IF you really want that first class life without paying for it, there are a number of ways you can increase your chances of a free upgrade.
Travel Experts at Forbes Advisor have put together their top six pieces of advice to try and be one of the lucky few.
1. Check in early
When heading to the airport, most people simply try to arrive with enough time to check in bags, clear security and relax before taking off.
But if you want to improve your chances of a free first class seat, try checking in either very early.
If you arrive several hours early for your flight, you’re most likely to beat off any competition for first class or business tickets – and avoid missing out to someone who got there before you.
Chances are if the economy cabin has been overbooked, airlines will want to rectify this sooner rather than later to avoid causing delays.
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2. Be flexible
Overbooked flights are becoming increasingly common, with passengers needing to be bumped off to other flights.
If the airline is looking for volunteers to take a later flight, take the opportunity as it could lead to a free upgrade for your troubles.
If a first class ticket isn’t offered and you have been bumped, it’s always worth asking if they can upgrade your ticket due to the inconvenience.
3. Fly by yourself
You have much better chances of getting an upgrade if you’re flying alone.
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Not only are first class seats limited, but airlines won’t upgrade large groups so are more likely to offer a free first class ticket to individuals.
4. Pick your flight time wisely
Flying during peak times for families such as school holidays means you might have more chance of an upgrade.
This is because most families won’t shell out to sit in first class and routes will be busy, increasing the likelihood of an overbooked economy cabin – giving you that free upgrade.
Alternatively, you could be asked to move so a family can sit together, which is another opportunity to ask for an upgrade.
5. Dress smart
While dressing in your finest clothes is no guarantee for an upgrade, a smart outfit will certainly enhance your chances of being chosen.
Even if you don’t opt for the suit, avoid items like shorts and flip flops.
6. Ask nicely
If all else fails? Just ask nicely.
Or if your flight is for a special occasion, such as a honeymoon or birthday, try your luck by mentioning it.