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People spend an irrational amount of time thinking about upgrades. There’s just something about the word which captivates people in hopes of improving their travels. As we’ve said before, upgrades actually aren’t that hard at all, provided you like to earn miles or collect credit card points. In fact, for almost every upgrade need you may have, there’s one tool which does just about everything…

a woman in a suit and hat standing in a planeEasiest Upgrades

The easiest upgrades occur on airlines which let you upgrade most tickets to the next cabin, rather than only the most restrictive fares. We’ve got a list of many of the best opportunities for you to browse. With these airlines, you simply need to find space for a seat using miles or a seat specifically available for an upgrade. If one is available and you have an eligible ticket, you can call in and upgrade instantly. You could search constantly wasting hours of each day, or just search once…

a tv on a table in a planeUnlimited Alerts

This is not a sales pitch – we don’t care if you get this or not. But you should. ExpertFlyer is $9.99 a month and can be cancelled at any time, no restrictions. By going for the paid version, you’re able to run unlimited searches and set unlimited alerts. Basically: search for an upgrade once , and you’ll get an email straight into your inbox if it ever becomes available. This works for seats using points as well. We can’t stress how useful this is. Once you’ve gotten an email, you simply get in touch with your airline to upgrade using a certificate or some points.

a bed in a plane50+ Airlines

ExpertFlyer works on more than 50 airlines, giving you lots of choice with your flying. Perhaps best of all, you can see how many seats are unsold with each fare class as well. So if you need to book a premium economy ticket but are worried your preferred flight will sell out, you can also set alerts to let you know when the cheap premium economy fares are running low. Very handy. This can also be a great way to make guesses as to which flights will be oversold and require volunteers to receive vouchers for a later flight.

a sunset over a beach with palm trees
LA Sunset.

Practical Example

I need to fly from London to Los Angeles in May. Currently there are no upgrades or seats using miles available, I earned an upgrade certificate using an easy travel trick and can upgrade for free, if a seat opens up. I’ve set alerts for every single flight that might work, and if one becomes available, I’ll be first to know and can then lock in an upgrade on a long flight. I could also use points or redeem miles for the seat, it works all the same. Enjoy!

Featured image courtesy of Virgin Australia. 

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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