IF you really want that first-class life without paying for it, there are several ways to increase your chances of getting a free upgrade.
The travel experts at Forbes Advisor have rounded up their top six tips for trying to be one of the lucky few.
1. Check in early
When heading to the airport, most people just try to arrive with enough time to check in their bags, go through security, and relax before taking off.
But if you want to increase your chances of getting a free first-class seat, try checking in early.
If you arrive several hours early for your flight, you’re more likely to beat any competition for first-class or business tickets – and avoid missing anyone who’s arrived before you.
Chances are that if the economy cabin has been overbooked, airlines will want to rectify this as soon as possible to avoid causing delays.
2. Be flexible
Overbooked flights are becoming more common, with passengers having to transfer to other flights.
If the airline is looking for volunteers to catch a later flight, take advantage of it as it could lead to a free upgrade for your problems.
If a first class ticket isn’t offered and you’ve been kicked out, it’s always worth asking if they can upgrade your ticket due to the inconvenience.
3. fly by yourself
You have a much better chance of getting an upgrade if you are traveling alone.
Not only are first class seats limited, but airlines will not upgrade large groups and are therefore more likely to offer a free first class ticket to individuals.
4. Choose your flight time wisely
Flying during peak family times, such as school holidays, means you might have a better chance of being upgraded.
This is because most families won’t pay to sit in first class and the routes will be busy, increasing the likelihood of an overbooked economy cabin – giving you that free upgrade.
Alternatively, you might be asked to move so a family can sit together, which is another opportunity to request an upgrade.
5. Dress smart
While dressing in your best clothes doesn’t guarantee an upgrade, dressing up stylishly will definitely increase your chances of being chosen.
Even if you don’t go for the costume, avoid items like shorts and flip flops.
6. ask politely
If all else fails? Just ask nicely.
Or if your flight is for a special occasion, like a honeymoon or anniversary, take a chance on mentioning it.