Wouldn’t it be nice to fly first coach without having to pay the astounding price of the ticket? Believe it or not, it’s possible and happens more times than you would guess.
While it greatly depends on your luck, there are a few ways you can improve your chances and grab the opportunity of an upgrade if it ever comes your way. Here’s how you can escape the bustling economy class and soak in the sheer luxury of the first.
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#1. Be loyal to an airline
Money matters and if you are spending a lot of money on one carrier, they would want to reward you for your loyalty. Hence, if you are a frequent flyer, you should subscribe to the loyalty program of your preferred airline. So every time you book a flight, you will earn points. These points will not only bring you free upgrades in future but also several other premium services, such as airport lounge access, extra baggage allowance and much more.
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#2. Sit next to a baby
It is out of your control but if ever you happen to sit next to a baby, who just hates flying and does not shy away from expressing it, then you might just get moved to the first class if no seats are available in your coach.
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#3. Arrive early
Usually, there are a limited number of upgrade slots available on any flight. Therefore, to improve your chances, you can arrive early at the check-in counter. The downside is that you might have to kill an excruciating amount of time at the airport before your flight takes off, but it will certainly be worth it if you get the upgrade. Another plus side is that you won’t have to stand in long check-in queues.
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#4. Arrive late
At times, airlines also face the situation of overbooking when the passenger turnout is more what they expected. So if you ever happen to arrive late at the check-in counter without a reserved ticket in your hand, the lady at the desk might just say the golden words.
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#5. Dress well
There is a saying in the flyer community that you should dress for the coach you want, not the coach you booked. No there’s not, but if you look like you belong in the first class, then the attendant at the check-in counter will think that you belong in the first class, and if she has the option to give someone a free upgrade on the flight, then you might just happen to be it.
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#6. Check your e-mails
Subscribe to e-mail alerts for flight schemes and keep checking your inbox as the date of the flight comes close. Often, airlines offer, not free, but inexpensive coach upgrades. What many airlines do is they hit you an e-mail offering you to bid on the upgrade, wherein you have the chance to enter whatever amount you are willing to pay for it. All you have to do then is wait for it, fingers crossed, hoping to make the cut.
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#7. Fly at irregular times
It has been observed that business travelers have the better chances of being offered upgrades than holidaymakers as they fly more often. Therefore, to improve your chances, try to fly at non-peak schedules like midday, weekends or mid-weeks as opposed to early mornings and late afternoons.
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Do not start whining about little things but do not hesitate from complaining if there is some genuine problem with your seat. Check if your seatbelt works fine, if the entertainment system is working, and if the seat is fully reclinable.
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#9. Fly Solo
Your chances of getting an upgrade are really slim if you are flying in a group as the number of slots may be limited. However, if you are a solo flyer and only one upgrade is available, you could be the stewardess’ first choice for it.
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#10. Just Ask
Merely asking politely at the check-in counter may be enough for you to experience the lavishness of the first class. Even if you do not get the free upgrade, there might be some schemes or offers you enjoy.
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(Feature Image Courtesy: Quartz)