Top 10 Ways to Get a Flight Upgrade

Everyone dreams about getting hold of a comfortable, spacious first class or business class seat when travelling. Most of us can’t afford the often hugely expensive prices that airlines charge for these seats and so end up in economy class. That’s where we can come in to help, we’ve compiled this list of the top 10 ways to get your hands on that prized flight upgrade.


  1. The most expensive, but the most obvious way to get upgraded would be to simply buy an upgrade. This can be expensive, but is a guaranteed way to be bumped up.
  2. Checking in at the airport with a big smile and being co-operative could get you an upgrade. Being friendly leaves a good impression on the airline staff and if there’s space, they’ll remember you and put you forward.
  3. Dress well for your flight and sit where airline staff can see you. If they have a choice between a well-dressed passenger and a sloppy, unkempt one to upgrade, it’s pretty obvious who they’re going to pick!
  4. Book with the airline directly, rather than through a travel agent. There is often an option to add additional information, and here is where you could ask about the possibility of an upgrade.
  5. If your flight is overbooked, volunteer to be put on the next one. You’re more likely to be upgraded if you’re on this new flight because of your goodwill.
  6. Another simple tactic is to be a member of the airline’s frequent flier program. Being a loyal passenger will up your odds of a flight upgrade.
  7. Travelling alone will make it easier for airline staff to upgrade your seat. One person is easier to accommodate than a group of people.
  8. This one will take some guts, but if you see an empty seat in business or first class, go ahead and ask a flight attendant if there’s any chance you could upgrade to the open seat.
  9. If you fly at an unpopular time, flights will be more likely to be empty, thus leaving more space to be moved around from the plane and hopefully into a better seat.
  10. This one is a shot in the dark, but point out an injury you have, like a sprained ankle or broken foot. This may seem really unfair and controversial, but according to 65% of flight attendants surveyed by SkyScanner having an injury and making it obvious can do a lot to get you that upgrade.

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