Vacancies in first class often lead to personnel either upgrading through individual award or as an extra feature that can be bought while at check in or boarding. There are also loyalty programs used almost universally throughout the air travel industry that have rewards that can be used for things like flight class upgrades with various airlines. Whether you are a frequent flier of a favorite airline or just on vacation, being aware of common opportunities and how to improve your chances of receiving them can go a long way towards a more enjoyable air travel experience.
Best advice–try to stick with one big airline or one smaller airline that you fly frequently and check out their upgrade offers before you make reservations. I don’t think the big smile, being extra polite, dressed to the nines, or a box of chocolates handed to a boarding gate check-in agent, will work anymore!
Share your first class upgrade experiences below in the comments section.