Traveling tips how to get free upgrades: A checklist of how to work with airlines and get you likely considered for luxury treatment.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to travel in style and comfort. There are many ways you can enjoy Business or even First Class flight, a luxury hotel room, and other additional amenities whenever you travel, all without actually spending extra money to get them.
We talked to a number of travel enthusiasts and professionals who travel often for their work, including actor and producer Michael David Palance. Here are their top tips you can try in order to travel like a star without breaking the bank.
One of the best ways to improve your travel experience, especially with flights and accommodation, is by remaining loyal to a particular brand. All airlines have loyalty programs you can use to collect mileage points. The more points you have, the more services you will get for free in return.
Once you reach a certain point, there are luxury amenities just waiting to pamper you to the max. Access to first-class airport lounge is a great start. You can wait for your next flight while enjoying the buffet meal, choose to take a shower before the flight, and even have priority check-in at select airports.
It is also not uncommon for airline users with high mileage points to get free upgrades. American Airlines, for example, will upgrade all flights for those with Platinum loyalty status. This means you can continue paying the base airfare and have the full luxury experience every time you travel with AA.
Be at Your Best
“The way you carry yourself and how you interact with others matter,” said Michael Palance in one of our recent conversations. The last thing you want is to be rude to the ground crew and those around you. This is definitely not the way to get free upgrades.
Instead, you want to dress nicely, be kind to the people you meet at the airport, and be on time, all the time. It is also a good idea to ask nicely, according to Randy Petersen, another avid traveler who does a lot of business trips.
Try to convey a polite attitude when checking in. A simple, polite request to be considered for an upgrade if any take place will bump your chances of getting upgraded to a higher class substantially.
Take Advantage of Overbooked Flights
If you have the time to spare, volunteering to give up your seat on an overbooked flight is a sure-fire way of getting the elusive free upgrade. Airlines will most likely compensate you for volunteering, provide you with accommodation while you wait for the replacement flight, and upgrade you to Business or First Class.
When volunteering to give up your seat, ask if you can be upgraded on the next flight. Asking directly and politely seems to be the best way to get considered for an upgrade, especially in this situation. Besides, you’re helping the airline out; they’d be more than happy to return the favor and give you the first-class experience.