When you are traveling coach, as most people must these days, first class can seem even more alluring than ever. The increased arm and leg room, the far superior food, the free drinks, and the preferential treatment really do make first class considerably better than the cramped quarters and sparse snacks that you will usually be offered in coach. While there is never a guaranteed way to get yourself bumped up to first class, there are several little known ways that can really help you to improve your chances. It won't cost you a dime to try, and you will have a good chance of getting lucky with an upgrade with the following tips.
Flight Oversold? Use It To Your Advantage If your flight has been oversold and the airline is seeking volunteers to get bumped from the flight, you should volunteer - but with a slight twist. Tell the airline that you would rather just get an upgrade on this flight instead of getting bumped from the flight completely. Since first class is often undersold, while coach is often oversold, you may find that your request to move up will be granted without a problem. This saves the airline the expense of putting a passenger on another flight, and fills a first class seat that would otherwise sit empty.
Join Frequent Flyer Programs Join the frequent flyer club of each airline that you fly on. Even if you are not really in the air that frequently, it is well worth it to join the club. When the airlines start looking for who to move up to first class, it is common that they will look at the passengers with frequent flyer accounts first. It will not cost you any of your accumulated points, since relocating your seat to first class will be at the airline request. Frequent flyer clubs are free to join, so there is no reason not to do so, even if you only fly a few times per year.
Appearance Does Matter Since first class passengers are usually either wealthy people or business people, the atmosphere in first class is often more upscale. In fact, most airlines have informal dress codes and prefer their first class passengers to look well groomed and wear nice clothing. Business attire or smart looking ensembles are the norm for first class, and if you already look the part it may help you more than you might think. Wear business casual, avoid jeans and sloppy outfits, and you will find that the airline may very well view you in a whole new way: As a potential first class upgrade.
Treat The Staff Well Simple courtesy can really help out more than you might imagine. If the airline staff has any issues and apologizes for delays, be courteous and tell them that you understand, and thank them for keeping you informed. If you are asked to move to a different seat so that someone else can be accommodated, then accept with a smile. Always thank the staff personally for the little things like bringing your drinks promptly. This type of simple politeness and courtesy really stands out, and if there are first class upgrades to give away, this will help you get to the top of the list.
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