When you first step onto a plane are you one of those people that always take a peek into the first and business class cabins,
dreaming of the day that it will actually be experiencing it? Getting an upgrade is often compared to winning the lottery, but the chances of winning an upgrade are much higher. Travellers have more influence in guaranteeing their upgrades before flying instead of awaiting an offer to happen.
Follow these simple steps to better your chances:
First and most importantly, being loyal to a brand pays off. Join airline frequent flyer programmes (FFP) and build up points. This will be the first thing the airline will look at when deciding who to upgrade. A lot of airlines these days team up with hotels, retail outlets and restaurants in order to help you earn air miles. Be strategic on how best to gain points and this will strengthen your chances of an upgrade.
The tier of loyalty is a condition that most airlines will look into. Most FFP have at least 3-tiers to segment their customers according to their various needs. Needless to say, the highest tier holds more weight than the others in receiving an upgrade. This is called priority handling.
There are also arrangements that corporations strike up with airlines under a ‘Preferred Carrier’ policy. This is a form of loyalty that airlines take into consideration for upgrades.
Lastly, alliance of your membership counts in receiving upgrades. Airlines will treat other airline customers from their alliance, as if they were their own. Select an airline and their alliance that benefits your travel plans.
2. Type of ticket
The cost of your ticket will also play a part when the airline chose who to upgrade. If you have paid the lowest fare, which comes with strict conditions, then the chances are extremely slim for an upgrade. However by booking a higher fare class grants you and the airline the autonomy in making changes as such, you will be upgraded over those who made a purchase at the lowest fare.
3. Choice of Route
Flying a popular route or timeslot would only mean a plane filled to its seating capacity. In this instance, a chance of an upgrade occurring is high. Often when economy cabin is oversold, this is when upgrades at the gate happen. With airlines being revenue focussed more than ever, especially with such fluctuation with dynamic pricing, should your flight be flying half empty then the chances of getting an upgrade are slim to none. It is where certain cabin types are overbooked, usually economy, that the airline is forced to upgrade.
4. Booking with a travel agent
Lastly, it makes a lot of difference having a travel agent to book a flight or a stay for you. Travel agents have relationships with their counterparts in airlines and hotels that enable to them to reserve seats or rooms that you prefer. A travel agent is not only a ticketing specialist but they know the tricks of the trade best.