IF you really want that premium life without paying for it, there are a number of ways you can increase your chances of getting a free upgrade.
Travel experts from Forbes Advisor have compiled their top six tips for trying to be one of the lucky few.
1. Check in early
On the way to the airport, most people just try to allow enough time to check in their luggage, go through security, and relax before departure.
But if you want to improve your chances of getting an available first class seat, try checking in very early either.
If you arrive several hours early for your flight, you will most likely beat any competition for first class or business tickets – and avoid missing anyone who got there before you.
If the economy cabin has been overbooked, airlines will likely want to rectify this sooner rather than later to avoid delays.
2. Be flexible
Overbooked flights are becoming more common as passengers have to be rebooked on other flights.
If the airline is looking for volunteers for a later flight, take the opportunity as it could result in a free upgrade for your troubles.
If a first class ticket isn’t offered and you’ve been bumped, it’s always worth asking if they can upgrade your ticket due to the inconvenience.
3. Fly yourself
If you fly solo, you have a much better chance of getting an upgrade.
Not only are first class seats limited, airlines will not upgrade large groups and are more likely to offer individuals a free first class ticket.
4. Choose your flight time wisely
If you’re flying at peak family times like school holidays, you may have a better chance of an upgrade.
This is because most families won’t sit in first class and routes will be full, increasing the likelihood of an overbooked economy cabin – and giving you that free upgrade.
Alternatively, you might be asked to move so a family can sit together, which is another opportunity to ask for an upgrade.
5. Dress smartly
While dressing in your best attire isn’t a guarantee of an upgrade, a smart outfit certainly increases your chances of being picked.
Even if you don’t go for the suit, avoid items like shorts and flip-flops.
6. question friendly
If everything’s falling apart? Just ask nicely.
Or if your flight is for a special occasion, like a honeymoon or a birthday, try your luck by mentioning it.