While most pieces along these lines are nothing but pure garbage offering tips which are more likely to make you look like a class A moron than a savvy traveler, we’ll try to actually empower you to score upgrades. Here’s everything you need to regularly find yourself sipping champagne rather than sitting in pain…

Don’t Think About Upgrades The Day Of Your Flight…

Here’s a dose of honesty, your best shot at an upgrade isn’t luck on the day of your flight, it’s finding flights with upgrade space before you book, collecting or having miles and then instantly upgrading at booking. So, to recap, step one is to earn miles with the airline you plan to fly before it’s time to fly. You can earn miles many different ways without even leaving home and you can also transfer credit card points into airline miles so that’s truly possible for anyone, without flying.

To find upgrade space before booking, search online “using miles” instead of cash for your same flight, or call the airline and ask which flights on your day have space to be upgraded. If there are no upgrades available at the time of booking, don’t give up, availability changes every day up until the day of your flight. A good trick for that can be found HERE.

Aim For Airline Elite Status, (It’s Not As Hard As You Think) And Then Empty Flights…

Airline elite status is the only truly free way to score an upgrade with pretty good frequency. If you have any long trips coming up, or a period where you have a few flights in a couple months time, consider taking an elite status “challenge”. A status challenge is basically a discounted way to score elite status, which will then give you the best chance of getting upgrades every time you fly with that airline for an entire year from when you earn it or more! Rather than needing to fly 50,000 or more miles in a year, you can qualify with as little as 9,000 miles (just over one long round trip) in a couple months. Once you have your flashy special flyer card, aim for less peak travel times such as weekends when less elites fly and aim for connections that aren’t big time areas. 

No Miles? No Status? Hunt For Deals…

What’s better than an upgrade? Paying economy prices for business or first class. Believe it or not, crazy deals pop up every day and I’ve flown business class to amazing places for literally less than the lowest economy price at the time. Step one is to glance at the business or first class column while booking, sometimes it’s much lower than you’d ever imagine. To find the very best deals and become a top notch deal hunter you should check out THIS post and regularly browse this site and this site

Sven Luckermans

Sven Luckermans

Still Haven’t Found The One For You? Last Two Realistic Main Chances…

If you don’t have miles, elite status or any spare cash to throw toward an upgrade you’re left with two real chances. Your best bet is to hope for an oversold flight and to pounce on the opportunity to get bumped to a later flight. If you volunteer to get bumped, not only will you most likely end up getting an upgrade, you’ll also probably land a voucher with money toward future travel. Ok, last call. If all else fails, head to your favorite chocolate shop or gift shop and buy gifts. I regularly give a box of chocolates to whoever checks me in, the gate agent and the flight crew. Life is like a box of chocolates and you never know if chocolates just may get you an upgrade…

Ok, There Are A Couple More…

Airlines offer upgrade auctions from time to time as well as buy up opportunities at the airport. If you’re out of options, look to see if your airline has an upgrade auction for your flight. Simply tweeting an airline or Googling whether or not you can do this should get it done. Bid low (within your personal comfort) and monitor the auction to see how you’re doing. If auctions are not an option, check in early, right when the 24 hour window appears online and then enquire again at the airport about any upgrade offers. Sometimes as little as $50 can get you what you’re after. Whatever you do, just don’t follow these upgrade tips