Ways to Score a Business Class Upgrade


One of the perks of travelling is an unexpected upgrade, and sometimes all it takes a bit of luck. But more importantly the “ask and thou shall receive” policy never fails. EXEC offers a several ways to score the coveted business class upgrade.

Make the Ticket Counter Agent your BFF

Technically speaking, the ticket counter agent is not in a position to upgrade you to business class, unless you’re a frequent flier. Nevertheless, they can add a code that allows the gate agent to be aware of your eligibility for an upgrade.

Frequent Flier Fan

As much as possible, be a loyal customer to a particular airline because that will ensure you the much needed upgrade you were looking for. You can also buy your upgrades as a frequent flier member.
Large Aircrafts

Typically large aircrafts like the Boeings have more business class seats available. So, research thoroughly on the availability of seats online by checking their status a few days prior. The more available the seats are, the more likelihood of an upgrade.

Frequent Flier Programs

By becoming a member of the frequent flyer programs, you’re that much closer to an upgrade and are entitled to perks that non-members aren’t. Most airlines offer special discounts and promotions to those on their frequent flyer programs.

Early Check-Ins

Punctuality is a great asset to get an upgrade especially as a frequent flier, so if there are two or more people vying for an upgrade, the person who arrives the earliest wins the much coveted upgrade.

It’s All in the Timing

Most avoid travelling during peak holiday seasons. So, if you have no schedule and baggage to hold you back, then this is the right time to strike or get yourself intentionally “bumped”. Ask the gate agent to give you an upgrade when they rebook you, especially in an overbooked flight.

Smaller Airports

It’s difficult to score an upgrade if your flights flying in or out of a major hub. Smaller hubs, instead, will work to your advantage.

Flying Solo

It helps immensely if you’re travelling solo, since you come across as a potentional upgrade candidate vis-à-vis while travelling in pairs from an airline’s perspective.

Travel Agent Booking

Booking your tickets with a travel agent is also helpful. By doing so, the travel agent can up your chances of an upgrade with a simple yet efficient abbreviation – OSI aka Other Significant Information against your reservation – which separates you from the rest of the crowd

Natty Dresser

Look and work the part of a business traveller while scoring for an upgrade. Casual dressing won’t cut it. As the familiar adage goes, “First impressions are the most lasting”.

Ask the flight attendant

This is only works if the economy class is overbooked, and seats are available on business class. Being seated in the first few rows works well, in scenarios like this. You can even opt for an upgrade if you’re unhappy with your co-passenger.

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