Travel Tips – 7 ways to get an airline upgrade

While those Business and First Class cabins seem like a lifetime of hard saving away, most of us have it positioned on our bucket list. We have both been in the industry for a long time and have pretty much seen or heard of all the tips, tricks and urban legends involved with getting an upgrade. A few months ago I put pen to paper and shared with Sassy Australia some of the top or most successful tricks to getting your stilettos up those stairs (hand in hand with your man of course) and onto the elusive upper deck. Although they aren’t guaranteed to work every time, they have all worked at least once!

Worth a shot, right?

1 – Dress to impress

It’s not the most creative idea out there, but girls, ‘fake it ‘til you make it’! If you look the part your chances are higher! So if you want that upgrade, swap out those go-to comfy travel pants (you know the ones) and pop on something classy. Style and comfort go hand in hand so there is no excuse for rolling into the international check-in looking like you’ve just hopped out of bed. Flip-flops are a definite no no, so opt for the cute flats!

2- Mind your manners

The lovely people that work the check in counters for all airlines get snarled at day in and day out. Get off on the right foot, flash them that beautiful smile and make some positive small talk. Give them the heads up that you’re happy to help out if anyone needs seat reshuffling… you’ll be the first person they think of when that grumpy business man is giving them grief!

3- Join the club

Most airlines have frequent flyer rewards programs. Both Qantas and Virgin now have VISA credit cards that are linked to those programs – meaning more bang for your buck. You’ll be surprised how fast you can upgrade that ticket just by using those cards to purchase your day-to-day needs. Check with your bank which program suits you best!

4 – Travel on your birthday

Airline staff LOVE fussing over those once a year celebrations! Make sure you mention that it’s your birthday when you check in. Now don’t be disappointed if you don’t get that business ticket on the spot! Have a little word to the cabin crew once you get on board as you may just get them on a day when they have a spare seat or two upstairs. Perfect for you and your travel buddy on this exciting day!

5- Request a bulkhead

OK, it’s not exactly a jump up to your own sky bed and pre take-off beverage, but it is definitely a step up from 88E (the seat in-between those two strangers tucked up the back of economy class). The bulkhead gives you that little extra leg room, and with no seats directly in front, that means no one to recline their seat into your dinner.

6- Travel to and from your wedding

Everyone loves a fairy tale! Most crew will do their best to make this first part of your journey as a newlywed (or soon to be) as exciting as possible! If you don’t get the upgrade, you’re sure to be spoilt with champagne and business class packs!

7 – Ask and you shall receive!

You never know!! Sometimes there is beauty in being a little bold (with a pretty please of course!)

Good luck! If you or someone you know has managed to wrangle an upgrade I’d love to hear from you! Share your story in a comment below.

Love J x


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