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If air travel is a regular part of your business life, the advantages of travelling in first or business class are ...
If air travel is a regular part of your business life, the advantages of travelling in first or business class are sure to be very apparent to you.
However, in these times of economic belt-tightening, few firms can justify paying the extra money for these classes. This means that, for many, a work-related journey means travelling at the back of the plane in the cramped (and far from enjoyable) economy cabin.
For this reason, it makes sense to have a strategy to maximize your chances of getting a free or low cost upgrade. In this article, we present a few tips to help you with this aim:
Everyone’s heard all the well-worn and old-fashioned tactics for securing flight upgrades: dress smartly, say it’s your birthday, ask at the check-in desk, etc.
However, the modern reality is that none of these methods give you any more than a TINY chance of an upgrade. Upgrades are issued in a very calculated way, and airlines are far more likely to give them to a member of their frequent flyer scheme than someone at random.
That doesn’t mean it’s not important to be polite to airline staff – you can be sure that passengers who are rude and impatient won’t be in with any kind of chance.
Collecting frequent-flyer miles is something that will definitely increase your chances of sitting nearer to the front of the plane, although it is sometimes a long game to play. However, if you travel on business a lot, the miles do mount up, and you may find you quickly reach silver or gold status.
At that point, you’ll find you are more likely to get a “random” upgrade, and you’ll also probably have enough miles to “purchase” upgrades for occasional flights.
To increase your miles and membership status, try to stick to the same airline for your regular routes – better that than have a meaninglessly small collection of miles stored in several different schemes.
Plenty of financial institutions offer credit cards that link up with frequent flyer schemes. By signing up for these, you are often gifted huge numbers of miles that would otherwise take months to earn, so if you have a good credit status, consider making full use of these cards to boost your status with the airlines. You’ll find plenty of resources online to help you do so.
If you want a little extra comfort but don’t think you’ll qualify for an upgrade, do consider paying extra for one of the “extra legroom” seats that many airlines now offer.
Typically located around the plane’s exit rows, these seats can prove well worth the money; an extra six inches of legroom makes a serious difference to your comfort levels on a long flight.
It’s easy to get into the habit of automatically deleting all the marketing emails that arrive in your inbox, but messages from airlines deserve a quick glance. There are often competitions to earn extra miles, or special “double miles” offers. If you don’t read the emails, you’ll miss out on these opportunities.
Ultimately, getting upgraded nowadays is all about becoming one of the airline’s key customers. Yes, some people still get lucky with a completely random upgrade, but more often than not, there’s now a strict pecking order when airlines decide whom to bump up to that comfortable seat at the front.