6 ways to score a flight upgrade
If you want to escape cattle class, these tips will bump you up to business faster than you can say, ‘Champagne, please!’
- BE LOYAL. Getting yourself a flight upgrade is not as easy as it once was, when you could often get lucky by asking if there were any unsold seats in the class above yours. Airlines today are more likely to move up a select few passengers when a particular class on a flight is overbooked and the class above has empty seats.
So how do you become one of these favoured few? Loyalty gets a big tick.
Airlines tend to look kindly upon those who choose to fly with them (or their affiliate airlines) regularly and customers who’ve racked up a bunch of loyalty points are front of the queue if the airline is handing out upgrades. Hint: remember pay for your private airport transfer with a credit card linked to your airline’s loyalty program to increase your credits.
- BE EARLY. Turn up at the airport early and don’t reserve your seat ahead of time! The best way to ensure you’re one of the first flyers at the check-in counter is to make your journey to the airport as efficient and reliable as possible. A pre-booked Byron Bay Luxury Transfers private airport transfer with an experienced chauffeur will guarantee you get to right place with plenty of time to spare.
Upgrades are most likely to happen before most of the other passengers have checked in or when almost every seat is assigned and the flight is almost full. Rather than gambling on the late option (and being the annoying person who turns up when the gate’s closed), get there early and politely ask to yet-to-get-stressed staff if a bump up is possible, while assuring them you’re happy to move back if the flight is looking too full.
- DRESS WELL. You don’t need to rock up to the counter in a three-piece suit but a well-presented passenger in dress shoes rather than thongs is much more likely to impress. If you are a member of a airline club or lounge, you’re expected meet a certain dress code, so it figures that they’d only want well-dressed types in business class on board.
- CHECK YOUR EMAILS. More often than you might expect, airlines will send out last-minute upgrade offerings when flights are overbooked. It’s not for a free upgrade, but you’re invited to move up a class for a small fee. Keep your eyes on your emails as these offers will come late but be worth the wait.
- BID FOR IT. Check out the www.plusgrade.com site for a direct link to a range of seat auction sites who offer you the chance to bid for an upgrade on your chosen airline and flight (if available). You will get an email a few days before the flight asking for your bid and then another to tell you if you’ve been successful. You can pay using a combination of money and points with most airlines.
- PAY FOR IT WITH POINTS. Using your loyalty points to buy your way up in the cabin is slightly less painful than handing over your credit card but this upgrade option is unlikely to be offered to you if you are originally booked on a cheapie or sale ticket. Pick non-premium travel times (midday, midweek and Saturday) to avoid flights with lots of business travellers who will tend to fill up the premium cabins in the flight.
If you really want to upgrade your travel experience, why not ensure you make it to the airport in stress-free style by booking a private transfer. No more taxi rank queues or fighting for a seat on the shuttle bus. Head to our bookings page to make a reservation or call 0488 426 600.