Everyone would like to travel first class when flying however, for most the cost is just too expensive, but as with most things where there is a will there is a way, below are some tips that could help you to be upgraded from the cattle class to the exclusive first and business class.
If you sign up for an airline’s loyalty card and you are a regular customer you’re more likely to get the letters SFU (Suitable For Upgrade) next to your name on the passenger list, you will find most airline staff prioritise frequent flyers.

Dressing smartly also helps when trying to get up graded, airline staff are less likely to upgrade you if you are dressed scruffily, instead they opt for people who wouldn’t look out of place in business class, so men will need to ditch the jeans and t-shirts and go for something more tidy like shirts and chino’s for a women you must not be seen in tracksuits, jeans or combats instead go for linen trousers or a suitable length skirt.

It’s also worth knowing that check-in and gate staff have far more power to upgrade you than flight crew do so you should start by working your charm offensive with them, but don’t ask outright for a free upgrade as this is most people’s approach and Airline staff get annoyed by it so try to be more subtle.

Generally airlines only upgrade when flights are overbooked, so it can be worth checking in later on a busy flight, but you do have to make sure you’re in the right place at the right time. If you find there are no Economy seats left, the staff may upgrade you or ask you to take a later flight but then give you a seat in Business as compensation. However if there are a number of you travelling together this doesn’t always work out well and you all could end up split up in economy or only one or two of you end up in business or first class and the rest left behind.

It can help to fly from smaller airports, when you fly from large airports you’re competing against a lot more passengers who may also be members of the frequent flier program. You normally find that the smaller the airport, the fewer people you’re competing against.

Don’t forget if all else fails that you can buy yourself an upgrade, at the airport the price tends to get cheaper the nearer you get to take-off. You can also try haggling a bit at the ticket desk: Virgin Atlantic has been known to sell off upgrades to Premium Economy for just £165 one way (bought in advance, they could cost £1,000).


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