How to get upgraded to business class for free
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How to get upgraded to business class for free

Most of us know those friends of friends who somehow got themselves upgraded to business class for free. How on Earth does someone get that lucky? We figured out the most important tricks for you!

Don’t we all dream about it every once in a while: flying across the globe in business class… Imagine lying down with your feet up, a glass of champagne and a proper meal within reach – who wouldn’t want that? Unfortunately most of us can’t easily afford such luxury. But what if you could find free ways to get upgraded?


Be loyal

The more often you use the same airline, the more probable it becomes that you “deserve” an upgrade. So get yourself a frequent flyer membership and try using the same airline as frequently as you can.

Check in late

Flights end up being overbooked pretty regularly, and if you happen to check in late, you might well be that one person too many. Sometimes, the only seats left in this case might be in business class – and naturally, you don’t mind taking one for the team! Of course, if you get less lucky, your ticket might be transferred to the next available flight, but make sure to try and get a business class seat as compensation as well.

Travel solo

Upgrades are hardly ever available for more than one traveller at a time, so individual passengers often get priority in these cases over couples or families. Travelling solo enhances your chances of being upgraded (unless you don’t mind rubbing your travel companions the wrong way).

Just ask

As the Dutch like to say: “no” is what you’ve got, “yes” is what you might well get! Don’t be shy to ask whether a (free) business class upgrade might be an option, both during check-in and boarding. Be polite and nice, use your friendliest smile, and you might get on the flight personnel’s good side and be awarded that luxury!

Dress up

Typically, business class is filled with fancy suits and business attires, so you can imagine how an airline might be sensitive to clothing styles when deciding who to allow an upgrade. Leave those shorts and sandals out of the picture for once, and suit up!

Topfoto: © Nina Hilitukha | Dreamstime