This week we were very lucky to have major coverage from Business Insider, The Daily Mail, Fortune and tons of other huge publications. The reason? People want to know about upgrades, everyone wants an upgrade. I suppose it's that hope with each boarding that something magical will happen that keeps people coming back. Unfortunately for most, the days of random magic is over, but there is a system in place for upgrades, and it's a real quantifiable system. The one scientifically proven way to get upgrades is to be an elite flyer. The trick, or "hack" is that even an average flyer can become an "elite" flyer...

I Want To Be An Elite Flyer, I Want Real Upgrades...

It takes most people somewhere between 50,000 and 125,000 miles flown per year to become a meaningful elite frequent flyer. No no, don't click away, that's most people, not ALL people. Airlines are more competitive than ever, and some even offer "fast tracks" to elite status, where as little as one long flight could make you a special flyer with a shiny elite card. The best part is that with the whole competition thing, once you have status with one airline, you can "match" that status, to statuses with other airlines...

What Does Elite Status Really Do? Does It Really Get Upgrades?

Elite status puts you in an actual computerized queue for an upgrade. On many airlines, especially shorter flights, if there is a seat available in the next class, someone on this list will get it. The higher the status, the better your chances. As any elite flyer will tell you, upgrades do happen, but not all the time. Benefits however, have meaningful effect all the time. Even when flying economy you can use business class check in desks, get fast track through security, access airport VIP lounges and enjoy extra free bags. 

Here's The Magical Fast Track That Turns Average Flyers Into Elite Flyers With As Little As One Flight...

American Airlines has a standing fast track offer, where you can pay a (very reasonable) fee to take a challenge which will give you either American Airlines Gold or Platinum status for over a year for flying a certain number of miles within three months. Just 7,000 Elite Points, which can be about one round trip between the US and Europe would get you Gold, and 12,500 Elite Points, which could be one and a half trips of similar distance in three months, or a few shorter flights could get you Platinum. You'll need to do some research as to how many points your ticket will get you before booking to be sure, (scroll down to EQM's bit) but anyone can do this. Anyone, with upcoming travel.

Don't Have Flights But Have Money To Spend?

In the US, Delta has a credit card which can gain you elite status just from spending! If you're a big spender but not a frequent enough traveler to have benefits, you can instantly jump the queue and receive upgrades and benefits (which then save you money), just for things you're already spending money on. It's the Delta Amex Reserve or Platinum card. Either will get you there! 

Once You've Claimed Your Fancy Elite Status, You Can Match It To More Airlines...

Within an alliance, almost all your benefits are recognized by the other airlines. So if you have American status, British Airways and all the other OneWorld airlines will all recognize your right to perks like lounges, priority check in and stuff and sometimes even upgrades. To secure your benefits on other airlines, you can match your status to SkyTeam Or Star Alliance Airlines, who offer free, risk free matches. These opportunities come and go, but all you need is one airline in each alliance to instantly exponentially grow your upgrade potential and probability with tons of airlines. This is truly the best "hack" to getting upgrades on earth...