How To Get Free Flight Upgrades
So how can you get an upgrade without paying the money? Is that even possible?
First of all, we highly recommend that you do not ask for an upgrade, especially if you are not a frequent flier. Airlines do not like this.
Our main recommendation to you is to join the frequent flier clubs at the various airlines that you fly and then try to focus the majority of your flights with one specific airline in order to accumulate frequent flier points. The more miles that you accumulate, the better the chances that your ticket will be automatically upgraded. That is the way airlines work.
If you have flown enough miles, the flight manager may just call you over and tell you that you are entitled to an upgrade.
If your flight is a fairly empty one, it is the frequent flier that will be called by the flight manager to be upgraded. If your flight is overbooked and you are a top frequent flier you also have a very good chance of being the recipient of a courtesy upgrade.
We recommend that you should always ask for a seat in the middle of the airplane. Then, if your flight is really empty and the flight personnel have to move passengers around for proper airline balance, you will be a prime candidate.
Here are a few more ways to try to get yourself that free upgrade:
If you travel with a top member of an airline's frequent flier club, you have a chance to be upgraded.
If you do not belong to the frequent flier club and your flight is overbooked, volunteer to give up your seat. That way you will have a good chance to be upgraded on your new flight. On most airlines you also get a monetary bonus or a free ticked for giving up your seat on an overbooked flight.
The clothing that you wear can also make a difference to being chosen or not chosen for an upgrade. We recommend that you dress in business attire. Airlines like to upgrade well-dressed businessmen when they need to upgrade a few passengers. That businessman could be you.
If you are traveling by yourself, we recommend that you sit by yourself but in up front, where you can be easily seen by the gate agent. That way you can easily get a nod for an upgrade.
If you are a frequent flier and don't mind taking a gamble every once in a while and only if all the economy class seats are pretty much the same to you, here is another strategy to try. Do not choose a seat when you book your flight. Come fairly late to the airport, so you get the last seats available. Gate agents have priorities when it comes to upgrading and those are to upgrade frequent fliers - especially if they are in a crummy seat.
And finally, it always pays to be nice. And don't forget to smile a lot. When a flight is oversold and passengers have to be bumped up a class, it is often someone who was friendly to the ticket agents who will be remembered and given an upgrade.