Flying in style: 4 tips to get upgraded to business class

For some people, flying business is the norm. By the same stretch, flying in such a standard also tends to stretch into the thousands per flight – so there’s a good reason that this isn’t done by the masses.

It means that for most of us, we are left dreaming. Sure, we might be able to splash out on the odd occasion and have that reclining seat and all of the other mod-cons that flying business presents you, but in general we are left to economy class.

Fortunately, there are ways to land yourself in the business class seats without paying a dime. Sure, it’s not going to happen every time, but a few little hacks can increase the chances of you notching that upgrade and ultimately not paying for the privileges. This is something that tends to happen on every flight that hasn’t been booked to capacity, so read on to find out how you can fall into such a category.

Dress to impress

Ok, this might be one of the most overused terms around, but when it comes to flying business dressing the part is one of the best things you can do to turn heads of the airline staff, and land yourself in the premium seats.

It’s at this point where the classic flip-flop approach just isn’t going to work – you just won’t fit in with the demographics of people who usually sit in there. As such, opt for some brogues like these, and at least turn to a semi-formal style to boost your chances.

To really drive home the illusion of grandeur, you might even want to give your class a little extra boost. Yes you need to act classy, but what if you could literally move up the class ladder overnight? Well actually, you can. It’s actually pretty easy to become a Lord or Lady in some countries – all you need to do is apply and you’ll have your class status upgraded within a few days. There’s nothing like a title in front of your name to impress the airline crew!

The frequent flyer option

Another common reason why people get selected for these updates is because they are part of an airline’s frequent flyer scheme. This shouldn’t come as a surprise; after all, if you are part of this you are more likely to continue flying with the airline in question if they look after you.

Of course, if you’ve just joined, the chances aren’t quite as high as a so-called seasoned member (or a ‘Gold’ or ‘Premier’ one, depending on your airline). Those that do fly frequently tend to be placed at the front of the queue for these free upgrades, with most airline staff giving them out without any questions asked.

Special occasions do count

Airlines tend to “take sympathy” on those who have a good enough reason for an upgrade. Quite often, these “good enough reasons”, relate to the likes of honeymoons.

Of course, this is a tried-and-tested trick and just suggesting that you are about to embark on your honeymoon doesn’t tend to be enough to get you an upgrade. Instead, taking proof can sometimes make the upgrade more likely, so in this case you might even be tempted to take your wedding documents along with you.

The “bump” philosophy

One of the industry’s worst-kept secrets is that planes are overbooked. Quite incredibly, this is because a lot of people don’t turn up to their flights!

Of course, when everyone does turn up, mayhem can occur. This is where airlines need to become generous, with many offering alternative flights with a free upgrade. This is something that you can use to negotiate; they would much rather upgrade you for the next flight, as opposed to having scores of unhappy customers.